Swan's Hotel Brew Pub

506 Pandora Street tel: (250) 361-3310

Sunday brunch isn't exactly rocket science, but on this morning it seemed to be over the heads of the Swan's Hotel crew.

We seated ourselves in the somewhat busy restaurant, but were not offered service for several minutes. Patty ordered a beer and I ordered a mimosa - both arrived fairly quickly and met our standards for quality.

Arriving at noon, we were too late for breakfast, but were directed to the brunch menu - 3 items -- an omelette, a weird benny and French toast. Three items does not a brunch make!

After waiting for 30 minutes and watching everyone around us get their food, ours arrived.  Patty had the omelette ($9) - stated as including a crab, shrimp, peppers and a cheese filling. The crab was not apparent and the eggs overdone. Served with deep-fried hash browns and toast, Patty said the housemade toast was the best part of the dish. Unfortunately, there was no jam for the toast. I had the benny ($11) - with pepperoni, roasted red pepper and pesto hollandaise. While my eggs were cooked properly, the pepperoni was strange. The pesto hollandaise didn't taste at all like pesto and kinda like curry. Both items were lacklustre efforts.

First of all, we thought it was unacceptable to advertise a brunch menu and then have only three things on it. Secondly, if you're going to have a limited selection, please don't get inventive with things like the pepperoni benny. With a full breakfast, it's a mystery why they don't just extend it until 2 pm on weekends, or even take brunch items from the regular breakfast menu.

The service was acceptable, but amateurish. She was friendly and mostly effective, but seemed to lack a sense of hustle and appeared unaware that we were waiting a long time for everything.

Of course, the Swan's Hotel Pub is famous for their art collection and the space is reasonably pleasant to sit in. The trouble seems to be, that they don't if they're a pub, or a restaurant, or shudder - a gastro-pub. They've got the space for a medium to high end pub, accentuated by the brew pub facilities, but they're not doing anything with it.  They have a long, half-assed menu, with a lot of low-end pub items.  Cut the fat, get rid of the potato skins and focus of doing fewer menu selections better.


reviewed March 26, 2006