The popularity of Fleury West Village has brought about quaint and hip restaurants, cafes, and specialty food stores that make the northwestern enclave of the north-central Montreal borough of Ahuntsic into a mostly sustainable and walkable community that is beginning to burgeon. On the down side, some properties, mostly commercial surrounding the village, have now been turned into hideous condos. This almost makes me want to not speak of this little 500 metres of modern commercial infrastructure, to out it blandly.
The first progressive establishment to open up in the village was Le St. Urbain Restaurant, on the higher end of the scale, serving nouveau French fusion cuisine. The owner decided to open up La Bete a Pain on the next street.
It’s name, translated as The Bread Beast, properly represents its great array of artisanal bread. My favourites are the sesame-poppy seed, gamut, country baguette, and the pumpkin seed breads. Take the time to ask its surprisingly bilingual staff what texture and ingredients each one has.
When you walk in you’ll be greeted with a choice of the sweet and savoury, such as the artisanal muffins and nut-filled croissants, as well as the salty, such as their fabulous date scones and plain croissants. There isn’t what you can call an abundant amount of choice, especially after 11 A.M., but there is an adequate amount.
If you leave you pay. If you wish to sit down in the adjoining room, you continue there to order your coffee or wait for table service.
Here’s a good description of a possible brunch experience. It’s also a great place to sit down and just enjoy your java and croissant. The coffee, while not a standout, is very good.
There is the drawback of problematic Wi-Fi reception. But I guess you shouldn’t be there on a weekend morning to write blog posts.
Overall, this is a nice cafe with the problem of being too diverse. This is why I try to avoid it at peak hours.