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Les 3 Brasseurs

anyone else see this in MartiniBoys?

http://www.martiniboys.com/Toronto/cl...

not that i'm a great fan but interesting regardless...

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  1. I was in Montreal last April for UFC, and we went here in downtown Montreal. Nice place, home brewed beer, big copper vats, everything seemed good until when I was watching the bartender take the remains of someone elses half-drank beer and top it off with fresh new beer from the tap!

    I was blown away, kind of soured my experience there... recycling beer is just plain gross

    11 Replies
    1. re: duckdown

      Was it someone elses beer or was it the "foam" cup? usually if darft is foamy they will fill two or three glasses and let them settle then pour from one into another then top from the tap to create a bit of head..

      no recycled beer just not wasting the foamy bits...

      1. re: duckdown

        Just want to follow up, I was in Montreal last month for UFC again and we spent a whole night at Les Trois Brasseurs and actually had a really great time..good beer and the pub grub was actually pretty decent...every table was packed with people ordering food and drinks, so when the kitchen is that busy, its gotta be decent.

        This is a European chain? I thought it was from Quebec

        I also hope they have the brewery running through the restauraunt like their location on Crescent

        1. re: duckdown

          "when the kitchen is that busy, its gotta be decent" - just like Jack Astors and Boston Pizza.. just another chain serving the same old Thai Chicken Salad and Nachos... Only thing that makes it different is the beer concept...

          1. re: OnDaGo

            This isn't the same as Jack's or Boston Pizza, that's actually a pretty silly comparison ---
            they're a brew pub from Quebec with multiple locations and really great beer ---

            I had a great time as well (as duckdown) and thought it was wicked ---

            that comment is so off base and idiotic it's unreal, have you even been there?

            1. re: dannyboy

              I have enjoyed the beer there in Montreal a couple times, but I really wasn't thrilled with the food. My favourite beer there was the brown, but none of them were bad.

              1. re: kwjd

                I liked all of them... they even had some kind of "paddle" thing you could order for you and a buddy where it comes with every kind of beer they have.. the group beside us was ordering them

                1. re: duckdown

                  yeah that paddle thing was cool, like a 10 beer sampler - but i'd already had too many beers to partake...
                  oh well, always a next time ; )

                  1. re: dannyboy

                    lol yeah exactly, im ordering one of those next time i'm there

              2. re: dannyboy

                yeah i wouldn't compare them but he is just saying that my assumption of "if people are ordering food it must be good" is comparable to a place like jack astors... regardless i agree with you though, its certainly not a crappy place like that. i wish i lived downtown so i could go here often

                1. re: dannyboy

                  They are not from Quebec they are from FRANCE (over 25 locations there! - http://www.les3brasseurs.com/).. and the comparison I was making was from looking at what was on the menu... A little bit of everything with no rhyme or reason... This is a CHOW board not a BREW board, I do not think it is idiotic to compare two CHAIN restaurants that serve Mini eggrolls, nachos, thai chicken salad and louisiana Flams... out of the 100 things on the menu only a handfull are french (if you count the poutine)... Don't make the place sound like a little quebec brewpub it is a large international chain restaurant pretending to be your local pub.. complete with precooked frozen food! Which may be a novelty in France but here it is called "Jack Astors"..

                  1. re: OnDaGo

                    I stopped in for a beer yesterday (which was excellent), but I didn't eat. However, your comment that they are, " pretending to be your local pub" is completely false. On their placemat they list all of their locations... they are telling you right away that this is part of a chain. All the draft beer they serve there is brewed in house though, so the brewery part of it is local.

                    Are you sure they have precooked frozen food? I'm not saying you are wrong, but is this an assumption or a fact?

          2. Is this new? The article says "opening in June" but there's no year. I've been waiting for this since 2007, the mention is still on the lestroisbrasseurs.ca website, but it's been forever and I've been starting to give up hope.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Gary

              It's new. June 2009 is the latest in a long line of estimated opening dates for this place. The first mention I saw was back in 2005.

