Even in the rain Old Montreal has the feeling of a secret Christmas wonderland. The winding cobblestone streets give way to fanciful shops, elegantly rustic restaurants and not so secret treasures like Olive Et Gourmando.
Honestly it's just a little coffee shop. A little coffee shop where everything is homemade by bakers who believe that turning flour and butter into a reason to get up in the morning is a noble task. That joy in every little bite should be savored and not rushed. That sweet ricotta on crispy baguette toast or a flaky chocolate croissant may just be the highest form of expression.
I settle in, surrounded by locals and bite into the cafe's signature breakfast sandwich labeled "in your face." With siracha, chorizo, and layered chilis, this deceptively simple sandwich screams my name while all around me gentle French sounds waft through the pastry-scented air. Though decidedly un-European (much of Montreal's cuisine and culture harkens back to it's French roots) this sandwich is delicious. So spicy you try to stop but so addictive you keep going. A perfect wake-up.
Olive Et Gourmando is exactly the kind of place everyone wishes were in her neighborhood. A charming spot for morning coffee and friends behind the counter.
My only complaint? O&G doesn't open until 9. Instead of a daily start it's a day's off treat.
Maybe that's the way real treasures should be.