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Icehouse:

Southern Hospitality

RESTAURANT COMFORT FOOD SOUTHERN THE MAIN CASUAL <$20

The Pitch

We've already blogged and tweeted extensively about how much we love Icehouse, easily our favorite casual eatery in town.  We also enjoyed chef/owner Nick Hodge's holiday brunch last year at Kitchenette, which he has since sold.  This year, Nick decided to move his (hopefully) annual tradition to Icehouse, serving Texas-style brunches on the two weekends preceding Christmas.

tagged:  BRUNCH

The Mood

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The weekend's severe ice storm seems to have deterred all but Nick Hodge's most ardent fans from showing up today, creating a quiet and cozy atmosphere.  From the Anglo patrons to the wait and kitchen staffs, you get a clear feeling that everyone here knew each other, adding some intimacy and chatter to the mood.

tagged:  ANGLO CROWD CHATTERBOX CORNER

The Food

Departing a little from last year's seven-course formula, the "à la carte" chalkboard menu featured a list of well-priced Southern staples as well as more intriguing options: breakfast burritos, tacos, huevos rancheros, migas, kolaches…

Bourbon Hard Lemonade thumbnail (click to enlarge)

$40

$40

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Bourbon Hard Lemonade

Of course no visit to Icehouse is complete without a pitcher of our favorite drink in town.  Brunch or not, we couldn't resist the temptation of a half bottle of Maker's Mark mixed in Icehouse's homemade lemonade.

Breakfast Burrito thumbnail (click to enlarge)

$10

$10

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Breakfast Burrito

Corn, black beans, onions, roasted poblano peppers and halved new potatoes all held together with a couple of scrambled eggs.  This burrito hits your mouth with multiple textures from the slightly crunchy onions or soft potatoes to the corn niblets popping in your mouth.  Besides, you always have a winner combining eggs with potatoes.

Migas thumbnail (click to enlarge)

$10

$10

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Migas

Scrambled eggs with sautéed onions and roasted poblanos, mixed into fried tortilla strips that gave a great crunch.  Pico de gallo sat on top and gave a fresh contrast against the mellow flavors from the other ingredients.

Smoked Brisket & Sweet Potato

$10

$10

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Smoked Brisket & Sweet Potato "Hash"

Cubes of roasted sweet potatoes sautéed with pieces of tender smoked brisket acted as a bed for a wonderfully fried sunny-side-up egg.  We really enjoyed the smokiness and the sweet potato crisps were a nice finish.

$10

$10

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"Jimmy Dean" Sausage on Biscuit

"orange cheese & gravy".  This was an upgrade on your everyday sausage biscuit.  A thick patty topped with scrambled eggs, a Kraft single, and drenched in a béchamel gravy.  The biscuit was not the best we'd had at Icehouse, but overall it was still delicious.

The Service

As is customary at Icehouse, the service was welcoming, friendly and warm.  Our only criticism today has to do with timing, as we received our entire order at once, meaning one or two dishes had to be consumed lukewarm.

The Verdict

At the risk of repeating ourselves, we cannot emphasize enough how tired we have grown of the city's brunch scene.  Today's experience, while not absolutely impeccable, was a definite break from the norm.  Where else can you savor something this comforting, edgy and packed with heat at midday?  What a great way to "melt the ice" and start the holiday season!

tagged:  SOLID

Price per person:  $15

Icehouse

51 Rue Roy Est
H2W 1L8
514-439-6691

Icehouse on Urbanspoon

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514eats

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.

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