E and I are cautious of trying new places because we have a toddler and a threenager. They are vivacious, mobile, illogically opinionated and sometimes they go feral. Anyway, we are wary.
Nalaz Kitchen (formerly Cocos and many other things), has been being renovated for a while and finally opened on January 10th. Our curiosity led us there. Also, it was within walking distance of our old place (we drove).
The last time we were there was when we first moved to the area bout 5 years ago. It was a greasy spoon that served beer at 8AM and had a line of wiley patrons taking advantage of that. It had a saloon feel. And smell. Our expectations were low.
We were immediately greeted and sat in a booth. We were given a high chair with a cushy seat. The wait staff was not intimidated or put off by our kids. They gave us sippy cups for the kids that we were allowed to keep (straight up Playtex ‘My Little Pony’ jobbies). I don’t know if this is something they will do all the time, but it leaves a wonderful impression. We later learned we were the first family there. We bandied about the idea of celebratory tattoos, but couldn’t find a place that would ink a child. Just kidding (there are 4).
I would like to state right now that this is not a paid review. We did not get our food for free. We honestly just wanted to try the place as it is in a part of Edmonton that we love and will probably always be nostalgic for.
The menu read like my stomach’s dream diary. Everything looked good. I’m not a fish fan, but even the fish looked good. E had a benny with fish in it (the Manny Benny: 2 poached eggs served on garlic toast, roasted fennel and smoked salmon with hollandaise and red onions and sour cream). I still let her sit with me. That is how good it smelled. Srsly.
Little Hell got the kids plate (pancakes with sprinkles…SPRINKLES…also scrambled eggs and bacon). He shared a bunch of it with Sister Destruction (and me) and it was not just a toss away ‘kids menu’ meal. It was Tasteville USA, population, my tongue.
I’m a simple man. I like eggs and bacon and toast and hash browns. And coffee. So, that is what I had. The eggs were perfectly over medium (I likes to dip my toast in ’em). And the bacon was great because you can’t screw up bacon. So, I don’t need to go on but the portion size was perfect and my excellent coffee cup was never dry.
As for family amenities, the ladies washroom is equipped with a change table and a
toddler seat for the toilet. Although the men’s is not, these are single serving washrooms so, in celebration of modernity, a male could take their child in there and take care of bathroom business.
Nalaz is rife with a sense of community. They have pictures of the lads who did the renos on the wall. Before we left, we were offered a hangable frame on which to write a bit about our experience. It really felt like it was born in the community, not in it to re-invent it.
If you are looking for a nice place with good food and a great staff, I would highly recommend it. It was light, fun, and delicious.
Find Nalaz at: 4322, 118 Avenue NW, Edmonton, Alberta 780.471.2324