There’s nothing better than going out for brunch: the greasy diner joints, the steaming hot hash browns, the limitless coffee, and the gathering of friends and conversations after a night out. After waking up on Sunday morning in a hazy state of mind, the hearty meals and pleasurable ambiance of going for brunch is often just what you need to sustain you for the rest of your day. So then, where do you go?
Garrett Johnson and Desiree Gordon share this enthusiasm for brunch. They recently collaborated on a zine dedicated to helping you pick the perfect Montreal breakfast. Recently I had the pleasure to talk to Johnson and Gordon about their explorations of M00ontreal’s mouth-watering brunch restaurants and the process of creating a zine to share this passion with the rest of us.
The McGill Daily: Where does your love of food and restaurants come from?
Garrett Johnson: It comes from loving to eat. For me, it is the form of art I most relate to. I am not a painter or a writer; I’m more into cooking because of the colours and the textures. It is something I can do that is not pretentious and I don’t need to it back up any sort of artistic statement.
MD: What was behind your decision to put together this zine? Why breakfast?
GJ: We are both brunch cooks; this is what we do professionally. There’s something about brunch that is so social and exciting. It is very down-to-earth. There are a lot of places that serve brunch and so we decided we wanted to find out which one was the best.
MD: What is your criterion for a good breakfast place? How do you grade and compare the food?
GJ: You need to take everything into account. Yes, it’s going to be the standard eggs with home fries, but it’s more than just the meal. It the whole brunch experience. When you go there, are you relaxed? Is the price-ratio good? How is the service? A lot of the places we go to, you go and are waiting to be seated and once you’re seated it feels like they are just trying to push you out the door. I’m kind of an anxious person and very sensitive to feeling like I’m being pushed out the door.
Desiree Gordon: There is definitely a problem with that. A bunch of places are very cute and small, which is great because it’s all part of the atmosphere. The problem is that you’re pushed up against other people; no one pays attention to you. There is a common trend of people waiting in the door, watching you eat, just waiting to come in, which is also a little unsettling.
MD: So overall, so far, what’s the best priced, best quality breakfast place?
DG: I think Sparrow. The Sparrow (5322 St. Laurent) had amazing food. It was very rushed but the fact that everything is homemade makes it delicious. It’s an English gastro and they have a revolving menu, which is interesting. This is the kind of the stuff that they did right, which makes up for the fact that it was crowded.
MD: What are some of your goals for the blog?
GJ: We plan to continue this. There are four restaurants in each issue. That’s a month of brunch. It is something we enjoy and would like to continue. This isn’t our job; we are not making money off this.
DG: We’ve been relaxed about it. It’s something we are doing at our own pace because really, that’s what brunch is all about!
Gert & Dersy Do Brunch is due to be released on Valentine’s Day and will be distributed in a variety of cafés and restaurants in the Plateau.