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Need a birthday restaurant

Hi all, I want to try a new restaurant for my birthday next week. I can't seem to find any through trolling these posts. I don't want it to be too expensive because some of my friends aren't flush, so was thinking that the mains shouldn't cost more than $25-30. A BYOW could work but not required.

I don't eat meat (but love seafood and fish) and I'm not that interested in going to a French, Sushi, or Chinese restaurant.

I am game for pretty much everything else. Any suggestions?

Mar 22, 2014
LBeth in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Cheap, healthy food? Plateau? In general?

I feel you Zowpow5, I've lived here almost 10 years, am leaving in 2 months and can't wait to get back to the range of prepared food places awaiting me. I would call your want as "healthy-deli food" which I have found predominant in the west- I don't find much of it here in that "take-out" form, but there are a few places you can go. Cheap eats here tend to be more along the steamy/ poutine/pizza variety unless you are in the plateau, which I am not and therefore am not-too familiar.

There are some exceptions:
Jean Talon Market-some great take-out- varying prices
Atwater Market- more great take-out at a variety of prices
Clafouti- 2122 Drummond, Montréal, QC H3G 1W9
(514) 842-0388
Tropical Paradise (Carib food 5208 Boulevard Décarie, Montréal, QC H3X
Marche Adonis- downtown by Atwater & St. Catherines
Akhavan grocery- 6170 Sherbrooke W.
Montreal, Qc
H4B 1L8

Sadly, most inexpensive restaurants don't carry very good salads in MTL IMHO, but you can try the Greek places like Arahova, or the groceries I listed. Aux Vivre is amazing, and fairly cheap, but other than that I'm drawing a lot of blank. Montreal eating has many strong points but pre-made salads really isn't one of them.

Mar 21, 2014
LBeth in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

A culinary tour of Montreal - suggestions for anything food/drink-related

I recommend the Atwater Market (there's some great fromageries and also a store that has different types of olive oils.) Many people will suggest Jean Talon, which is great, but I find it crowded and hard to find parking around there. But whatever you find at Atwater Market, you can find at Jean-Talon.

Another recommendation: Patisserie Kouign Amann - named for a Breton Pastry that they make that is AMAZING. I've never seen or had anything like it anywhere else.

You might want to try Aux Vivres, which is an all vegan restaurant (with a store where they sell some products.) Food is delicious, and lots of non-vegans go there (I'm not vegan) just because the food, dips, etc are so good.

Ruby Burma- if you've never had Burmese food, you should try this place.

Le Vin Papillon- they have a large selection of Old World Wines.

Coffee: Brulerie St. Denis, or the coffee place in Atwater Market.

Jan 21, 2014
LBeth in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

le vin pappillon: how was your experience?

I was excited to try this restaurant because I love wine. We got there at 7 and had to wait, all the tables were full. I would have appreciated this more if they would have had a lounge area, but we were relegated to a corner of the restaurant with 2 other couples. It's winter and cold, so didn't want to wait outside.

Nice thing was we were offered a choice of wine while we waited. Unfortunately the valpolicella that I picked wasn't very good, it was a little metallic tasting.

When we were seated, it was in the by the window in the front. It was very cold. Also the table was a bit crammed in. This would have been fine except the concept is "chalkboard menu on the wall." I must admit, I'm not into this, because invariably they write something like "cauliflower" with a price, but this gives you no idea about what the dish is. Plus we had to squeeze by and move people to get there, only to have no idea what to order until our server came anyway.

Service at le vin pappillon was AWESOME. Our server was knowledgeable, helped us pick our wine and knew the menu intimately. The bottle of wine was delicious and really made the meal. Our food was also delicious, my dinner companion said "these vegetables are naughty!" She meant that in a complimentary way. There's lots of flavor to the dishes, lots of dimension etc. The concept is tapas, so you order and share and the stuff comes out in whatever order. I personally would have preferred a regular menu/wine pairing scenario, but the food delivers and that's what's important. We even had dessert which isn't something I'm into but I had persimmons (first time ever!) and really enjoyed it.

