This post is also available in: French
The 411 The old port has a variety of brunch options, many of which are quite nice. You can find brunch buffets, nice sit down places, some small, and others large. The menus are quite varied and although you will not find many classic style places, you know the eggs and bacon ones simply put, doesn’t really fit. Then comes along the Gros Jambon, which is a lovely little gem in the old port. The menu itself is not a classic bacon and eggs menu, but rather has a twist, it’s kind of like a luncheonette meets small town USA diner with the expected Montreal flair.
At 1st glance
Getting a seat at one of the counter top stools takes either luck or patience. The seating capacity here is limited at fewer than 30, and you either sit at a counter top facing the kitchen or at another counter top facing the wall and some seriously eclectic photos of midget wrestlers, era photos, old advertisements, and a recurring theme of pig references. You can also find little items at the cash and eat in plates in the shape of a pig right down to the curly tail.
The menu is one page with a USA style comfort food feel to it. What does that mean you may ask? Well they use biscuits, meat in their potatoes, and their sausages are a patty as opposed to a link. The average price will be around $12 with a few items in the $14 range while the lobster roll is up at $18. Coffee is included with all the drinks and you get free refills. There is a definite focus on meat in many of their dishes, and this includes having meat in the potatoes. There are some items on the menu that have quite interesting concepts like the pumpkin cinnamon french toast. The brunch menu is different from the breakfast menu they have on weekdays, but for the purpose of this review we will focus on the brunch menu. To give you an idea of the options, here is the menu breakdown:
Although it is a one page menu they have some rather unique dishes. We had the banana bread french toast for $10 which was topped with various fruits, apple sauce and syrup. The banana bread taste did come through and it’s rather exquisitely done. You can taste a deep consistent taste of banana bread in the french toast however it does not overpower the fruit and syrup at all. I’ve had other banana breads where the taste is either understated or overpowering but this one works ever so nicely. The slices are fair and you definitely get more benefit in the taste department than the portion size. It isn’t enormous but that’s doesn’t mean it’s skimpy.
Next came the eggs benedict at $14.50; there is a 2 egg option and a 1 egg option which is $3 less. The egg has a wonderful presentation in that it’s as if it was done in a kind of mold for the eggs, since the shape is identical and is polished on the outside. The down side is that it’s a little smaller, but the plus side it that it’s cool looking and does not run since it’s cooked a little more. The eggs are on top of a biscuit which is the highlight to this dish as it offers a wonderful taste which pairs nicely with the eggs, and the sauce is not overpowering and does not take away from the dish. It also comes with beans, a choice of meat (I went for sausage) and potatoes. The beans were tasty and traditional, the sausage was a patty not a link which was nice to see and it was moist and tasty. The potatoes were quite interesting since they had chunks of meat in them which was a really nice surprise to get.
We had one waiter for the entire place which was ok, although at some points it was a bit of a pain to flag him down for coffee and to order another item to add on near the end. I was missing a fork with my cutlery but he was quite nice and I think he was swamped since he was getting pulled in every direction.
Although a good amount of dishes will have meat in them and the potatoes have meat in them as well, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any vegetarian options. In fact the french toast had no meat and there was a fruit option too. Although don’t expect vegan options or healthy options. It’s just not the culinary style, but you’ve likely figured this out by now.
I really enjoyed Gros Jambon, the décor is fun, the stool seats make it quaint, and the food has a fun twist on classic breakfast options. The prices are the norm for that area, and I would definitely try some other dishes on the menu like the lobster which seemed really interesting. I love the fact that the imagery of the pig shows up through the plate and even in its plates.
| 286 Notre Dame Ouest
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|Bottomless Cup Of Coffee||YES|
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