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When is it "too much"?

maisonbistro Sep 4, 2008 11:39 AM

So, I have a new client in Old Montreal, and luckily for me, they are right up the street from Olives et Gourmando. So I stop in today to pick up some croissants and a brownie ($3.50). I was standing to the left of the cash when I ordered so I didn't really pay attention, but I just got home and took my precious cargo out of it's bag and, well, my jaw dropped, my heart when ba-boom and my brain said "wha?????????????????????" The brownie is minescule. Probably 4mm X 4 mm by 3mm (thickness).

Now don't get me wrong. I don't mind paying for quality, and I don't expect quality to be judged by quantity - but I am insulted by the price and the portion.

As you all know, I cook, and I would never ever, in a million years, consider selling that size brownie for that price. I can only imagine the profit they make on one pan of brownies, cut to that size, each selling for $3.50. Do they not make enough profit on the other baked goods that they have to gouge clients with their brownie prices?

It's good, but it's the last one I'll buy.

  1. SnackHappy Sep 4, 2008 12:36 PM

    "Probably 4mm X 4 mm by 3mm (thickness)."

    I don't remember the exact size of the O&G brownie, but i'm prettyy sure it's bigger than the tip of my thumb. Did you mean cm as in centimeters? I'm sure the brownie is bigger than that. I reckon it's about the same size as the Chocolat de Chloé brownie.

    3 Replies
    1. re: SnackHappy
      eat2much Sep 4, 2008 12:44 PM

      I could walk down the street and pick one up but if memory serves correctly an O&G brownie measures approx 2: x 2" x 1 1/4" or roughly 5cm x 5cm x 3cm. Yes they are expensive but the are made with the best chocolate. Add to that the huge staff and rent etc. I think that accusing them of gouging their clients is perhaps a tad unfair.

      1. re: eat2much
        maisonbistro Sep 4, 2008 04:37 PM

        It's not like brownies are the only thing they sell. They breads and many other baked goods which are quite reasonably priced. THey also have the whole restaurant side, so really, I don't think you can use that as an excuse. I made the exact recipe that they use using both Caillebot and Valhrona chocolate, and it the cost per square was nowhere near what they charge.

      2. re: SnackHappy
        maisonbistro Sep 4, 2008 12:44 PM

        My bad- I did mean cm, about 1 1/2 inches.

      3. c
        C70 Sep 4, 2008 12:39 PM

        you must mean cm, because in mm that would be smaller than dice..

        The serving size (in cm) seems fine to me, but not the price. Like you, I'd pay that once, just to see if it's at all worth it.

        1. g
          grillit Sep 4, 2008 12:56 PM

          I have noticed a marked "downsizing" of the O&G brownie. I would estimate they're probably 20-30% smaller now than about 4 years ago when I went through an O&G brownie rage, that saw me trekking over there every afternoon around 14h30 for my fix (except on those lamentable Mondays when O&G remained closed).

          The dimensions you mention (4cm x 4cm x 3cm) seem to correspond with the last brownie I purchased there. They used to be big enough to share (if you were so inclined) but now they're for me alone.

          10 Replies
          1. re: grillit
            eat2much Sep 4, 2008 01:01 PM

            Then again you could always make them yourself:


            1. re: eat2much
              maisonbistro Sep 4, 2008 04:35 PM

              Oh - Kpzoo already sent me that recipe and I have indeed made them. They were to die for. But today, since I was there, and they were there and well, you know how it is with brownies...

            2. re: grillit
              SnackHappy Sep 4, 2008 01:09 PM

              I guess that would explain why in my mind it's bigger than 4cm square. I haven't had one in over two years.

              1. re: grillit
                BLM Sep 13, 2008 08:10 AM

                I was at O&G yesterday, & checked out their brownie and spoke with owner Dyan Solomon. Dyan denied that the O&G brownie has ever ever been downsized since they started(I asked several times to make sure). The only thing she could think of, is that they cut the ends to make it even.

                I agree the O&G brownie piece is very very small, & at $3.50 is way overpriced.

                1. re: BLM
                  mainsqueeze Sep 13, 2008 03:15 PM

                  I bought one today and it sure looks tiny!

                  1. re: mainsqueeze
                    maisonbistro Sep 13, 2008 06:56 PM

                    TIny and overpriced, and the one I bought last week that I wrote about initially was not all that amazing. High price, not so good taste = I won't buy them there anymore. Their croissants, those are still very good and I will buy them.

                    1. re: mainsqueeze
                      mainsqueeze Sep 15, 2008 07:14 AM

                      I measured it. It was 5cm x 5cm x 2.5cm. I actually don't mind that it's small, since it's so rich. I still think the price is too steep though.

                      1. re: mainsqueeze
                        moh Sep 16, 2008 07:18 AM

                        I have to comment that I love the fact that people are measuring the size of their brownies! Keep up the passion my friends. I revel in it!


                        1. re: moh
                          lait cru Sep 16, 2008 08:46 AM

                          I agree, moh! It's what makes chowhounders great. If I had the time (and money!), I would love to try some regular samplings of the brownie, to keep measuring it for consistency, and ideally, weighing it each time as well. How many brownies should I eat, er, measure, to get a decent sense of the average brownie size? (Hmmm...and perhaps I ought to apply to either the Ministère d'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation or the municipal weights and measures bureau for a grant said "research".) But seriously, this sort of dedication and pooling of resources and food savvy on this board always warms my heart.

                          1. re: lait cru
                            maisonbistro Sep 16, 2008 10:19 AM

                            I am now in Old Montreal twice a week, and would be willing to sacrifice myself for the cause, and buy a brownie each time, measure it, weigh it, taste it.

                            But criminey, it's $3.50 - and they already pissed me off.

                2. c
                  CroqueMadame Sep 4, 2008 05:26 PM

                  It seems to me that pricing at OetG has really shot up in the past few years. Ahhh the good ole days when the brownie was *only* 2.50. I have to be super disciplined on how often I visit now and when I go, rarely do I splurge on a baked good like before (which is probably a good thing for the waistline). With the dollar so strong now, I speculate if they've been hurt by fewer US tourists? It's busy as usual whenever I'm there but since that is typically at peak times it's hard to say.

                  1. alixium Sep 4, 2008 05:47 PM

                    I have also noticed the downsizing of the brownie. It is quite drastic actually... Now its normal-sized .. *poof* .. now you can barely get three bites out of it.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: alixium
                      Simon Patrice Sep 4, 2008 06:12 PM

                      And I'm sad to say that I went about a month ago and didn't find it all that good. Don't get me wrong, I've been going there for years and used to love their brownies but the last few times I went there I was quite disapointed.

                      1. re: Simon Patrice
                        eat2much Sep 6, 2008 07:37 AM

                        Purely in the pursuit of scientific knowledge I procured the brownie in question this morning. This random sample measures 5.5 x 5.5 x 3.25cm but I fully expect significant shrinkage as the day progresses.

                        1. re: eat2much
                          celfie Sep 13, 2008 09:14 PM

                          c'mon now, don't forget about significant figures

                    2. jeffdmtl Nov 8, 2008 02:37 PM

                      Yup, Too Much!

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