Griffintown Cafe – A little bit of country in the city
Over the last couple of years, Notre Dame street has brought us some interesting brunch spots, with its booming population, and sprawling developments. Griffintown café (not to be confused with Café Griffintown) is a place I was introduced to a little over a year ago. A group of us had dinner there and liked it. Over the last little while I had heard that they added weekend brunch to their offering. Considering I liked their dinner service, and I am a fan of the area, it did not take much to make me check out this spot and see how they handle brunch.
At 1st glance
Known for its jazz themed nights, amazing décor, and novel food presentation, Griffintown café has made a name for itself. In fact, when we showed up we had to wait a little over 15 minutes to get a seat (you may want to consider reservations), since the place was jammed both inside and in the terrace out back. There is actually a bar section where we could have eaten but we chose to wait for a table. There was a also a piano where people where eating on as if was a table which I found to be pretty cool. When we got seated we got a nice table with these metal chair with really comfy pillows on them. The pillows almost made me fall asleep since you sink right into them. The entire place is relaxing, I mean, it has this nice old charm with warm red bricks on the wall and old hardwood floors that give it that comfy feeling.
The menu is a one pager and has an interesting mix of classic breakfast dishes and more filling meal items that you would normally see at lunch. This would usually cause issues with me but the breakfast items had their spirit intact and any lunch like influences did not take away from the true nature of the dish. The menu price is a little more than what one would find at most spots. You will find lots of dishes in the $12 -$15 price range, although there are some lower cost items. I should also note that coffee is not free.
To give you an idea on the menu breakdown you have classic breakfast menu items like: eggs Benedict, French toast, yogourt, bacon and eggs, but they take a different approach and make subtle changes to these old classics to really put together something amazing. For example eggs Benedict dishes come with baby spinach, aged cheddar or goat cheese and peameal bacon. The French toast ($12) is not a normal French toast but rather a brioche with bourbon and vanilla among a few of the more unique ingredients used. They have items like huevos rancheros ($12) which for an extra $2 can come with pulled pork. Although we did not order this dish it looked amazing. All these little extras make a tasty and truly unique brunch experience, so now that we have picked at the menu, lets roll up our sleeves and see if the food is as tasty as It looks.
We started off with a yogourt and granola parfait ($9) which is served in a mason jar with homemade granola, nuts, yogurt, fresh fruit and maple syrup. This is a novel idea as it looks great and is fun to eat. You get a good size portion and not only is it healthy but it is very tasty. Normally I would flinch at yogourt in this price range but the price and quality of ingredients make it worth while.
My friend ordered the Canadian breakfast ($10), which normally comes with two eggs, any style, choice of homemade bacon, sausage or peameal bacon, potatoes green salad and toast. My friend subbed the meat for fruit, but it was the same dish. The eggs were poached and good, the potatoes came as a single cooked piece, almost like a hash brown which was very tast. The fruit was good, but not overly varied. I believe this dish may be more interesting with the peameal bacon which is something we do not find in Montreal often but rather in Toronto. On a side note, you may ask what peameal bacon is, and simply put it’s normal bacon coated with yellow peas, or cornmeal, the taste is different from normal bacon and gives it a more rustic taste and look.
Next came my dish which was the eggs Benedict with house peameal bacon ($12.00). Right off the bat the price is $1-$1.50 more than what you would find elsewhere but once you taste it you will be glad that you chose it. It comes with potatoes on the side and salad and also, the hollandaise sauce on it is spectacular; its not too overpowering and the dish does not turn yellow. The peameal bacon is very yummy and its consistency is more firm and crisp than soggy and the cut of the bacon is also a little thicker than usual. The eggs Benedict was great starting from the eggs, and going to the sauce bacon and potatoes. Although it does not look like a giant dish you will be nice and full.
The service was great! When we were waiting the staff was very chill and funny and our waitress was so nice and pleasant. We got our water refills very frequently and she check up on us the entire time. There was a point when they ran out of French toast after I ordered it and had to choose something else so they ended up giving me free coffee. I felt that that simple act was quite nice and I have been to other places that are out of one item and I never got comped anything free, so excellent job on making two happy patrons.
Vegetarian options were somewhat limited although this is a by-product of having a one page menu. You could ask to hold the meat on some items. For any vegans out there, you are out of luck at this place.
I really like Griffintown café; the décor, the food, the staff, pretty much everything is great here. Reservations are helpful since it can get full, but if you don’t have them you will just wait a little. The food is fresh, the menu ideas are novel yet still in the classic breakfast realm. This place is well worth the trip – you will not be disappointed.
| 1378 Rue Notre Dame Ouest
Montreal Qc H3C-1K8
Sat-Sunday 10:00am – 15:00pm
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|Bottomless Cup Of Coffee||NO|
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