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Restaurant Openings - 2009

Guy and Maisonneuve, underneath the new business school tower "opening soon": Arouch.

They are opening right across the new "fancier" Al Taib (which has three other branches within the same block-radius), and right next to Antep Kebab, which looks like they are open now. This is getting crazy, but I heard their lahmajouns will be better than Al-Taib's.

Jun 25, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

lobster rolls

I concur. I tried it today and it wasn't good value for the money considering the quality and the quantity of food received. My lobster was overcooked, limp and stringy and there wasn't a zing in the mixture. I agree it needed more acidity and perhaps more celery especially since the lobster itself was kind of meh. I also tried the chowder for which I needed a magnifying glass to find the clams inside. Tastewise it was good (not your usual starchy over-creamy chowder, but more of a Boston style), but the ingredients were too skimpy for the money they are asking for.

Considering the price, I would say this is not the most chowworthy experience.

I'll try to assemble my own this weekend, sourcing from Antoine which is very close to my home.

Jun 25, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

ISO: Green tomatoes

There are also Green Zebras, an eternally green colored/striped tomato that shows up at the heirloom vendors in Jean Talon. My guess is the OP is looking for unripe tomatoes to fry them? Perhaps not, but we'll see once it is clarified.

Jun 24, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

What's open on Wednesday?

Mine was in the spam folder :)

Jun 23, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

What's open on Wednesday?

Bouchonne sent an e-mail saying that they are offering Quebec wine, beers and a menu "cantine" on the 24th. Sounds interesting.

Jun 23, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

uniquely Ann Arbor and very special?

Finally back from my visit. I was somewhat bounded my host's decisions, so I didn't get to diversify as much as I could, but overall I had a very nice trip.

Cafe Comet: I stopped by this little shop every morning, sometimes twice. The owner is passionate and makes a mean cappuccino and a solid espresso. They use 49th Parallel beans, one of the top notch roasters in North America and also the supplier of my preferred hometown espresso bar (Cafe Myriade).

Cafe Zoma: I had a lovely brunch here. My friend ordered a ham and cheese crepe, which looked lovely. But coming from Frenchland, I didn't want to order crepes. Instead I chose an omelette with eggplant and feta. Richy and buttery, perfectly fluffy and not at all rubbery. Decent house coffee too.

Logan's: My friend (who is a little bit of an European/upscale food snob) insisted that Zingerman's Roadhouse is overrated and took me to Logans. In hindsight, I should have insisted on Zingerman's BBQ. There was nothing wrong with Logans, but for my money I can get much better examples of this fare (duck confit, creme brulee) in my hometown. Zingerman's BBQ on the other hand was a lost opportunity of eating things that I would never be able to eat in Quebec. At Logan, service was impeccable and food was pretty good. Seriously, there was no problems with it, but it wasn't too memorable either. Still I had a great time because I was with a good friend and got a chance to chat up with the passionate sommellier.

Casey's: Here I met world's most beautiful onion rings. Seriously, they were so pretty I couldn't touch them for a while. Other fried fare followed. We were happy. Somebody at the table was moaning while eating her burger, I was too busy rotating the appetizer selection and beers so never tried this beauty.

Ashley's: I had previously written somewhere in Chowhound that Bell's Two Hearted might be one of the greatest beers ever made on this planet. After two years of separation from my ale of choice, I must say I still agree. There were many many other selections, but like a lover fresh out of jail, I jumped on it and ordered again and again until I I lost count.

Madras Masala: I took a group of people there who turned out to be dining companions from hell (nope, the group didn't include my sweet but snobbish friend, these were really annoying peeps). Apparently, they don't like spicy food or "weird stuff" (they were pointing to my masala dosa). They could have told me this when I asked if they'd like to eat Indian food with me. I didn't even get to share food family style (my preferred way of eating Indian food), but my masala dosa was great, and a little bite I got from someone's nan was promising. Of course no-one thanked me for choosing this restaurant. (sigh)

Zingerman's: I almost didn't get a chance to stop here, but squeezed a late lunch of Reuben and pickles. Deserves every sort of hype it gets, though the price was a little bit shocking considering that a smoked meat sandwich at equally mouthwatering Schwartz is a mere 5.5 bucks (compared to 12).

