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|
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.
701, avenue du mont-royal est