Since arriving in Montreal, Beautys has always featured on my “must visit” list. Yes this is indeed a physical list, which grows by the day! I do realise this is a very fortunate quandary to be in, but I am embarrassed to say that because of the size of this list it has taken me 11 months to finally, today, sample the famous Beautys brunch.
Ah brunch, my favourite meal. That luxurious combination of breakfast and lunch that allows you to get away with eating two meals worth of delicious calories in one shot without even feeling guilty. It’s brunch, it’s allowed. Montreal is the perfect spot for a brunch lover like myself to reside, offering a multitude of brunch offerings to suit all tastes and budgets. Beautys however seems to always hold a special spot in Montrealers hearts and after visiting today I can see why. It’s a diner style restaurant on the corner of Mont Royal and St. Urbain.
The allure of Beautys, other than the food, I believe is in the story behind it. Beautys was first opened in 1942, some 74 years ago by Hymie Sckolnick and his wife Freda as the Bancroft Snack Bar. To the locals however it was always “Beautys”, which was Hymie’s bowling nickname and eventually the name stuck. Amazingly (especially in current economic times) 74 years later it is still owned and ran by the same family today. When I visited today there was unfortunately no sign of the famous owner Hymie, although I am reliably informed that he can still be found there greeting his diners on a regular basis, alongside his son and grandchildren. This is despite the fact that he will celebrate his 95th birthday later this year. I’m a sucker for a good story so Beautys and it’s family history really appealed to me. I was therefore delighted when on visiting today I wasn’t disappointed.
The food was unpretentious but delicious – I ordered the Beautys Basic a delightfully tasty mix of home fries, two eggs (I had mine over easy) and a bagel. There is also the option to have this with bacon/sausage/ham however being vegetarian I asked for the meat to be held off my plate. The very pleasant waitress kindly offered me tomato instead of the meat which I gladly accepted. I can’t fault it – it was exactly what it claimed to be and I devoured every mouthful (it’s okay, no guilt remember!)
The standard traditional brunch options are all on offer – eggs, pancakes, waffles, french toast, omelettes. There is a large lunch menu too, however I have to be honest I didn’t even look at that section as I had my heart set on their famous brunch which I had heard so much about. Though the lunch meals I saw coming out of the kitchen did look very appetising too. More modern takes on brunch, eggs benedict and the like were however absent from the menu but to me that was fine, Beautys is a traditional diner and in my opinion they wouldn’t really have fitted there.
Like the food there is nothing pretentious about Beautys itself. The decor is quaint, it is very much an old fashioned diner with lovely blue booths, a homely, relaxed atmosphere, and old family pictures on the walls. The perfect place for relaxing over nice food with family, or, as I did today, with good friends. After a very enjoyable visit today Beautys will now be added to another much more elusive list I keep – places to revisit and next time maybe I’ll be lucky enough to meet the man himself 🙂