Hans Peter Meyer Restaurant Review: Mar's On Main

Brunch on Dunsmuir: Mar’s on Main

It was a last minute thing. When I suggested Sunday brunch to my hungry gal in the evening I was thinking of one of several favourite brunch spots in Comox or Courtenay. When I woke I was thinking only of my new favourite food precinct: downtown Cumberland. I texted the favourite Uncle. Shortly after, his van pulled up. In minutes our trio was headed into the hills. Destination: Mar’s on Main, one of the brightest lights on the Dunsmuir strip.

Mar’s has been open since mid-July 2012. We’ve lunched and brunched there several times, and I’m looking forward to trying dinner soon. My gal loves it because: generous servings, breakfast til 3pm every day, Caesars on Sunday, lots of kale, lots of gluten free options, and – best reason –everything we’ve had has been über delicious.

The breakfast menu is big for a little place. Sometimes that’s a bad thing. But so far Mar’s is consistently good across the breadth of it. On this brinch, Uncle had the spicy (Diablo Benny), Hungry gal had the more-or-less traditional (Cumberland Benny), and Mr. Fussypants customized an already-speciality item (Grilled Polenta). Plus coffees all ‘round (not sure why, but for some reason we declined the Sunday Caesars… go figure).

Uncle’s Diablo was straight up, no substitutions: spicy sausage (and yes, it is “spicy”), with salsa and jalapenos, served on polenta, and covered with hollandaise. Polenta is big and beautiful at Mars. So are the portions, which include a healthy helping of either pan fries, fruit salad, or quinoa and black beans.

Hungry gal’s Cumberlander featured portobello mushrooms, yams, kale, avocado, and goat cheese. She added extra avocado. Then she took some of it home. Even for a gal with appetite (and breakfast is the important meal of her day) there was plenty on the plate.

The Diablo Benny, Cumberlander Benny & grilled Polenta
Not content to order what an already creative menu offers I felt the need for some special attention to my “Healthy Habits” menu choice (making it perhaps a little less “healthy” in the process): the spicy in the Diablo had me adding sausage and jalapenos to an already burgeoning platter. Lots of great flavours here: mushrooms, artichoke hearts, spinach, poached eggs, roasted tomatoes (also a big thing on the Mar’s menu), red pepper marinara, Asiago cheese…. plus my added spice. I waded through this feast. Barely. I didn’t feel like I’d over done it (OK, maybe I had; when will I learn that half-servings are probably all I really need?). Then again, I didn’t feel the need to eat for the rest of the day.

The strip
We left Mar’s with our take-home box. Then, because Uncle hadn’t been here in years, we wandered uptown. Lots of other food and beverage venues passed us by. A partial list of some of my favourites includes Tarbells, Riders Pizza, Darkside Chocolates, Wandering Moose Cafe, Crystal’s Place (sushi), Waverley Hotel, among others. One of my goals this year: to spend a sunny day from pre-breakfast to late at night, tasting my way through all that downtown Cumberland has to offer. Stay tuned. 

Cumberland Benny w/extra avocado & fresh salad.

Cost of our brunch for 3? A very reasonable $41 (before taxes and gratuities).

Contact info...
Mar’s on Main at 2744 Dunsmuir Ave tel: 250-400-6277 + Facebook

-hanspetermeyer (Facebook & Twitter)

"For more of hanspetermeyer's coverage of Vancouver Island's local food scene, please visit BonVivantVancouverIsland.com


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