There’s a long standing statistic that says Montreal has the most cafés per capita in North America, and that we serve the most coffee and warm beverages south of the global 60 degree parallel. Actually, I just made that up because I can’t walk down the street without seeing some sort of cafe that serves fair-trade, local, organic, seasonal, homemade, cold-press, French-press, coffee shop, packed up the walls with jerkholes drinking a three-hour coffee mooching wifi, charging multiple devices and smoking cigarettes outside. If there’s one thing Montrealers do and do well (besides bitching and complaining about other people) is hitting up the cafe scene, supporting local entrepreneurs, sipping on dranks and watching people.
I hit up Café Souvenir, a local cafe spot in the heart of Outremont for some people watching and brunch. “Brunch” you say? “Why, Jason, you have such strong feelings about brunch, don’t you hate it?” Why, thank you me for that great question, to answer, yes and no. Yes, I dislike the IDEA of another meal that completely messes up my feeding schedule, thus throwing my entire day off track and no, because it’s another meal that I get to throw in during my days to reward me with extra tastiness for being so awesome.
My girl and I split a freshly baked scone. Despite the unfortunate looking icing (I know you went there in your heads you cheeky monkey… if you didn’t, now you did. Pervert. ) the thing was fluffy, cakey and delicious. We had to wait a bit as they were making a fresh batch. These strawberry and white chocolate scones were not overly sweet and were perfectly warm, crusty on the outside, and buttery and supple on the inside.
She ordered the eggs benedict; two poached eggs on country ham, gruyère, topped with hollandaise over toasted English muffins, served with fried potatoes and fresh fruit. It was everything you imagine it to be. Was it tasty? Yes. Did it revolutionize the way we eat breakfast or influence the synthesization of the way organic molecules attach themselves to proteins to help prevent indigestion in people who are lactose intolerance? No.
You can’t really fuck up poached eggs with hollandaise, ham and potatoes. It was simple and straight forward; how breakfast should be. (Well, I can list a bunch of way to fuck it up, luckily none of which was present in this dish.)
I had the eggs à la Florentine – two poached eggs, baked with two different kinds of cheese, spinach and béchamel sauce. This dish is served with either brown toast, rye bread, English muffin, bagel or baguette with a choice of bacon, sausage, or ham; but let’s face it, is it really a choice or do they just mention sausage and ham just to spite them and make them feel bad in the presence of bacon?
The béchemel sauce definitely amped up the creaminess of the eggs, especially when with the broken yolks over buttered baguette – like eating a mouthful of velvet. The sharp melted cheese sure added a nice chew to each bite, the spinach not so much – it stood out like a 12 year old girl at a One Direction concert. Extra points for having the balls to bake poached eggs and the impeccable timing to not have them over cook and having fresh baguette and not day-old. Served with the same griddled potatoes which are nice and crusty on the outside and fluffy inside, this is really substantial to start your day… even on a thursday.
Cute menus playing off the restaurant’s name by having the menu in photo albums whose concept comes from the owner’s travels and including little touches and culinary influences on the menu. With a night time menu in addition to the brunch/lunch menu, Café Souvenir is a perfect spot to either start or end your day. Brunch menu served daily from 7am to 4pm.