“How many? Three? Ok. Hold on. Won’t be long.”
It’s 2014, but could well have been 1942.
Mr. Sckolnick, with a few extra grey hairs, still reigns over the room.
The room, divided between old-school blue banquettes and white counter tops, seems to have been frozen in time.
What started over a decade ago as a humble lunch counter in a stationary shop now stands as one of Montreal’s food institutions. Rumor has it that back in the days, regulars craved Beauty’s lunches so much that they’d come have it as a late breakfast on the Lord’s day. Sounds like a familiar ritual? Yup – apparently, that’s how Montreal brunch was born.
The food here inspires all the comfort you’d expect from a neighborhood diner. What you read on the menu is what you get. D’s Santorini omelet was described as a mix of feta cheese, grilled red peppers, spinach and red onion. It came exactly as it was described, on a white plate, as if straight from Ms Sckolnick’s cooking pan.
It’s the little twists that make Beauty’s so addictive. The potatoes, for instance, coarsely chopped and even slightly burnt on some edges, are definitely nothing fancy. Their texture however, smooth and almost creamy, is in such contrast with the crunchiness of their crust that you won’t realize you’re done with your fair share of potatoes until your guest shoos you off their own plate.
And what about the cream cheese? It’s whipped! Airy but still with a good consistency, it’s a pleasure to spread and eat.
Finally, the Beauty’s experience is not complete without trying one of their famous milkshakes. Cookies ‘n’ cream is one of their bestsellers, and for good reason. I was thrilled by their silky, soft shake. Thick, but not so much that it clutters the straw, Beauty’s milkshake was rich enough to satisfy my morning craving without knocking me out for the rest of the day. Not too sugary, but oh so sumptuous.
All in all, Beauty’s is not your Maison Boulud experience, nor is it your dirt-cheap hangover spot. It’s where you go to imbue yourself with a piece of Montreal’s history and applaud the hard work of an institution that has remained true to itself throughout the years.
93 Avenue Mont Royal Ouest, Montreal, QC H2T 2S5
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Last picture courtesy of beautys.ca