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Mike Cohen finds out how good a take-out breakfast and lunch combo can be at Petinos

    One of the things I have really missed since the pandemic started is a good early morning breakfast at some of my favorite restaurant spots. Well, since I have become quite accustomed to the take-out route I jumped at the offer to drop by Petinos ( in the Sainte-Dorothée District of Laval for a pickup before reporting to work.

    There are 17 Petinos franchises in Quebec. Harry Sikellis owns the Laval, Charlemagne and Dollard des Ormeaux locations.  

    The Laval restaurant is open daily from 8 am to 3 pm, for breakfast and lunch pickup and delivery orders.  Charlemagne (near Terrebonne) and Dollard have the same hours, but are only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

    Here is my advice: treat yourself to breakfast first. After getting my order I pulled my car over to a secluded spot, carefully set up my dining spot and slowly enjoyed my combo selection called The American—- two eggs over easy, a prime AAA 10-ounce sirloin steak, tomatoes, onion, pickles, home fries, baked beans, toast and coffee.

    Once I was there, I also ordered something to place in my fridge for lunch. The smoked salmon platter included a nice serving of smoked salmon, a bagel, cream cheese, tomatoes, capers, onions, asparagus, sliced olives and lemon.  I added in a fruit cup.

    For dessert, I ordered the Montéregie, half waffle with English cream, nutella and oreo crumbles. Wow! It took me two days to finish this off.  Also held off for the next day was the Petinos Potatoes, mixed nicely with melted cheese.

    Harry bought the Laval spot, located in the Smart Centres Mall right off the highway, four years ago. Business was booming from the start and the crowds returned last summer when dining rooms were permitted to operate. Harry spent over $7,000 on plexi-glass dividers and other safety measures.  Laval has a loyal clientele and many of the regulars have adapted to take-out and delivery. Nonetheless, business is down 85 percent.

    Efi Thomas is Harry’s partner in Laval. “My background is in psychology, “she told me “However I always wanted to embark in a culinary adventure. My mother was a chef specializing in Greek cuisine. Her influence along with the fact that the long line-ups that sometimes prevented us from enjoying breakfast at our favourite brunch spot motivated us to jump on the opportunity when Petinos Laval went up for sale.  We have a customer centered philosophy. Yes the customer is always right; loved and appreciated. Our customers are our muse.

    “They inspire us to put love in every detail.  We put love in every plate. Our plates are created with only top-quality ingredients. Nothing is pre-made or frozen. We have no short cuts. The Petinos brand is expanding, but our plates will always remain wholesome ma and pa recipes. We have an amazing team that regardless of the hardships our industry is facing they never lost hope. We are all patiently waiting to see our customers once again return to enjoy their brunch, breakfast and lunch in our restaurant.”

    The Charlemagne location opened in February 2020, just before the lockdown. Harry and his partner there Alireza Jalilzadeh built the facility from scratch. Ditto for Dollard. There was a Petinos there a few years ago, but it closed own.  Harry and his son Mike brought it back and also built a new structure in a strip mall.

    As for the name Petinos, founder Ilias Vouras was inspired by the rooster that woke him up every morning in his hometown in Greece.  Yes, a rooster is called “Petino” in Greek. He then decided to name his restaurant on behalf of this early bird. A rooster’s high pitch wakeup call announces a beautiful great start to your day, Vouras reasoned.

    For over 20 years now, Petinos has been part of the Quebec restaurant scene. I am not sure why it took me so long to try it.

    There is a nice selection of combo plates, from The Mirage (two crepes and two  pieces of French toast with fresh fruits and coffee) to The Terrebonne (two eggs any style, pork pate, sausages, fresh fruits, home fries, baked beans, toast and coffee) and The Boisé (half waffle with two slices of cinnamon raisin French toast, fresh fruits and coffee). You can also enjoy omelets, eggs benedict, waffles, sandwiches, salads, yogurts and even hamburgers.

    Check out the Laval, Charlemagne and Dollard des Ormeaux locations in particular. I can vouch for their excellent customer service. One is situated at  540, Autoroute 13, Laval, QC H7X 3V5 and open from 8 am to 3 pm. Phone  (450) 689-5444 or order via UberEats, Door Dash and Skip The Dishes.   The other is  65 Rue Émile-Despins in Charlemagne.  Phone (450) 654-6866 or order via UberEats or Door Dash. Finally, Dollard is at 3520 Sources Blvd, Call (514) 685-1161 or order via UberEats, Door Dash and Skip The Dishes.

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    Mike Cohen