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Dried porcini in the peninsula?

Hi,

I'm looking for a place to buy dried porcini mushrooms in quantity somewhere on the peninsula. Palo Alto, Mountain View, etc. I'm looking for a large litre-sized bag or larger (for instance, from an Italian importer) rather than one of those overpriced quarter ounce bags you find sometimes at supermarkets. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. I'm new in the area.

I didn't see anything on a search, but perhaps I had the wrong terms? Someone was talking about Polish importers in San Francisco but I'm hoping for a more local source.

Thank you.

Molecular Cooking in Montreal

I've seen molecular flourishes at Chez l'Epicier and La Montée du Lait. It's more like an aspect of the presentation than the whole dish, though.

Vegeterian in Montreal and Quebec City?

Depends on the resto. Try La Montee du Lait. They do well if you eat dairy and want a fancy French style meal. But do call ahead.

Other veg favs:

Chu Chai (on St. Denis) and Yuan (on Sherbrooke) for veggie-meat asian. I like Chu Chai more at dinner and Yuan more for veggie dim sum.

Bombay Mahal or Maison Indian Curry for good south Indian in the city. There's an awesome one way out in the burbs if you have a car.

There are a couple good ethiopian places on St. Denis north of Sherbrooke.

Best Lebanese is Daou on Villeray. Sala Rossa has good Spanish food and lots of veg options (unusual that way). Au Vivres is a standard veggie place, and there are veggie options at lots of other restaurants (like fondue? there's good fondue to be had). Tons of options in Little Italy. Just walk down St. Laurent from Jean Talon and look at the menus until something catches your eye. I'm fond of Via Roma.

For Mexican, there are lots of options at Maria Bonita. And for greek, Ouzeri has a few outstanding veg options. There's a Mauritanian place in the Plateau that's unique, and the best veggie pad thai in town is in a food court at the Fabourg mall downtown.

Hope that helps.

4 vegetarians on a road trip

My experience with them is similar -- inconsistent at best.

Vegetarian sugar shack ... an oxymoron? [Moved from Quebec board]

I'm glad I didn't find this thread until now. It turns out I'm a much more interesting and complex person, with subtle motivations and deep cultural resonance in my writing. I won't respond to individuals point for point, and I have no need to clear my good name but in the interest of thanking those who stuck up for me in both threads, here's what happened:

I'm a recent immigrant to Quebec. I'm vegetarian, my wife is an omnivore. She says to me one day, "JES000 [that's her pet name for me], let's go to a sugar shack. Wasn't there one that served vegetarians?" Knowing that most places are pretty meaty, we figured we'd better call ahead rather than just show up on someone's doorstep. I post a query. I get flamed. Rather than being a mature, reasoning person, I flame back. As we know, flames are not usually well-thought-out replies.

End of story, or so I thought until I found this thread.

As to other aspects of the thread: as a vegetarian, I know better than to expect all places to accommodate me. That's why I ask, look over menus ahead of time, and/or call ahead. Some places, like Au Pied du Cachon, can be surprisingly accommodating and do it with a sense of humor. Others do not and so they don't get my business. As many posters have mentioned, it's a pragmatic issue on both sides -- what's worth doing for business, and to whom it's worth it to me to give my business. It's not personal. This is why I asked at the top of the thread if anyone knew the name of the place that was willing to serve vegetarians.

If I said anything ethnically offensive regarding Quebecois, I certainly apologize and retract it, as offense was not intended and it would have been the result of my own cluelessness. Since arriving here, I have been studying French (since I knew none upon arriving), living in Francophone neighborhoods, reading up on Quebec history, and generally working on meeting the host culture halfway (as an immigrant does). That said, I know plenty of Francophone vegetarians, and think it's lame if you're actually saying that of all the Canbanes a sucre in Quebec, not a single one should accommodate vegetarians if they so choose.

As to the "vegetarian steak house" option, I would refer you to Chu Chai, a Thai place that does all sorts of veggie "meats" (or Yuan on Sherbrooke). Such places do exist for those who like them, and in the case of a cabane, the adjustment is actually much less extreme. No, the experience won't be "authentic Quebecois" but then neither am I. The experience will be an interesting fusion of two traditions: hopefully tasty for my companions and I, and worthwhile for the people running the place -- which was the original point of my query.

