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Yes, the consensus is that brunch is one of the most hated courses among the majority of chefs. The thing is though, places that serve continental or Western style breakfasts have got it all wrong. Out with the boiled eggs, hash browns and sausages and in with grilled vegetables, feta eggs and healthy meat and veggie dips. Places like Byblos have managed to revitalize the way the meal is served and turned into one of my favorite spots to get some amazing late morning grub.
Once we saw Sarah Musgrave’s review in the Gazette about Honi Rose, we decided to give it a shot. It was a weekend afternoon and we didn’t have much to do. Obviously my reflex to counter boredom is to ask myself: “what can I eat today?”. Opting to try out something new, this restaurant seemed like it would be an interesting pick for the downtown area.
Having gone to school in NDG for over 13 years, I visited Vendome metro regularly. Whenever I was in the area, I made sure to have my wits about me – bordering NDG and lower Westmount, the area is arguably a little “sketchy”. I mostly came in and out of the metro and didn’t dally around too long – I didn’t have much business with the surrounding shops. This time though, a friend and I made a specific trip to this very area! He wanted to show me one of his favourite Middle-Eastern eateries in Montreal, and it happened to be located adjacent to the station. Always game to try new foods and restaurants, I accepted. Typical, right?
If you’re looking for an alternative to your routine breakfast/brunch joint, you’ve found it. Byblos is an Mediterranean influenced Iranian restaurant that is one of Montreal’s best kept secrets. Located on the eastern most section of Laurier street next to Le Fouvrac (an amazing gourmet food store) and across from Frite Alors, this area of the city is beautiful in the summertime as the street is lined with trees and storefront flower beds. Byblos has high ceilings that give the place a lofty, open air feeling and wall paper that brings to mind a meeker, more subdued Pollock painting. Traditional Iranian swords, tea pots, plates and furniture are artfully placed throughout the restaurant further enhancing the authentic feel of the place.