Christmas Lunches at the 3 Brewers

‘Tis the season for Christmas lunches, and so it was the case today at Les 3 Brasseurs. Not that I was on a Christmas lunch – but it seemed that the entire place was occupied by Christmas Lunchers. Not that the place was packed, however. There were plenty of seating available, and we were brought to a comfortable booth on the second floor.

One one side, 5 different groups of Christmas lunchers. On the other side, 1 mega-group of Christmas lunchers. Fa la la.

Marc-André and I didn’t take too long to decide – we would go for the daily lunch special. We ignored the Tuna Melt and barely considered the Chicken Pesto Penne and opted for a Flammekueche of our choice for $12.99. On the side, you can add a salad or a soup for $1.50, which we did. And to drink, the 1/2 pint of blonde is at $2.99. Which we ordered.

Today’s soup was a tomato-base fish soup. It arrived very quickly, and it was piping hot. The broth was light but flavourful. There were lots of herbs, some vegetables (mostly tomatoes and celery) and small pieces of fish – little baby shrimp and pollock, when you could find them. Because this was not exactly overflowing with seafood. Nevertheless, while not chunky, it was comforting and tasted quite good.

We waited for our main dish while beside us, the megagroup luncheon was going into high gear, with speeches, prizes, laughter and heckling – most of the latter not coming from me.

Marc-André had selected the Moulin Rouge Flammekueche. “It’s hot,” the menu warns.

Thin slices of spicy steak, sautéed mushrooms, jalapenos and Québec Gruyère cheese is what is advertised. Missing from the description were the red bell peppers and the onions.

Marc-André seemed pleased with his Flammekueche, although he was generously using the chipotle hot sauce made available on the table. Not that hot, then?

“There could have been more beef, and it could have been spicier,” stated Marc-André. Still, he left nothing on his plate.

For my part, I decided to be a nice boy as always and selected the Vegetarian Flamme.

It featured bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, green and black olives and feta cheese and was topped with arugula and spicy olive oil. Missing from the toppings were the advertised zucchini. Odd, but I’m not about to make a fuss about a few slices of zucchini.

This was a colourful, light and fresh dish. A wedge of lemon was helpfully provided and I used it to brigthen the flavours a little bit.

My biggest “beef” (ha! ha!) with the Flammekueche is that I always find that there is not enough toppings. Perhaps that is because of its ressemblance with a pizza? I know this artisan-style flatbread is only remotely from the same family, but I always feel there could be a little more “je ne sais quoi.” I tried the chipotle sauce, but it was too powerful for the delicate vegetables and the feta cheese. So perhaps the issue is one of ratio.

Which means I will likely always like the 3 Brewers’ Flamme, but never really fall in love.

Even at Christmas.

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