A Montreal institution.
There is nothing which makes my heart sing as much as trying a Montreal institution for breakfast. But when that institution has a 90-year-old character running it, who you can study as you eat, then I am truly in heaven.
|Just before the Sunday rush.|
Beauty himself, Hymie Sckolnick, was taking charge with a firm hand on Sunday when we visited. He seemed like a man who doesn't take any nonsense, so it was with some nervousness that I asked if I could take his picture. He told me he was 27 when I asked his age. Further investigation revealed he is 90 and yes, that is his picture as a young man on the menu and postcards. (We had guessed it was his father).
|Hymie Sckolnick alias Beauty in 1942.|
The diner at the corner of St Urbain and Mont-Royal began life as a stationery store in 1891 until Hymie and his wife Freda took it over in 1942, serving food to garment workers from nearby factories. The name Beauty's comes from Hymie's bowling nickname and also lends itself to items on the menu, including the Beauty's Basic (two eggs, bacon or ham or sausages, home fries and bagel) and the Beauty's Special (Cream cheese, smoked salmon, tomato and onion on bagel).
|Hymie today aged 90.|
I had the Mac 'n' cheese which sounds so much cooler than macaroni cheese, which in fact it is. Seems a strange choice for breakfast but it was good and cheesy. My friend had the basic with a side of smoked salmon. Next time I'm definitely going to investigate the milkshakes which include Beauty's Bleu and Beauty's Rouge.
|My Mac 'n ' Cheese.|
By some fluke my first visit to this diner on the corner of St Urbain and Mont-Royal was at an uncharacteristically early hour for me - around 10.45am (it was Sunday) and we were seated straight away. But as we left we had to struggle past a huge queue (line-up) made up of older ladies and Plateau scenesters.
|Hungry hipsters line-up for Beauty's.|
Next time I'm also tempted by the Retro t-shirts on sale, not to mention the potato latkes and blintzes with fruit and sour cream. Beauty's has the leather booths, the bagels, the gallery of famous visitors but this time the Retro styling is real. This place has history.
|T-shirts for sale.|
Another Montreal institution - La Banquise poutinerie.
Next breakfasty post will be the Royal Wedding Breakfast at the Burgundy Lion Pub, 5.30am Friday.