#coffee #Montréal #mamie-clafoutis
It was yet another summer 2017 day when my weather app says it’s sunny and humid and on my way to my car I feel light rain dropping and nary a feeling of sticky humidity anywhere. My windshield had a few drops on it but the wipers were far from needing to be used. It’s days like these when going somewhere with no outdoor seating for a sandwich lunch makes sense. And what better place to go to than Mamie Clafoutis on Van Horne Avenue, in Montreal’s second most affluent district of Outremont, right at the northeastern tip of Mount Royal.
Street parking is free on Sundays on Van Horne because all the shops seem to be closed. The only other place open near the café is a Starbucks. And we know I’m still on a ban awaiting an explanation of why they tell me they have cold Frappé when in fact that’s not what their product is. And all those barristas trying to correct my knowledge of coffee doesn’t help the situation. Anyway, back on topic, I parked and entered Mamie Clafoutis.
I had mentally prepared myself for a 20 -minute wait to be served. I also knew I had to go to the top floor to see if I could get a seat. All bets were on on the seat. Only 2 tables were taken. I ask the guy tidying up the place what time they close. He told me of their extended hours of 7.30 PM. I guess it’s a holiday weekend and people are at the cottage. At least for the store’s sake. Even so, that still left me expecting a lower standard than the excellent one I’d had in years past when I came here at least 2 times a month.
I came back down to the main floor on the screechy wooden steps. I love the sound of oldness. I was glad they hadn’t fixed the narrow stairs. It gave me comfort. I didn’t need to grab a number. I was next after the woman ahead of me. The staff was smaller. The choice narrower. I asked for something with smoked salmon. I got a very lethargic sandwich. I later noticed it had 2 thin pieces of smoked salmon in it.
The croissant selection was not bad. I took the cheddar croissant. The young man with the Parisian accent was friendly, yet forgetting to ask me if I wanted to heat either item was unacceptable. These 2 items along with my double espresso long came out to $17. Ouch. For a self-serve take-a-number place, this is a bit pricey. But we can never complain about price until the product is sampled.
I sat on one of these chairs next to the piano. I had to eat the sandwich quickly before the coffee got cold. The coffee reeked of mediocrity, seemingly watered down. And being in an inappropriate cup didn’t help.
3 years ago, this was the best coffee in town. When you have a French café, you need to pride yourself on this. The lack of flavour and the faulty presentation made this my worst cup of coffee in over a year. And I’ve had bad ones. But this was worse than all-yiu-can-drink breakfast coffee in rural New York State. And that’s saying something. Tim Hortons is better, and that’s saying a whole lot. The croissant was dry and subpar.
This was the gray scenery I have loved. And to their credit, the café has actually added air conditioning. Also on a positive note7, the comfy living room-like setting hasn’t changed.
Overall, a bitter disappointment that will never have me come back.
But I still recommend the bread and pastries. Even if the latter have deteriorated a bit, they are still some of the best.
Atmosphere : 7/10
Avoid unless you’re held at gunpoint, but get some of the breads and pastries for takeout.