The "all-bacon" Montreal bar that courted media coverage in Canada and the U.S. this past summer has been a bust with customers so far.
Brutus, the sister bar to Nacho Libre in Rosemont, made blogosphere waves with photos of Jägermeister bacon poutine, bacon sushi, bacon vodka, bacon bowls and other stunt foods. Word of the bar’s porcine theme duly went viral.
Owner Anthoni Jodoin used an awkward, tasteless metaphor to describe his vision for Brutus to BuzzFeed in August.
"I’m confident it’s going to become a bacon mecca. That’s my goal. That if you’re a bacon lover and you’re in Montreal, you will know that you have to come here."
Jodoin calls himself the "creative force and marketing guru" behind "two famous neighbourhood bars on Beaubien street."
When the bar did open last month after a permit snafu, MTLBlog wrote:
"Brutus has been making our mouths water for weeks, teasing pics of all of their bacon-tastic delicacies and basically making us go nuts with anticipation. Well, the wait is over folks, Brutus finally got its liquor license and will be getting you drunk and full of bacon grease."
Almost two months in now and the online reviews of Brutus have been, well, brutal.
twinkie83 writes on Chowhound:
its ok. i've went a couple of times since opening (including opening night). service is fast enough (was sitting at the bar) food is decent, poutine being the better choice. the hot pig is underwhelming. its a pork sausage but their picture made it look like it was wrapped in bacon, it wasn't. the corn dog wasn't that much better. the bacon donut, way too sweet. i've had better with léché and trou de beigne.
drinks are not bad. there's a bit more ice than you would like but it is what it is.
ambiance is loud and they are now showing hockey (habs) so i'm definitely not going back now.
all in all, lots of hype, underwhelming
NickinMtl, also on Chowhound:
Also once went late one evening, so we skipped food. Tried a bunch of cocktails and we were not impressed. We ended up leaving to go to Jockey, where I find cocktails to be much better.
It's also very very loud (both the music and crowd contributing), so don't go there in hope of actually talking.
Over on Yelp, Judy K. posts this account of her experience at Brutus:
My boyfriend and I showed up a bit ahead of our group; we were to be six in total. The hostess told us a table would be available in twenty minutes. 15 minutes later a waiter came to get us to bring us to the back of the restaurant to a great booth that would have been perfect because unlike the noisy restaurant the back was secluded and quiet. We sat down after a little confusing from patrons already seated in the back (they had to move over to the smaller booth cause they were only three) we ordered drinks and waited; our friends showed up and were ready to order drinks when we were told we needed to move to another table to set a bigger group in the back, they proceeded to squish us into a both that clearly didn't fit six . We ordered drinks again and proceeded to look at the menu; which was mediocre at best the grilled cheese is pre-made and they didn't have any pizza pockets left, only the veggie option. Why does a bacon restaurant offer veggie options. Odd. But ok. We asked for bacon on the side, which we never got and we ordered the ten dollar bacon bowl which is so deceiving cause you don't see it, it's covered by the bowl (not how is was Advertised in the paper) the waiter gave up on us, clearly not caring if we liked our food or needed more drinks. Seeing as our drinks sat on the bar for about 15 minutes. Once the waiter delivered out drinks he spilt one drink on our friend and didn't apologize and was more concerned with cleaning up the floor. Overall really not impressed.
More, this time from TripAdvisor, where kin d. writes:
The food however was mediocre at best. Red bull wings which were just a bit sweet and bland really- with no side sauce- not even ranch sauce or a halfway decent hot sauce were available. The fish sticks were excellent, but the fries they were served with were not completely cooked and even the ones that were were not that good or tasty, The jagerpoutine did not taste remotely of jager, was missing the signature dish they are supposed to serve it in (apparently all of the bottles had been broken due to an oven mishap or something?), had similarly tepid fries, and lacked seasoning. The bacon was sometimes in huge chunks but mainly splintered into tiny pieces, and totally lacked flavour. If you are going to base your cooking on bacon, make sure it is decent quality bacon!!! we finished off with the bacon chocolate cookies, which were generous, pleasant without being extraordinary (tasteless bacon again).
And this, from Julie P., also on TripAdvisor:
Les boulettes des 2 burgers Kevin Bacon étaient extrêmement salées. Lorsque nous l'avons mentionné au gérant? proprio?, il nous a dit qu'il avait goûté à la viande et qu'elle n'était pas salée, que c'était une question de goût. C'est quoi, cette réponse?! Accepte la critique, informe la cuisine et ils en seront les juges!