Posts Tagged ‘Montreal’

This is my first negative review of a restaurant, and I feel sort of bad about giving bad publicity to any company. However, J and I were so disappointed with our dinner tonight, I felt like it’s a fair reason to write this post.

After a long day of walking around downtown in the cold, we rented some great foreign movies from Boite Noire and deciding on ordering in pizza for dinner. I have a long-standing devotion to Pizza Hut but sadly they don’t deliver to our neighbourhood, even though they insist on taunting me by sending flyers to our address every week. We also tried to order from Il Focolaio Pizza, near Square Phillips which I’ve heard many people swear makes some of the best pizza in town, but their phone number wasn’t working. Dodgy!

We ended up chosing Tomato: La boite à pizza, because we’ve walked by their terrasse on St. Denis a few times during the summer and it looked good, plus we had received their take-out menu in our mailbox.

I ordered a small Parmesan Reggiano-Anchois pizza with mushrooms, and J had the Mozzarelle fraîche-Champignons with fresh garlic. I wish I had taken pictures, because as soon as we opened our boxes we felt left-down. The crust was very thin, dry, a bit burnt, and tasted like cardboard, or like cheap toasted pita bread. The toppings were fine but not particularly abundant, with a very thin layer of cheese, and bland, averge tasting sauce. The pizzas themselves were also pretty small, and so after we finished eating we really didn’t feel satisfied. I think the main problem was the crust – it can really make or break a pizza, and this one not only broke the pizza, but our hearts. (Too cheesy?)

So needless to say, I don’t recommend this place, ever. Instead try anywhere else! My personal faves include Pizza Hut, Dominoe’s, Altos, Il Focolaio, or any cheap neighbourhood place.

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So today in my facebook travels I stumbled upon a little event called Cupcake Camp.

Cupcake Camp Montreal

Cupcake Camp Montreal

To quote directly from their site (excuse my laziness):Cupcake Camp Montreal is a fun fundraising event and a delicious celebration of the small, good things in life that make a difference… like cupcakes and kids! Completely volunteer run and organized in an open and participatory manner, our first Cupcake Camp Montreal raises funds for Kids Help Phone.”

Apparently this event started in San Francisco, and have since been launched in NYC, Toronto and Ottawa to name a few cities. Sounds to me like a fantastic event – you get to mix baking and eating of delicious cupcakes with charity work and a good cause. Here is a quick rundown of ways you can help:

-bake cupcakes yourself and donate them to the event
-become a corporate sponsor
-volunteer to help out at the event
-attend the event, pay a minimum suggested donation fee of $10 and eat lots of cupcakes

The event is taking place this Sunday, November 22nd from 2pm to 5pm at Bitoque Restaurant, close to Lionel-Groulx metro. Sounds awesome to me!

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Steak Frites St. Paul is a chain of moderately priced steak houses that have sprung up in Montreal over the past few years. The original location in old Montreal was so popular that it spawned carbon copies recently opened in Laval, St. Bruno, Ile des Soeurs and on St. Denis street. and Laurier avenue, the latter of which I’ve tried out twice. The concept is fairly simple and at first glance seems like a great idea: a simple menu featuring various cuts of steak, served with unlimited frites, salad and optional desserts, entrees and side dishes. I think their aim is to provide a good steak dinner option for people that don’t want to pay for an expensive restaurant.

The first time I went I had the filet mignon with mushroom sauce. The cut of the meat was fine but it was slightly overcooked and overall did not amaze me. The fries were delicious, lightly salted and crispy, served with lots of mayo, and the salad was certainly adequate – fresh with a yummy slightly creamy dressing.

The second time I returned, I ordered the grilled salmon, which again came with unlimited fries and the salad. The salmon was well-prepared, cooked just enough and lightly seasoned, and served with a nice selection of grilled vegetables. Again the salad was great, however this time I found the fries a little greasy and heavy, perhaps simply because fries don’t really go well with grilled salmon and veggies.

The prices are reasonable and in the mid-range for byow restaurants, and the atmosphere is warm and inviting with a classy and mildly sophisticated, urban vibe. The service was good, not too rushed yet helpful and accommodating. Overall I wouldn’t highly recommend this place as the food is just fine but not great, however it’s a decent choice if you’re looking for an affordable byow restaurant that will please large groups or diners who aren’t real foodies. Would I return? This would definitely not be my first choice and would come only if another more preferrable 5 options weren’t available.

On a final side note, their website is flash, and I strongly hate flash. Boo!

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As I’ve gotten older, I spend less money shopping and party, and much more money eating out and drinking good wine. Not sure whether it’s really an improvement, but it certainly gives me something to write about! Montreal has a huge variety of amazing restaurants so I’m always trying new ones and returning to favorites. Some of the best deals are BYOW (Bring your own wine/Bring your own beer) where the food is slightly pricey but you get to bring your own drinks. Like any type of restaurant, these can really be hit or miss, and I’m done with the “misses” that I used to frequent a lot as a student before I knew any better.

So, moving forward, along with sharing my baking and cooking recipes, I’ll also be writing reviews of Montreal restaurants, both BYOW and their counterparts. Details reviews are to come, but in the meantime here are a few standby’s that are always a sure bet:

La Colombe – my favorite to date – 554 Avenue Duluth Est, Montreal – (514) 849-8844

Les Infideles – 771 Rue Rachel Est – (514) 528-8555

Khyber Pass – 506 Avenue Duluth Est – (514) 849-1775

L’Academie (f0r their pasta only, their entries are just average) – 4051 Rue St-Denis, Montreal – (514) 849-2249

Feel free to share your favorites, and I’ll post full reviews of the good and the bad very soon!

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