Tag Archives: MTL Brunch

Le Cartet (Brunch Edition)

20 Mar

A beautiful Sunday morning in the city always lends itself to a nice brunch. A couple of Sundays ago, the family was downtown for the weekend so it was the perfect opportunity to head down to old Montreal for a nice family meal. For the occasion, we decided to try out Le Cartet, a place that I had heard many good things about but hadn’t had the chance to try yet.


This restaurant and boutique offers breakfast and lunch as well as a takeout menu for the many workers in the area during weekdays . On the weekend, the focus switches to brunch. We arrived for the beginning of the brunch service and were able to grab one of the last tables in the back so thankfully we didn’t wait long. Given the lineup that was present on our exit an hour later, we made the right call to arrive early. The space is a perfect morning spot – tons of natural lighting, plain white walls and high ceilings. It’s a tight fit with everyone cramming in for brunch but still comfortable.


The brunch menu at Le Cartet is a combination of classic brunch dishes with some extra twists. The first dish that we ordered was their Coupe Santé – Fresh fruit salad, greek yogourt, blueberries, ginger-honey organic granola and cashew nuts. Wherever they get their greek yogourt, my family would love to know because it was some of the best we’ve ever had. I love blueberries so that’s the perfect option to pair with the yogurt and the granola was wonderful as well – a nice subtle hint of both honey and ginger. Mix everything together and you get a very nice yogurt parfait. The lightest option we tried and a hit for all of us.


The second dish we got was the Brunch Cartet – Scrambled eggs with mesclun salad, ham croissant, goat cheese and a sweet potato salmon cake. This was the most unconventional plate we ordered. I could take or leave the salad – it was good but rather unremarkable. The scrambled eggs were very done as one would hope from a breakfast/brunch place. The croissant was fresh and flaky, the ham was solid and the goat cheese was a nice creamy rich touch to a otherwise light plate. The real star in the end however was the salmon cake – nice crunch on the outside while keeping a flaky context inside. I would have loved that element to be more plentiful compared to the rest but a solid dish nevertheless.


The final dish was le Brunch des Cantons – Scrambled eggs with country ham, sausage, bacon, baked beans, toast and roasted herb potatoes cooked in duck fat. This dish was completely in my wheelhouse which makes the fact that I didn’t order it all the more shocking! Great items here – all the meats were delicious and I am always a sucker with anything cooked in duck fat.


Each of these dishes came with an amuse-gueule to enjoy before the meal however we didn’t get them during our meal! Our waiter, realizing his mistake, gave us a mini-bag of them on our exit – sucre a la creme. Deliciously rich and sweet – this ended up being a nice way to end the meal rather than start it.


Le Cartet was a solid brunch experience – all the dishes were well executed and the service was quick and to the point. Its location makes me a perfect starting point for a nice afternoon in Old Montreal. Whether or not I would stand in line to eat there however is a different question all together. In the end, I would easily recommend you give them a shot – however arrive early otherwise your day in the old port will become a quick afternoon stroll.



Le Cartet
106 Rue McGill
514 871 8887

Le Cartet on Urbanspoon


Cafe Griffintown (Brunch Edition)

31 Jul

For the first time in a long while, I went to brunch where the choice of location wasn’t made by me. As one starts to become known within his friend circle as the “restaurant guy”, usually I am the one tasked with the selection. Not this time around as a couple of friends decided it was time that I tried a favourite of theirs closed to their neighbourhood (and one I actually have had on my list for some time), Cafe Griffintown.


Located on Notre-Dame street just off de la Montagne, this cafe has just a beautiful space to work with. High ceilings, exposed brick walls, beautiful aged wood floors, metallic accents with an open kitchen and a terrasse to boot, I love pretty much everything about this space. Add some great jazz and big band music in the background and you have a cafe that I could spend hours at.


But enough about the interior design, you want to hear about the food because frankly this is a food blog after all. The brunch menu is one of breakfast classics with some unique twists as well. To start, I ordered a glass of their “Palm Spring” – a mixture of fresh papaya, banana and pineapple juice. Great balance to this juice – not too sweet, not too sour, just a nice refreshing drink on a warm summer day.


As a main, I went for the crab cake and eggs. Homemade crab cake with sunnyside-up eggs, a side of bacon, a smoked and marinated jalapeños remoulade and a fresh salad. The crab cake was nice and dense with crab meat – no excessive binder here. The bacon was cooked as I like it – not crispy and the eggs were cooked as listed. The remoulade was not nearly as spicy as I expected (which for me is a good thing) and provided a nice tang to the dish. The only miss for me was the salad as it really didn’t have a reason other than to make the plate seem larger. No dressing to really speak of and the lettuce honestly didn’t seem all that fresh. If we ignore the salad, the rest of the plate is a winner.


One of my friends went with the Mac & Cheese – L’Ile-aux-Grues, Swiss gruyere, Bierbrier beer with a side of bacon, poached eggs and some greens. The poached eggs were well done, the bacon was cooked the same way as mine was and the macaroni had great flavour. Both cheeses and the beer used in the Mac & Cheese added a nice creamy sharpness to the dish but not one that would feel overbearing and heavy towards the end. The greens used here also seemed fresher. A very nice dish that I definitely would want to try next time as my own main.


My other friend went with their Canadian breakfast – 2 eggs your way with a side of meat (chorizo, bacon or prosciutto), potatoes, toast and a green salad. The eggs (scrambled in this case) were solid, the potatoes had good flavour and the bacon was cooked as the previous 2 dishes had been. The green salad was actually like mine which was disappointing but the real star here was the bread. Nice thick cut pieces of fresh bread grilled well and buttered. Every time I get bread like this in a restaurant I am reminded of my desire to bake my own sourdough bread. I definitely need to get on that. Anyway, solid dish apart from the salad once again.


After our meal, we sat there for another hour so clearly we felt right at home in this cafe. What can I say… my friends make good restaurant choices. I taught them well. Just kidding. Anyway, they were spot-on with this choice and it led to a great Sunday brunch. People in the Sud-Ouest region either living there or visiting, look no further than Cafe Griffintown for all your brunch needs. I only wish the live Jazz they have during the week was also there during Brunch. Then we would have probably stayed there a few more hours.


Cafe Griffintown
1378 Notre Dame St W
(514) 931-5299

Griffintown Café on Urbanspoon

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