2008 A year in Brunch
The arrival of 2009 marks the completion of Montreal Breakfast and Brunch Review’s exciting first year. Although I started in in the spring of 2008 I felt it would be nice to do a recap for the year end and give an overall review to Montreal’s various brunch venues. I decided to go over all the places I reviewed this year and give some of the best in their fields. So, if you have not been to any of these I strongly suggest you do.
Best New place
Although small in size (seating less than 20) Mckiernan is a heavyweight champion in the food department. The menu items were varied, tasty, fresh and really original; the portions were large and the decor was amazing. This was a big surprise to me and I am really happy I got to add this to the list of places I have eaten brunch.
Top 3 Best Dishes
These 3 dishes are those that made my taste buds dance and still make me think about them. In no particular order, the top 3 dishes are as follows:
Eggs L’enfer at Mckiernan with its amazing taste and good size, I really enjoyed it;
Mckiernan’s Eggs Enfer
Maki roll crepes at Zagrum are something amazing to look at, they managed to take a crepe and present it as a maki roll and it tasting great so that’s an added bonus;
Zargum Maki Roll Crepe
Lastly the Humeur du Chef at Pistou Déjeuner s a feast for your eyes as well as your stomach and the fruit options are fresh and tasty.
Pistou Déjeuner Humeur Du Chef
Top 3 different places
This section is for those who are looking for some place that is really different from most brunch places in the city. Points can be given for decor, menu, and overall approach to Brunch. I chose the following: Byblos , Reservoir, and Aux Vivres . Byblos scores well for both the Persian decor and the menu items which are far from a classic breakfast. Reservoir does an amazing job on taking brunch and making it into something – a touch more bistro while still keeping the brunch flavour, they also serve beer in the morning which is unique and welcomed. The decor is cool although points get scored for their menu. Lastly Aux Vivres scored points on its menu and its decor. The menu is vegan and although they do have limited brunch items they manage to do what I though was impossible: to pull off a vegan brunch and make it taste good. The tofu scramble is really good and the polenta plate was memorable, so props on the food items although more options would be interesting. They also score points for the whole sustainability effort with a garden in the back and emphasis on environmentalism and educating people about it.
In this section I look for something that offers sun and fun and in this case the choice was an easy one, hands down. I have to give it to Les Folies. Situated on Mount Royal their terrace offers the perfect view point to enjoy a nice lazy summer day doing some serious people watching.
Just like a kid, I love surprises especially good ones. This section is for that place that when you walk in you don’t expect much but when you walk out you look for your socks because something knocked them off. Usually this is cause by being awesome. This years knock my sock off surprise goes to Cafe Art Java They did an amazing job on the food, some really tasty items and and some other interesting items I have not had a chance to have yet. The presentation and plating was awesome especially their fruit plate which looks like a sun and lets not forget their coffee art drinks.
Top 3 Brunch Places
This section is an answer to a question I get every time of which is the best. I love all brunch places and it’s hard to pick 5 favourites let alone 3. Its kind of like a parent having to chose which is their favourite kid, I mean come on… we all know its the 1st born 😉 Now I will state that all 3 of these places are amazing and are a sure hit and although I do have personal favourites which are not on this list I feel these 3 are the best all around and are a safe bet for any brunch goer. So you can basically walk in close your eyes chose anything on the menu and it will great. In order, they are: 1) Mckiernan 2) L’avenue 3) Pistou Déjeuner . With these 3, your brunch cannot go wrong unless you have some horrible allergy to eggs or something weird happens on your way there.
No explanation needed on this section. This is for all those people who wake up in the morning and are really hungry and normal plate will not cut it. This one goes to Dans La Bouche with its Menage a trois plate which gives pretty much everything you could think of: eggs benedict, waffles, pancakes, french toast, potatos and fruit. What more could you ask for?
My pick 2008
This section is a spot where I can give a plug to my favourite place. In this instance it did not make it on any of the lists especially. It’s a place that I love the food and service as well as the ambiance. It may not score as well as other places on my reviews although favourite brunch places are often more than just the food, decor or service. I know people who are picky foodies and yet like some simple places for reasons they cannot explain. I get when you find a place you love you just do no real reason. So after a long winded explanation my pick goes to Raviolution. I love its menu options, its look and the fact that you get tons of fresh and varied fruit on your plate.
So that’s it for 2008 I had a lot of fun doing these reviews and I hope you enjoyed reading them. I really need to thank my editors whom without, there would be tons of spelling and grammatical mistakes. A big thank you for those who helped with technical issues as well as consultation for layout and design ideas. Also, I want to thank my brunch buddies (each of you from the one on ones, the breakfast bandits to the breakfast brunch bonanza groups). Thanks for putting up with me and my camera, and for all your tips on places to check out. Lastly I want to thank all those who have encouraged me to start this site (you know who you are) and those who provide those kind words of encouragement throughout the year.
Enjoy 2009 and keep brunching