Jun 22, 2009
emerilcantcook in General Midwest Archive

Real Chilli Powder and smoked paprika

The reliable Szeged brand Hungarian paprika could be found in a lot of stores: some regular groceries (I think I saw some at Provigo) and also specialty stores (Vieille Europe, Olive et Epices).

Boucherie Hungroise should also have some, and might have the best turnaround.

Jun 22, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

lobster rolls

My previous post had a typo (shouldn't post before my first coffee of the day). It should be Muvbox, or actually Müvbox. I think it is a play on the fact that the restaurant itself is a shipping container.

Thanks for sacrificing your 10 bucks for the Chowhound gang. I guess I won't be going there soon.

Jun 22, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

lobster rolls

don't see them in the menu

Jun 22, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

lobster rolls

Anywhere in town that sells decent lobster rolls? Someone wrote about the Mubvox, the non "street foot" portable restaurant in Old Montreal. Is it worth trekking down there?

Please do not suggest me make them at home. I know that would be the best option if I were able to cook lobsters at home. Alas...

Jun 22, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

QING HUA DUMPLING

OK, are these dumplings getting smaller; or is it my appettite that is getting bigger?

Jun 19, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Biryani chicken history..so confused

I think Kerala style biryani has pineapples in them, but I might be wrong.

Jun 18, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Banh mi around Guy-Concordia

Hankering for some Vietnamese sub, I stopped by at Ba-le (2148 Mackay) early noon to inquire about their sandwiches. The bread wasn't ready, a proof that they bake their breads in the premises.

Later the same day, I stopped by to get my fix. Grilled pork ($4) wasn't on the big sign-menu, but the waitress suggested that. I obliged. The bread was great, the fixings were decent, the pork was fantastic. But then again, I've never met a pork sandwich that I didn't like. I am not an expert on this sandwich, it is something I just recently started eating, but I must say I've had better sauce elsewhere. Not sure how authentic this is, but I prefer more mayonnaisey taste in the sandwich (or perhaps I am acting like a whitey). Still the sandwich hit the spot, kindly, especially the pork. I am going to put this place in my rotation, but I wonder if I can do better around this environs. Any takes?

Also, has anyone tried their soups?

Jun 18, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Robin des Bois, anyone have been recently?

Was it good? Discuss please.

Jun 17, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Salad anyone?

There is also Laitue & Go; but I also prefer Chop Crazy. I wouldn't call their salads "great", but when I am in downtown and want to munch on some greens I order them once in a while. They are made to order, but at the end of the day are fast food salads. Thai Express of the salad world, I'd say.

I have been in search of really good salads downtown, stuff that would lure me away from great noodles and dumplings, but never succeeded. Noodles always win, my waistline doesn't.

Jun 17, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

chocolate souffle

I was watching this show on TV which featured hungry people downing chocolate souffle, and realized that I haven't had this dish for years. Where would be my best bet? Merci!

Jun 16, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

The non-sushi Japanese food scene

Azuma in Mile End reportedly has some donburi and other non sushi dishes and I've been meaning to try them. I think they had some good reviews here and there. Sorry this was all I can come up with.

Jun 16, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Sick & lazy, need pho/chicken soup delivery!

What did you end up ordering? Did it hit the spot? I is sick and needy for soup.

Jun 16, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

ISO Ramen recommendations

There is Ramen-ya (St Laurent/ Marie Anne), not particularly authentic but warms you up kindly in the winters. The broth is decent, but not as complex as some ramen I've tasted. Their noodles are very good.

Jun 15, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Montreal 2nd weekend of July

You can also walk and eat while walking to Romados. There is a lot of little shops on your way if you take St Laurent, including the Schwartz, which is on your list. Although Romados over Schwartz might be an overkill :)

Jun 10, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Fairmont Bagel and St.Viateur

You are all wrong! The best bagel comes from Hamilton. Sesame and poppy are for tourists, the real bagel aficionados prefer theirs in cinnamon flavor, lightly dusted in sugar.

Jun 10, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Best of Northeastern Turkish cuisine

Miroloto is a maize based bread with the addition of collards and other greens. I think I mistakenly classified it as a central eastern dish, it should be from the Black Sea Region considering the ingredients.

