Araucaria – Mile end day long brunch
One day we decided to get creative and try out an ethnic brunch. There were variables we had to keep in mind though: it needed to be a place I had not already been to; it had to have an ethnic influence and, it needed to be in or near the plateau-mile end. After some searching, I found Auracia which is a Chilean restaurant. To my surprise, 2 friends decided to come join us and both are Peruvian which prompted the line of never “bring a Peruvian to a Chilean resto”.
At 1st glance
The first thing you will notice is a very laid back decor with a computer in the back, colouring books, a piano on the side and a couple of hipsters at various tables. This is near Bernard street so eclectic is sometimes easier to find here. The place has a bunch of events advertised as well as kids activities which is a nice touch for families in the area. As I mentioned, there is certainly an eclectic crowd to match the décor, and its menu is quite eclectic as well.
The menu is in 3 languages: Spanish, French and English with most items being under $10. They have an all day breakfast menu as well as a weekend brunch menu so you can satisfy that Wednesday morning craving along with that Saturday morning need to soak up remainders of Friday night’s outing. The brunch menu has a couple more items and the menu, as a whole, is quite large and allows people loads of choice. All the breakfast dishes are served with potatoes, bread, tea/coffee and for an extra $0.75, you can add plantaines. There is a continental breakfast add-on which is $2.75 before 11:00am and $3.75 after 11:00am. The menu breakdown is as follows:
We started with the omelette ($7.50) which came with a side of potatoes and bread as included. The omelette was average. The size was decent and it did, at least, come with some sides but the fruit selection was very limited and I felt was only used to cover white space on the plate. It also came with coffee and I guess that at $7.50, it’s hard to complain about that. I just wish there was a larger portion of potatoes or fruit.
The 2 eggs dish ($6.50) had bacon in it and also came with a side of potatoes and fruit. I also ordered the fruit cup with yogourt ($5.25) to go along with it. The fruit cup with yogourt was un-inspiring, at best. The fruit was not varied, the presentation was poor and the taste was mediocre. This dish could have been so much better, by using different fruits and working in a little pizazz on the presentation. On the plus side, the price is pretty cheap but I don’t think the price should excuse the weakness of the dish, in this case. The 2 egg dish was fair. The price is was normal/below average. Again, the fruit is not overly varied but at least you get more than 2 slices. The eggs were as can be expected for eggs: nothing amazing, yet reliably good.
The ceviche,which although is not a breakfast dish, is also on the menu. It came with guacamole and corn chips. The dish was quite good and after a long discussion as to if it was Chilean ceviche or Peruvian ceviche, my friend was actually satisfied with the dish and being more a specialist on ceviche than I am he was pleased by the taste and quality. There was also a vegan poutine dish which will be described by our resident potato expert Batata:
If I was able to redraft the first reviews I performed, I would definitely do since breakfast potatoes have not been the same. I would rate them much superior, almost nirvana-attaining status of breakfast potatoes, in comparison to what I had to put my taste buds through recently (not complaining since I love them that much).
Honestly, the potatoes that accompanied the dish were pitiful: frozen cubed potatoes, the likes of a grocery store frozen section only smaller. I actually think that I might need a sister reviewer for fruit selection and presentation on plates because I would have ripped into them for that as well. My take is that if you are marketing yourself as an all-day breakfast place, try to go a little further than just time availability for the cuisine. Furthermore, consumers of these types of places need to demand more, either by speaking to the waiter or the cooking staff. Trust me, it will help them and future patrons as well. Anyways stepping out of my boundaries on that for now.
As for their vegan poutine, I must give it an E for effort. Honestly, it is the first one I have ever tried and it was edible. I am a huge fan of poutine and therefore do not want to review it along the same standards nor do I want to review it too high and then regret it once I have other better vegan poutine. The final verdict: it is worth a try if you are a vegan and have never had a poutine so that you, too, can participate in poutine conversations with non-vegan / poutine eating friends and say that you went slumming once too.
Our service was nice and they did a decent job of answering all of our questions as we had many. They also did not rush us out.
There are plenty of vegetarian options and even some vegan ones like the vegan poutine and salads. I like the fact they have some vegan options on the menu as these places are few and far between.
Overall, I was not impressed. I liked the price but that’s where it stops. The taste was lacking in some dishes and the presentation as well. The restaurant was all over the place and needs some kind of culinary direction unless they want to stick with what they have and with its no rules kind of theme.
| 5607 Avenue du Parc
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