If you're reading this, you probably love brunch as much as I do — which means you know that, as great as it is to revisit Montreal's classic brunch spots weekend after weekend, sometimes you want to shake up your routine. That's where Barranco, a new Peruvian brunch spot in the Plateau–Mont-Royal, comes in.
Barranco just launched its brunch service on September 17 and, as the brunch lover I am, I was there two days later to try it. Between the $30 bottomless mimosa option, the good vibes and the Montreal-meets-Peru concept, anyone looking for something unique and delicious should add this place to their weekend brunch roster.
The real Barranco is a neighbourhood in the heart of Peru's capital Lima, which Barranco MTL owner Fidel M. Vasquez described as "romantic and urban, very artistic." But Montreal's Barranco is in the heart of the Plateau on Rue Saint-Denis, across from Clébard.
"I'm in the [restaurant] industry for about 10 years now and I come from Cusco, Peru," Vasquez told me. "It's always been my dream to open a restaurant here in Montreal [so] that I can show you guys a bit more about our culture."
We were struck by the cool atmosphere that effortlessly blends two different worlds: Montreal and Peru.
On one wall, you'll find a mural that transports you straight to the streets of Peru with palm trees and colourful houses. On the other wall, you'll find mixed media collage-style art that's common on the streets of Montreal.
The menu was created as a collaboration between Passé Composé's Arnaud Glay and Barranco's chefs Daniel Silva and Michelangelo Miceli. Like the decor, puts a Montreal twist on Peruvian favourites. My friend got a Peruvian take on a bagel lox and cream cheese: a St-Viateur bagel with trout gravlax, cilantro sauce, red onions, radishes, jalapeño yogurt, cilantro sprouts, corn and jalapeño salsa. He loved it.
I had the Ceviche de Hongos, a mix of mushrooms, sour marinade, chives, red onion, corn, crunchy corn, quinoa, and coriander seeds. It was a perfect excuse to eat ceviche for breakfast — something I haven't done since I visited Peru several years ago and it brought back yummy, fresh, citrusy, seafood memories.
I opted for a house passionfruit (maracuya) juice instead of the $30 bottomless mimosas that day. My juice was delightfully refreshing and beautiful to look at. That said, the bottomless mimosas are a fun option and it looked like the party atmosphere was starting picking up the pace when we headed out, as a DJ spun happy beats and old-school retro music.
If you're looking for a tasty new brunch spot that'll make you feel like you have one foot in Canada and the other in South America, then I definitely recommend checking out Barranco, whether for brunch or for dinner. The restaurant is open for brunch on weekends from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and for dinner Monday through Sunday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Cuisine: Peruvian meets Montreal
Address: 4552, rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, QC
Why You Need To Go: From the $30 bottomless mimosa option to the Montreal-meets-Peru concept, Barranco is a unique and delicious new brunch spot that should be added to any Montreal brunch lover's brunch bucket list.
Address: 150, ave. Mont-Royal E., Montreal, QC (Plateau)
Why You Need To Go: They're famous for their watermelon and pineapple bowls but have a big menu full of fun and delicious Hawaiian-themed treats. We can't wait to try the Strawberry Shortcake Sundae and birthday cake ice cream, which uses actual chunks of birthday cake.
Address: 1274, boul. de Maisonneuve E., Montreal, QC (Ville Marie)
Why You Need To Go: Some of the most refined and elegant soft-serve twists you can find, Sachère always keeps balanced flavour profiles in mind. Think toasted pistachio & sour cherry, Matcha & dark chocolate, and olive oil & grapefruit mint.
Tatted-up Quebecers know that when it comes to new ink, the hardest question to answer is, "What should I get next?" With Montreal tattoo artists' waitlists overflowing due to COVID-19 delays, we know you want to book your post-lockdown tat ASAP. We're here to help.
Since tattoos are a reflection of your personality, why not use your pandemic personality to guide the tat that will commemorate this experience? Researcher Dr. Mimi E. Lam from the University of Bergen in Norway recently identified 16 'COVID-19 personality types' to explain how we've all dealt with the virus in our own unique ways — we took 'em and ran with 'em as inspiration.