Overall I recommend this restaurant. One of my complaints is that we were unpleasantly cold in that window corner, so cold that my hands were frozen while eating, and I was wearing my winter coat. I think that is something that they need to fix, because winter is winter in Montreal, and it really affected my experience. There would be no way to reserve a different table because they don't take reservations.

By the way, I'm pescatarian, and there was no issue in finding food, the server was very helpful in helping us pick our dishes. Our waitress went above and beyond to make sure we were well taken care of.

Jan 21, 2014
LBeth in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Ruby Burma questions

I'll chime in too. I'm a pescatarian, but suffice to say any diet (meat eating, vegan, gluten-free etc.) can eat here and have delicious food. The prices are reasonable, the portions are large, and the proprieters are friendly and helpful. If you are a vegan, it would be good to communicate that-they will help you! Love the tea-leave salad, and I had a fish curry that was amazing. Also the apps are so good, I want to keep going back to try more and more. If you've never had Burmese food, I suggest going for the unique and big flavors. Try the Mohinga!

Jan 21, 2014
LBeth in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Burgers in Reno

thanks everyone for all your suggestions. Maybe we'll try a couple of them!

Aug 15, 2013
LBeth in Southwest

Burgers in Reno

We are going to be in Reno in the next couple of weeks with a birthday girl that LOVES burgers.

We want to take her out to a delicious burger place, but I don't eat meat (I do eat fish and seafood though.) Can anyone recommend a burger joint that is delicious but also would have an option or two for me?

Aug 13, 2013
LBeth in Southwest

Gujarati Food?

This isn't helpful...but what is Gujarati food? I'm intrigued...

Mar 15, 2013
LBeth in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Miso-Ginger Glazed Salmon

I agree this was great! We paired it with a quinoa salad and baby bok choy. We didn't bother straining the sauce. This will definitely be in rotation since it's so quick and easy.

Jan 13, 2013
LBeth in Recipes

I Am Giving Marinated Kale Salad

Awesome! didn't have shitakes, but cooked up some button mushrooms and added them in. Also I had to use 1/2 apple cider vinegar and 1/2 sushi vinegar because I was out of rice wine vinegar. None of this affected the integrity of the dish. My friend and I loved it- it stands on its own even though it's super healthy.

Jan 04, 2013
LBeth in Recipes

need recommendations:

Thanks this looks delish. Will be fun to try Lebanese in Van.

Dec 19, 2012
LBeth in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

need recommendations:

Sam thank you!
I don't get my seafood fix enough over here in Montreal! I am all over both of these places. Yum.

Dec 19, 2012
LBeth in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

need recommendations:

some nice picks. Thanks- I do imagine having a nice glass of wine @ l'Abattoir.

Dec 19, 2012
LBeth in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

need recommendations:

Thanks for your ideas. Is there any eateries that you are a fan of?

Dec 19, 2012
LBeth in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

need recommendations:

I'm an ex-Vancouverite coming back for a visit. I have a bunch of people to meet downtown and in east Van for lunches or casual dinners. I eat fish and seafood but not meat which has never been a problem in Vancouver, ever, for me, but I mention it anyway. Can you recommend anything on the cheap to moderate side? (ie $20 per main or less)

Any cool pubs to recommend?

Dec 17, 2012
LBeth in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Montreal restaurant recommendations......

Hi and welcome to Montreal! I have to say definitely a yes to the Tuck Shop- my meal there was wonderful. Also there's great atmosphere for breakfast at Bagels etc. for breakfast. If you feel the need to try poutine, you might want to give La Banquise a try but it is not upscale. IMO Montreal does European food well; so Italian, Portugese, French, etc are it's highlights as well as South American Food. I stay away from Asian here because I usually am disappointed but some people would definitely disagree. My suggestion would also be to just get up into Little Italy, walk around, and find something that looks good. I've never gone wrong doing that, to be honest, and there's an element of surprise to trying that. I agree with Verdun MAS- very good, and unique, but get a reservation. The good thing is that you and the other diners will have a unique and intimate meal. Also there's a tapas bar further down wellington, but be warned that not all the restaurants have been created equally in that area. 2 last suggestions. As a tourist, I would want to eat at least once in the Old Port. It's just so beautiful. I'm sure there are plenty of suggestions on this thread (I scrolled quickly) that you could research- do it just for the experience. Lastly, you might want to try out the House of Jazz because again, it is a unique Montreal experience, a decent menu, and Jazz in a speakeasy-like place. Anyway, that's my 2 cents. Have fun!

