Brunch in the West is often challenging. Yes, there are lots of brunch spots west of Decarie but I often find that they have similar menus and aren’t really creative in terms of what they make. Having gone to hundreds of different brunch spots, I get tired of the usual bacon and eggs so when our brunch brought us out west, I had to look around and find something a little different.
The 411 Sometimes plans change: you have a place you want to go for brunch and something happens and you can’t go, leaving you to scramble to find something close by. Well this happened one Saturday. Our plans to do brunch in Westmount were derailed and with a time constraint as well as having to stay in the area, I was getting depressed. Then my friend told me that Park restaurant on Victoria avenue actually served brunch. If you don’t know Park restaurant, it’s becoming one of the most talked about restaurants in the city. Chef Antonio Park serves up a combination of Korean and Japanese inspired dishes with an emphasis on organic and sustainably farmed ingredients. I always kind of wished that they did brunch then my friend told me she just found out they did and we ran over.
The 411 Off of decarie, on Queen Mary, is an old neighbourhood that has been undergoing some changes. The area is gentrifying so that means old buildings disappear and new condos show up – whether this is a good thing or not is another discussion but I’m just here to talk brunch and breakfast. My friend moved there recently and has been going to this little spot called restaurant Queen Mary. Right off the bat, she told me that it’s more of a greasy spoon than the places I go to but that doesn’t mean I haven’t reviewed a greasy spoon nor am I opposed to reviewing them. The greasy spoon often gets a bad rep but it serves a vital purpose of providing filling food, quickly and on the cheap end. You can settle up to the counter to order your dish, down it with some coffee and then pay $5 and be full. Lets keep in mind most brunches can in some cases come close to $20 when you factor in your dish, coffee, taxes and tip.
The 411 St. Jacques Street isn’t known for brunch, at least besides the legendary and now defunct Picasso. There really aren’t any brunch spots in the area; a bunch of motels, yes, but not exactly an abundance of great places to eat. So when I heard that a breakfast spot opened there, my first question was: next to which motel? My second question was: is it yummy? So, it turns out that I have driven by this place a few times, and not because I have been frequenting the various motels in the area. I must have been subconsciously led to it on account of the giant egg sign. What can I say; I get drawn to these places.
Oxford Cafe – an NDG institution
Out in NDG is an institution called the Oxford Café. I say institution because it has been around for ages. Lots of people in the area know it well and it had a reputation for a good breakfast years ago. It’s a no-frills diner style spot that does not look like it’s changed since it opened. You come in to get some classic breakfast dishes, have some drip coffee and kick it old school maybe with a newspaper and let your day sink in. So, with this institution around and almost having done every spot in NDG I felt I needed to check it out.
Vino – Hidden Gem of NDG
My goal to visit every brunch spot in NDG keeps getting delayed because everytime I think I’ve covered them all another place shows up on my radar. Vino is one of those places. In fact, it was submitted by one of our readers who raved about it and after seeing their menu on their site I could see why. Normally places need to get in line before I review them and I usually go to places I found out existed over a year ago. Since I tend to do brunch both Saturday and Sunday, you can imagine how backed up I get. However, just by seeing Vino’s menu for brunch, I was motivated and decided that this place needed to get reviewed sooner than later.
Wellhouse – An addition to the Westmount scene
Westmount is nice little spot in Montreal with lots of parks, nice homes, and, unfortunately, a lack of brunch options. I can count on one hand how many spots in Westmount offer brunch. When Wellhouse began offering brunch I was curious to see what it offered to the brunch scene. So we got a bunch of people together and headed out.
St Viateur Bagel Cafe – A Montreal legend since 1957
After a grueling 18k morning run followed by 90 minutes of trying to survive 52 degrees of a hot yoga session, we made our way to NDG for some much needed refueling. I had not eaten a single thing since the night before and was physically exhausted which usually make for a bad combo. There are only a few places in NDG left that I have not reviewed and St Viateur Bagels & Cafe is one of them. You may know St Viateur as the same people who make Montreal’s best bagels, but did you know they opened up a two cafes? One on 127 Mont. Royal East and this one at 5629 Monkland Avenue.
Mesquite – Down South Cooking in the West End
No Longer Serves Brunch
On the outskirts of NDG bordering Westmount, you will find Mesquite which it can be best described as Southern BBQ with a jazz motif. I am sure you are asking yourself how does one combine down south BBQ and brunch? While both seem to have quite different flavours yet quite tasty in their own way, the idea of them sharing a plate is quite odd. As a result, with this culinary question in my mind, it felt like a good idea to check it out.
B&M – NDG Brunch here we come
B&M is well known in NDG as a good place to get some morning food. It has a reputation of having good price and taste, and to be honest NDG does have some decent breakfast/brunch places but it could always use a few more. In my mission to check out all brunch places in each part of the city, B&M seemed like a logical choice. Take caution because there are two B&M locations: one at 5800 Sherbrooke
original one at take out/delivery (with seating) and the restaurant 6200 Somerled. We initially went to the Sherbrooke location then 2 weeks later went to the Somerled location. Interestingly, the experience at both places was night and day so this will be an odd review for me. With that said, bear with me as I go over the good and not so good. Needless to say one location is better than the other but which one is it? Only one way to find out: keep reading.