Stoolies in Ste Anne de Bellevue is more than a breakfast joint
My daughter and I walked into Stoolies Coffee House on a Friday evening, while “Singalong” was in full swing. A small group of musicians were playing some well-known tunes on a variety of string instruments, and we sat down and joined in. Stoolies is one of those rare establishments that manages to make you feel immediately at home and welcome. The coffee house has a simple decor, with local artist work on the walls, soft lighting and comfortable seating.
Owner and manager Sonia Cho’s friendly personality, professional attention and quirky sense of humour provide the finishing touches towards helping you feel like you’ve discovered a new favourite hangout. She had my normally-shy teenaged daughter giggling and smiling, which is no small feat. She brought us our drinks, an artisanal Kombucha ($5.75) and a St-Anne’s Iced Tea cocktail ($12.75), which we sipped while making our menu choices and singing a few more songs (Beers, shots and wine by the glass are all priced at $5).
The menu is simple, yet varied enough in its options that it will satisfy meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. There are breakfast items, which are very reasonably priced, from $3.95 for a breakfast sandwich with egg, cheese and bacon, to pancakes and French toast at $6.95, and omelets at $7.95. Breakfast includes coffee and is served until 3pm. Lunch and dinner items are also reasonably priced, the most expensive of which is the $12.95 rib-eye steak. There are also daily specials, which probably allow Chef and owner Stephen Howard to further demonstrate his expertise and creativity.
I ordered the salmon burger with half-sides of Caesar salad and potatoes($8.50), and my daughter ordered the pasta with fresh Chef’s sauce ($8.95). The pasta dish was a fair-sized portion of tortellini, served with grilled vegetables, perfectly cooked and nicely seasoned. My daughter allowed me to taste one of her tortellini, and then proceeded to clean her plate. She then started picking salad and potatoes off of my dish, which was fine, since the portions were generous. The salmon burger was served on a Joe Beef bagel-bun, with an unusually refreshing cranberry, apple and lemon sauce, so good that of I wished there had been more. The accompanying potatoes tasted so much better than the typical side of fries, they were crispy and moist and not too salty.
Once our main dishes were done, Sonia was back to offer us dessert, and we ordered one each of the homemade lemon loaf and banana bread ($5.95 each) with tea.
If I could only to use two qualifiers to describe the food at Stoolies I would say fresh and reasonably-priced : two more reasons, on top of the cozy welcoming atmosphere, to want to come back for more.
You will certainly find me at Stoolies one summer morning, having breakfast on the soon-to-be-expanded terrace, enjoying the view on the canal. Opening hours will also be extended once spring arrives with the possibility of outdoor eating. Not only does Stoolies offer catering for your special events, but you can also reserve the whole restaurant for a special occasion as well.
Stoolies Coffee House
St-Anne de Bellevue
514 505 1561
8am – 3pm Monday -Thursday
8am – 8pm Friday – Saturday
9am – 3pm Sunday
By: Anne McDougall – mtltimes.ca
Feature photo: Stoolies tortellini (All photos by Anne McDougall)