Skip to main content

om nom nom nom :: restaurant review

the official "motto" of montreal, according to its coat of arms, is "concordia salus", but having lived here a combined total of nine years, i think that there is a case to be made for changing that to "seriously into brunch". most cities have a few places that are known as choice destinations in the morning after hours of 11 to 3 on saturdays and sundays, but montreal seems a little more fervent in its dedication than most. there are scads of places dedicated to offering their clientele the perfect egg-and-toast-related confections not merely on the weekends but every day, all the time, on demand.

located in the heart of the plateau, along mont-royal ave., les folies is one of those restaurants. they have an offering of sandwiches and sundries for other times of the day, but it's immediately apparent that brunch is king. unlike restaurants that pay lip service to brunch on the weekends, les folies has it on offer every day, which was lucky for dom and i, since we were hungry in the hood on a week day, having just dropped our youngest off at the veterinarian's office.

the menu is not fancy. what you'll find here are staples- omlettes, benedicts, and all the other things you would expect. being a huge fan of variations on eggs benedict [excluding, ironically the original, because i find meat generally makes the dish too greasy for my liking], i opted for the "norwegian" version with swiss cheese and smoked salmon. dom, being a man who likes variety in his brunch, went for the house version of the standard "something for everybody" platter with eggs, meats, potatoes and a crepe.

dom has one requirement when eating this sort of breakfast: he likes his crepe served on a separate plate. it's a little thing, but he just does not go for any sweet/ savoury cross-contamination. and it is astounding, although he's careful to mention it every time, how often he gets his meal with the crepe piled on the same plate as everything else. so it's already a good sign when his meal arrives correctly- one big plate, one small side plate.

the coffee is strong and hearty, which is a nice change from bland and mass-produced or from places that equate "good" with "made way too strong". and the coffee, as it turns out, is a good barometer of the meal itself.

dom's nom noms
i'm thrilled, first off, that my benedict is human in scale. too often, i'm confronted with something that looks like ostrich eggs layered on top of a half-loaf of bread, smothered in hollandaise sauce that outweighs me. eggs benedict, much like anything involving holandaise, is rich on its own. it does not need bulk volume to be hearty. instead, i get two small, round little eggs atop nicely trimmed english muffin toast with proper hollandaise [the consistency of a creamy sauce, not of microwaved cream cheese]. there is a helping of fresh fruit, not just a little garnish, but good-sized chunks of melon and citrus. lest you think that fruit is optional, consider the consistency of a benedict: even without ham, it's incredibly rich in oils; fruit adds an acidity that cuts through that, so that you won't end up breaking out in a sweat part way through your meal. the fact that it looks pretty is really just a happy coincidence.

there is also a healthy helping of house potatoes, which i nibble at, but can't finish. i nibble because every self-respecting brunch place in montreal has their potatoes, their own individual way of preparing this simple starch that stands as their personal twist. in this case, the twist is that the potatoes are prepared with salted herbs and while they taste scrumptious, i'm intent on saving my stomach space for the delightful eggs benedict.

aside from being served properly, dom's breakfast is a real knockout. it's the kind of platter that too often just gets thrown together, like it isn't deserving of respect. in this case, however, care has been taken to ensure that the meats are perfectly crisped [the bacon in particular gets a rave review], the little helping of beans are not just mushy things from a can but the real thing, properly simmered with sauce. the real star, though, is the crepe, so the separate presentation is actually quite appropriate. normally, dom never finishes the single pancake that comes with these breakfasts, but this one is the exception. for one thing, it's a crepe, not a pancake [the distinction is very important] and its lightly seasoned with cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg. those two things mean that, rather than simply being a floury afterthought, this adds something to the enjoyment of the whole meal- balancing the salty, fatty and savoury [the house potatoes] elements.

the service is attentive and pleasant but in no way intrusive. our coffee cups are never entirely empty and the bill [about $38 including taxes and tip] comes at the right moment, without making us feel like someone is hovering over us.

les folies isn't doing anything exotic or groundbreaking, but who the heck wants exotic and groundbreaking for their first meal? these are tried-and-true staples, thoughtfully prepared and well executed.

les folies
701, avenue du mont-royal est
montreal qc
(514) 528-4343

Comments

Martin Rouge said…
We had gone there for a not-quite-lunch-not-quite-dinner stopover and we liked the place quite a bit. While a tad more expensive than what we had planned to dish out, the quality was well worth it. Very nice, and will drop by again... eventually.

as long as you're here, why not read more?

don't speak

you might think that it sounds dramatic, but linguistic genocide is something that happens. people in power will go to great lengths to eradicate certain languages, not just for the sheer joy of making the world a lesser place, but as a way of beating down the culture that's associated with it. language has a unique reciprocal bond with culture, and every group that has attempted to break down another has recognised that forbidding a cultural group from communicating in their own language is an extremely effective way to tear apart their culture.

there are lots [and lots and lots and lots] of examples of this sort of thing, some successful, some not, but far too many to cover in one blog post. however, i thought it was worth looking at some languages that have been the subjects of active repression, and what the political consequences of that have been.

devastation :: the native north american languages :: it should come as no surprise that the largest genocide in history [by a ma…

losers?

just a short time ago, i waxed prosaic about trump supporters who felt betrayed by their candidate pursuing in office the exact things that he said he would. short version: i have no sympathy.

today is a bit different. in the wake of america's bombing of a syrian air strip, in response to a chemical weapons attack by the syrian government, my facebook and twitter feeds were peppered with plaintive shades of "we believed you". these are the people who heard trump say that he wanted the united states to step back and focus on defending its own. indeed, trump did say such things, over and over; america cannot be the policeman of the world. even arch-liberal cynics like me had to admit that this was a refreshing argument to hear from someone outside the paul family, and, could easily have been turned into trump's greatest argument against hillary clinton. [he chose to go another way, which also worked.]

trump also said, repeatedly, that america needed to invest heavily …

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …