Oftentimes referred to simply as Cora, this is a Canadian chain of casual restaurants based out of Quebec. There are franchises in all of the other Canadian provinces with the noted exception of Saskatchewan. There are over 100 locations across the country. Around these parts, there is a location in Coquitlam, about a block away from Coquitlam Centre, and that’s where I went for breakfast a short while ago.
One thing that is interesting about Cora is that it is not open for dinner. There is a very clear breakfast focus here, though they are open for lunch as well. The other big focus is on fresh fruit, which is included in nearly every dish on the menu. While they both have French influence, Cora and Chez Meme are quite dissimilar.
The dining room at Cora is bright, colorful and cheerful. The kitchen area is mostly open too, clearly showcasing all the fresh fruit that they serve. Service was reasonably friendly and timely.
Much like the dining room, the menu is equally bright and colorful. There are a lot of photos of the food and many menu items are showcased with whimsical descriptions. You will find that breakfast dominates more than three-quarters of the menu.
In addition to my cup of coffee, I opted for the “Tastyfull April 89.” This is very large French crepe filled with fresh fruit and topped with some whipped cream and powdered sugar. I went with the custard filling, but you could opt for a “chocolatey-hazelnut spread” for a dollar more.
And yes, there is a lot of fresh fruit inside, including strawberries, bananas, and melon. The custard was sweet without being too rich, so unlike pancakes or pannekoek, there was no need for table syrup.
Susanne selected the Eggs Ben et Dictine. This is a pretty typical take on an Eggs Benedict, but she opted for mushrooms rather than the usual ham. Along with the English muffin and Hollandaise sauce, the Eggs Ben et Dictine was served with roasted potatoes and fresh fruit. And yes, there is a lot of fresh fruit here too. This was all very good, though the eggs were slightly overcooked for my tastes.
Perhaps one of the best deals on the menu is the Cora’s Special. This is a comprehensive breakfast with two eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, a crepe, roasted potatoes, toast, and fresh fruit. That’s a lot of food and it was easily enough for my parents to share.
I don’t know if I’d always make the trek out to Coquitlam, but I can easily recommend Cora as one of my favorite breakfast places in the Greater Vancouver area. The fresh fruit really sets Cora apart from the greasy spoons and the lighter crepes make this much more appealing than a place like IHOP.
Portions are sizable, prices are reasonable, and I left thoroughly satisfied with my breakfast. If you’re out in the Tri-Cities, do pay Cora a visit. You won’t regret it.