The 411 Every so often I get asked what’s trending in the world of brunch; what’s new, what’s hot, what should we try? I usually reply with: “you tell me”. I’m always looking for something new that’s good. Over the last year I have been to many new places but only a handful impressed me and few have given me that “falling in love” feeling. You see, people get that feeling with other people, I get it with food. I am constantly searching for that magical place that will be my next number 1 go to brunch spot. I have even gotten burnt with some of my loves. I’ve had places close down, menus change, and some places just stopped doing brunch. I travel other countries and cities often looking for brunch love. I still have a few places back home close to my heart, but I want something new, somewhere were it just feels right, somewhere to fall in love all over again. So is Regine Café that place? Well, if I’m writing about it this way, it must have been a great 1st date.
At 1st glance No reservations? No chance in hell! You want in? Then show up early. That is what I was told on the phone, granted, in a much more polite way. We assumed that showing up a little before 11am would be a good idea. Fortunately, I was meeting up with the Montreal Food Diva’s which are two bloggers that I am friends with and are also very punctual when you ask them to show up early, and only a little angry when I stroll in a couple minutes late. It was a good idea in theory; we only waited 30 minutes granted, we were more than 5 hungry people. Regine is situated on Beaubien a little east of Papineau so most Montrealers have to go outside of their Plateau & Mile end comfort zone. Once we make it in, we realize a few things: wow, it’s beautiful inside; wow, it holds lot’s of people; wow, people got here much earlier than us.
Food With under a dozen main brunch dishes and less than half a dozen entrées, one would be worried about selection. But you get your bases covered with omelettes, poached eggs, waffles, breads, and even the more egg-focused dishes. Coffee has free refills and will run you $2.50 with the average dish floating at the $15 mark.
With a large group I was lucky and got to sample quite a few dishes which is always a good thing in my books. Our meal started off with complimentary smoothie shooters made with banana and chai. The smoothie shot tasted like banana bread with a kick of cinnamon. I enjoyed it and I enjoyed the fact we got a free sample even more.
The grilled cheese sandwich ($14) was first up on the block and although I traditionally have reservations with grilled cheese sandwiches on account of associating them to my days high school making a lazy afternoon snack, this one was not like that wimpy sandwich. In fact, it was enormous. With aged cheddar, onions, nut bread and mango chutney this is no ordinary grilled cheese. The slices of bread were enormous, almost eclipsing the plate; the taste was truly impressive and the mango chutney on the side was a nice addition that allowed for just a little dipping.
This dish was followed up by the Dore ($15) which is French toast with mascarpone cream, banana and a caramel spread. This dish is an impressive offering of two thick pieces of French toast cut to measure from a large loaf. The mascarpone cream offers that rich deep sweetness and the bananas make for an amazing presentation and a nice little treat. This French toast is quite impressive and is making it on my list of French toasts you should try in Montreal.
The champi ($15) is poached eggs, mushrooms, and a red pepper compote. The dish does not seem to have a large wow factor based on it’s description, but trust me when you bite into it, you appreciate this hidden star. Every bite is tasty and your plate will be clean. You can also make the poached egg a scotch eggs for $3 extra.
I ended up ordering the waffle ($16) which is a waffle sliced up with gravlax, cream, chives and tomato salsa. This dish is deceptively filling. I expected it to be light but by the time I was done, I did not need anything else, except maybe a nap.
Service Our waiter was very helpful as we had lots of questions. They served our dishes quickly and the bill came on time.
Vegetarian Most dishes on the menu don’t have meat in them so you are safe. There is enough choice that you will not feel restricted.
Wrap up To say I was impressed is an understatement. Rarely have I fallen in love with a brunch place and I hope it keeps up this level of excellence and becomes a name people associate with brunch in Montreal.
| 1840 Rue Beaubien Est
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|Bottomless Cup Of Coffee||YES|