Toi Moi & Café (“You, me and coffee” for those who don’t speak French) is a micro-roaster with its own café, located conveniently just around the corner from my friend Adam’s apartment, where I was staying in Montreal. It’s the last of the Coffee Spots from the visit I made to Montréal back in March and rounds off an excellent visit. I came to Montréal with no expectations and left having found a wonderful coffee scene, with a wide variety of places.
Toi Moi & Café doesn’t fit the bill of the third-wave coffee shop: as well as serving coffee, which it roasts itself, it’s also an excellent breakfast, lunch and dinner spot in a residential part of Montréal. And it has lots of cake. In short, it does pretty much everything, and, being around the corner from Adam’s, I found myself a fairly regular visitor, heading there for both breakfast and lunch, as well as coffee and cake!
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Toi Moi & Café is laid out more like a restaurant than café. Other than some padded benches and a few bar chairs at the counter, it’s laid out with free-standing tables and chairs, the best ones being by the windows at the front. It’s a big place and the three times I was there, it was busy but never full, so you could find a quiet spot if you wanted to.
The breakfast menu is typical North American diner fare, with pancakes, eggs and French Toast, while lunch is much more (what I would call) café fare. On my second day in Montréal I was there twice, the first time for breakfast. I had Eggs Florentine which came with sautéd potatoes, (real) baked beans (in their own little pot) and lots of fresh fruit. I enjoyed it although I wouldn’t describe it as outstanding. I returned for lunch; an excellent vegetarian panini, served with a massive salad. It’s not often that I remark on my food’s scent, but I have to say that my lunch smelled superb!
Toi Moi & Café also has large and tempting array of cakes. I allowed myself a cinnamon bun on my first visit (it would have been rude not too) but after that restrained myself. The bun was lovely; not too sticky or sweet, which can often be a problem with cinnamon buns in North America. This one, however, was perfect.
Then there is the coffee. Being a micro-roaster, there’s plenty of choice and, naturally, you can buy all the beans to take home with you. Along with usual range of espresso-based drinks, there’s filter coffee and a cafetiere option (interestingly, in contrast to Résonance, this was “Press à Café” in Canadian French; nice to see that no-one, anywhere in the world, can agree on what to call the thing!) with a choice of beans. If coffee’s not your thing, there’s tea, flavoured coffee, coffee (latte) with syrup and fortified coffee. And if you don’t like hot drinks, you can have a smoothie or fruit juice, as well as your choice from a fully-stocked bar.
On the whole, I preferred Toi Moi & Café’s cafetiere coffee to its espresso drinks. On my first visit, I came specifically for the coffee and tried the Yemen coffee beans as a cafetiere. Although it was served with milk on the side, I didn’t need it, which is always a sign that I’m enjoying the coffee. I also had an espresso to go with my cinnamon bun. It was lovely and short, although a little too fruity for my taste.
On my second day, I deliberately rang the changes, but wish that I’d stuck with the cafetiere! I ordered a standard (filter) coffee with my breakfast and the best thing I can say about it was that the mug was nice. For lunch I had a cappuccino, but was not impressed.
At the end of the day, Toi Moi & Café is a good diner/restaurant/café without really excelling at any of them. I’m not sure I would recommend venturing out from the centre just to visit it, but if you’re in the area, it’s a solid option for breakfast, lunch, coffee & cake and (although I didn’t try it) I suspect dinner as well.
|2695 NOTRE-DAME OUEST • MONTRÉAL • H3J 1N9 • CANADA|
|www.toimoicafe.com||+1 514 788 9599|
|Monday||07:00 – 23:00||Seating||Tables, Bar, Benches|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 23:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Cake|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 23:00||Service||Table (pay at counter)|
|Thursday||07:00 – 23:00||Cards||Visa, Mastercard ($5 minimum)|
|Friday||07:00 – 23:00||Wifi||Free|
|Saturday||08:00 – 23:00||Power||Limited|
|Sunday||08:00 – 23:00||Mobile||N/A|
|Chain||Local||Visits||12, 13th March 2013|
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