There’s only so much restaurants can make for breakfast. Eggs, meat, potatoes – typical. Benedicts – fancy. Pancakes, waffles, crepes – OK. But I’m not complaining. I love all that stuff. Some chefs get creative, building on the fundamentals, but that often comes at a price hike and portion reduction I’d rather save for an occasion when I can order as much as I want and have someone else take care of the bill. Most of the time, I want simple and honest food to start my day. Just season it well and cook it properly. That’s it. That’s all.
Apparently that’s a lot to ask for at Allô! Mon Coco, a cherished breakfast spot in Laval I can’t endorse.
I’ve only been once. Oh my God, I can hear you already – “You should give it (and every restaurant you review) a second chance before you come to a decision and go public.” As if. This isn’t the New York Times; it’s a blog about my experiences. Generally speaking, people take perfectly justifiable criticism about their favorite restaurants as a personal insult and go crazy on the defense, more so when they learn that it was constructed based on one visit. Yet no one – save for professional critics who can't even be bothered to read this and muggles who take themselves way too seriously – questions a glowing review for a restaurant he/she adores that was subjected to the same standards. What’s up with that?
Try to understand where I’m coming from. I’m just like you. If you have a less-than-average experience and food you can cook better at home, what are your chances of returning to that restaurant to spend your hard-earned money? Zero. Because first impressions count for a lot. It’s no different for me. You might say: “Yeah, but you should still go twice to give them the benefit of the doubt because your opinion can influence people’s decisions.” Having a better experience the second time around doesn’t change the fact that the first time went down the way that it did. If anything, it brings up a widespread problem: inconsistency in the kitchen. And please, I’m a nobody. But if my opinion holds any value, I’d like to think that you – my darling readers – know that my work is a reflection of my personal experiences, shaped by what appeals to my palate and situations I deem enjoyable. Everyone who eats has an opinion about food. Remember that each one is 100% subjective to the eater.
Having said that, breakfast at Allô! Mon Coco was so not worth the drive. It’s in the middle of nowhere, and when you step inside, it looks like the kind of place you’d find in the middle of nowhere – like a cabin in the woods minus animal heads mounted on the walls and people of color. Whatever. Not a problem.
I came for the food. That was the problem. I ordered the Logger ($11.00) – a massive plate filled with 3 eggs (any style), roast pork, bacon, beans, creton, potatoes, fruit, toast and coffee. For an additional $2.35, I asked that they make it rain cheddar (you can also get Swiss cheese) on my potatoes because I’m fat like that. I won’t bore you with the details. Basically, my food was bland and cold.
The Lac Saint-Jean ($11.00) features most of what the Logger entails and a blueberry pancake. I haven’t used words like awful and terrible since my early blogging days, but I don’t know how else to brand the pancake. Limp. Gummy. No taste. No thank you.
Like I said at the beginning, I’m totally down with simple and honest food. I prefer it, even. Just don’t screw it up. Season it well and cook it properly. That you did not, Allô! Mon Coco. Your big portions and very reasonable prices did nothing for me because your food lacked serious flavor.
See you (probably) never again.
N.B. Multiple Locations
Allô! Mon Coco
3924, blvd. Dagenais O., Laval | map