            2. It's a miracle! Les 3 Brasseurs on Yonge south of Dundas Square is finally opening on Monday, June 15 under the English version of the name, "The 3 Brewers". I walked past yesterday and the place looks very nice. The paper is off the windows, salt and pepper shakers are on the table and it looks ready to go. After looking forward to this place for many years I really hope it is something half decent and not just tourist fare. All I ask is for slightly above average beer and decent bar eats at a non-extortionate price.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Gary

                if changing the name to english is any indication of their comitment to their brand... i will pass

                1. re: OnDaGo

                  Does anyone know if the menu will be the same as in France?
                  Loved the variety.
                  Something for everyone.

                  1. re: erly

                    Well it looks like the Menu is Jack Astors meets France (and not in a good way!)

                    Menu says: "Our Specialty: Homemade Flamms” - This is an Alsatian staple but they have a twist as you can get:

                    the Louisiana version!!! - B.B.Q. chicken marinated in a sweet B.B.Q. sauce
                    or the Italian - Sausages, green & yellow peppers & mozzarella cheese peppers, onions and cheddar cheese

                    And what would an Alsatian menu be without a Thai Chciken Salad or an Oriental Platter with mini spring rolls or Nachos!!!!

                    check it out: http://www.les3brasseurs.ca/eng/3b_me...

                    PLEASE!! why go to the trouble of opening..

                    1. re: OnDaGo

                      The restaurants in France have a similar menu, as I have said, something for everyone, but the food there is very good, and the Flamms are my favorite.
                      I am not sure what the quality will be here.
                      I hope they have the Brewery running through the restaurant the same as they do in Europe.

                      1. re: OnDaGo

                        Somebody must have put on his thinking cap and tried his best to come up with this Toronto version, in hope of making this appeal to "everyone".. This is at a prime location after all.

                        I loved the food and ambiance at the Montreal location, and I love especially their Flamms. But where is the simple, classic one made with lardon and creme fraiche? In fact there's not a single Flamm on the menu that has creme fraiche on it! Sad.

                        But I might still find myself going there just once, to reminisce the other good ones I've been to.

                    2. re: OnDaGo

                      I emailed them to ask... we'll see what they say... something corporate, I would expect :)

                  2. The Québécoise flamm...FANTASTIC with a cold pint. Great Place. Not Jack Astors at all....Welcome to Toronto!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: vaiguy777

                      can you explain what a flamm is exactly?

                      1. re: hungryabbey

                        I was curious too and found that phoenikia had explained what a "flamm" is in this thread -
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/462312

                    2. Anyone going tonight? According to their website today is their opening (not sure if they had a soft opening on the weekend?)...

                      If they don't have some of the good montreal menu items people should write in and encourage them to add these to the menu...

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: ylsf

                        Just strolled by. They're open.

                        1. re: ylsf

                          If by "good Montreal menu items" you mean items like poutine and smoked meat, you're going to be disappointed, as they don't even have those on the menu at their Quebec locations.

                          Based on the website, it looks like they have the same menu at all of the Quebec locations, so I expect the Toronto one will be the same. It's already been linked elsewhere in the thread, but here it is again:

                          http://www.les3brasseurs.ca/eng/3b_me...

                          Some of the flamms and the sauerkraut dishes look interesting. Otherwise, pretty unexciting.

                          1. re: gregclow

                            Sorry, to clarify, someone was saying that none of the flamms for the Toronto menu had Creme Fraiche...

                            I didn't mean "Montreal food" but like items they had on the Montreal menu that they left off here...

                            1. re: ylsf

                              Well, the menu I linked to above seems to be for all of the Montreal locations as well as the Toronto location, and I don't see creme fraiche listed as a topping for any of the flamms. So I guess the menu has changed.

                              1. re: gregclow

                                They possibly think that Creme Fraiche and Lardons would be too exotic for the Canadian palate!
                                Too bad.

