NOW CLOSED It’s said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and as Montrealers we take our breakfast pretty seriously (mainly on the weekends – in most cases). From NDG to the Plateau and in just about every neighborhood around the city you’ll find weekend line-ups at many of the city’s breakfast restaurants and cafes. Though I’m more of the breakfast-at-home type, last week I tried le Gros Jambon Diner on Notre Dame West and it was a lovely experience. The diner is cozy and small with seats lined up along the colorfully decorated walls and front window. The décor is kitschy and chaotic but in a way that’s actually very comforting. It almost felt like being back in my grandmother’s kitchen complete with plastic red and white plaid placemats, cow shaped milk bottles on display and even plates hung on the walls.
It was a drizzly, wet Saturday morning when my breakfast date and I went in search of the diner. Upon arriving our senses were awakened by a bombardment of savory scents of eggs frying and bacon sizzling on the grill. People chatted as they waited or enjoyed their food and no one seemed too worried about anything but they moment they were in. The diner offers an unpretentious setting that easily foreshadows some pretty good food. For my first meal at Le Gros Jambon, I had the eggs benedict, a meal for which they seem to be pretty famous.
It was a delicious, well-portioned meal with what might have been the best hash browns I have ever tasted in my life. As far as the service goes, it was a little slow but very friendly. In fact, the pace of the entire experience lead me to enjoy myself even more. We don’t always have to be in a hurry to eat and run, especially on the weekend. I’m not one for the mega chain breakfast places that feel like machines more than morning stops. I like the little imperfections, the crazy decor and the lack of stiff uniforms that places like this little diner offer.
If there’s one place that will get me out of bed and out of my apartment early on the weekend it’s le Gros Jambon and I’ll be back soon.