Metro: Beaubien, Rosemont
Bus: STM 13, 18, 25, 30, 31, 160, 161, 197
Visit: March 22, 2012
Lately, in my eating endeavors, there has been one thing that’s been pushing its way in, desserts. It really hasn’t been something that I always was planning on doing, but it forced me to really start broadening my horizons. The island of Montreal has so many restaurants that offer desserts on their menus. Outside of that, there are places that specialize mainly in desserts. If you look even deeper, you’ll come across places that aren’t really restaurants, but bakeries that happen to have seats and tables. This happens to be one of those places.
On this day, GBS regular Steakman and I were doing lunch at Miss Jean-Talon. We already decided that we would follow this location up with a dessert only place. So, I took it upon myself to search for something that would fit the bill. Let me just say this, the area surrounding Miss Jean-Talon has a large number of restaurants, but something is truly missing. That missing element is a place to have dessert. Whether it be a cake or ice cream, a lunch or dinner needs to be capped off with something exceptional. I used my favorite tools like Google Maps and Urbanspoon to broaden my search. It was when I thought about Plaza St-Hubert that something came to mind.
There was a place on the iconic stretch of St-Hubert street that fit the bill. Before I get to that, we all know what lore this market-like street has for the island of Montreal. You can literally find anything between Jean-Talon and Bellechasse. At least 2 of my past burger locations came from this street. I remember when I was going to Burger 8 at Le Faste Fou, I got lost. I circled the area almost twice before almost caving in and going to the Nickels. Suffice it to say, I got a good look at what the area has to offer. I almost left my first visit in 2009 without anything and it was bound to repeat itself in 2012 as the intended location for today’s dessert was closed.
March of 2012 will go down as one of the strangest weather-wise. It is rather uncharacteristic to have such summer-like weather at the tail-end of Winter and the beginning of Spring. Well, this was the last of 3 days of that really warm weather and it would be foolish for a place to not take advantage of that. What goes better on a hot day than something like gelato. Well, some people didn’t put two and two together. If it wasn’t any worse, we passed by another gelato place in the Liege area and it was closed as well.
With nothing to go on and urgent back-up dessert plans attempting to get made, we decided to walk around the Plaza, since the parking meter was already fed. I suggested a circular walk, as to not miss anything. We wanted to make sure that our trip wasn’t in vain. We were lucky as out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a patisserie. Throwing caution to the wind, we decided that it wouldn’t hurt to at least go in.
Once you walk in to Les p’tits plaisirs, you’ll quickly see a few glass cased counters. Starting from the left, you’ll get the ice cream and following that, the cakes and chocolates. The breads and coffees are on the shelves behind the counters. There were a fair share of tables both inside and outside the place. After asking for a brief moment to decide what we wanted and ask some pertinent questions, we were ready to order. It looked like our Plan B panned out.
The patisserie was staffed by 3 different individuals. The person responsible for dealing with the 2 of us was able to answer all our questions. Even though I detected a bit of smugness in our dealings, you can’t really blame them. They work in a pastry shop and therefore are better than us. Either that, or we were wasting their time.
It wasn’t this particular person that really caught my attention as far as service was concerned. The one shining moment was when an elderly couple set themselves up right outside. The gentleman walked in and made his order on behalf of his partner. Once the order was ready, the second server escorted the man back to the outside with the order in tow. I thought that was rather touching.
For our time there, we settled at an indoor table next to the window. From there, I could see the people sitting down with their lap-tops and work, having a baked good to help focus. When you finish with your tray, the kind thing to do was to bring it back to the counter. We never got that chance, as the third server kindly took it from the table when we were done. In all, it was smooth sailing.
Mille Feuille Cake
This was the first of Steakman’s trio of dessert offerings. His only comment was that the top layer of the cake was a little too hard. Then again, he also noted that this wasn’t too uncommon for this type of cake.
Dulce De Leche
To round out his coffee and cake trio, Steakman took a great interest in the chocolate. He ended up purchasing 4 of these chocolates at about a dollar a piece. I ended up trying one to see what it was like. When you take a bite, you’ll notice that there is a shell of chocolate. The inside is filled with a sweet liquid. I’m no chocolate expert, so I’ll tell you that this really hit the spot.
If you took a good look at this picture and have been following my postings for the last few months, you’ll know that I’ve fallen heads over heels in love with this type of cake. It was back in December of 2011 when I went to Le Jardin de Panos. Everything about that night was epic in my opinion. But what made that night was the Chocolate Mousse Cake. Since then, I’ve tried 2 other similar types of cake and they were both lacking the epicness of what I had that night. So, when I saw this in the display case, my mind was made up. I’m lucky that Steakman isn’t that stubborn when it comes to food or I would’ve physically fought him to stay there.
This cake has a slight difference from the cake I had last December. The top 2/3 of the cake is the great consistency of chocolate mousse. As you put your fork down a bit, you’ll notice a harder layer of cake. This layer went rather well with the mousse. Even though it was a bit unexpected, it was a completely welcomed difference to have in the cake.
What can I say about the taste of this chocolate mousse cake other than the patisserie is lucky that I’m not camped there right now working on this post on a lap-top, eating this cake over and over again until I become the 500 lbs. version of Mr. Lew that has yet to exist. Alright, that can’t happen because I don’t have a lap-top, yet. So, the staff there are lucky for that one reason alone. That’s how much I liked that cake.
For what was a completely random back-up plan, Les p’tits plaisirs opened up my eyes to a new dimension of patisserie type locations where you can sit down and enjoy good dessert in Montreal. For the reasonable price I paid, I got to sit down, have something I really enjoy and spend time being part of the fabric of Montreal in the midst of the Plaza. Who knows, I might of lied to you when I told you I wasn’t there right now having yet another piece of chocolate mousse cake.
I hope you can relate to me when it comes to finding places to sit and have desserts in Montreal. If you have your own places you want to share, feel free to interact with me on Facebook or on Twitter.