We live in a fast-paced, modern age chock-full of invention and innovation. However, out of all of the current technology, I still find hipsters one of our generation’s more surprising developments. How on earth did a grown-ass man with a plaid shirt, beard, and glasses go from intimidating authority figure to meek Starbucks barista? It baffles me to this day, which brings me to The Yeti in downtown Kitchener, a place synonymous with the word “hipster” itself.
Residing in a tiny house, The Yeti is so cool that there’s no indication on the building that you’re even at the place aside from a single stand-up sign on the street. Inside, it’s somewhat quaint with a quintessential, no-nonsense appeal about its mismatched tables and chairs, accompanied by artwork featuring the infamous sasquatch on the wall.
Surveying the menu, I opted for items as intriguing as the place itself: The Pregnant Cowgirl (an organic multigrain bagel with avocado, cheddar, bacon, tomato and garlic aioli) along with the Paleo Pancakes (plaintain and chorizo pancakes with Sriracha on top, salad, and hash). Coffee was a no-brainer, and gladly didn’t disappoint; smooth and wholesome, I instantly wished I’d ordered the refillable option that was just a few cents more.
Soon enough, my order arrived, and the awaited Pregnant Cowgirl looked petite in the plate’s vastness. The bagel itself was delicious, light without being perforated; a fantastically compact bed for the multitude of grain and sesame seeds it featured, making me appreciate true bakery freshness.
As for the rest of the Cowgirl, the egg and tomato were satisfactory in quality, but what elevated the bagel from humdrum weekday breakfast was the addition of avocado and garlic aioli. Avocado is (as my friend likes to put it) the butter of vegetables, and in this dish it added a renewed luxuriousness that the dish would’ve cried out for otherwise.
Additionally, the garlic aioli added a tangy element that tasted great when I could find it… Unfortunately, it proved a bit too subtle for my garlic-loving preference.
Finally, the all-important bacon was well-cooked and seasoned, providing a textural element that contrasted nicely with the softer toppings; however, I wish that I had the option to try the Jazcon instead (a coconut bacon substitute for vegetarians/vegans).
Unfortunately, the other half of the meal, the Paleo Pancakes, proved a half-hearted venture compared to the Pregnant Cowgirl. The anticipated chorizo was not evident and barely accounted for, and although the pancake made for an interesting bite with the addition of actual plantain, its density only made me miss light, buttery pancakes more. Also, in lieu of maple syrup, the Sriracha sauce was a concept that although intriguing, somehow didn’t translate as well in reality.
Thankfully, the side dishes saved the experience. With sweet and regular roasted potatoes highlighting spiced-up skins, the hash was different from the crispy variety I was used to but successfully played against the Sriracha’s intensity all the same. The accompanying salad was fresh and crunchy, coated in tangy vinaigrette that made the tongue tingle; however, it proved overdressed, making it overwhelming to ultimately finish.
The Yeti is one of the most popular brunch/lunch places in the KW area, and despite my mixed review, there’s a reason why. In true hipster fashion, the restaurant longs for an older, simpler time, and the place’s sheer honesty and love of good food is what makes this cafe worth the trip. Although imperfect, this place is a genuine brunch destination above the rest, and I will go there again to try their newest creations while wearing my most vintage sweater.