Cora’s: Pretty as the Picture - Fruit explosion delicately balanced in a martini glass, all for breakfast.

Fruit explosion delicately balanced in a martini glass, all for breakfast.

By: PegCity GrubSeptember 6, 2012 // Breakfast


Cora's toasted bagel and fruit plate is a masterpiece in melons, strawberries, kiwis and apples. This gravity-defying dish arrives exactly as pictured in the menu.

Address: 340 Provencher Boulevard
Phone number: 204-928-1204
Neighbourhood: St. Boniface (French Quarter)

Address: 840 Waverley Street
Phone number: 204-928-1200
Neighbourhood: South River Heights

When you hear about artists in the kitchen, you don't think of family restaurants. But in this case, the artistry refers to the most impressive visual display of a fruit plate that I've ever seen.

Cora's is a national chain specializing in crepes, but frankly the fruit plate was a masterpiece in melons, kiwis, strawberries and apples.

Granted it is a little odd to comment on a fruit cup. It's also a little odd to order one. But the photo of the fruit cup inside Cora's menu was too tempting to resist. I also wanted to see if the staff on the kitchen line could actually pull off what was pictured in the menu.

They did. What you see is what you get.

The impossibly high tower is stacked like a fructose-loaded game of Jenga. Each slice and piece of fruit is market fresh and slides into place, one piece holding the one above, perfectly in place.

Green apples are sliced thin and fanned like tail feathers. Beautiful presentation is important but it doesn't mean anything if it doesn't taste great. Luckily, it does.

Cora's kin are Pancake House, Salsbury House and Smitty's for breakfast, lunch and dinner spots that are made for families. Crepes, waffles and omelettes load the menu. Cora also serves many salads, topped with grilled chicken, salmon and tuna.

Intimate dining and romantic meals are not in the cards at Cora, which has locations located inside the Franco-Manitoban Cultural Centre on Provencher Boulevard in the city's French Quarter and on Waverley Street in South River Heights. Conversation and kitchen noise in this bright and bustling spot is amplified, but still ranges within the comfortable zone.

Insider's tip: Cora's is great for kids. Parents don't have to worry about hushing their children. There's also a kids menu with lots of choices.

Service is friendly and fast. Weekend breakfasts are busy. Tables turn over swiftly so waits are usually brief. If you have to wait at the Provencher location, take a stroll through the cultural centre's art gallery in the next room.