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Saturday, May 9, 2015

MONTREAL: L'Assommoir (Mile-End)

L'ASSOMMOIR is a restaurant pretty well known for locals; it has a two locations in both neck of the woods of Montreal (mile-end and old port). They are known for their tapas dinner service and their great cocktails (with over 300+ selection!). We heard they had brunch, so we decided to make our way to Bernard street and try it out.  It was fun to also stroll on Bernard street- so many new restaurants have popped up over the last few years.
We arrived later in the afternoon, and it was quite empty; we got a table immediately. We found out they took reservations, but only for groups larger than 10 (take note for celebratory birthday brunches!). 

When you step into the restaurant, the first thing you will notice is their beautiful bar. With a mix of steel and beautiful vintage wooden stools, it definitely is the highlight of the restaurant. They have high wood tables, with benches and  stools.  The decor is minimalistic and has a rustic feel. They had simple fresh flowers on all tables- a beautiful little touch to add some colour.
They offer a one page menu with quite a bit of variety; "The Brunch Gourmand". You'll find a breakfast poutine (which seems to be the craze these days!), eggs benny (salty and sweet), upscale grilled cheese (ie: 'le grilled cheese malade'), a selection of pancakes,  a few omelettes and a plate of salmon tartare.  Prices range fro $9 - $19. They also had a "Platter to Share" for two people which runs $29.  All meals come with a side of fruit and coffee. Vegetarian options were available, however don't except anything vegan. 
We decided on the shared platter, which included the "grilled cheese malade", "poutine dejeuner", and "crepe sucres".  We liked the idea of being able to sample three items on the menu as they were all options as individual plates. We also ordered a side of baguette and jam ($3.00). 
When we received the platter, it  was platted nicely. The portions were just right for two. It was a perfect mix of sweet and salty. 

All three options were delicious. We preferred the grilled cheese the most though. Thank goodness for a little portion of fruit as it helped not feel AS guilty for eating such a glutenous brunch! When they say "Brunch Gourmand", they are not messing around.  We definitely recommend this if you're two people- it's a fun spin on your typical brunch option and a good way to sample a few things on their menu. 


The service we received that morning was fair. It took long to get coffee refilled, even though there were not many people in the restaurant. We ordered a side of toasted baguette, which was forgotten about as well. Our bill came quickly however and we were out of the door not long after finishing up.  We paid $36.79, so it'll run you over $40 (including with tip) for two. 

Overall we thought it was good. We would recommend trying it out once. Would we be repeat customers? No. While it was tasty, it was nothing super spectacular. Another positive note is that they have a later brunch schedule- they serve from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm, on Saturday and Sundays. 


What We Wore
Sweater: Merona via TARGET, Blouse: Merona via TARGET,
Necklace: J.CREW
Purse: ALDO, Bracelets: Tiffany & Co, Nails: CHANEL "Steel"
Boots: SPRING
Shirt: US POLO ASSN, Hat: US POLO ASSN, Pants: OLD NAVY
Bag; LACOSTE, Watch: KENNETH COLE
Shoes: TOMMY HILFIGER

ROUND UP
Service: 3/5
Taste:4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Atmosphere:4/5

DETAILS
L'ASSOMMOIR
112 rue Bernard Ouest
Montreal, QC
H2T 2K1514-272-0777 
Types of Payment: Cash, Debit, Credit
Reservations: No

Assommoir Bernard on Urbanspoon

Rainbows,
The Beauty & The Babe
xox





Sunday, May 3, 2015

MONTREAL: Le Cafe Souvenir

When we dined at Les Enfants Terribles, there were a few other brunch spots that caught out eye- one of them being Cafe Souvenir.  We were struck by their restaurant facade - an interesting sculpture of heads.  While they had a great (and big!) terrace in the front, unfortunately it was too cold to sit outside. There was one brave soul having a cup of coffee, but for us, we didn't have a thick enough jacket to sit out. 
When we walked in, the very first thing we noticed was how dark it was inside. For some reason, the lighting is off putting, and where lighting actually is, the bulbs are super strong. G had one of these lights on top of her, and it was so hot (and very annoying!). The choice of materials used on the walls and benches are also very dark- adding to the gloomy atmosphere. The second thing that caught our eye was how small the space was. There are two tables near the window (seating four people total), and a long line of tables that run from the front and back, on only side of the restaurant. There's a bar that adds additional seating as well, but unless you're one to two people, this isn't an option. It goes without saying that we think that this is a really bad place for groups.  There's simply no space - except for the terrace. It really was not a good first impression- it just was not our cup of coffee tea. 

