6202 Sherbrooke O.
Bus: STM 104, 105, 138, 420
Visit: August 4, 2012
Recently, I was given an invitation to a restaurant to try something I haven’t done in almost 20 years, brunch. Brunch is not something that I will go out of my way to go get, though it’s something that I’ve been thinking more and more about over the last few years. Well, there was no better time than the present to cross that bridge than at Café Grand in an area of the island of Montreal known affectively as N.D.G.
Before I get going, I want to thank @stephohanley for inviting me for this Saturday afternoon brunch and giving me the all clear to do what I normally do in any eating scenario. The more important reason for our gathering was to celebrate @sandman5’s birthday. Since he’s someone who has been a big part of my gatherings over the last year, it was an honour to be there for him. Finally, it was an immense pleasure to meet @enkerli, @gamerwifeblog, and @acriley.
Café Grand is your typical coffee shop where most Montrealers lounge about and relax when they find the time to. Since it was an extremely warm day, the rather sizable terrasse was in full action. At noon, on a Saturday, you will still find a very crowded scene in the restaurant. When I entered, there were still a few tables open, but that didn’t last too long.
The service during the two hours was tremendous. The server who was assigned to our group was quite attentive and patient. Even though Montreal traffic took a toll on the arrival of the group, they didn’t push us to move faster, which is something that’s a definite plus. Even when we were finished and lounging about, they just allowed us to remain at our table without much pressure to leave, where other restaurants would send their staff out to hover at your table.
Now, on a more personal side, it’s been a long time since I’ve been to brunch. With this being the case, I decided to make the most of my time there, since I don’t know when I’ll be doing it again. This is when my focus turned to the small packages of toast spreads. I’ve seen them so many times during my Burger Search and I’ve become completely fascinated by them. This is where I proceeded to take a picture of each of those small packages for my own personal amusement. For anyone who is curious, I did try all 3 varieties on the toast provided and they were all quite good.
Glass of Water w/Lemon Slice
This breakfast platter includes two eggs (any style - scrambled), home fries, ham, Italian sausage, fresh fruit, toast, and bacon.
Choosing which platter wasn’t quite difficult at all, though the more expensive “Grand” Slam was extremely appealing. When you’re on a budget, you do have to think sensitively. Plus, how much can someone really eat? The Works, which happens to be the name of a burger chain in Ontario that I really like, was the perfect platter for me to take. If the platter is anything like that place, it’s sure to be a slam dunk. So, for my first bunch in a lot of years, I was hoping to score that magical touchdown. I’m sorry about that, I just had to hit that hat trick of sports references.
When ordering your platter, you have the choice of any style of eggs. For me, that was quite simple, I wanted scrambled eggs. For a little trivia, I can actually cook scrambled eggs. More importantly, I actually really liked how they turned out. They were actually quite light and fluffy, how any good scramble egg should be.
The toast was another big hit for me. I also took the time to sample all three spreads provided at the table and the container of butter provided with the platter. I was initially thinking that the bread would be too hard, but once you got that spread on, you forget about that quite easily.
The assortment of fresh fruit was actually quite nice. On the plate, you’ll find blueberries, strawberries, grapefruit, watermelon, and cantaloupe. It was a nice touch and allowed you to really add variety for each bite. For me, it was quite nice to see the fruit on a brunch plate, instead of next to a burger.
The home fries were also pretty good. I decided to put the provided ketchup aside since I subscribe to the belief that potatoes don’t really need it. The amount of home fries provided was quite nice and there’s definitely no complaint there.
There was a good variety of meat on the plate, most that you would associate with breakfast. Probably the top meat on the platter was the Italian sausage, which probably would surprise regular readers of this blog because of my torrid affair with bacon. There was simply more of the Italian sausage on the plate and it was quite good. The small downside was that there was only 1 slice of both ham and bacon. The ham was actually under the toast alongside the bacon. For me, the slice of bacon was a tad bit overdone for my taste. But, when you compared it with everything else you get on the platter, it’s not a big deal.
In all, the platter was well worth the money. The vast majority of the elements of the plate were solid hits for me. The portion size was well suited to most normal eaters. I was quite full after eating this all and that started making me wonder how I would take on the bigger platter offering.
I took a picture of the breakfast biscuit because it looks kind of like a burger. This reminds me of a question I need to ask, is there a good breakfast burger to try in this city? I’m hoping to add something like that to the Great Burger Search in the near future.
For the first time that I’ve been to brunch in this millennium, I was quite happy with everything. When you think about the attentive service and the relaxed atmosphere of the café, you have a nice place to spend any brunch period. The variety of breakfast offerings on the menu give you a taste for every person out there. This visit has actually inspired me to one day go and seek out at least another brunch place.
At the conclusion of the meal, one of the invited guests, @gamerwifeblog, brought in cupcakes to celebrate the occasion. The story is that she used to be behind the Arigateaux cupcake company, which unfortunately had to shut down just recently. We’re all hoping that her current venture http://www.gamerwife.com will lead her to much success.
The cupcakes were quite good. They were vegan based cupcakes, which is something that I’ve never tried before. The mint frosting was actually a good complimentary component to the chocolate base. Plus, they look really good.