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By The Way Cafe

Looking to enjoy this balmy autumn weather, some friends and I stopped into By The Way Cafe's big corner patio for a late brunch. Fast, friendly service along with good coffee started things off well, even if the brunch proved to be a bit of a mixed bag.

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For something to share, we ordered the Spicy & Crunchy Calamari ($7). The order was supposed to come with dill sauce, but it was nowhere to be found, and didn't matter too much as these stood up fine on their own. Light, crispy and spiced for a little extra kick... a crowd pleaser all around.

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'Eggs Benedikt' with ham and dill sauce ($8) did arrive with dill, which proved to be a real standout flavour - definitely a contrast from your standard Hollandaise sauce. The side of home fries, unfortunately, was more of a lukewarm mush.

The Louisiana Omelet ($8) (pictured at the top) was a heartier choice, starring a sizeable omelet, packed with finely chopped tomatoes, mixed peppers, ham and cheddar.

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On the side is a fresh toasted bagel and those same home fries. A dash of pepper and this was easily the tastiest dish at the table (despite the fries).

Both breakfast dishes came with a side of fruit. While a nice touch, there is so much potential wasted with a little slice of watermelon and orange. It's almost more of a garnish, and I suppose the staff feels that way too as my plate was whisked away before I could get to them. Why the rush, people?

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A 'Mediterranean' special ($7) sounded appealing with two eggs any way, black olives, feta, Israeli salad and a toasted bagel. Overall, a simple brunch dish done right, but the Israeli salad was much too small. Any less and it would have been fit into the garnish category with the fruit.

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Lastly, a choice from the lunch menu: Middle Eastern Chicken in a pita ($9) with fries. The fries were delicious and better than the home fries (swap if you can), but where on earth is the tzatziki? Maybe it got lost with the calamari dill, but one thin slice of tomato could not help with the dryness of this chicken.

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It could have been great, but just so desperately needed a sauce.

In terms of value and tastebud appeal, stick with the omelets or benny dishes.

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By The Way Cafe

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