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Mike Cohen  discovers the delicacies of Old Montreal’s trendy  Tommy Café + Apéro

    A decadent window view.

    It is merely the latest success story from the powerhouse Foodtastic Group, which continues to add brands to its stable,

    Tommy Café made its debut about five years ago on Notre Dame Street in Old Montreal, serving mainly different coffees and teas. It has since expanded a few blocks away to St. Paul Street, on Mount Royal twinned with a Baccaro pizza spot and in Oakville, Ontario. Expansion is on the way to St. Bruno and Fairview Centre in Pointe-Claire.

    With the exception of Notre Dame, all of the new Tommy startups have full kitchens and they serve a very refreshing area of breakfast items from as early as 8 am until late afternoon. The plan is to remain open in the evenings when life gets back to normal.

    Manager Giselle Serpa brings two delicious dishes to the table.

    David Di Raddo, who oversees Tommy, Second Cup and Copper Branch for Foodtastic, wanted to show me the St. Paul Street location.  Giselle Serpa,  a talented culinary expert who came here from Brazil, manages this spot and she is responsible for many of the ever-so-creative menu items.

    Avocado toast is the Tommy trademark and it comes in different incarnations. During the pandemic, Tommy kept on trucking with a steady take-out and delivery model. They have a nice assortment of ice coffees, teas, espressos, cappuccinos, smoothies and even hot chocolates.

    The now-famous Tommy Avocado Toast.

    From the menu, you can order scrambled eggs, croissants, croque (Monsieur) Tommy, French toast, bagels, eggs benedict, omelets, waffles and more. Just so you know they all come served with very different and delicious twists. The S’mores waffle is to die for, stuffed with marshmallows, graham crackers and Nutella.

    The S’mores waffle.

    For instance, the salty brioche French toast includes a scrambled egg and a choice of bacon or sausage and maple syrup. The Tommy Benedictine contains a  poached egg, prosciutto, cheese, mushroom, truffle hollandaise sauce and grelot potatoes. From the avocado toast, the one with salmon draws raves. There is also the Goat – Goat cheese and mushroom with truffle and honey. The Greek Omelet has tomatoes, onions, feta cheese, cucumber served with a salad and baby potatoes.

    You can get a Tommy Crêpe with vanilla mascarpone, maple syrup, fruit and graham crackers or an Amanda croissant, stuffed with fresh fruits and mascarpone.

    There is also a lunch and drinks menu, with salads, paninis, sandwiches and even Mac and Cheese.

    A Tommy Latté topped with Lucky Charms cereal.

    Growing up in Brazil, Serpa was not originally a foodie. She worked at a bank for 11 years, got bored and switched teams to a bakery. Here she had found her calling. She landed in Montreal seven years, not speaking English or French. At school, she met someone who worked at Tommy and got some part-time work there. Di Raddo now calls her an integral part of the company, a visionary in the food department who will help establish kitchens at subsequent kitchens.

    The St. Paul Street Tommy is near the corner of St. Sulpice. It is normally a prime location for tourists. And since the start of the summer tourists from other parts of Canada as well as people who work and live in the area have been flocking to the place. It is a venue for which when you come once, you will definitely be back for more.

    Tommy Café and Apéro is located at 151 Saint-Paul St W. It is open seven days a week from 8 am to 4 pm. For more information log on to tommycafe.ca, call (514) 419-8522, or order via doordash.com, ubereats.com or  skipthedishes.com

    Mike Cohen

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