9 Stars. November 10, 2007.
SEINE RIVER CAFE. 390 Provencher Blvd
All Day Breakfast $5.69 + tax coffee $1.79
We went to the Seine River Café, admittedly because Cora’s was too busy this week. We had plans to come to the Seine anyways; It came highly recommended by fellow breakfaster Chantal (who provides the omelette review this week).
We endured a tight fifteen minute wait in the crowded doorway. The hostess kept a neat record of who came in with how many people and we were seated in a fair manner after a while.
Our server was actually the owner and she was cheery and extremely efficient. Though it was impossibly busy, our food came quickly, our coffees were refilled more times than I could handle and our (Jif) peanut butter was replenished for fear that we may run out. Unprecedented.
The breakfast special came with several options: firstly you can substitute three pancakes for the toast and hash browns. Secondly, you can substitute fresh fruit for the meat (for a slight extra charge), but best of all is the choice of pan fries or shredded potatoes. Sometimes these kinds of options are implicit in diners (like The Nook), sometimes not. It was nice to be told about them up front.
Everybody’s food was fantastic. Leif had the pan fries and I had the shredded potatoes. They were both great but Leif said his could have been a little crispier. Details, details…
The eggs were standard, but on the good side of standard. The rye toast came in big slices, the three pieces of bacon were succulent, but the coffee was… Unfortunate. So unfortunate that it warranting a guest coffee review today.
Niceties – Our server offered hot sauce, which turned out to be the much-lauded Frank’s, which complemented the potatoes wonderfully. There was also an impressive jam/peanut butter corral the likes of which are rarely seen outside of cafeterias (where they usually charge you extra per pack). These are the things that make a good breakfast great.
The café itself was aesthetically pleasing, but a little cramped. There was art on the walls which was regarded as ‘standard diner fare,’ but I enjoyed them.
Given the popularity of breakfasts in St. Boniface we decided that St. B. stands for St. Breakfast. My new mission is to find the patron Saint of Breakfasts. If anybody can help me with this, it would be a big help.
[It has now been found that St. Drogo is a patron saint of Coffee House Keepers. This might be as close as we get. There are no Breakfast saints as far as we can see but St. Martha takes care of food servers. Is that close enough?]
The food is so excellent that it warrants a lengthy wait on busy mornings, but it’s well worth it.
Special Guest Reviews!
Coffee, by Sathya Dhara Kovac
To me, coffee is a crucial component of any breakfast. I honestly feel that it can greatly enhance or destroy the experience. I appreciated that the coffee was hot, served in a timely manner and that there were free refills (at $1.79 there should be). However, I was unimpressed with the overall flavour and aroma and felt it was lacking some essence of what I desire in a good cup of Joe. This was more of a ‘cup of no’. No zip, no caffeinated party in my mouth, and no hitting of the spot (the good morning spot if you will).
I completely concur with Leif’s original statement; this coffee did not do its magic job, and I too desired an espresso in lieu of the letdown.
Omelette by Chantal Guénette
The omelette was great. 3 eggs, ham, mushrooms & cheese. The omelette on the menu was for mushrooms, bacon & cheese but they allowed me to substitute the bacon for ham, no problem. It came with your choice of toast & hash browns or a side of pancakes. I went with the toast & hash browns (I chose rye & shredded). It came really quickly and she served the women first (heh heh heh). The best part for me was when she asked if we wanted hot sauce. Booya! Sold! All in all it was great, no complaints.