We ordered two lattes and they came out fast. They were good. We sipped on them as looked through their menu, which were super cute.  It's a passport size scrapbook of postcards, photos and maps of the owners travels.  The menu options were interested, and we bet, inspired from these travels.  The prices ranged between $4 - $15. They offered everything from simple bagel & cream cheese, fresh salads, omelettes, breakfast sandwiches, eggs benny, crepes, fruit and cereal. 
We decided on the chicken sandwich and the goat cheese omelette.  We thought that the sandwich would be paired with a side, but when we received the plate, it was a straight up sandwich - no salad, no fruit, no potatoes.  The omelette dishes was served. . .  well. . . without the omelette. A plate showed up with potatoes, toast and fruit- the omelette came a few minutes later. We literally could not wrap our head around the fact that they served a main dish without the star of the plate (for the record: we would rather wait an extra few minutes so we get the entire meal properly, instead of in pieces).
In terms of taste, it was good. The only problem is that with all of the other terrible details, we were turned off. Bad service, bad atmosphere- no thanks!    

We found two positives about this place - 1) they serve brunch daily from 7:00 - 4:00 am. So mid-week, and on a day off, you can get a brunch fix easily; 2) they have a decent terrace in a cute part of town. 

In the end, we don't give this place the Beauty & Babe stamp of approval. They seem to have a good reputation though, so maybe it was one bad experience? What we do know, is that the place isn't inviting. You be the judge.

What We Wore

Purse: H&M, Nails: CHANEL "Black Pearl"
Jacket: FOREVER 21, Top: H&M, Necklace: H&M,
Lipstick: TOM FORD "VIOLET FATALE"
Shoes: STEVE MADDEN
 
Jeans: OLD NAVY, Purse: LACOSTE

Shirt: FOREVER 21
Belt: ALDO, Watch: KENNETH COLE, Chain Bracelet: EBAY
Shoes: PALLADIUM
Round-Up
Service: 2/5
Atmosphere: 2/5 
Taste: 3.5/5
Price: 3/5

Details
Le Cafe Souvenir
1261 Avenue Bernard
Montreal, Quebec.
Tel: 514- 948 - 5259 
Types of Payment: Cash, Debit, Credit
Reservations: No

Rainbows,
The Beauty & The Babe
xox 


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Welcome to Ottawa!



2015 started off in a whirlwind for the both of us. After a lot of thought, we decided to relocate to another city AND jump into another province! That said, we wanted to let you all know that we are now living in the beautiful city of Ottawa, Ontario. Even though we have relocated, rest assured that our brunch blog will continue to feature Montreal locations, as we will be travelling often. We also thought that we would not limit ourselves to only Montreal and Ottawa though. We travel quite a bit and want to expand out posts to wherever we sit down for a good brunch. We are looking forward to expanding our posts across borders. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

BRUNCH AT ELIXOR (TWO LOCATIONS)

This will be a two-part post since we had the opportunity to check out  two locations of Elixor; Laval & Dollard-des-Ormeaux. We were so impressed by their dishes, quality of food and service, that we wanted to go again. We'll start with our most recent adventure at Elixor in Laval, and then work our way back. 

