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Sunday, October 19, 2014

BRUNCH AT LE POIS PENCHÉ

If we're being honest, going downtown for brunch (or dinner for that matter) isn't at the top of our list, especially near Crescent. Le Pois Penché however, is a place that does stand out from all the other tourist joints that serve mediocre food. This restaurant has a great reputation  and is a landmark in Montreal. We were headed to the area to see the Faberge exhibit at Montreal Fine Arts Museum, so we thought brunch at Le Pois Penché would be the perfect way to start our day.  We also made reservations the day before via opentable.  When we arrived, our table was ready. A great way to start the brunch experience!


At first glance, you will see that the restaurant is very large. There's copious amounts of seating, so it's perfect for groups. It's also the perfect place for a special gathering as the decor is beautiful; It has a french brasserie style but with some upscale elements. 


There's also a huge terrase outside. Unfortunately it was a rainy day, so we weren't able to take advantage of it. 


We started off with a cafe au lait and filtered coffee.  Both were great. We had friends join us as well, and one ordered the smoothie of the day($5) and the other a fresh grapefruit juice ($4). They were very satisfied with their beverages, too. 



As we waited for our meals, our waiter brought baguette and homemade jams; fig-almond jam and raspberry. It also came with butter. The bread was very fresh and toasted to perfection. The jams were absolutely delicious, especially the fig. It was a little treat before getting our entrees. It was included in the entree prices. 



Their menu offers 8 options: greek yogurt and fruit ($14); classic eggs benedict ($16); lobster eggs benedict ($28); parisian omelette ($15); montreal bagel, smoked salmon with cream cheese ($16); quiche of the day ($14); american breakfast ($18); pineapple pancakes ($15).  There is also four side options: 12 hr slow cooked bacon ($4), duck sausage ($5), mixed berries ($7), baguette and jam ($3), and an egg ($2.50).  You can also order off their lunch menu that offer items such as mussels and fries, tartare, fresh seafood, etc. Items ranged between $8- $28. 
Quiche of the Day and Fresh Green Salad

Pineapple pancakes with Strawberry, Nuts and Creme Fraiche

Omelette, Potatoes and Fresh Fruit

Our dishes were tasty; everyone at our table that morning was satisfied.  While the prices of the dishes are a bit expensive, the quality of the dishes made up for the price. 

The hostess and waiter were both extremely friendly and made you feel welcome, and most importantly, comfortable. Our waiter took our order quickly, but the food took very long to come to our table. We had to ask twice where our food was. Normally we are very understanding when it's busy, but there were only 5 tables that were occupied (not really any excuse to wait long). While we were waiting for our dishes though, he filled up our bread basket a second time and refilled our coffee cups frequently. When we finished our breakfast, we didn't feel rushed to get out- we were able to finish another cup of coffee and talk. 

Overall, Pois Penche was a fantastic brunch. The atmosphere is posh and the food is high quality. While the prices are a little higher than normal, you do get fresh baguette, homemade jams and coffee with your order.  We especially love the fact that you can make reservations- this is something that many brunch places do not do. They serve brunch from 10 am - 4 pm, so you don't need to feel too rushed to get out of bed for brunch. If you're downtown, we definitely recommend Le Pois Penche. We can't wait to go back! 

What We Wore
Dress: Merona via TARGET, Shoes: ALDO
Necklace: TARGET
Nails: CHANEL "Nouvelle Vague"
Purse: CHANEL "The Executive", Bracelets: TIFFANY AND CO.
Umbrella: LADUREE 
Shirt: COLUMBIA, Shoe: NIKE
Shorts: OLD NAVY, Watch: LACOSTE
Umbrella: TOTES, Hats: POLO

ROUND UP
Service: 3/5
Atmosphere: 4.5/5
Taste:4.5/5
Price: 3/5


DETAILS
1230 Boul. De Maisonneuve West
Montreal, QC.
514 667 5050
Reservation: YES
Types of Payment: CASH, DEBIT, CREDIT
Wheelchair Accessible: YES

Le Pois Penché on Urbanspoon


Rainbows,
The Beauty and The Babe
xox




As we said, we headed downtown to check out the Faberge showing. Here's a few photos from that afternoon. 







