During my rock and roll days, we had a rehearsal space on Hastings and Hawks. The only cool thing around in those days was the nightly karaoke at the Astoria. I mean, we knew a guy that we called "Stabby". Nowadays, the area is becoming cool thanks in large part to the duo of Les Amis du Fromage and Au Petit Chavignol. I have purchased many cheese from the friendly people at Les Amis but hadn't tried the restaurant until a beautiful Saturday brunch date with the lovely Sarah.
The restaurant is fairly small and always crowded. There is a large amount of bar seating and table seating for about 25 or so- or exactly 36 as I just finished reading on their website. They do take reservations which I would suggest, especially for brunch. I didn't make reservations so Sarah and I ended up sitting at the bar. Okay for us, as we both enjoyed talking to the cook at the meat cutter.
The brunch menu offers a really nice selection of cocktails, small plate meals, egg dishes, some sandwiches and a burger. Not surprisingly, all dishes seem to have a focus on cheese. You can order a cheese and meat plate as well.
Sarah went for a really fun twist on the traditional breakfast benny, the Croque Benny served with home fries.
What a fantastic idea. It looked great. Sarah said the eggs were poached well and she liked the sandwich underneath. The homefries were crispy and well seasoned. She felt this was a great brunch option. I am not a fan of poached eggs and runny yokes, so I took her word for this.
I have heard many a good thing about the cheese burger- Ground AAA beef chuck from Cioffi's, toasted Kaiser bun, secret sauce, pickle, frites. I went with a "Cave-aged Gruyere" for my cheese option.
Every good word about this burger is well deserved. It was moist, juicy and really fresh. The patty had great flavouring, a nice amount of salt. The secret sauce was tangy and light. I would have this burger over and over. It was damn good. The fries were my favorite style, crispy and not too thick. Good amount of salt on the fries as well.
Sarah twisted my rubber arm into dessert because she had heard great things about the cookies. Petit Chocolate Cookies $7 Dozen, served warm.
Served warm is right! They were obviously fresh baked from the oven. The chef brought them over to the table herself. I could have sat there and smelled the cookies all day, the aroma was heavenly. They were chocolaty and gooey-almost like a lava cookie- and cutely served in a paper bag. If I had not eaten a whole meal, I would have fought Sarah for the whole bag. I love her, but these cookies are worth a bit of a fisticuffs.
The service was friendly, the atmosphere festive and I really enjoyed my meal. My next visit will be for the dinner menu as it offers some fondues and raclette. Awesome.