Going to a restaurant for brunch can be very predictable. Usually the menus are long with varying combinations on toast, eggs, fruit and meats. However, every so often a brunch place throws you off those monotonous tracks and gets you really excited.
Byblos, Le petit Cafe (the small cafe), is one of those unique brunches that will linger on your mind for a while. It is a Persian brunch spot located in Montreal, QC on Laurier and Fabre. A bit out of the way from the downtown area but well worth the trip to experience a breakfast that is delicious and hard to come by.
The restaurant often has a line on weekends after around 10 but the wait is well worth it and in the summer there is a small farmers market on the south-east corner of the street, with fresh and vibrant veggies, to occupy your time. The decor of the restaurant is set to feel like your sitting in someones home, with books scattered throughout and large windows to let the sun in and allow for ample people watching.
Now for the best part, the food! The menu is long and interesting with many historical pieces about Persian culture and food. One of the most popular breakfast options are the eggs of choice, sweet breads and homemade jams or preserves.
The sweet breads are unique to North America consisting of a dense bread with sesame seeds and a slight sweetness, a typical pita bread and a fluffy layered poppy seed bread. All are delicious and the variety is nice. To accompany the breads are homemade preserves. Flavours vary but stick close to the Middle Eastern theme some examples include orange blossom, pineapple-ginger, pistachio and many more. The preserves are each amazing and encourage multiple visits to vary ones choice.
The star of this breakfast are the eggs. Byblos prepares three variations including a sweet, date omelette that tastes like honey, a salty, savoury feta omelette and lastly the unique oriental omelette with flour, sugar, rose petals, cardamon, milk and nuts. All the options are delicious with very different flavours but all very unique from your typical brunch eggs. The “omelettes” are more like scrambled eggs that are spread out onto an oval plate with a runny, creamy texture. The feta, my favourite, is heavy on the feta and salty with the perfect herb topping of dill to cut the saltiness. The eggs have a savoury flavour that works well along side the sweet breads. The date variety is filled with crushed dates and tastes like honey with a hint of the savoury eggs to balance the sweetness. Lastly the Oriental omelette is beautiful with the colours of the rose petals! The eggs have a distinctly Middle Eastern flavour with the floral aspects of the rose and cardamon shining through, playing well off the nuts rich flavour. I would encourage you to go with multiple people as the dishes are filling, it helps to share and it allows for more options to get tried.
I would be remissed if I didn’t mention the tea and coffee. The coffee is more liken to Middle Eastern coffee being thicker and more intense then regular drip coffee. I however go for the tea, a Iranian brew served with rock sugar in beautiful antique tea pots from Iran. The tea is perfect to help one relax being warm, rich and having just a hint of floral flavouring. I could drink this tea and read a book for hours by one of the lovely windows in the place. I would highly recommend this place to anyone in or around Montreal. I promise it is a brunch you will find hard to forget!
Address: 1499 Avenue Laurier Est, Montreal, QC H2J 1H8, Canada