Bakla corbasi (fava bean soup) is actually common in Northwestern Turkey

I don't want to be rude, but can you try writing a little reader-friendly? This rambling styled non-proofread notes filled with typos and non-words are not that helpful to the visitors who are already overwhelmed by this information.

Jun 10, 2009
emerilcantcook in Europe

Weekday Dinner Review: Chef Guru

Weekday evening. Like rest of the week I have no energy to cook and deadlines impending. Boyfriend offers to run for some takeout from this absurdly named place (someone once thought this was another Mike Myers flick). One vegetarian thali, one fried fish curry, two samosas and the total is 20 bucks if I heard it right.

Nans are not good. They taste and feel like they are from a grocery store. You know one of those Memoirs of Galen Weston thingamajigs in a shrink wrap? But the rice is niice and fluffy and comes in a bounty.

Fish curry includes lightly battered and fried fish and two pieces of shrimp swimming in a warm curry. Not bad. Actually too bad because this is what the boyfriend has ordered for himself. I am allowed to eat only a few bites, not enough to finish deconstructing the dish.

My thali is just OK. The saag paneer gets boring, even though this is normally one of my favorite dishes. The spices don't sing, and the paneer (if I can find it, there are only a few pieces in the mound) is nothing special. Chole is much much better, more balanced but my eyes are still on the fish curry.

The samosas arrive home cold, but I am not sure how they got cold over the short trip; it feels like they were fried a while ago. I can see that they would be pretty decent if they were freshly fried. Nice spices, slightly oily but good crust.

We were informed there was some sort of "Indian" fish and chips with spices in the batter, but today they weren't available. I am intrigued.

The place is halal, but there are pictures of nekkid people on the walls, so beware. Boyfriend says, considering his expectations based on the name and the logo, "this is not bad at all". Not bad, really, for those times when I cannot make it to the Parc Ex this will just do it. My belly is full, my deadline awaits me.

4120 boulevard Saint-Laurent

Jun 09, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Finding good espresso in Montreal

I only had one very good coffee at Gamba, among several tries (before giving up), so I don't advise visitors go out of their way to visit this place. As a neighborhood place I think they deliver decent coffee, and they are a fantastic source for beans, but I also agree that their quality varies too much to consider them a destination spot. I had better luck with the espresso at Olimpico in that neighborhood.

Myriade all the way.

Jun 09, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

best chocolates in montreal?

I tried Le Maitre Chocolatier. I paid around 2.5-3 bucks for each, and they were fine. Good quality, classic flavors, nothing life changing but solid. Among a few I sampled I liked the one filled with home made pistachio/almond paste. Their caramel with maldon salt was good as well. The owners are very friendly and take time to talk about their products with great sincerity and humility. Still, I realized that I am a chocolate bar person. For me it is the difference between a well made cocktail and a really good scotch or wine. I like them both, but when calories and money are an issue, I think I can do without the former.

Jun 09, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Montreal public market thread-2009

I think Birri had them earlier during the season, but not sure if they still have it. You can always order online, though it is getting late to start things from seed.

Jun 08, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Where did you eat this week ?

I found their menu: http://restomontreal.ca/restaurants/i...

but please, tell us more.

Jun 08, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Restaurant Openings - 2009

Guy and Maisonneuve, the building east of the new business school building of Concordia, a new sign: Antep Kebab Cuisine Turque. Windows are papered, there is a permit but no other sign/note on the door. The sign looks rather old, so perhaps this is a transplant?

Jun 08, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Zawahdeh Lebanese restaurant

Please do write. I am definitely going to try this place soon and I wouldn't have noticed it if it wasn't for this review.

Jun 07, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Plateau Area - Best Brunch

I have had a few mehs at Reservoir in the past few months, but I think still it is the best bet in the city.

Not sure if this is a coincidence, but everytime I sit at the bar, something goes wrong with my food, such as an element in the dish being forgotten, or plate left at the counter too long. They usually pay less attention to the bar customers. I'd actually expect otherwise, but oh well, I am not testing that hypothesis again.

Jun 07, 2009
emerilcantcook in Quebec (inc. Montreal)