Thanks again to those who stuck up for me and for the doppelganger that I became in this discussion.

--JES

Mar 31, 2008
JES000000 in General Topics

Vegetarian Sugar Shack Query

Many thanks to those who made the effort to offer helpful replies. We will check out some of the suggestions.

Montreal - 4 star vegetarian? vegetarian poutine?

Hi There,

First, on the high end, it depends on what you define as high end and what kind of vegetarian you are. I eat dairy and I suspect you do too if you're asking about poutine. I'm not obsessed about diet; I just prefer not to eat animals. For expensive places, I've had good meals at La Montee du Lait, Chez l'Epicier, Cafe Ferreira, Bice, and a few others. Au Pied du Cochon actually tried to accommodate me via appetizers and sides and it sort of worked. On the "bargain bistro" end I have found Au Petit Extra to be accommodating but not outstanding. There are some old threads on the topic. Anything French, be sure to call ahead and ask when you make your reservation. They will tell you. Stay away from Laloux, though, since on the phone they said they would accommodate and then did a very poor job of it. Of all of them, if you were to do only one, I'd recommend la Montee du Lait.

If I recall, the potato place near Schwartz's serves certified vegetarian poutine though i haven't tried it. I have a veg friend who swears the poutine veggie at la banquise is vegetarian but I don't know if I believe him; I have simply adopted a "don't ask don't tell" policy for that once-a-year or so 3am run.

Vegetarian Sugar Shack Query

I remember last year there was a sugar shack that got in trouble during the reasonable accommodation debate because they served pea soup without ham and apparently did other accommodating things.

I'm a vegetarian but have never been to a sugar shack and would like to go. Can anyone recall the name of this place or suggest a sugar shack that would accommodate a vegetarian?

Thanks.

--JES

Pier Gabriel?

Hi,

Anyone been here? http://piergabriel.ca/ There's not yet much in the way of reviews.

Best pizza in MTL

Well, people have different tastes, naturally. I was frankly disappointed by Bottega, though they do the super-thin neapolitan pizza well enough. I like my pizza a little, well, thicker and greasier, and for that, Amelio's and Pasta Express each do a good job in their own way. For thinner, I prefer Prato's charcoal-y crunch.

No Shame in the Garlic Press

A cheap surprise is the Ikea garlic press, which we bought after going through two Zyliss presses. We much prefer it.

Sep 09, 2007
JES000000 in Features

JTM Gear

So I'm looking for one of those nice grocery carts for wheeling around the Jean Talon Market. They're sold everywhere, except I'd like on with a bar that has an adjustable height, because I'm tall and my wife is not. Those seem harder to find.

Thanks.

--JES

Favorite Downtown Lunch Delivery

Really?

dosas in montreal?

I'm partial to Maison Indian Curry on Jean Talon but Bombay Choupati is pretty amazing too if you want to make the drive.

Favorite Downtown Lunch Delivery

Hi All,

I work downtown and I'm always at a loss for good delivery ideas in the area other than Amelio's, which I love but you can't survive on pizza alone.

What do others like in the area?

And what's this I hear about a place in the area that delivers Vietnamese subs?

--JES

Gas Stoves

Many thanks for all the replies. They are much appreciated. We're very close to making a choice.

Now, I'm looking for a good gas plumber to set up the stove and piping. Can anyone make a recommendation? We'll be in the Jean-Talon market area, though I don't care where they're based so long as they're good.

--JES

Bakeware etc in Downtown?

Cuisine Gourmet is a beautiful store but also in the "everything is overpriced" category. Still I love it so much that sometimes I just pay the extra bucks.

--JES

Vegetarian restaurants (dairy,eggs OK) in Quebec City

Hi All,

If I can expand this thread a little -- can people offer additional recommendations for Quebec City restaurants that serve meet but also have at least one good vegetarian main dish?

I'll be headed there soon, myself. Thanks.

--JES

Gas Stoves

Thanks for the replies, and please keep them coming. We definitely didn't know about the Corbeil outlet and the Signature Bachand, so we will look into those.

