Posts Tagged ‘Breakfast’

This café feels more like a diner on the weekend, especially when it’s too cold to sit outside. Food is adequate and has all that one would expect from a café in the Plateau, service is very laidback, and the main reason that one comes here is the awesome vantage point for people watching on Rue Saint Denis. It also had a mention in one of Kathy Reichs’ Tempe Brennan books as the temporary work place of Andrew Ryan’s daughter.

metro: Sherbrooke

3635 Rue St. Denis at Rue Cherrier


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If you’re in Old Montreal and all you want for breakfast is a simple coffee and croissant, then this is your place, since that’s all that they have. Well, maybe hot chocolate, too. In the lobby of what is billed as the smallest hotel in Old Montreal – appropriately named Le Petit Hotel – Le Petit Café offers enticing, enormous, flaky, delicious croissants and pain au chocolate with jam and maybe butter, and coffee for about $1 more than your average chain coffee shop. While the lettering in the window call it Le Petit Café, it doesn’t seem to be heavily used outside of hotel guests, as service is sometimes hesitant yet friendly.

Metro: Place d’Armes

168 Rue Saint-Paul Ouest and Rue Saint-Pierre

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While my husband prefers Guglhupf to Fosters, I remain more reserved – most importantly because their hot chocolate tastes faintly of mold (the kind of harsh, tangy mold that’s in blue cheese) and is too watery. Plus, they are closed on Mondays.

This German beehive of the intelligentsia is situated in what could very well be a post-industrial bunker, all poured concrete and iron railings, with a chic staircase and orange paper lanterns dangling from the ceiling grates. Diners bottleneck about the small front counter, which is uncomfortably cramped and too close to the door, pressuring one to decide what they want before they really want it. Then one sits and waits for their food to be brought to them. The drink serving system is confused – does one wait for the beverages or are they brought to the table? and can change from day to day, causing much frustration from those desperate for their first sip of coffee.

While the menu is more diverse and sophisticated than Fosters, with consistently good soups and a popular German potato salad side, the sandwiches are very similar and use a disappointingly large roll of deli meat in each. On the plus side, tables are well spaced out, and it’s common to see professional tête-à-têtes or lone diners barricaded behind laptops and/or Kindles.

2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., Durham, NC 27707, USA

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While the friendly exterior and cozy interior decor suggest a nice, neighborhood cafe, I regret to report that the hot chocolate and coffee are watery, the chowder seems straight out of a can, and the muffins are packaged grocery store quality. If you could bring your own bagels and latte, this would be a great hangout. Otherwise, try the Duncan Donuts a block down.

1609 King St., Alexandria, VA, 22314, USA

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I had heard that one of the best bagels in Montreal could be had at Fairmount Bagels, and took my foodie in-laws there for brunch one day…only to discover a hole in the wall with just enough elbow room between the counter and floor stacks of store-ready bagels to order a bag of bagels and a tub of high end cream cheese. Behind the counter, workers endlessly cut and hand rolled bagels in front of a wood-burning stove. Back at my place at my own table, the huge, tender sesame and poppy seed bozo bagel was my favorite, though the nutty flaxseed bagel was also praised. These were indeed some of the best bagels in Montreal, and pleasantly inexpensive.

74 Ave. Fairmount O. at Rue St. Urbain

metro: Laurier

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I was in Middletown, CT this past weekend for a wedding and dined at two places whilst there. The first involved a pleasant spinach and herb bagel with cream cheese, “real” salmon (the other option involved salmon bits mixed into the cream cheese), thinly sliced red onion, and capers. It was all tasty and enjoyable, but rather too tender, lacking that bit of chewiness that makes a really good NY-style bagel; my in-laws termed it “Parisian-style” and my husband thought it almost cakey. After all, I’d lived in NJ – which we all agree is basically a suburb of NYC – for ten years without ever trying a spinach and herb bagel. Very Connecticut. All in all, though certainly not an “authentic” NY-style bagel place, it is sufficiently pleasant and upscale to attract repeat business – perhaps even mine one day.

169 Main St., Middletown, CT 06457 USA

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Anyone who has ever been to Montreal has been to one of the abundant Eggspectations scattered about the city. Clunky faux-eclectic decor, similar to Hard Rock Cafe and Charlie Browns. Expect to wait in line, though the turnover is pretty fast. Large portions, and even some options for the non-egg lover among us like a BLT. Eggs Benedict are a must. This one had a noisy interior filled with large groups of students and a couple of tables outside on the sidewalk. As we were waiting in line on the street corner, with even more chattering students, a couple of young men were booted off the wait list for harassing the hostess and using profanity.

1313 de la Maisonneuve O. at Rue de la Montagne

metro: Guy-Concordia

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