Its heat-lamped bacon may be leathery and the sausages grim, but the business end of the Saturday brunch ($15.95) omelet station at the Danish Canadian Community Club of Calgary’s Mermaid Inn Restaurant is pretty cool.

Chef Peter expertly tends a fry-pan assembly line. Pouring beaten egg into each, he prepares individual omelets to order with tomato, shredded cheese, diced onion, creamed spinach, smoked ham and more.

A second chef uses a hooked stick to flip hot battered spherical pancakes called æbleskiver in their cast-iron pan. I take two with a spoonful of sweet jelly, foregoing the whipped cream. It’s all the breakfast one needs, but I take the tongs and add a helping of meat.

Taking my seat in the bustling room amid white-haired Danish-Canadians, their guests and grandchildren, I enjoy a slow and savoury brunch under the limpid gaze of umpteen little mermaid posters. The rec-room décor oozes the comfortable warmth of tradition.

A clear draw of the Saturday meal is the socializing it affords. Cheerful discussion at neighbouring tables touches on the Greenland seal hunt and discreet analysis of Danish cuss words. Table service is likewise personable and chatty if a bit slow-mo.

My spinach omelet ain’t fancy, but it is tasty and hits the spot. The æbleskiver are a real treat. I go back for more.

Mermaid Inn’s lunch and dinner menus are, of course, heavy on Danish dishes, featuring lots of seafood, smoked seafood, smoked leg of ham, Havarti cheese and French fries.

Billing itself as the city’s most popular “private club,” the 11th Avenue institution is open to the general public. Saturday brunch runs from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and is always well attended.

Mermaid Inn Restaurant
Danish Canadian Community Club
727 11th Avenue S.W.
Mermaid Inn on Urbanspoon


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