If you're a COVID-19 denier, you probably downplay the threat of the coronavirus and refuse to follow public health guidelines.
We suggest something like this reptilian monster from Saving Grace Tattoo in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, since you might also believe our public health officials worship the reptilian elite.
If you identify as a COVID-19 harmer, you might try to weaponize COVID-19 and put others in harm's way, likely through unsanitary measures like coughing or sneezing on them.
If you're a harmer, get something like this skeleton casually holding coffee from Imago Tattoo Studio in the Plateau, since the threat of death doesn't scare you.
If you're a rebel, you're probably not following Quebec's COVID-19 rules. You might've even received a few $1,500 fines for breaking curfew. If you are following the rules, you're yearning for the day you can do something rebellious again.
Get inked with something like this cup of Lean from Thermal Ink Tattoo in the Plateau to solidify your commitment to partying.
Invincibles are those friends you have who continue to rent Airbnbs in Saint-Sauveur despite calls from public health officials heavily discouraging interregional travel.
If you think you're an Invincible, go ahead and get tattooed with something like this little Pierrot from Flaming Tattoo Club in Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve since you've likely been calling our elected officials "clowns" all day and night.
Blamers transfer blame for their fears about the coronavirus to others, projecting pandemic issues onto health care workers and certain racial groups.
Blamers should get a tattoo like an angry lemon from Coop Crève-Cœur in the Gay Village, a testament to their perpetually sour disposition.
Spreaders just want things to go back to normal and believe in COVID-19 "herd immunity." (Super) spreaders make up those in your life who see as many people as possible despite lockdown.
Spreaders should get this tattoo by Frédérique Poulin-Thomas from Repère aux Loups in the Plateau — we think it's fairly self-explanatory.
Realists recognize the effects and risks of COVID-19 and the reality of the pandemic, adjusting their behaviour appropriately. Basically your average Joe.
If you like classic tattoo themes, as realists would, you should book a floral arrangement from Sarah Laub at Adrenaline in the downtown core of Montreal.
Exploiters are a minor group of people who exploit the pandemic for power or inhumanity.
We suggest a bloody and rotting tooth like this one from Nicolas Durand at Semelius Tattoo in Mile-End.
If you're a worrier, you're constantly consuming COVID-19 news and need to know the latest updates so you can share them with your friends.
Worriers should get something like this cute ouija planchette by Carolanne at Black Rose Tattoo in the Plateau — it may be able to give you an indication as to when the pandemic will be over.
Contemplators are thriving in our era of self-isolation, having just been given a prime excuse to stay indoors while contemplating their lives and the state of the world.
Contemplators should get tatted with something like this Bojack Horseman number from Flaming Tattoo Club in Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve since they may feel Bojack's existential plight all too well.
If you jetted to Costco at the start of the pandemic to clear out every toilet paper roll in stock to keep your anxiety at bay, this one's for you.
Consider this grapefruit by Mathieu at MTL Tattoo in the Plateau to remind yourself of how much extra "emergency" grocery ended up rotting in your fridge.
If you're a supporter, you've probably clapped for a frontline health worker or made a "ça va bien aller" rainbow for your window at the start of the pandemic.
You should get inked with something like this little pug by Clément Sicot from Desolé Maman Studio in Mile-End since it will bring smiles to those who see it — just as you aim to do.
Innovators are entrepreneurs and hard workers who have put their skills to use by creating new systems, masks, vaccines and hospital equipment in record time during the pandemic.
If you're a creative innovator, you should get something like this lovely little sun piece from Chloe Luna Solis at Coop Crève-Cœur in the Village to represent your efforts to help Quebecers see brighter days post-COVID-19.
Altruists have been supporting the elderly in CHSLDs, as well as doing what they can to support the homeless and those in need throughout the pandemic. If this is you, we salute you!
Altruists should get this emotional support ghost duo from Violette Violence at Les Chochottes in Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve to represent all the good work they've done to provide support during the pandemic.
The veteran crew is made up of those of us who are old enough to remember H1N1, the OG SARS outbreak and the Ebola virus disease, and consider COVID-19 just another opportunity to avoid people altogether.