                                1. re: erly

                                  just like the "Name Change" to english so we would not think it is Ethnic food.. but what do you expect from a corporate chain that has no menu identity..

                        2. Okay, I'd like to steer this thread back on track to talk about the actual food and beer they serve at this restaurant, and away from this barrage of theoretical accusations about it being an inauthentic Jack Astor's clone before it has even opened.

                          My wife and I stopped in for an early lunch today (their second day of business) and we were quite impressed. To start, the space is beautiful with doors that open onto Yonge St., adding some much needed life to the strip right where it narrows and faces the bleak eastern wall of the Eaton Centre. I had watched as the building was gutted and rebuilt from scratch over the past two years; aside from the historical facade, everything is new. The space is much larger than it looks from the outside, going quite far back, and with multiple levels. The washrooms (very nice) are upstairs at the back, which gave me a chance to walk past the second upstairs bar and the glassed-off brew tanks. Everything is done in tasteful dark wood.

                          The staff were friendly, if a little confused, which is not too surprising since most of them seemed to be on their first shift. What they lacked in finesse they made up for with enthusiasm. Immediately after we were seated, before we ordered, a young guy with a French accent came out of the brewing area and gave us two free half pints to try. These were the White (Wheat) beer and the Blonde ale. Later we ordered a Red and a Brown (Dark) beer, so that we'd ended up trying one of each of the four main beers they make.

                          I do not declare myself a beer expert but I am familiar with the basic types, and I think these ones were solid examples of each variety. I would easily order any of them again. The Blonde was described on the menu as being "hoppy" but in fact had very little bitterness: it will likely be the go-to beer for those accustomed to domestic lagers. That's cool. The White was sweet and refreshing, not as spicy as some Belgians I've had (or the Unibroue offerings from Quebec, for that matter) but it was still very good. The Red and Dark were stronger in flavour, yet still smooth and refreshing. The Dark in particular had some nice chocolaty notes.

                          As you'd expect from a brewpub that just opened, all the beers were very fresh tasting, no "dirty draught line" aftertaste or any other nonsense. The glassware was appropriately shaped for the various types, which is another good sign that they take the beer fairly seriously. As a generalization about the beer I'd say they have played it fairly safe. This is clearly not a brewpub aimed at beer geeks looking for the weirdest thing out there; but what they've made is good quality, and beats the heck out of the boring Labbatt-Molson-inBev lineup you find at most pubs.

                          In terms of food, I ordered a flamm which had goat cheese, tomatoes and onions on it. As others have discussed, there was no sign of crème fraîche, which wikipedia tells me is the original way flamms are served, so knock off some points for "authenticity" if you're a flammspert. Personally, I'd never had a flamm before and simply viewed it as a very thin crusted pizza, and a very enjoyable one at that. I liked the crispness of the bread... almost like a big cracker. The cheese seemed to be of good quality, nice tang, and the overall flavour was good. I had no problem polishing it off.

                          My wife ordered the pulled pork sandwich, which made me a bit nervous considering the French/Quebecois origins of the chain, but it actually turned out to be quite excellent. It came with a good mustard that went with the pulled pork surprisingly well. The bread was very fresh and nicely toasted so it was crisp on the outside (which prevented the sogginess that has ruined other similar sandwiches for me) but still soft on the inside. The accompanying fries were nothing fancy, but they were double-fried and nicely crisp. I'd order that sandwich for myself for sure.

                          All in all I think this restaurant is a great addition to the Yonge-Dundas Square area. Yes, it's a chain. Yes, the menu has clearly been tweaked to appeal to the demographic that is likely to be visiting the area, which includes tourists and mall shoppers, but it is essentially the same menu as those in Quebec. And yes, they translated their name to English. All of these seem like pretty sensible business decisions considering that 95% of the people likely to walk past are English speaking North Americans. I suspect they simply would like their business to succeed in a very high-rent area after a multi-million dollar renovation. Excoriating them for this strikes me as a bit silly.