Part 1 

At first glance, Elixor Laval has a beautiful terrase, one that is super large and inviting. They really captured the natural beauty of the land around them and utilized nature in the best way. Their terrase was filled with flowers and plants and was very well kept. It makes for such a relaxing brunch atmosphere. Since the weather was perfect that morning, we obviously opted to stay outside and take advantage of the very few sunny days we had left in the early fall.
Elixor, Laval
Each table was pretty massive, allowing for you to sit comfortably with all your drinks and plates. There were also umbrellas that covered all the tables, allowing you to dine in peace. As we all know, while the sun is great in Montreal, it's also super hot- so any chance of shade is definitely necessary and a plus. The chairs were spacious and super comfortable as well.

We took a gander inside, and as expected, everything clean and simple. The restaurant is very large, making it perfect for groups. They have rows and rows of benches making it easy for any type of event to come and enjoy a good meal without feeling claustrophobic. There was a lot of natural lighting; that mixed with super high ceilings and simple greenery added to the relaxing ambiance.  Please note that the following photos were taking from the back of the restaurant. They have a very inviting welcoming desk near the front, that was not captured.

That morning we both stuck to regular coffee. Their filter coffee is pretty good and came bottomless cup. Our waiter did a good job by coming by frequently to ensure we always had a filled cup.  Coffee is not included in their breakfast prices. It'll run you $2.25


Their menu is only one page, but it offers quite a bit of variety. There's 13 options, 5 of which are vegetarian friendly (a little more if you opt out of the chorizo that is in a lot of their dishes). Their prices range between $9 - $16.


We decided on the "Breakfast Pizza" and Blueberry and Lemon Pancakes; something sweet and salty.

Baked Egg Breakfast Pizza: Chorizo sausage, tomatoes feta, peppers.
Lemon and Ricotta Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes, served with maple syrup and Chantitly cream

The service was extremely fast; we got our dishes in no time. The presentation of the dishes was simple and looked appetizing

The taste of each dish was amazing! The baked egg pizza was something different from your typical 'breakfast pizza'- it also had a healthier twist on it as it was made with eggs whites and laid on a naan bread. The buttermilk pancakes were mouth watering. The combination of lemon and blueberry added a little zip to the mix. We definitely recommend them, and they are perfect to share because the portion is huge! 

What We Wore
(and a little sneak peak of our apple picking adventure!)
Dress: GIANT TIGER, Purse: AMERICAN EAGLE, Nails: CHANEL "Storm"
Sunglasses: Dolce & Gabanna, Earrings: ALDO, Lips: CHANEL "Rouge Allure".
Shorts: via MARSHALLS, Shirt: The GAP
Belt: AMERICAN EAGLE, Watch: KENNETH COLE
Bag: LACOSTE
Shoes: STEVE MADDEN, RALPH LAUREN-POLO

Part 2

We stopped by Elixor in the West Island. Their terrace was simple, but not as beautiful as that in Laval. There were large tables and it was clean, but the ambiance was not something special. 

Elixor, DDO
Interior, bar area
Interior, main seating area
Their brunch menu was one page again- but they had different items on it. They informed us that they change a few items here and there- nice to know that they mix it up. We decided to order two of South American dishes. 

"Spicy Chicken Hash Quesadilla"
"Grande Breakfast Burrito"

The platting that morning was great; the portions were gigantic and it all looked delicious. The plates were full of colour, and all the ingredients paired well.  The taste was incredible too. 


It's obvious that Elixor takes pride in contemporary urban cuisine. They have traditional elements but elevate with upscale ingredients with a fun twist. Their food is delicious, their coffee is great and the general atmosphere and service is everything you'd want. It was nice to see that both locations had the same consistency and quality of food. Elixor is a new favourite and we definitely recommend! They also take reservations- so need to rush or wait in line :)


Round Up - LAVAL
Atmosphere- 4.5/5
Service - 5/5
Taste - 5/5
Price - 4/5

Round Up- DDO
Atmosphere - 4/5
Service - 5/5
Taste - 5/5
Price - 4/5

Details
Various Locations
See Website for Contact Info
Wheelchair Accessible- DDO- Yes, Laval - No
Reservations: YES
Types of Payment: Cash, Debit, Credit

Rainbows,
The Beauty & The Babe
xox