Veterans can get dainty script from Atelier Olibrius in Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie since they've likely gone through a self-love journey and enjoyed their alone time during the pandemic.
Warriors have been indispensable to the general public throughout the year-long pandemic and make up our frontline health care workers, doctors, nurses and essential workers.
Big ups to all the warriors! You should get something like this mythological Libra warrior from Melle Alyx at Meme Pas Mal MTL in the Plateau as your post-pandemic piece — a testament to how hard you worked despite the uncertainty caused by COVID-19.
In true Montreal style, the teams behind our favourite spots wanted to give their thanks from the bottom of their hearts to the communities that supported them through their journeys.
Some even let us know that perhaps this is more of a "see you soon" than a "goodbye".
In either case, we're sad to see them go, but we'll always have the beautiful memories.
Address: 1844, rue Atateken, Montreal, QC
Cuisine: Haitian, Caribbean
One of Montreal's favourite spots for authentic Haitian cuisine took to Instagram to announce that they will be closing up shop for the "foreseeable future."
"This isn't a goodbye so much as a 'see you soon,' and we want to take the opportunity to thank you."
La Récolte Espace Local
Address: 764, rue Bélanger, Montreal, QC
Initially closing for just the summer season, the restaurant announced on November 20 that the situation had forced the seven-year-old operation to say goodbye.
"It is with pride that we withdraw and want to thank you once again for your presence and support over the past few years. Looking forward to seeing each other soon!"
La Pizzaiolle Plateau's "AUTHENTIQUE DÎNER de 1952"
Address: 4801, rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, QC
After 28 amazing years, the 1950s-diner-turned-pizza-joint hung up its aprons at its Plateau location. Partly due to construction in the area, the pizza spot said that the pandemic definitely did not help them either. The diner is actually up for sale for anyone wanting to give the building its next adventure.
"Thank you for having participated in this wonderful adventure since 1992. We hope to see you in a future innovative restoration project."
Address: 3961, boul. Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC
The iconic Jewish steakhouse, which has seen the city through the Second World War, political distress and many a snowstorm in its 83-year run, said goodbye for now on its Facebook page back in July.
"We can't wait to see you again."
Address: 630, rue de Courcelle, Montreal, QC
Cuisine: Tacos, street food
If there are two things Montrealers love, it's food trucks and tacos. And Grumman'78 brought both. Found in Saint-Henri, the joint brought nourishment and happiness to passersby in its ten-year endeavour. The team said goodbye on its Facebook in mid-October.
"Finally, to our beloved staff, customers and suppliers, 'thank you' cannot convey the depth of our gratitude. Grumman, in all her glory, thrived thanks to your generosity and enthusiasm, your love and loyalty. We will miss you all."
Address: 4526, ave. Papineau, Montreal, QC
This cozy spot located in the Plateau was an absolute favourite in the neighbourhood. Initially closing its doors for the first wave in March, the team said farewell on Facebook back in June.
"It's with a heavy heart but filled with pride for what I've accomplished that I say thank you for your loyalty, your smiles and all those counter conversations! Looking forward to seeing each other on the street... or in a cafe."
Address: 1862, boul. de Maisonneuve, Montreal, QC
Many knew this spot as a staple after a night out near Concordia. After eight years, GaNaDaRa announced it was the end of its journey. But not to worry — Bar Ganadara up the street (1900, rue Sainte-Catherine O.) is continuing its legacy.
"Since September 2012, we have had much love and support, more than we could ever have, from so many people. We appreciate indescribably it and want to say a big THANK YOU TO ALL."
Address: 5145, rue Wellington, Verdun, QC
Over in Verdun, Su offered the island a taste of Turkish cuisine, done in a classy, yet homey feel that made you feel like you were on a culinary adventure, whether or not you were familiar with the dishes.
Montreal Chef Fisun Ecran made the official closure announcement on June 14 on Instagram and used the post to announce the new farm-to-table concept, bika.
"I'd love to thank to everyone we worked together over the years and to our clients. All was possible thanks to you!"