The other great thing about Kelowna? Pay street parking doesn't start until 9 AM! Outstanding.
I went inside and found myself staring at a huge menu of pastries, hot and cold breakfast items, a number of lunch sandwiches and of course, a bread menu. As I had a big day of driving to look forward to so I didn't want anything too protein heavy, and I absolutely love pancakes so I asked the counter clerk for a recommendation. She immediately encouraged me to get the banana-walnut pancakes. Who am I to argue?
It was a good sized plate for $7. Two pancakes studded with big pieces of walnuts, and topped with a banana compote. I thought the pancakes were a little overdone. They didn't have that fluffiness that I look for in a stack, and I had to put a teensy bit of pressure on the fork before it would cut through - but I believe that was done on purpose to provide some firmness to contrast the mushiness of the compote. The pancake tasted like banana, without the overpowering slap-in-the-face of a typical banana bread. The compote was quite sweet, but a perfect replacement for maple syrup. Flavour-wise, it was good balance - but I really wish there was more. I found myself rationing it so I could have some left for the last bite!
Turning my attention to the bread menu, I took home a fig and anise loaf, and a roasted garlic loaf. Fig and anise bread is one of those flavour combinations I've only recently discovered and have fallen heads over heels over. Terra Bread is my current favourite, but Bread Company's was a tasty treat in its own right. It didn't have the crunch I really want in a bread loaf, but there was a good balance of sweet figs to ensure the bread doesn't cross over into dessert territory. I was munching on this all day, ripping little nibs off during the drive home.
The roasted garlic loaf was a mild disappointment. The dough was softer, and for something called roasted garlic, I was expecting flavour that slaps you in the face and begs you to take her home. This was a bit smoother, with a prevalent sweet roasted garlic flavour, and hints of bitterness to balance it out. Of course I didn't think it would be like a $4 garlic loaf from Costco, but the garlic flavour seemed to dissipate far too quickly once I ate it - there wasn't that lovely garlic resonance. Vampires would certainly be safe from this. I did find the leftovers made for perfect croutons or a panzanella salad.
Though downtown Kelowna was still quiet at the time, The Bread Company was jumping at 8 AM on a weekday morning, and I was fortunate to be able to get myself a stalk by the front window. I can imagine myself being a regular here if I ever spent any length of time in Kelowna. The Bread Company is located on 363 Bernard Ave in downtown Kelowna, and they're open early everyday.