A few months after its opening, we fell upon Sel Gras. Having read about it and its rather impressive crew working the kitchen, we have had this on our short list for some time. So with a friend coming in from out of town and a need to try something totally different it felt like the logical choice to give Sel Gras over in the Mile End a shot.
The 411 Since I started doing this site, I have fallen in and out of love with Bernard street. When I first started, I felt Bernard was the place to go for brunch then as time passed I discovered new gems hidden in various neighbourhoods. Now, Bernard street was staring to get stale and some of my favourite spots were falling out of favour but some new spots opened up and started doing some interesting things and then, Bernard street started getting interesting again.
The 411 Bernard street used to be my favourite spot when I began doing reviews; you had an impressive concentration of places that served up brunch mainly west of Parc street. I used to love it but fell out of love over the last few years as I started seeing other streets and neighbourhoods. However, recently I heard some buzz circling back in the Mile End and have made my way back and to be honest the street looks good with some new spots and Nouveau Palais is one of them.
The 411I have recently tried to make more of push to showcase some of the more Foodie brunch spots. In our search for the best brunches of Montreal, we have eaten our way though almost 200 brunches. We have seen many ranging from your classic eggs and bacon greasy spoon to those fancy ones that are a little more lunch than brunch. Pastaga come on our radar because of a blogger I follow who has written a few posts on it. If you haven’t had a chance to check out willtravelforfood.com then please do so and you will find some really interesting write ups on stuff that makes foodies drool. With that said, Pastaga is a foodie spot, no doubt about it. I have my preconceived notions on these in that I know I can expect something different; usually, a menu that will never really be the same, interesting ingredients and something creative. So with that in mind, I called one of my most adventurous foodie friends and we went to put our two cents on it.
The 411 Foodies…we come in all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds, all with different preferences. Our preferences differ from person to person, but at the end of the day we all love good food. A while ago I contacted a fellow blogger from The Butter Melts out of habbit, whose site I have been following as of recently. We spoke of doing a brunch rendezvous and managed to meet two other bloggers, Gluttoners and the sassy foodophile . Now we have four foodies and need to find a new brunch spot that no one has been to… so, no pressure whatsoever… So, when all else fails I go to my handy list of spots and go over every one and see if it’s foodie enough. Now, the risk of having a foodie brunch is that you may end up with something that resembles lunch, so after some research Le Comptoir made its way to the top of the suggestion pile.
Bistro Lustucru – A rare treat
Over the years, I have reviewed 175 brunches and I have likely eaten at over 200 different spots. In fact, my blood hollandaise levels would likely put fear in the hearts of any doctor. I find that, at some point, my pace of reviews will exceed the available amount of decent brunches. So, in a hope of offering you something a little newer and fun, I will try to review some pop up brunches. Pop up brunches are brunches that are not offered regularly that can be special events or rarely occurring events. The hope is to offer you something very new and interesting that you may want to try. I initially had something like this when I did the brunches at festival de lumieres back in 2011. I realized that there are some spots that I was curious to see how they handle brunch. When one of my friends told me about Caroussel events , I looked into it and saw that there was a brunch at Lustucru, which is a spot that I had eaten dinner at a while ago and was curious on what sort of brunch would appear on their menu.
Happy 2012 to all. With a new year ahead of us we look back on 2011 and take a look at the state of brunch in Montreal. We look at the new spots we discovered, some dishes we remember and we look ahead to see what new discoveries await us. Before we get started, let us take a moment to remember two brunch spots that have left us this year. Sadly, we’ve lost McKiernan and Montée de Lait this year, both of which were on my list of favourite spots and had some really creative dishes that were rarely found elsewhere. Fortunately, we added some new quality places on the list this year but these two favourites will be missed.
The Sparrow – Back from the grave
If the Sparrow seems familiar to you, then you must remember our previous posting on the Sparrow back in 2009. A little background is in order here because initially, the Sparrow served brunch and it was an English pub style brunch which kind of shook up the city’s brunch scene. The kitchen staff stopped serving brunch and opened their own spot (you can read the full article with more details here). Now time has passed and just recently, the sparrow brought back brunch and this time, it’s with a twist. What makes this visit extra special is that I got to do it with my favourite French language blogger Laure who runs Une Parisienne à Montreal, a great fashion, food and brunch site. If you haven’t checked out her blog yet you should absolutely do so.
Best Brunch Terraces 2011
With summer in full swing, winter is but a distant memory. In Montreal, when the sun comes out so do the people and they head to terraces where they can have a tasty brunch and a great view to enjoy the weather. Fortunately, Montreal offers us loads of brunch spots with terraces. We have scoured the city in search of the perfect brunch terraces and have found some you may like. The list is not exhaustive and is intended to give you a spot or two to go to in each of the respective areas. We took a look at Outremont, the Plateau, Old Montreal and NDG.
Outremont has, arguably, the most options for brunch terraces in the city. All one needs to do is walk down Bernard street and see an ocean of people all seated in a variety of terraces. The list includes spots like Café Souvenirs, Senzala and Les Enfants terribles, La Moulerie, and Bistro Le Republique. There used to be le Petit Italien but they recently stopped serving brunch. Les Enfants terribles has one of the largest terraces, while Café Souvenirs is one of my favourite on the street. The menu offering at the majority of these spots is similar with the exception of Senzala, which has a Brazilian theme and is located west of du Parc. Though they may offer similar brunch options, the taste and overall satisfaction varies from person to person. If you wish to know more, just click on each link above and read the reviews (because right now we’re only talking about the ones that look pretty). (more…)
Voro – Fairmount sprouts a brunch option
Nestled on Fairmount street, you will find a lovely spot called Voro: a café where locals like to come have a coffee, soak up some sun and grab some brunch. Situated on Fairmount (corner Jeanne Mance), Voro is ideally situated for locals who want to duck in and grab a bite. You will find there is a mix of people; families with small children, older people, and people in the 20’s. In fact, the day we were there, there some strollers parked outside. Why they were outside I don’t know, since people had some inside with them – maybe to save space?