Here in the West, the weekend daytime meal tends to consist of a reinvigorating brunch meant to see you through the day. As a Middle Eastern by origin, I am more used to an all-out eating frenzy with extended family members followed by an unproductive afternoon – ahem, food coma.
With the intent to acquaint my kids with this ritual (trial by fire!), three families converged over at Concordia area Lebanese eatery Garage Beirut on this showery Sunday for a celebratory brunch.
The incredibly tiny interior may not be the best gathering spot for a twelve-person party including six children, but we knew we would have (most of) the room for ourselves at eleven AM – the local Arab/student community flocks in much later.
Still a minimalistic, generally nondescript space as far as décor goes, we did discern a couple updates over the Garage's six-year life span; a black and white theme with metallic tables have made way for warmer tones along with wooden tabletops.
The menu sticks close to the traditional mezze/grilled meat format Lebanese restaurants are known for, while adding a selection of homey, brunch-friendly specialties revolving around legumes and/or yogurt.
Plates are perfect for sharing and seem to have gone up in price over the years. While nothing we sampled was technically immaculate, dips were scooped clean with pita, fattehs provided that luscious/crunchy bite, while the fattoush salad added freshness to the affair.
"fresh vegetables, olive oil, pomegranate molasses & fried pita"
"assortment of hummus, baba ghanoush, muhammara & labneh"
"chickpeas, yogurt-tahini sauce, pita bread, roasted nuts & pomegranate seeds"
"chickpeas & lamb, yogurt-tahini sauce, pita, roasted nuts & pomegranate seeds"
tagged: GOOD FOR SHARING
Large groups can be a handful; not to mention the youngsters have a habit of restlessness when hungry. Fortunately both waitress and kitchen were perfectly capable of keeping up with our initial and (many) repeat orders.
Garage Beirut strikes a delicate balance between a casual shawarma joint and an upscale Middle Eastern destination; dishing out food worthy of the latter in a setting reminiscent of the former.
If you end up here for brunch, be prepared for a tasty, very garlicky meal full of beans and carbs. And do make sure your afternoon is clear for the guaranteed ensuing lethargy; you'll want to avoid human contact with that garlic breath anyway!
Price per person: $22.13
Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys who like to eat and drink. We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.