Beaubien, corner of 9th Avenue, Montreal
(now a Portuguese churrascaria)

Which one’s Linda?: Two white-haired, over-65-year-old ladies hobble around in orthopedic shoes behind the counter. One makes her way out to take my order. “We’ll be able to get some air in here now,” she says, “the air conditioner is working again.”

Old lady colour scheme: It’s the last day of my summer holidays. I read my newspaper while listening to the clinking of a spatula on the grill. I patiently wait for my French toast and bacon. The walls are painted yellow... a chalky-coloured pastel yellow that seems to be a favourite of old ladies everywhere. There is no eavesdropping to be done; the only other customers are two old ladies at separate tables, each reading a tabloid newspaper, and a group of 4 guys (from the meat department of the supermarket across the street) who are draining their last cups of coffee soon after I sit down.

Are bacon and eggs “Canadienne”?: From what I can tell, all that’s served at Chez Linda is breakfast fare: bacon and eggs, sausage, French toast, and pancakes. However, the sign outside bills the place as serving “cuisine canadienne.” The rest of the sign doesn’t make much sense either. At the very top: a coach-house lantern (the type I’ve seen on signs at some steakhouses in the US). And right below the lantern, above the restaurant’s name, the element that attracted me to this joint in the first place: two early-60’s-looking cartoon characters, a man with a huge bow tie and a woman wearing a cape and mortar-board, both jumping up into the air and clicking their heels.

Phase 0?: If the food here is really “cuisine canadienne” as the sign says, and Chez Linda is located here in Canada, does this make it a Phase 0 restaurant?

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