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Reviewed March 7, 2004   »   32avenue.com   |   justin-cheung.com     

Eggspectation

1313 De Maisonneuve West - Montreal
220 Yonge St. - Eaton Centre Toronto
Normande Omelette | sweet apple three egg omelette sprinked with cinnamon, served with potatoes sauteed in butter and brown sugar and fruit garnish, $8.99. A pseudo dessert dish, it had a nice touch of sweetness without being overbearing and heavy. One complaint here would be that the omelette seemed a little small considering it was supposed to be made with three eggs; seemed more like one-and-a-half. Still, the taste was great; the apples and cinnamon made for a nice little touch. The fruit garnish was a nice touch, very fresh fruit with a nice variety. But the most surprisingly pleasant part of the dish were the sautéed potatoes - normally breakfast potatoes taste flat and are mushy and fragile; not here. A little crispy without being like a chip, slight hint of the brown sugar made me wish every breakfast potato I eat is a sautéed potato. Portions were average, presentation was decent, and overall, it was above average.

Eggsiliration | grilled chicken breast and two eggs (any style), grilled potatoes, toast and chef's fruit garnish, $9.99. Portions were surprisingly normal and not over the top like other signature dishes. The grilled chicken breast was unimpressive, overcooked, tough, and a little on the dry side. At least the grilled potatoes were pretty decent - a tad crispy on the outside but soft on the inside, but I would much rather prefer the sauteed potato that comes with the Normande Omelette. Presentation was normal. Overall, a little below average dish.

California Benedict | two eggs poached, smoked salmon, spinach, asparagus, gruyere cheese with hollandaise sauce on wheat bread, $11.99. Excellent pyramid presentation, with hefty portions. I personally do not like poached eggs, but in this combination they were surprisingly good. The smoked salmon was an especially nice addition to the plate, adding flavour to the tamed taste of the poached eggs. The hollandaise sauce was a tad thin, but still good. Overall, an above average dish.

Conclusion: I've experienced no other restaurant that has taken something as simple and as common as the egg and made creations with it that have turned heads and caused hour long lineups at the door. The variety and creativity with the menu leaves plenty of room for return trips to this chain restaurant. However, not everything is quite so rosy at this establishment; unfortunately, service was downright terrible: the hostess did not move fast enough to fill the numerous empty tables even though there was a long lineup, and there was a glaring need for more wait help for the tables. The food took forever to come. Just trying to pay took much longer than it should have, and the complimentary pre-buttered toast came very late. The ambience is nothing cushy or high class, but very relaxed and casual, which contributed to an enjoyable meal but also led to an extremely loud environment. If service was average and the environment not as boistrous, my rating would certainly have skyrocketed. Value wise, albeit a little pricier for the brunch genre, the prices are relatively cheap for the serving portions. If you're in a mood to splurge a bit, get some of their special juice concoctions. Overall, not a restaurant I would come to on a regular weekly basis due to its higher prices, but I'd come back at least once or twice a month. (It's hard for me to stay too impartial since I love eggs...and I just love the food here!)

3.1

out of 5.0

noteworthy
creativity
value


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