It feels strange to be writing about brunch for my inaugural blog post. For one, as a currently unemployed plebe, I tend to save what scarce resources I do have for dinners out (my favourite meal of the day). Secondly, those times I do venture for the day's introductory meal, rarely is it to a yuppie place like Le Cartet. I say yuppie for a few reasons:
Despite the above-mentioned pitfalls, I freakishly enjoyed my meal here. So much so that I have unofficially vowed to come here and only here for brunch from now on (every second leap year).
- My bill was over $25 (my meal, pictured below, plus a mimosa). Way too expensive for a meal that should cost less than one hour of minimum-wage work.
- The words "organic," "frittata" and "flaxseed" appear on the menu.
- The front of the restaurant houses a cute little "épicerie & prêt à manger" (their words, not mine) packed with ready-made "boîtes à lunch" and dark chocolate bars from pirate-ridden, far away lands.
- The handful of tables outside of the restaurant were occupied by affluent hipster-types, the this-jacket-is-John-Varvatos-but-totally-looks-thrifty type of folk who tend to live in this she-she, über-gentrified part of town (Old Montreal). Did I mention the abundance of canine companions tethered to the tables, slurping up (insert fancy water name here)? True story.
- The interior is reminiscent of an industrial loft. In true yuppie/hipster fashion, one wall is painted-over exposed brick.
- My meal was supposed to come with an amuse-bouche (I swear), OJ, fruits and coffee. I never saw any of the four. Major service fail.
Brunch Santé: Organic ginger granola with yogurt and blueberries, poached eggs on mesclun on country style bread, cheddar sticks with figs and assorted fresh fruits ($11.95)
This may sound overdramatic, but my meal was perfection. First off, the fresh fruits were legitimately fresh. No packaged, day-old crap. This stuff was farmer's market worthy. Second, the not too mild, but not too ancient cheddar sticks were served at the ideal room temp. I don't eat figs so I have no idea how that tasted, but I'll assume it was par for the course. Third, the subtly sweet organic ginger granola (another flag for the yuppie radar) was plenty and well dispersed. Coupled with the tangy yogurt and the molecular-sized blueberries, this was a lovely side dish. Now on to the star: the country style bread topped with mesclun and poached eggs. What really brought this all together was the anonymous green shmeer you see poking out from under the egg. Was it some form of cream cheese? Was it a mayo? I'll never know, but man did that fill a void.
My dining companions were equally enamoured with their selections. The "Toasta Mixta" (Portuguese grilled cheese stuffed with eggs, ham, brie, onions and mustard, served with a mesclun salad) won rave reviews.
This place may be the furthest thing from Plebe, but I whole-heartedly advocate stepping out of the milieu every once in a while (if you can afford it). Sans mimosa, this meal would ring in under $20. I'm just a lush.
Price: a bank-breaking $27 (tip included).
106 McGill St.