Merci Mon Ami
171 East Liberty Street, #107
Brunch for two with all taxes, tip and coffee: $40
As had been made evident on this site before, I am not a patio person, especially a streetside patio. But on a quiet Sunday morning, my bags loaded with goodies from the Liberty Village farmers market, I can’t help but be completely charmed by the front patio at Merci Mon Ami.
And charm is the operative word here. This Liberty Village sandwich shop does most of their business on weekdays, opening for breakfast and lunch and closing at 3pm to focus on catering. Inside, the space is elegantly decorated and seating is two long communal tables, but the patio is pretty iron chairs and tables, pots of flowers and a sunny view of the market tents.
The market plays a big role in Merci Mon Ami’s brunch menu, with many of their ingredients including maple syrup, produce, honey, meats and bread sourced from no further than across the parking lot.
Potential customers should know that the card is a short one – 4 mains and 3 baguette sandwiches are all priced at $13.50. There’s also a mixed green salad ($6.19) and sides in the form of croissants, bacon or yogurt and granola ($3.10 each).
The French toast and Croque Monsieur look appealing but we opt for the other two mains instead.
The herbed baked eggs is three eggs topped with herbs, served with peameal and toasted baguette. There is much raving from across the table about the flavour of the eggs (“herby”) and even the toast wins props as it too is slathered with an herb butter.
I go for the MMA signature croissant with a sunnyside up egg, bacon, sliced tomato, basil and gruyere cheese. This is a great combination, made warm and melty by placing it on a panini press for a few minutes – no mean feat; my croissant is still light and fluffy when it arrives.
Most intriguing is the small side salad that comes with my sandwich. It’s simply cherry tomatoes, avocado, some chopped dill and pickled onions. The kind you put in cocktails. And it’s fabulous. Seriously, I will go back just for the salad.
Service is welcoming and friendly. There’s water right away, coffee is topped up regularly and our server is attentive and chatty without being overbearing.
No, the menu isn’t huge. No, it’s not the hot place in the ‘hood that people are willing to stand in line for hours to get into. But Merci Mon Ami feels very genuine. With lovely (local) food, a pretty patio and an atmosphere of charm and elegance (without being twee), we’re quite smitten. And fully expect to spend many a Sunday morning here with coffee and croissants.