Dec 01, 2012
LBeth in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Maison Publique: my experience

Hey folks, for the record I'm not veg because I eat fish and seafood so not really sure why this discussion turned into vegetarian discussion. I DID find something on the menu to eat, the problem was that it was very tiny for a piece of fish that comes with no sides or anything, it did not stand on it's own, and it was kind of lame. I wrote this post so people who might not be into the "a la carte" thing will know that's the kind of restaurant it is, and also for those people who may not embrace "bacon on everything." I was wrong, I meant Kosher, not Jewish- I stand corrected. I'm confused as to what British Pub serves fish with bechamel and herbs du provence on their menu? My point is that not just me, but everyone at my table thought the food was boring. But go ahead, if you're into that kind of thing. Maybe you'll like it better than we did.

Nov 27, 2012
LBeth in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

NYC Hound Seeking Montreal Input - 400 Coups, CCeP, Lemeac, Toque, Raza, etc.

I know you said you like lighter fare, but I did notice both bagels and poutine on your list. If you want to try something hella delightful, there is a special bakery on Mont-royal called Kouign-amann. You should try the pastry from which it gets its name. I had anything like it until I came here. It is not light. It will blow your mind.

Nov 24, 2012
LBeth in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Maison Publique: my experience

My friend chose this restaurant, we hadn't seen each other for awhile. I looked it up first and thought "Oh it's Jamie Oliver's restaurant, I love making stuff from his website, this will be good, he uses healthy and whole ingredients" and then I checked the internet to see a bit more about it because I eat fish and seafood but not meat and I just wanted to get an idea. Everything looked good- fish dishes were mentioned, a few "disappointing" reviews but I don't put much stock in it.

We are on the waiting list, and are well accommodated. We were able to have drinks elsewhere and came in to a table waiting for us. Awesome. No wine list on the table, so I ask for a red that has bite and hope for the best. Then they explain the concept- the menu is itemized a la carte style with titles like "greens" and "raclette m.v.p" and "brussel sprouts and cheese" with prices. Waitress tells me the concept is that food doesn't come out at once, the idea is that we eat, and share. Ummm ok. We all have disparate tastes.

I find out that there is either bacon or sausage in most of the fish/seafood dishes, there is no veg. option. They will not accommodate me, so I order the fish with béchamel even though it doesn't sound interesting or particularly delicious. Otherwise, the waitress tells me, "you won't get any protein." So I order "greens" and "brussels sprouts and cheese." Menu was a bit boring if you ask me, how many more raclette/ pork cotelette/ french onion soup type of menus do we need in Montreal? Somehow my stuff all came together, they were nice enough to put the béchamel on the side (thank God- it was well worn territory of herbs du provence and cream...) the fish was cooked nice but looked to be about 2oz...all for 26$. The sprouts were covered with bacon so I gave it to my fellow diners. The greens were nice- Swiss chard in loads of butter.

There was no offer to compensate or anything for the sprouts, so I ended up eating a 2oz piece of fish with sub-rate sauce, and a bunch of Swiss chard. My feeling is if you are going to go with this concept, all your dishes need to stand on their own, and the consensus was that they did not. This was just a la carte, build your own main, with little idea of flavours or textures. I guess if you love bacon and don't interact with food on a personal, taste driven level- this is your restaurant. For me, and even my meat-loving diners, this was just meh, only expensive in addition to meh. I think it's pretty ballsy to choose not to accommodate your guests at all with this concept too, as if I were Jewish there would have been serious limitations to what i could eat, and a vegetarian would have been stuck with swiss chard and cheese-toast. All in all I found it shocking that 1) Jamie Oliver is involved in this, 2) that they just offered the usual French bistro fare that you can get pretty much anywhere in Montreal, only deconstructed.

I've paid far less for far more, and I would pay far more for better food.

Nov 24, 2012
LBeth in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

In Toronto on business AND surprising my mum who is visiting from BC for dinner

Hey! just tried Bannock, hoping to take a stab at everyone's suggestions but I loved my food at Bannock. I had the Bannock Bannock.