Sunday, September 28, 2014

BRUNCH AT BAGEL ETC

In mid June, Mural Festival took over the streets (walls, actually) of Montreal. The majority of events were taking place along St Laurent boulevard. Since the streets were closed, we thought we would find a breakfast spot nearby. We've always wanted to check out BAGEL ETC, so we decided to try it out, especially because there was no line outside. Bagels Etc is a staple among Montrealers- it's been around since the 1980s. 


Seeing that St Laurent was closed off to vehicles, they had a temporary terrase for the afternoon. We sat outside, but still managed to a few photos of the inside.  

Stepping in, you'll notice that Bagels Etc feels like a diner. There is an interesting decor that is edgy with special little details such as interesting artwork, lamps, and vintage deco. It's also quite large- a lot of space. It's a big change from the outside, since the exterior is super simple and looks kind of small. 



Since the street festival was going on, we definitely wanted to sit out. Their terrace was not anything special- simple tables and chairs, mixed and matched.  




We ordered standard coffee ($1.70$) and it was good (and bottomless cup!). When our waitress served it to us though, the coffee was spilled all over. Things like this may be minor to some people, but we think its details like this that contribute to service quality. 



The menu offers a lot of choices, ranging from classic breakfast plates (eggs, meat and potatoes) to more interesting dishes. There was a good selection omelettes, eggs benny, eggs florentine, and other goodies like huevos rancheros. Prices were fair, ranging from $7-$14.

We wanted to stick to more breakfast staples, so M decided on eggs, pancakes, sausage and potatoes. G chose the mish mash, a blend of eggs, sausage, peppers and onions. They offered a variety of breads, which was very nice. We decided on a bagel (duh) and rye bread. 




The food was incredible! We fully understand why there's a lineup every time we drive by this place, even in the dead, snowy winter. One thing we can say is don't come here if you're counting calories- you can tell they don't use a light hand on the butter (which probably makes everything so much delicious, let's be honest). The potatoes were also great- they had the skin on them, telling you that they are super fresh. The pancakes were also super yummy- fluffy, moist, simply perfect. The bread was great too- fresh! 


In terms of service, we felt this where they could have improved. Our waitress that morning was not friendly and rarely came around to fill out coffee mugs. At one point, we had to get up twice, to get extra napkins and then water; she rarely paid attention to us and even had to ask another waitress for a utensil at one point. Also, when it came time to pay it took FOREVER. There was a huge line to pay with their one debit/credit machine - we waited 30 minutes which we think is completely unacceptable. We suggest paying with cash, because on a busy morning, this can be a major annoyance.  

Would we go back again? Definitely! While the service was a bit problematic, we think it was the specific waitress we had that morning- it seemed that everyone else was being well taken care of. The atmosphere is fun and the food is delicious. Our final bill came up to a little less then $40 for two people, after the coffees and 1 extra pancake. Be sure to get there early though as they don't take reservations. 

WHAT WE WORE
Skirt: SMART SET, Shoes: 
Shirt: GAP, Purse: ALDO
Glasses: D&G, Earrings: via TARGET, Lips: TOO FACED "Melted Fuschia"
Shirt: purchased via TARGET, Watch: LACOSTE, Holster: via ETSY
Shoes: NIKE, short: JOE FRESH,
ROUND UP
Atmosphere: 4/5
Service: 2/5
Taste: 5/5
Price: 4/5

DETAILS
Bagel ETC
4320 boul. St Laurent
Montreal, QC
514 845 9462
Reservations: NO
Types of Payment: Cash, Debit, Credit
Wheelchair Accessible: YES

Bagel Etc on Urbanspoon

Rainbows,
The Beauty and The Babe
xox

Here's a few shots of our favourite walls from MURAL FEST! 



Saturday, September 13, 2014

BRUNCH AT SPARROW


Sparrow, located on upper St Laurent, has always been on our list of brunch places to check out. They've been on the brunch scene for quite some time, but they closed for a bit. Luckily, they re-opened! 


From the outside, it's very simple. Be sure to check out for the little sparrow guy, because there's no other sign.  When we stepped up to the door, we saw that the menu was posted. We always appreciate restaurants that post their menu. We heard about their all-you-can-eat three course brunch menu, but it was obvious that was no longer the concept. 


