Thursday, November 11, 2010

Eating in Montreal

Good food is good for the soul and one of the pleasures of life.

I will continue to update this over the next couple of weeks.

St. Viateur Bagels – Sooooo delicious. Warm, soft, and sweet. 5/5

Cheskies – They didn’t have challah when I was there, but their rugala was very good and their chocolate croissant was ok. The walnut-fruit croissant didn’t do anything for me. I found the pastry to be flaky, but too dry. 3/5

Suite 88 – Delicious and reasonably priced chocolates (about $2 per piece or $3.50 for a chocolate bar). I had an apple martini chocolate shooter, a dark chocolate cup with warm white chocolate in it, two chocolate bars (caramel and orange, both milk chocolate), a caramel truffle, a maple dark hot chocolate, and a pumpkin milk hot chocolate. The hot chocolates are so thick it’s like drinking a melted chocolate bar…wonderful.

Formagerie Hamel (Atwater Market) – The baklava was good, but unremarkable, could have been sweeter. The cupcake was a little dry and I wouldn’t buy one there again.

Des Caraibes - The food was nicely flavoured and the portions were large. A decent place for a $10 meal. 4/5

Patati Patata – Very good poutine with red wine gravy. The fries could have been slightly crispier and it was a bit scanty on the curds. 4.5/5

AA – My first poutine, so I remember it as good, but the creepy old guy who stared at me the whole time has marred my experience. The chicken burger was an over mayonaised diner classic. Andre, one of the owners, was noticeably more hospitable than the surly waitress. 4.5/5 (poutine) 2/5 (burger)

La Banquise – A poutine place with 20+ varieties. Had one with sausage, hot peppers, and tobasco sauce (Kamikaze), one with turkey, bacon and onions in peppercorn sauce (Danse), one with ham and cheese (Hawaii 5.0), and one with guacamole, sour cream and tomatoes. Both were very good, but the fries could have been crispier. 4/5

The Main (Like Schwartz’s but without the line-up) – Bought a pound of smoked meat. I guess it was good but it didn’t do anything for me. I’ve been told this is one of the best places for smoked meat in the city. 5/5

Divine Chocolates – I had a dark chocolate, sea salt caramel which was delicious, but their stuff was pricey (the individual chocolates are comparable to other shops at about $2 a piece, but the chocolate bars are about $8). 4.5/5

Marius and Fanny – I had an orange caramel chocolate; the chocolate wasn’t great, but the filling was very good. I also had a passion fruit macaroon which was delicious.

Thai Phon – A bit pricey for thai food ($10 per plate) and the pad thai was almost all noodles, but the spices were very good. 3.5/5

Patisserie Chez de Gaulle(231 St. Viateur) – The ‘religieuse,’ a large, chocolate mouse filled pastry glazed with chocolate and topped with a smaller, caramel coated caramel mouse filled puff, was beyond heavenly and well worth the $4. The chocolatine ($2.50) was very good; the pastry was light and moist with the sweetness that is butter. I also had a St. Honore which was a custard filled pastry with jam in the middle topped with whipped cream, fruit, chocolate, and cream puffs which themselves were topped with burnt sugar.

Poutine Lafleur – This place had a few varieties of poutine. I had the regular poutine and the all-dressed poutine (steak, ham, onions, green peppers, and mushrooms). Both were delicious. The gravy had a unique and flavourful combination of spices. Just up the street is a small coffee shop, CafĂ© Boutique, which sells fancy condiments (cranberry-maple-balsamic salad dressing, cranberry-blueberry-green tea salad dressing, onion confit…)

Parentheses – This is a small, cozy coffee shop well suited to the antique neighbourhood in which it resides. The chocolatine was slightly overcooked. They also had a small selection of chocolate truffles which I didn’t try.

Boulangerie Banette – The chocolatine was way overcooked. 1/5

Boulangerie Laura – The chocolatines and croissants looked overcooked, so I didn’t bother with them, but I did have a chocolate puff which was made of nice, flaky pastry and nicely sugary. The baklava was sticky and sweet (though I always prefer my greek desserts saturated in honey). 3.5/5

Les Chocolats Briimstone – This was a small little store jam filled with delicious looking treats including a large selection of imported chocolate bars (one had bacon in it), homemade chocolates, homemade fudge, and other treats. I had a blueberry port chocolate, a love potion (strawberry and spice) chocolate, and a raspberry, white-chocolate bar. One of my favourites was the white-chocolate lemon truffle - tart and sweet! Also, the owner is super friendly. 5/5

Souvlaki George – This was one of the worst meals I’ve ever eaten. It was so bad, I couldn’t even force myself to finish. The gyro had a decent enough pita and tzatziki, but the meat was unidentifiable and was flavoured with a mishmash of indistinguasible spices that left a horrible taste in my mouth for hours. The fries, for the poutine or as a side, tasted dry and previously frozen. The gravy for the poutine was completely bland but, all considered, it doesn’t do anything to save the dish. 1/5

Pizza St. Henri – The pizza is like any other cheap pizza and the poutine is flavourless and made with frozen fries. 1/5

Rotisserie Italienne – This is a small restaurant with delicious, homemade Italian food. The pizzas are traditional thin crust. I had the 4 Season Pizza which came with ham, clam, mushrooms, and red peppers (a different slice for each). I also had the Plat Mix Pasta which is a sample of 3 different pastas and sauces for 2 people. The red wine was watery, but actually gained flavour with the food and complimented the food nicely. Almost all of the dishes are under $10 (for a full plate of pasta). They also do delivery.

Les Chocolats de Chloe - These were very fine chocolates. I had the banana and the passion fruit. Both had distinct flavours without being overpowering and the banana didn't taste at all artificial. 5/5

Bitoque - A BYO restaurant with wonderful decor, food and service. The food isn't cheap, but is comparable to other restaurants in this category (table d'hote costs $30 - $40) and there is more than enough food to fill you up. 4.5/5

Bacon & Egg Poutine – This was invented by my friend and entails frying cut-up bacon (3+ pieces) in butter, add in poutine (without disposing of any of the grease in the pan), add in 1-2 eggs. A heart attack to end all heart attacks. 5/5

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