Oct 10, 2012
LBeth in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where are some good places in Griffintown?

If you are going to eat closer to Atwater, there are quite a few popular/trendy places to try. i sadly haven't tried too many of them but Joe Beef and the Liverpool house are supposed to be some of the best restos in the city. I can say that I found the Burgundy Lion ok, but I'm not in love with their menu. I really liked Limon, but haven't made it there in the last few years. You're making me want to try more places around there!

Sep 29, 2012
LBeth in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Where are some good places in Griffintown?

Just to weigh in, I am a pescatarian, and I was seriously underwhelmed with Bonnies. I eat veg. most of the time and I've had way better veg. food at places that serve meat as well.

As for Boucan, I just ate there and it was really good. But since I don't eat meat, I had the cajun shrimp and the salmon- probably not the most popular dish. I liked the atmosphere, but was totally weirded out that they never gave my friend, who was eating ribs, a finger bowl. If you specialize in ribs/bbq you should give your clients a finger bowl!

Sep 29, 2012
LBeth in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Quality sushi in montreal

Umm, I moved here 7 years ago and I have to say, I usually wait to eat Chinese and Japanese food when I'm in TO or BC. That said, if I am going to have sushi in Montreal, I have enjoyed my bento box at this place http://www.hyangjinrestaurant.com which doesn't specialize in sushi. You could also try http://www.odakisushi.ca/

Sep 28, 2012
LBeth in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

recomendations for restaurant near crescent st

How about Deville Dinerbar? http://www.devilledinerbar.com/ it's on 1425 Stanley. I took a colleague from out of town and she loved it. There is a lot to choose from- healthy choices, burgers, etc.

Sep 28, 2012
LBeth in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Where are some good places in Griffintown?

Griffintown Cafe! yum city! There's no website but it's great!

Sep 28, 2012
LBeth in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

In Toronto on business AND surprising my mum who is visiting from BC for dinner

Hi Toronto Chowhounds, I need your help with 2 things.

1. I'm a Pescatarian looking coming to TO on business (from Montreal). I'll be staying at the Sheraton downtown. I'm looking for some good, but not too expensive restaurants to try. My favorite food is Mexican, but I'm up for anything.

2. On the Friday, I will be surprising my mother and her partner at a restaurant- they are visiting my brother and don't know I'll be in town. We need the right restaurant.

My brother is vegetarian (cheese and eggs are OK) so we need somewhere that is veggie-friendly. Again, we're looking for somewhere inexpensive ($15-$25 per plate).

I was hoping to find something that has great food and an experience to it, don't know if it is possible to satisfy all of these factors. Any ideas?

Sep 28, 2012
LBeth in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Basic Grilled Pizza Dough

wondering if there is a whole wheat version?

Aug 03, 2012
LBeth in Recipes

Grilled Greek Salad

AMAZING
I did this on charcoal and it was well received, even when my guests thought it was bizarre that I was cooking lettuce.

Aug 03, 2012
LBeth in Recipes

Basic Jalapeño Poppers

I just made these for a party, a batch of these and a batch with cumin gouda, both were a massive hit, so much so that I'm committed to making them again for several people. I did 15 mins at 450 and then broil for 5 and they were perfect. The only reason I gave these a four and not a five is because next time I want them to be spicier. Maybe I should leave in a few of the seeds?

Jul 29, 2012
LBeth in Recipes

What to do with cabbage

cabbage is a great addition to pasta. I've had it with fresh sage, capers, lemon, onions. If you google pasta with cabbage, you will find some delicious-looking recipes, calling for pancetta or anchovies.

I really love the grilled fish taco recipe on Chow- it has a simple slaw of cabbage, cilantro, red onion, and lime juice which I have grown a little obsessed with. It goes as a great side to fish in general.

If you are feeling adventurous, you could make papusas and curtido, which is a salvadorean slaw that is usually served with the papusas.

My best friend and I invented something called the "west coast salad nicoise" with cured salmon, edamame, cabbage, carrots, sprouts, with a miso dressing, which is also delish.

Cabbage rocks!

Jul 15, 2012
LBeth in Home Cooking