FOOD AND DRINK
Montreal Eats: Where to Brunch
Brunch is so big in Montreal that it’s a two-day affair, and the best places are rammed from open to close. Here are three excellent options for your weekend midday meal.
This hip Mile End spot is ridiculously popular at brunch: if you want in on the first seating, queue up before the doors open, as the joint fills fast. Young servers and a quick kitchen pull off a Herculean feat of hospitality, handling the midday madness with aplomb. Start with a still-warm currant scone, buttery, flakey, and gilded with clotted cream. The menu continues on this colonial bent with a classic English breakfast featuring beans, bacon, mushrooms, hash browns, a fried egg and the best breakfast link you’ve ever had. While it may not look (or sound) like much, kedgeree is a profoundly delicious dish of curry-fried rice, soft-boiled eggs and smoked haddock. If you’re feeling fragile, a bittersweet Aperol Spritz will right the ship.
5201 boul. St-Laurent, 514-503-1070
A phalanx of taxis dispenses the city’s young, eligible and hung-over for brunch at this creaky corner pub in the Plateau. Not a lot of coffee being poured here: eye-openers are the beverage of choice, including the potent Bon Matin, a house specialty of hard cider and spiced rum. Good morning, indeed. Yes, Jamie Oliver is an investor, but Derek Dammann is the chef-patron, and the dude can cook. The huevos rancheros “del gringo” is a must – poached eggs unleash their runny yolks over corn tortillas, smooth guac, refried black beans, lime-kissed onion and cilantro. The kitchen slows down during the crush, but what’s your hurry? It’s Montreal.
4720 rue Marquette, 514-507-0555
This hopping izakaya joint doesn’t serve brunch per se, but it’s the perfect Sunday antidote to the eggs ‘n’ Caesar crowd. It’s proximity to Concordia and reasonable prices ensure it’s always jammed with hungry students. Grab a seat at the open kitchen and watch the jocular crew knock out Japanese staples like okonomyaki, a savoury pancake loaded with shrimp, topped with smoke-dried bonito, and drizzled with mayo and umami-jacked otafuku sauce. You would also do well to order their famous rice bowl, a textural tower of sticky sushi rice, silky salmon and tuna sashimi, crunchy veg and crispy noodles. Bold cooking like this is best washed down with icy Sapporo on tap.
1862 rue Ste-Catherine O., 514-937-2333
This article was originally published on July 20, 2015