                          If they can keep the beer and food quality anywhere near to what it was on my first visit I will be happy to keep supporting them. Welcome to the neighbourhood.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: Gary

                            great post, thanks forthe review

                            i am a fan of the quebec location so i was hoping for something similar here. wish i lived a little closer so i could head on down for some pints

                            1. re: Gary

                              Thanks for the helpful review Gary. That area is such a dead zone for food if you need to grab somethng before going to AMC or one of the theatres. We ended up going to Mr. Greenjeans before a show at The Wintergarden last weekend. As an area designed to appeal to the palate of tourists, this should be a great addition. It's a shame some make a judgement on something based on what they feel it should be rather than what it is.

                              I've enjoyed the food and beer in Quebec so looking forward to this, thanks again for the detailed review!

                              1. re: Gary

                                I thought I actually read, in small print somewhere but apparently not on the menu, that ALL the flamms come with "cream". I had the same one as you with goat cheese, tomato and onion, and it did have a very thin layer of cream on it (under all the onion and pink tomatoes). Mine was nicely crispy, my husband's was soggier in the middle... his had more & heavier toppings, but also was just not in the oven as long judging by the browning around the edges.
                                I had a sip of his white beer - tasted very similar to Hoegarden, just slightly less refined/processed. So nothing very exciting for us.
                                The dessert menu, oddly, features a picture of something with berries and whipped cream, which is not on the menu itself.
                                I would probably rather go here than a firkin or other typical Toronto pub chain - but only by a small margin. For just food in that area - I would honestly have rather have eaten at Chipotle. I think they manage to source red tomatoes, even as a chain.

                                1. re: julesrules

                                  Then, all is not lost, as long as there is still some cream in their flamms (the main reason why I love them in the first place)! Oddly, the French-language menu on their website describes their flamms as being covered with cream, lardons, onions and Quebec cheeses, while the English version simply skipped that description altogether. The offered varieties are essentially the same. I was just thinking, what might be a pleasant surprise for me might be another person's less pleasant surprise, if he doesn't like the cream :)

                                  http://les3brasseurs.ca/fre/3b_menu.pdf

                                  The beer still sounds good. Also, thanks for everyone's various passionate reviews! I'll be sure to check the place out soon and I'd want to like it.

                                2. re: Gary

                                  Hey Gary, I'm a mall shopper. I'm a mall shopper that typically has to starve until I leave the Eaton Centre and make my way over to Rodney's By Bay or Harlem. Having a pit stop place across the road sounds very handy.

                                  Anyone complaining that a chain resto has set-up shop at Yonge & Dundas obviously isn't forced to dine at Y&D very often. You may as well complain there are too many strips plazas in Scarborough.

                                  Now if only they have something for the wine drinkers.

                                    1. re: OnDaGo

                                      Which isn't anymore. I don't know what changed, but after the last time hubby & I grabbed a bite at Superior we decided we wouldn't return. The food was just too meh for the price. Their wine list has diminished to the degree that even just stopping in for a glass holds no interest. Not a thing wrong with the room or the service, but that's not enough. Too bad. If you hear it picks back up again I'd be happy to give it another chance.

                                3. Familiar experienc here too.

                                  Remembering a good experience at Les 3 Brasseurs in Montreal -- had a bit of time left before coming home on the train so just enough time to grab a beer and snack and watch the traffic on St Catherine.

                                  Was at the YongeDundas AMC for a flick the other night and tried The 3 Brewers. I'm on the bandwagon with those who say they shoulda kept the Francais in the name. Again, didn't have a lot of time but just enough for a light meal. Really liked the beer and flamme -- and I'm not a pizza guy.

