Brasserie Max & Julie is located in the heart of Montrose, which is the best neighborhood for dining in Houston. Walking in, the feeling is that of being in an old house, with a laid back French décor that is rustic & inviting.
Many people dining at Max & Julie’s speak French, which adds to the ambiance in the best way. Walking upstairs, pictures line the wall as you enter the next level. Upstairs seating also offers a cozy patio surrounded by acorn filled trees, cough.
Initially, the service at Max & Julie’s appeared golden. The excitement began as the bus boy, sporting a Mohawk, sashayed over… carrying not only a carafe of water, but a wine glass, bread, and butter. Things were off to a fantastic start.
Suddenly, I was auctioned off to, none other than, a girl that would ultimately quit her job the very next day. As you can imagine, she wasn’t up for a Service Industry Worker Award that afternoon.
Sitting at the bar does not always guarantee service safety. Sometimes there is no particular person immediately in charge of your service… It is a rotation, usually due to the bartender not being present. A server on the floor picks you up if it is their turn. Believe me, no one likes to pick anything up that is out of their section, especially when they are in the weeds.
After receiving horrible service at the bar, moving to the patio was the best option. Though rarely necessary, this plan is usually successful. Once outside, the original scary server will then have a manager transfer the check to the server with angel wings on the patio.
The arrival to the patio was met with flying acorns from massive oak trees towering above. Everyone outside took cover, using coats or napkins as a shield. As guests were on high alert, laughter could be heard, thus causing total patio excitement. It was exciting, that is, before realizing the same server is still in charge of my brunch happiness. Ouch.
I thought the ole handy dandy stop watch had been retired after Bart the Bartender & friends were so frightening at Table Seven. Oh no… Bring it on.
Although hard to fathom, this impersonating server rolled back around to take my entrée order after 23.44 minutes. Thanks. Thanks a lot.
By now, my crawfish cake, with a first class fancy name… Gateau d’Ecrevisse Louisiannaise… was nothing more than a memory. FYI: Order this app without… lardons.
a strip or cube of fat or bacon used in larding meat
[ from Old French, from lard ]
Due to the scary service, there would be no ordering an entrée. Repression immediately began, as I clinched onto my tip… not for one moment wanting to give the ordered 15% gratuity.
Any retired service industry worker must leave 15%, regardless of service status. The always exciting 20% – 25% is given to worthy workers.
The time to depart was imminent. After bidding farewell to the squirrels, Little Zimm’s soon saved my brunch debacle. There was only one thing left to do…
Return to Max & Julie’s the next day for round two.
Upon my arrival, a supermodel… named Emma, was standing at the door. Does she have a layover while on her way to Milan for a photo shoot? Is she waiting for her nails to dry? Is she eye candy for the French fellas stopping by the brasserie for brunch?
No. She is… The Manager.
Wearing jeans that appeared to be exclusively for gorgeous 21 year olds, she began to perform at the highest level of restaurant management ability. Watching Emma for the next two hours was quite impressive. She was a hostess, server, manager, sommelier, food runner, and… social icon.
A couple sitting at the bar were discussing how wonderful Emma is, as they are regulars, and think quite highly of her. A manager with talent is at times rare, therefore we must all bow down to Emma, for she is grand. Pause…
Brunch began with Swiss cheese & spinach, tucked inside a soft crêpe & served with a side salad. The menu offers a variety of crêpes salées, as well as crêpes sucrées.
The front of the menu is expensive, while the back is quite reasonable. Incredibly, there are only two items on the brunch menu over $10, yet it costs $2.00 to add cheese to an entrée. Interesting…
The Oefs en Meurette seemed like a suitable choice for an entrée. False. The menu lists this entrée as a poached egg in red burgundy wine. Um, it arrived smothered in pig. Infinity Yikes.
Emma explained that the majority of French dishes are served with pork as an ingredient. The French love pork… Alrighty then.
My server recommended the Gaufres Salées. Smoked salmon & a poached egg are stacked high on two waffles, served with a side of asparagus. Incredible! Never having had an entrée quite like this, above average entrée happiness occurred. This dish will make your day.
At first glance, the Soufflé Maison was the dessert of choice. Taking 20 – 25 minutes to prepare, the final decision was the profiteroles. Filled with creamy vanilla ice cream & drizzled with warm chocolate, this dessert is never-ending.
Dining at Brasserie Max & Julie was definitely a better experience the second time around. Max & Julie’s has an off the chart manager in Emma, as well as traditional French food, and a dynamic setting.
One bumpy brunch didn’t ruin the end result. The outcome is a success when a customer leaves with happy thoughts & a stuffed belly.
FIVE: High 5!
FOUR: Please & Thank You
TWO: Double Wow
ONE: Wow + Ouch = Wouch