Tuesday, March 19, 2013

There are no Prohibitions when it comes to brunch - Prohibition

I've noticed that there's a distinct lack of brunch posts on my blog, and I must rectify that situation. I've always been rather indifferent towards brunch, since the brunch places I most often frequent are the generic brunch franchises, and I usually only order the typical eggs with bacon. I figured, just how interesting can brunch get? Well, with sugar bacon and fried chicken, apparently, pretty darn interesting.

I don't want to coin Prohibition as a brunch restaurant, because half their menu items during the week are regular lunch meals, such as pulled pork sandwiches and salads. They only offer their two most popular brunch items during the week, which are the ones my friend and I ordered. Even during the weekend, their menu is short and concise, featuring less than 10 choices to choose from. And they don't even offer the choice of your typical two-eggs-and-bacon. But honestly? They don't need to. Because the few items they offer are so original that you'll be too busy being intrigued by the stuff they do have to miss the stuff they don't.

Accessibility - Grade B+
The restaurant is located on Monkland Avenue, about a five-ten minute walk down from Villa Maria metro. It can be a wet and and slippery trek in the slush, so watch your step if you go in winter. The restaurant, being at basement-level, is a little hard to spot if you're not paying attention to your surroundings, but overall, it's not difficult to find.

Service - Grade: B+
Considering how there was only one waitress waiting on five tables when we went, I'd say the service is pretty darn good. The waitress was good-natured and efficient, keeping up with five tables without once frowning. I also liked the fact that she didn't rush us at the end of our meal by giving us the bill prematurely, like some waiters do. Instead, she only brought us the bill when we specifically requested it. 

Food - Grade: B+

Currant and Pecorino scone
We started off with a currant and pecorino scone with honey butter and homemade raspberry jam. It was good, as far as scones go, but a little on the dry side on its own. Luckily, the tart raspberry jam brought a bit of moisture to the crumbly scone, and the honey butter balanced the tartness of the jam. The dried currant tasted a lot like raisins, which I'm not terribly fond of. Apparently scones make me feel like a British aristocrat.... Or I'm just watching too much Downton Abbey.

Lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberry compote and sugar bacon
Holy giant bacon strips, Batman! I've never seen such thick, juicy slices (more like slabs) of cured pork meat in my life. I know some people like their bacon fatty and chewy, while others prefer them extra crispy. I usually don't really care either way, but I think I have found my perfect bacon match. The inner edge of the bacon, where all the meat is, is dense and chewy, while the outer, fatty edge is fried so thoroughly that it's almost caramalized, giving you a gradient from crisp, to crunchy and finally to chewy.

The lemon ricotta pancakes were zesty and refreshing. Well, for pancakes, anyway. You can really taste the lemon in the pancake, which are soft and fluffy on the outside and denser towards the middle. The ricotta creates a sort of sable texture to the pancakes, much like the type of texture you'd find in cornmeal pancakes or pastries. I'm personally not big on the texture, as I find it scrapes against the tongue, but other than that, the pancakes and the bacon (especially the bacon) were very enjoyable.
Maple-fried challah fench toast with cinnamon sugar and fried chicken
First, cheese in my ramen, tteokbokki in my poutine, and now fried chicken on my French Toast? Well, not my French Toast, seeing as how my friend ordered this, but that's besides the point. This is not what you'd expect of a brunch item at all. You're given two thick slices of french toast dusted with cinnamon powdered sugar, and two or three pieces of crispy fried chicken on the side, with a small bottle of maple syrup. 

We tasted the items separately, and then dumped them all together in a pile of heart attacky goodness and ate it like that. On its own, the french toast is pillowy and soft, with just a hint of sweetness. The fried chicken was just as you would expect of fried chicken. But together? An unexpected match made in the cardiac ward. Just trust me on this.

Price - $$
Prices are average brunch prices. The french toast and pancakes plates were both $13, and the scone was $4. Other menu items are all within the $10-$15 range, so it's pretty affordable. 
Note: They are a cash-only joint, so make sure you have enough on-hand before you go.

Final Grade: B+
I think this is the first time I've had brunch without eating a single egg, and enjoyed it. I usually have to order an egg of some sort at brunch, or I feel cheated (egg in french toast does not count). Prohibition isn't like your typical brunch restaurant, where you have your eggs benedicts and your bacon and eggs. Nope, instead, they only have a choice few items, and very unusual ones too, but they make so well that those few choice items are really all they need. So if you're in the mood for some fried chicken with your french toast, Prohibition is the place for you.

5674 Monkland Ave MontrealQC
(514) 481-8466
Prohibition on Urbanspoon


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