                                  I have two complaints. First was the noise from the open wall to Yonge street. Coundn't do much about that I suppose. Other bad spot was the tiniest not-special ceasar salad that cost $9 that contained a generous portion of rusty-ended lettuce. I mentioned this to the server and he replied he'd let the kitchen know. No replacement or comp on the salad tho, which would have been appropriate.

                                  1. I went yesterday and overall my friends and I enjoyed the experience. The decor is pretty nice. We sat upstairs (the 2nd highest level, the one with the bar upstairs). We sat on raised stools/tables. 6 of us in total. We all ordered beer (I shared a pitcher of Red). Two ordered a blonde, and one girl ordered one of their "beer cocktails". Blonde and banana flavour. She seemed to enjoy it. We also ordered two flamms to share. The flamms are so thin so it isn't that much food considering the price, and they get cold very quickly because they are so thin! (pretty much cold by the time I had my first bite). Overall, the beer was good and if I was looking for a pub/group spot in the area again I would go back. The "metre of beer" thing is kind of cool too. Saw some people around ordering that.

                                    Weird about the washrooms being up all of those flight of stairs. There doesn't seem to be any signs as well (some people went up one level too high and looked confused!). They could add some signage.

                                    1. Went with a few folk after the Sonic Youth show tonight.

                                      Just had beer. Nothing special - but not bad either. Tried the blonde and wheat - passable but I'd rather pay the premium and go to beerbistro or Volo.

                                      1. I actually had a really nice time here today. The place is huge, and, as others have mentioned, the bathrooms are in a strange spot - although very nice bathrooms, so I'm not complaining. The important thing to note is that I hate beer and have never in my life finished a beer of ANY kind. I ordered a 1/2 pint of the wheat ale with peach schnapps (Peach Beach) and a 1/2 pint of the blond ale with creme de cassis and sprite (titi de quartier or something like that). I loved the 1/2 pint of the blond ale -- delish. The other one was still a bit "beer-y" for me, but it wasn't horrible. The service was great and I tipped over 20%. I think this is a great addition to the city -- finally a place I can go to drink a beer with my friends who actually *like* beer!

                                        1. Any recent visits? I'm wondering if they've worked out their kinks and how the food is now?

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: hungryabbey

                                            I've been three times now over the past month or so.

                                            The service is inconsistent. Twice we received fantastic service, including once with a very large (20+) party. But then on our last visit about 2 weeks ago with a small party the service was very slow and amateurish. It was lunch hour and the upstairs levels were closed, but we didn't want to sit by the open window. So we ended up in an akward table mid-way back that seemed to fall into a no-man's zone between servers. Lots of hand waving was required to get water refills, etc.

                                            The food, likewise, varies. One of the most consistently good items is (I know, shockingly) the pulled pork sandwich. The poutine is decent and classic. The Chevre Chaud flamm is a keeper, it has nice flavours and there aren't too many toppings so the crust stays crisp. Other flamms, particularly those with more ingredients sometimes go soggy in the middle.

                                            I also once tried the "House Special" beer braised pork shank. This dish consisted of two enormous pork hocks, bone in, half a ton of sauerkraut, and a baked potato. Maybe I'm just not enough of a meat-atarian but I found the pork to be a bit much for me. It certainly was tender once you cut around the fatty exterior typical of the cut, but the beer braise didn't really seem to have imparted much flavour to the meat. You really knew you were eating a big hunk of an animal. The baked potato was good, the saurkraut was nothing special and I doubted my digestive system's ability to process such an enormous amount of cabbage in one go, so I left most of it. This dish was impressive but I think a bit too ambitious.

                                            My updated conclusion: the beers are still fantastic (this is what keeps me going back, honestly) and the food is not bad if you keep your expectations reasonable.

                                            1. re: hungryabbey

                                              I was there on Tuesday. Between the two of us, we ate garlic bread, pork shank, the chevre chaud flamme and a dessert flam with bananas and ice cream.

                                              The garlic bread was pretty lame, but I only ordered it because I was hungry and my friend was running late, and I didn't want to order something she'd be sad to have missed if I ate it all before she got there, so I wasn't what you'd call disappointed.

