Enchanteur – An enchanting brunch in Villeray
Villeray is a part of town that I have been frequenting for many years. In fact, before it became one of the new hip places to live in Montreal, I remember it as a dingy, grey and run down area with a lack of decent places to eat and go out. I was shocked when I went to L’enchanteur and saw an area that had changed; there were some cafes, restaurants, condos, young families etc. It is definitely not the way it used to be. Now I have the chance to check out a spot that will provide brunch and not just a bacon and egg dish but something with a menu that has more than 3 items.
At 1st glance
When we walked into L’enchanteur we were lucky to even get a spot. It was jammed packed and this place is actually quite large (why their washroom is per person only I don’t know but the place can hold plenty of people). When the sun is shining, the place gets filled up with light and being on the corner of the street gives it that extra benefit for natural lighting. The crowd was a mix of your parents and DINKS (double income, no kids) all above their mid 20’s and under their 40’s
The menu has got some good options and covers all the classic breakfast dishes. Surprisingly, they have breakfast here 7 days a week and open every day at 3 which is helpful if you’re stuck on a Wednesday and want somewhere different. You can even swing by the Jean Talon market after and stock up on some groceries or just enjoy some of the free fruit samples during the summer. The menu does offer lots of choice, the breakdown is as follows:
We started off with a smoothie ($5.50) which was strawberry, bananas, honey and a soy beverage. Question: do you know why they call it soy beverage in Quebec and not Soy Milk like they do everywhere else? Answer: Well, it’s because the dairy lobby is so powerful here that they have naming restrictions in place since soy is not really milk because it comes from a plant and not from a mammal. It may look like milk, may kind of have a milky consistency but it is not milk. Anyway, so the smoothie was quite tasty and it was thick, passing the straw test. The price was also quite fair. The soy was a nice touch and to be honest I only noticed it was soy as I look at my pictures of the menu. To be fair I think it would have tasted better with real milk since I felt something was missing but, hey, they get an A for effort an A+ for originality, but the taste did not get high grades sadly (kind of like my marks in highscool math)…
I was doing brunch with our resident potato reviewer Batata, who is a great brunch buddy since he is vegetarian and I get to gauge how responsive the menu is to those who follow vegetarian diets. He ordered the 2 egg dish ($5) with two eggs extra (2$) and a side of bread ($2). The eggs dish was good, filling and the fruit on the side was varied. The slices of bread were thick and there was also a side of potatoes so you do get value. The dish came with free coffee to boot and although the final price with extra was $9, the initial $5 is quite fair considering you get a full plate.
I, of course, ordered the Eggs Benedict Enchantuer ($12). Normally, I avoid choosing a dish named after the place since the dish usually disappoints me, but this time, the dish made me curious. It was comprised of 2 poaches eggs on English muffins with brie cheese, mushroom and hollandaise sauce. It’s the mushrooms which I do not find often as the main focus of dish so I could not resist. The dish came with a side of potatoes and fruit. The hollandaise sauce had a more yellowish look to it and was decent but did not stand out for me. The mushrooms were nice to try but Im sure other dishes would have been a better decision.
Now comes the potato segment from our resident potato reviewer Batata:
After some very disappointing potato experiences, I have decided to brace the wind of reviewing what are supposed to be delicious sides and hit the road again. This time was not as disappointing as the others but still not strong enough to ranked on a scale from 1 to 5. I need to respect my earlier reviews since they were far superior to the latest ones. The potatoes were mechanically cubed and were deep fried frozen. This is the unfortunate standard treatment for basic breakfast potato “home” fries. In this case, at least the oil was clean therefore giving the potatoes a golden hue to them. Consequently, the centres of these potatoes were frozen-cooked which is the equivalent of eating mash potatoes made from a dehydrated mix. The only compliment comes from their attempt to hide this reality with some herb spices and salt, as well as, providing decent portions. Once again, not impressed! And if I was indifferent between potatoes and fruit, I would definitely ask to have my potatoes replaced with fruit since their fruit side was fresh and exotic.
The service was OK. There were some points where I was looking high and low for our waitress but other than that, no issues.
The menu is vegetarian friendly with enough choice to make for a happy vegetarian. As for vegans, nothing here can make a good vegan dish.
Overall I was decently impressed. The place is nice and the neighbourhood is great. It is perfect for the summer with the Jean Talon market nearby. Some dishes hit the mark while others missed it. The menu is a kind of classic breakfast and I like the fact it is open 7 days a week.
| 7331 Avenue Henri Julien
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