At first glance, Sparrow is super cozy. The textures are incredible- a mix of brick, wood, copper and beautiful wallpaper. Everything had a vintage feel. So pretty! 




We arrived around 11:00 am, so there wasn't a line; we were seated immediately.  There was a bench and a sofa to hang out and have a coffee while you wait for a table though. We thought that was a clever idea. It also makes it less awkward for those who are dining. We don't think there's anything worse than seeing a huge line of people waiting INSIDE the restaurant, close to the tables- there's a lack of privacy to say the least.




At first, we were seated at a table for four people; we were a party of three. After we ordered our coffees, our waitress came up to us and asked if we mind to give up our table for another couple. It was definitely a weird situation, and felt as though we had no choice but to say yes. Needless to say, we had to squeeze onto one table - and the tables were not big. It definitely would have been okay if we were having drinks, but the idea of three plates being placed on this table was a bit nerve wrecking. 


The cups, silverware and dishes were very charming- all were vintage and mixed and matched- a very eclectic feel. The simple flowers on the table was also a nice little touch, too. It's all in the details (all of which are much appreciated by us).  




We ordered a the usual beverages- lattee($4) for G and a filter coffee ($2) for M. Both were great, especially the lattee. G also ordered a mimosa ($5) which was super refreshing. They also had a nice, small selection of fresh juices (orange, watermelon, beet, homemade iced tea) and a variety of cocktails (ranging from $5-$7). 





The menu had 8 choices: granola and yogurt; buckwheat pancakes; turkish breakfast; fried eggs and sage; smoked trout; shakshuka; steak and eggs and PB & J donuts. The prices ranged from $9 - $17; steak and eggs was the most expensive dish. There wasn't anything that really 'stood' out on the menu.

G decided on the buckwheat pancakes ($10), which were topped with apple butter, candied walnuts, creme fraiche, and maple syrup. G also chose the side of bacon of an extra $2.  It was a very sweet dish, but it was delicious! 




M chose the turkish breakfast ($12). The plate was a mix of feta, olives, cucumber, tomato, flatbread, walnuts, apricots, sour cheery jam and fij jam. She also got the merguez for an extra $2.  M's was a salty plate, so the combination of both of our plates was fantastic. M raved about the jams and the assortment of olives; it was a little taste of home.  Our friend got the same dish and he also liked it!


Service was okay.  Our waitress took our orders and the food came out rapidly.  As we mentioned above, the only thing that was a bit irritating was having to rearrange our seating. Other than that, we couldn't complain.  

The ambiance is great and the food is delicious. We also found the price was very fair- even with our drinks, we felt that we got what we paid for. Our biggest recommendation is getting there early because the moment the clock hits 11:30, the line gets pretty long. Considering that they do not take reservations, it's important to get there as early as you can. 

There's a reason why this restaurant is on everyone's radar! Do yourself a favour and check Sparrow out- we can't wait to go back again. 


WHAT WE WORE
Dress: OLD NAVY
Purse: TOMMY HILFIGER, Belt: TARGET, Bracelet: Vintage
Nails: CHANEL "Mimosa"
Sunglasses: D&G, Earrings: H&M, Lips: OCC Lip Tar "Pretty Boy"
Sandals: Purchased in Lebanon
Shorts: TOMMY HILFIGER, Belt: LACOSTE, Bag:  (Gift)
Shirt: CALVIN KLEIN, Sunglasses: RAY BAN, Hat: JOE FRESH
Shoes: NIKE

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

DETAILS
5322 boul. St Laurent
Montreal, QC
514- 507-1642
Types of Payment: Cash, Debit, Credit
Reservations: NO
Wheelchair Accesible: NO

The Sparrow (Le Moineau) on Urbanspoon


TEA TIME

We have an extra treat for you ! After we had brunch, it came to our attention that there was a tea room upstairs. We HAD to check out "Cardinal Tea Room". . . 

Take a peak at the photos below. The super high ceilings were completely unexpected - it's a breath taking space! The decor was stunning and just sooo perfect. There's a gorgeous, sunny terrace in the back, too.  When we came up, they were super welcoming. Service was fantastic.

The tea was delicious and the sweets were a perfect way to end our brunch. They also serve a light lunch. This is a serious little hidden gem. We are so happy to discover it! 









The Beauty and The Babe
xoxo