                                              The chevre chaud flamm was tasty but soggy in the middle, which made it hard to eat. Not to mention soggy, which was a bad thing in and of itself. I'd have liked it better if it were pizza. Or at least not soggy.

                                              The pork hock is a gigantic dish packed onto a plate that is ridiculously too small for it. I got two giant pieces of pork, and I'll agree with Gary that the beer didn't seem to be adding much to it, but it was nice and tender and full of generally porky goodness, so I thought it was fine. I got only a small amount of bog standard sauerkraut of the 'came out of a jar' variety my mother used to serve us when we were kids, a baked potato (that did come with particularly dense but not particularly sour cream -- I'm not even sure it was sour cream, and not creme fraiche or something) and some totally undressed salad greens shoved willy nilly onto the already overstuffed plate and wilting with the heat of what was around it. I'm in favor of vegetables, especially on a dish that was otherwise several shades of brownish-grey, but that was ridiculously pointless.

                                              The high point of the meal was definitely dessert. With just some bananas, cinnamon and sugar on it, the flamm stayed nice and crispy. It was sort of halfway between a waffle and a crepe and very, very tasty. I'd go back just for that.

                                              On the whole, it's not the worst restaurant in the general vicinity of Massey Hall, and the prices are very reasonable, which makes it a possibility for future visits, when I'm just trying to get something to eat before the show starts, but if I was dining for the sake of dining, it definitely wouldn't be my choice.

                                              1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                Thanks Jacquilynne and Gary, sounds a bit unexciting.. too bad, the menu looked a bit more interesting then the typical pub menu. Ha, I always am amazed when restaurants produce crappy garlic bread.. like, is it really that hard?

                                            2. I was so disappointed, after having posted a positive review of Les 3 Brasseurs, we went back again with a large group on Friday. I called on Monday and asked if I could make a reservation, since we were a group of 15, for 7:30. I was told no reservations after 7:00, no matter the group size. We arrived early, around 7:15, and we were told it would be an hour wait before their would be a table ready, and that we would have to wait at the bar. When we finally did get a table, I didn't understand the wait -- the entire upstairs was empty and we had explained we didn't need to be at one large table but could split the group up in smaller groups. But it was the service that truly disappointed. I ordered a drink and an hour (literally 60 minutes) later the server said, "I never did get your drink, did I?" He never brought us food, drinks, nothing after serving us our first round, and we just sat there, so confused by the entire thing. I got to dirnk 1/2 a pint and I was there from 7:15 - 11:30. Would not go back again.

                                              4 Replies
                                                1. re: hungryabbey

                                                  Mixed reviews -- some people really liked it, and other people said it was just above "meh". My partner liked his flamm. One person ordered a dessert flamm but the server couldn't figure out how to light it on fire, as he was supposed to. The nachos were really not good. We ordered other food but it never got to the table.

                                                    1. re: hungryabbey

                                                      I should add one of my friends had the French Onion soup and said it was delicious and it did look really good. But I myself did not have it, so who knows!

                                              1. Everyone is judging the place based on food.. But what about the BEER

                                                Am I the only one that likes this place?

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: duckdown

                                                  I liked the beer! But I don't like the service.

                                                  1. re: duckdown

                                                    The beer is fine, and it's a nice idea, but the food was bad and the service was worse. The one in Lille had great service, and the food was much better (though still left quite a bit to be desired).

                                                    I can get good, local brews elsewhere and not have to sit through the food and service.

                                                  2. In case anyone was wondering, this place still sucks. I think the average Ontario pub chain, a genre I am no fan of, might produce better food. Even the fries are terrible - frozen shoestring style, but with a flour coating that should never be necessary in a dine-in place.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: julesrules

                                                      Thanks, julesrules. I was wondering a few months back, since I've had ok meals at some locations in France, and I have never been to a Cdn location.