Jan 6, 2013

Is it Soup’herbe?

I had promised my family that we would go for our first Chelsea brunch of the year once I was done with shovelling. Its snows every day in Chelsea, it seems.

I had suggested the Chelsea Pub, feeling that the warm and cozy atmosphere would be great. We arrived at the Pub, but alas, despite two cars in the parking lot and music blasting on the outdoor sound system, the Pub was closed. Turns out, they do not open until 11 am. Bummer. We were not interested in waiting, and the staff inside was not interested in opening early.

So we hit the Old Chelsea road again, hoping another spot would be open. Thankfully, the Café Soup’Herbe just down the road was up and running.

A vegetarian restaurant, Café Soup’Herbe opened in 1996.  They are closed on Mondays, no doubt to recover from the Sunday Vegetarian Brunch, which they boast about proudly.

We walked into the restaurant, which has a rustic and cozy feel to it. The wall’s paint has seen better days, and the wooden chairs and tables added to the rustic feel. It was even more rustic than usual today – the front store dimmer was broken and therefore, all the tables at the front were lit only by Mother Nature. We decided to sit at the back, with lights, enabling us to notice as we walked through the establishment a series of painting from a local artist, exposed there for all to see – and buy.

We sat at a table at the back, and almost immediately the menus and a bottle of water was brought to the table, and beverage orders were taken.

There are half-dozen main choices, most of them served with home fries and a very fresh salad.

The Waffle Jr. wanted pancakes, Mrs. Waffle went for the Basil-Tomato scrambled Eggs, and I selected the Italian Frittata.

Surprise, the kitchen made a mistake – in our favour! Well, in fact, in the Waffle Jr.’s favour. She couldn’t believe her luck when she saw the adult-size stack of pancakes show up instead of the kids’ version. Our friendly waitress apologized with a smile.

A pile of pancakes. A ton of blueberry sauce.  A pile of fresh strawberries, bananas and pineapple chunks. A big scoop of whipped cream.

The pancakes were then garnished with powdered sugar and some Maple Syrup on the side.

The Waffle Jr. dove in, hands first.

Mel’s scrambled eggs were fine. Tomatoes are what they are at this time of the year. The use of fresh basil was however quite welcome.

Served with the scrambled eggs, a side of potatoes, a garden salad, a croissant with raspberry jam and some pieces of fruit as a garnish.

My Italian Frittata came with the exact same sides as Mel’s scrambled eggs.

The Frittata was overdone, unfortunately. Golden should be the color you are looking for when making one. And here, brown was the predominant color, especially underneath. The taste confirmed what the eyes saw – the Frittata was overdone. It was palatable, mind you, but there was this slight burnt undertone, killing the more subtle flavours one was suppose to detect. The mushrooms were the best part of the Frittata, very flavourful and great texture. But if the other veggies survived ok, the rest didn’t so well, and it was a little dry at times.

The accompanying salad was fresh and the home-made vinaigrette zesty and tasty. If the tomato slice on the side was what it is in January, the cucumbers were good. The potatoes were delicious. Likely blanched, then skillet-fried, they were cooked perfectly. A great combination of fluffiness and crispy edges, packed with herb flavours.   The croissant was fine, a nice change from the usual toasts you usually get in most places.

Mrs. Waffle and I finished our plates, then we moved in to help Jr., who was struggling a little to finish her adult-size pancakes.  They were thick, quite fluffy. The blueberry sauce was also thick, packed with the anti-oxydant blue wonder.

I must mention that when we ordered, we were asked if we wanted the brioche right away, or after the meal. It turns out, with every brunch main dish you order, you get a fresh brioche as an appetizer – or a dessert.  Fearing we would spoil Jr.’ s appetite, we asked for it to come at the end.

We were full and done, though, so we asked for the brioche to be packed to go, for us to enjoy later that day. Although it was tempting to go for it here and now, the warm cinnamon scent being what it is, we held on, packed it up and went on our way.

Café Soup'Herbe on Urbanspoon

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