Pain Perdu

Last Saturday we went with GC’s parents to Pain Perdu on St Clair Avenue West for a birthday brunch – yes, another birthday celebration for me. I promise this is the last post related to my birthday. And soon I will actually start talking about other peoople’s birthdays!

We have been to Pain Perdu countless times and it is a great spot. If you have not yet been after hearing me sing its praises, I suggest you go. It is a cute French-style bistro with baguettes, croissants and other French yums. We sat at a pair of tables right next to the window looking onto St. Clair so all my pictures are sun kissed.

I started off with a bowl of latte.

How much more European can you get than a bowl of milky, frothy latte? This could have a stronger espresso flavour but I’m used to lattes made by Italians. There is something so comforting about having to hug a bowl this big and keep it close to you with every sip. I would like to buy some coffee bowls for my house.

GC’s parents and I order Croque Monsieurs.

A croque monsieur is a French grilled cheese with ham and Gruyere or Emmental. I love croque monsieur and even more, croque madame (with an egg on top) but it can be tricky to find a good one. I have yet to find one in Toronto so if you know a place that can do this successfully, you will have to let me know. This was good, but not great. The problem is this sandwich is made early in the morning, and then is reheated when ordered. This sandwich is loaded with cheese but is not creamy, gooey or moist due to the reheating. The ham was flaky and there was a lot of it. The sandwich did have plenty of crunch to it though. I liked the little gherkins on the side. Their acidity cut the richness of all the cheese.

I would not order this sandwich again.  Next time I would stick to the quiches and the breads.

GC ordered a slice of quiche.

Every day they have approximately 6 different quiches you can buy slices, or halves from and you have the option to buy whole quiches as well. This is a slice of bacon and onion quiche. There is probably more to it then that but quiches are always simple – a few ingredients on a delicious egg base. The quiche is slightly expensive: per slice it is $6 which isn’t too bad but a whole quiche runs you upwards of $30. For a quiche loaded with expensive French cheese that would be a steal but for a quiche with simple, inexpensive ingredients you aren’t always getting your money’s worth. Make sure to get a quiche that would run you more to make at home then it would to buy at Pain Perdu.

GC also ordered a croissant. The croissants have become slightly smaller in the past few months, and the taste is slightly different, but they are still flaky, buttery and delicious. I haven’t tried a croissant in Toronto that I like more then this one, but my comparisons are limited to chains like Starbucks and Tim Hortons (blasphemy, obviously) and Frangipane Patisserie, which I haven’t been to in years. This is clearly needs to change.

When you visit Pain Perdu, stay for a light breakfast or take it to go and enjoy it in a neighbouring park. The options are endless but I would recommend a latte, a slice of quiche and a croissant.

Happy munching!