It’s easy to walk past L’Evidence when strolling along Saint- Denis—the burnt orange sign is unassuming compared to the bright lights of other restaurants on the bustling street. However, doing so would be a mistake as the food is delectable, the coffee bottomless, and the service polite and welcoming. Brunch is also served from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends, offering a convenient option for early risers and late strollers alike.
The star of the menu is undoubtedly the variety of eggs benedict options. Both eggs are perfectly poached, and the hollandaise has a smooth consistency and doesn’t overwhelm the subtler flavours of the toppings. Also, savoury diner-style options are paired with fresh fruits, creating a wholesome and filling meal. L’Evidence is affordable, has an option for every type of brunch-goer, and provides a balanced meal to start the day.
Nestled in the Mile End, Le Sparrow’s design and aesthetic elements embody the neighbourhood’s charm. There are only eight options on the menu, but they range from hearty steak and eggs to mouthwatering buckwheat pancakes topped with an array of sugary goodies such as candied walnuts. Additionally, Le Sparrow has an assortment of cocktails, including mimosas and Bloody Caesars that will put a jolt in anybody’s morning.
This isn’t the place to go for classic brunch fare; rather, the restaurant chooses to push the envelope with an eclectic mix influenced by Quebecois favourites and Mediterranean delights.
Le Sparrow is simple in its offerings, but highly complex with its flavour patterns; sometimes this sort of simplicity can offer its own brand of beauty.
Walking into Bagels Etc. feels like taking a time machine back to the ’80s—conveniently the period when the diner was opened. Vintage artwork and decorations rest upon exposed brick walls, giving the restaurant a distinctly Plateau feel. The real attraction of Bagels Etc., however, is the food. At first glance, the portions can seem overwhelming and slightly off-putting; although most of their offerings are bright, echoing the vibe of the decor, they are usually piled onto the plate without giving thought to plating. After one bite, this hardly matters. The food is undeniably excellent; the pancakes are moist and fluffy, the potatoes are wholesome and delectable, and the variety of meat dishes are spiced uniquely such that every dish is its own adventure. The eponymous bagels are crisp and have a sweet undertone, offering a counterbalance to their saltier options. Bagels Etc. is well worth the short trek into the Plateau.
Although some may know Universel as a bar, on weekends both the interior and terrace operate at near full-capacity for brunch. The decor is sleek and modern, and the ambience is equally appropriate for a brunch date or a larger gathering among friends. Food-wise, portions are filling and aesthetically pleasing—a combination that many restaurants try to achieve yet very few succeed at. Universel’s primary attraction is its expansive menu that can satisfy those with a sweet tooth and savoury cravings alike—waffles, pancakes, and french toast are as commonly ordered, and as well executed, as the eggs benedict and omelettes. Universel’s their side dishes and beverages complement the main dish and enhance the complex flavour palettes; their orange juice is freshly squeezed, their coffee is an excellent pick-me-up, and their home fries are well seasoned. As a trendier option, Universel succeeds in offering an upscale feel without breaking the bank.