Sunday, August 16, 2015

Café Bloom

Look! Look, it says 'Café Bloom' on the window!
Do you know how many restaurants are opened at 8 am on a Saturday morning in MTL? 3. OK that's a lie. But for us early risers (yes, even on the weekends!), there aren't that many options if you don't want to go to a 24 hour diner (meh) or a coffee shop (let's face it, NOT breakfast!). I was looking at my options on Zomato and I found this little gem, hidden in plain sight, about a 10 minute walk from my place. Oh, and in the past 2 years of living in this neighbourhood, I had neva eva EVA heard about or seen Café Bloom. Oy! 

Alright, so, located in a weird part of Pointe St-Charles where people rarely go if they don't work/live around there (unfortunately restaurants often close their doors because of lack of clients in that area), Café Bloom closes early on week days alike many restaurants around it (i.e: Café Cantina) because, well, there's pretty much no walking traffic. Like, at all.
This place was a lovely discovery, I must say! It's tremendously cute with its kids corner, mismatched tables and chairs and kinda hipster-y vibe (only kinda :) and great indie music. I kind of felt at home. They have an open kitchen, which I love... well until you see the cook pick his/her nose but thank the little baby Heysus I didn't witness any of that that day. 

The menu is on the black board behind the oh-so-very-cute bar: viennoiseries, coffees, home made juices, and brunch. Val and I both had the same thing, which, I must say, is a rarity; we usually try to get different things so we can taste them both but apparently we had our eyes on the 'tartine du brunch'. 
Tartine du brunch: scrambled eggs with herbs, parmesan and mushrooms on rye bread, mixed salad and cabbage salad. Let's start with the bad. Neva EVA put mixed salad anywhere on your menu. NO! I do not care if YOU like it (I don't know why you would) OR if you think it's oh-so-cheap (obviously there's a reason for that). Just don't do it. It was slightly acceptable about 8 years ago. Then, it was arugula, which is MUCH better, and now it's somethin' like kale which is MUCH MUCH better. Needless to say the addition of the three slices of radish was lost on me. Then, the cabbage salad. It was alright: adding sesame seeds was a nice touch and brought a little je ne sais quoi to the dish but it lacked salt, therefore flavor.

The scrambled eggs were nice and fluffy and moist (I despise that word--cringing!). The parmesan could have been a tad saltier, surprisingly. The mushrooms which were mainly morels (hello!) were good and full of flavor (garlic, hello!) but a tad on the squishy side. The herbs were great and obviously fit right in there: eggs? bread? mushrooms? I'm gonna have to say 'hello!' again! All in all, good but I wished the parmesan would have been a bit melted, ya know?

Service was ok: First off, when we said we didn't want coffee (that's right, TWO non coffee drinkers eating breakfast together), she didn't even bother asking if we wanted something else. Well, she a: lost more sales and b: more tip. And we had to ASK for water. I don't like asking for water. It should always be in my glass. Point final.

And now, the scores!

Food: 7
Service: 6

I'm toooootes going back to try more! And soon!

FYI: they have hosted exhibits in the past 2 years for up and coming artists!

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Épicerie Jean Guy

This place had been screaming out for me to try it: located but only two blocks away from my apartment, it was either closed when I wanted to go or opened when I was off to work. Grrr. But one day, miracle! Oh, it was on. It was on like the break o' dawn yo. Ok, getting a bit ghetto here.

The only thing I knew about this place was that it was Asian. Yes, with a name like Épicerie Jean Guy, obviously the name of the dep that was there before it, it seemed really freakin' Asian! When you enter, you actually realize that its real name is Frais Inc. , which, seriously, isn't that much better. And don't even try finding info on the internet... I think there's a little paragraph about this place..on ONE website.

So I knew this wasn't going to be the most gastronomic adventure of my life but I just had to try it. With their menu outside listing they had General Tao, I knew this wasn't going to be the best.

I got in and discovered this wonderful place. Wow. There were 4 seats around a two-booth table with a guy telling me it's so cheap that he eats here at least 4 times a week.... and as I look at the prices, I'm happily surprised to see that its uber (yes, I can use that word) cheap and that the owner doesn't charge taxes. Ok, that's a tad whhhheird.
This was 7 dollars. I think I could have fed 2 countries with this portion only. Man. There was a bare minimum of veggies and lots and lots of noodles with lots of soya sauce. I took about 5 bites and then I was full. It was very salty and seriously, I don't even know why they bothered putting veggies in there.
Pork dumplings. The texture was nice and for 2$/6 dumplings, I believe this is called a great deal. They were good, just not great. They had a nice crusty side which was good but what was inside was nothing exceptional (really? you thought it was going to be exceptional at 0.33$ a dumpling?).
Service was...funny. Ya, I think that's the right word for it. Basically, I thanked my lucky stars (ya, I have some, don't you? :p ) that there was a regular there waiting for his order because I would not have gotten any sort of explanation about anythin'. Nothin. Nada! Oh and the cook (the only dude working there) also prepared the guy that got there after me's meal before mine because he was, you guessed it, a regular. You know, I wanted to be annoyed but somehow I doubted it was going to do anything.

And now, the scores!

Food: 5
Service: a well deserved 4 but in his defense, I don't think he spoke any of the languages I speak (French, English, some Spanish, a tad bit of Russian and a smidge of Italian. Oh, let's not forget my best friend's native tongue, Tigrinya. But, as far as I know, only a handful of people speak it. OK, maybe two handfuls. Aaaand I'm rambling again.)

I really don't think I'm going back there. It was an experience. But not one I'd like to revisit.

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