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Saturday, May 10, 2014


When we were at LA TAMALERA, we noticed a charming place across the street, called ARTS CAFE. Since then, ARTS CAFE has been on our 'list' to check out.
Restaurant Exterior 

We arrived on a Saturday morning around 11:00 am, which isn't typically peak brunch hour; normally the crowds start around 11:30 am / 12:00 pm in Montreal. Nonetheless, our friend had arrived a little bit before us,  and waited for 10 minutes; he could not bee seated until the whole party arrived. When we got there, we waited an additional 20 minutes. We think that 30 minutes is quite long for that early in the morning, so that was a little annoying. We figured that if it was this busy, this 'early', it was a good sign. 

Restaurant Interior

While we were waiting, we were able to get a really good look at the space. The decor was beautiful, and all of the little details worked so well together. The restaurant was really warm and inviting. What was most beautiful was the lightbulb instalment by the windows. 

A nice, little treat were the freshly baked goods near the cash. You could either choose something before your main meal came out, or take it with you to go. We always love little touches like that. Unfortunately we did not take advantage of any of the sweets, but they sure looked good! 

We all started off with coffee.  The lattee had beautiful foam art and came in a huge cup.  M's coffee came  in a super sized mug too, and with fresh milk and raw sugar cubes on the side.  

When G took a sip of her lattee, she noticed it was sour tasting. She didn't say anything until she noticed M wasn't drinking her coffee either. We both finally spoke up, and realized there was something different with the coffee- but could not really pin point it. It was then that G asked what type of milk they used. The waitress told us it was organic milk from a local farm in Quebec- literally farm to table. This isn't something we are use to, and really did not like it (but our friend Alex was enjoying his cup of joe!).  The restaurant wasn't able to offer an alternative, so we didn't drink our coffee that morning- major buzz kill. They were not able to offer regular sugar or diet sugar, either. We also questioned what type of coffee they were brewing. They told us it had notes of chocolate and cranberry. We thought offering a coffee which such strong flavours wasn't the best choice.  That said, our coffee, for us, was really, really terrible. 
A and M 

The menu was really exciting- they had some great unique options available; duck confit poutine, cod cake, italian sandwich, fish soup. Their options leaned more towards 'lunch' than breakfast, but there was a good mix. The cheapest thing on the menu was the breakfast sandwich at $9 and the most expensive item was hanger steak & eggs combo for $15.  G decided on their "Belgian Waffles ($11- or $20 for a duck leg on the side, their version of 'chicken and waffles'). M chose the "Shakshuka" ($12) and A chose the "Eggs Benedict" ($13).
Belgian Waffles: saskatoon berries, sea buckthorn berries,
ligonberries, lemon balm, Laitterie Chagnon 
creme fraiche, maple syrup.
Shakshuka : Tomatoe sauce,  gauthier family egg,
black beans, avocado, cilantro and merguez
Eggs Benedict: seasonal vegetables, avocado, quinoa 
popcorn, pea shoots, celeriac infused hollandaise,
cheddar, and herb corn bread

Our plates came out pretty quickly and the presentation was beautiful. The dishes were so colourful, and you can really notice that they use local, organic products for everything. G's waffles were fantastic- the berries were not comparable to anything she ever had in Montreal and the creme fraiche was so yummy! The waffles themselves were fluffy and cooked to perfection. M enjoyed her dish, but she felt that there should have been two eggs. She also felt that there was too much tomato sauce, but the sausage was really good. Our friend felt that his eggs benedict was okay. He noted that the individual components were all great, but they didn't really go together as a whole. Considering that A loves eggs benedict, and pretty much orders it everywhere he goes, we took this as a solid criticism. 

As you can tell, this was a bit of a mixed review.  While the coffee was one of the worst we've had, the ambiance and food made up for it.  We really like the fact that they only use local ingredients; it's great to support local farmers. Another weak point was the fact that the whole party had to arrive before seating, but other than that, the service was good. The staff was friendly and took take of us that morning. Their pricing was a bit high, though - however considering it's all local and organic products, we understand that.

Overall, it's clear that this is a favourite among Montrealers as people continued to flow in an out the entire afternoon. While we enjoyed our experience, we wouldn't go back- but we think you should at least check it out! 

Ps: We noticed that they have outdoor seating for those warm sunny days. Something to keep in mind when looking for a terrace in the summer ;) 

Shirt: PHILIP LIM, Pants: FOREVER 21 
Purse: NINE WEST, Nails: TOPSHOP "Little White Lie",
Ring: H&M
Scarf: BIZOU,  Hat: NIKE
Atmosphere- 5/5 
Service - 4/5  
Taste - 4/5 
Price - 3.5/5


201 Ave Fairmount W

Montréal, QC
514. 274. 0919 
Reservations: NO
Types of Payment: DEBIT, CASH, CREDIT
Wheelchair Accessible: NO

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The Beauty & The Babe

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