I know brunch is pretty big in Montreal, considering how there's a brunch restaurant on practically every street corner, but I've been to so many bad brunch restaurants that I've just lost interest in the concept altogether. I guess that's also because I haven't been actively seeking the good brunch places, but they're all so far away... Anyway, during one of my rare visits to NDG, my friend and I decided to check out a local brunch favourite, called Orange Café .
I first found out about Orange Café in my Marianopolis days (Oh, you're an Asian that went to Marianopolis, what are the chances of that? Ha ha ha), since one of my friends swore by it and seemed to practically live there every morning. I had gone with her once at the time, but had ordered the standard bacon and eggs, and had found it okay. Definitely not as extraordinary as she had made it out to be, but not inedible either, like
most some of the brunch franchise restaurants.
This time, having finally discovered that I had taste buds, I decided to try something that wasn't quite so pedestrian.
Accessbility - Grade: A-
This restaurant is fairly accessible. Once you get out of Villa Maria metro, in the direction of Villa Maria High (towars NDG) school. Keep walking along Decarie for about 5-10 minutes, until you hit NDG. The restaurant is at the cross-section where Decarie meets NDG.
Service - Grade: B-
The service here is a hit-or-miss. The first time I came here, the waitress was rather cold, perhaps because she knew we were students. This time around, the service was a bit friendlier, but the waitress was still very busy and was a little brusque. Also, on my friend's artichoke-and-smoked-salmon crepe, the kitchen had completely forgotten the smoked salmon.
Food - Grade: B-
One of the things that stood out the most about Orange Café was the menu. Unlike most brunches, which offer mostly the typical standard few brunch items, Orange Café has four or five pages of brunch fare to choose from. They offer more variety and originality to the usual brunch items.
So this was my friend's smoked salmon and creamy artichoke crepe at first, we had thought that the smoked salmon was inside the crepe, so she kept digging at it, but there was no salmon to be found. Finally, we asked the waitress, who went to verify with the kitchen, and came back with this:
Essentially, the same crepe with a mountain of smoked salmon piled on top. In terms of taste, I thought it was pretty good. Not spectacular, but decent. I liked the creamy dill sauce, which went well with the artichoke. The tart salad was a good accompaniment, since smoked salmon can get heavy after a few bites.
Ack! I forgot the name of this dish, but it's one of the house specialities. It's a type of eggs benedict, but definitely not cooked in the traditional way. The egg is sliced into pieces and mixed with pieces of mushroom and bacon, and then doused in hollandaise sauce.
Price - $$
The prices for this place are much like the prices for any other brunch place. The prices range from $10-$15 for a dish, with some being a little higher.
Final Grade: B-
Other than the fact that Orange Café has a large, extensive menu, it doesn't stand apart from the other generic brunch places, taste-wise. So if you're looking for a creative, taste-bud-wowing brunch, then keep looking, my friend, because this place ain't it. But if you like familiarity in your food, yet are bored of the same old brunch items from places like Eggspectations or Chez Cora, you could give Café Orange a try!