Eat2Much: We considered a professional stove (they are gorgeous, for one thing), but many of the 2-3K consumer models have one or more 17,500btu burners as well as a low BTU simmer burner. Sure, 4 that can do it all is better, but if I think about how we cook, I'm not sure it makes that much of a difference (ie, we rarely need to boil 4 big pots of water at once or sautee 4 skillets worth of veggies at once). My impression is that many of the "professional" stoves need special hoods installed as well because of their high heat output (adding further to the price), that some require special reinforcement of the floor (we're going to be in a 2nd floor condo), and that the repair record on them isn't considerably better that the $2-3000 range. If I'm wrong about all this, I'd love to know. The Alamar guy tried to sell us on the new residential American Range (americanrange.com) but it has no track record whatsoever.

I'd gladly spend another $1k on something that I plan to use every day for the next decade or two and that would be the centerpiece of our kitchen, but I want it to be worth it.

Thanks.

--JES

Gas Stoves

Hi All,

The spouse and I are in the market for a high-consumer grade gas stove ($2000-$3000 range--gas with 4 decent burners and convection but not the faux-"professional" $3500+ range). We've been to A1Corbeil, Sears and a couple other places but nobody seems to have a lot of these on the floor. There's way more selection in electric since that's what most people seem to buy in Montreal. It's understandable but we'd actually like to touch and see the stove we want to buy before purchasing it. Can you recommend another store to visit?

Thanks.

JES

Caf & Bouffe -- Villeray

We had dinner with friends at Caf & Bouffe in Villeray last night. It's a small neighborhood Italian place, and doesn't seat many people. It wasn't busy last night but on our way out the cook suggested we call for reservations in the future.

The place could best be described as "Italian with a Quebecois vibe" -- prices are reasonable (it's BYOB). The menu is not long but contains about 18 different pasta selections, including several vegetarian options, much to my pleasure. There are also several "just meat" options (as opposed to pasta) including standards like Osso Bucco. There is also a table d'hôte, where you get soup, salad, and dessert for $9 extra.

I had the ricotta stuffed pasta dumplings (I forget the name, but they're like giant thick ravioli) in a walnut and cream sauce. Very rich, but well done. Spouse had the linguini with clam sauce -- she's been looking for a good clam sauce since we arrived in Montreal -- and liked it. Though it was more herb-y than garlicky (which is how most of her favorite clam sauces are). Our friends had the linguini with pesto, boncoccini and sundired tomatos, which tasted good but was a little heavy on the olive oil; and the carbonara sauce, which was reported to be very good.

The highlight of the meal was the table d'hôte, which spouse and I split. The cauliflower soup was to die for, as was the goat cheese salad (mostly because of the interesting viniagrette), and since it was about to be Féte Nationale, we chose the sugar pie for dessert, which had the predicted intense maple flavor. Also worthy of mention was the excellent onion confit that went with the bread they served (the bread was also excellent, though I'm not sure that it's baked on premises).

Service was great, though oddly, they don't keep take-out containers on hand. Dinner for spouse and I -- 2 pastas, 1 table d'hôte and a generous tip -- set us back $50.

171 Villeray Est., 514-277-7455, staff is Francophone but will speak English. We will definitely be back.

High End and Veg Friendly

Hi Tom,

Actually, vegdining.com is new to me, so thanks.

FWIW, Au Petit Extra has been disappointing on the veg front every time I've been there. Excessively greasy pasta with a tomato-based sauce (my carnivorous spouse also thinks it's overrated so I take some comfort there, though the service is always great). The French bistro on Parc by Milton is the same story. Which is why I asked.

I'd also never heard for Gary Null (talk show host and alternative medicine guy?), and looking him up, I'm not sure what he's got to say about which French restos cater well and kindly to vegetarians. So perhaps I have the wrong Gary Null?

Best,
--JES

High End and Veg Friendly

Hi All,

I'm a lacto-ovo vegetarian and occasionally find myself with people who want a high end French or Bistro experience. I've had great veg meals at Chez L'Epicier (they may or may not have veg items on the menu but if you call ahead they really do it right) and it's usually my first call. But I'd like some more options.

Au Pied du Cachon was sympathetic but the best they could do was a combination of appetizers.

L'Express looks too meaty and I never tried it, and alas, Les Chevres is no more.

So, what other French-ish high-end places will accommodate vegetarians well but allow meat eaters the full-on experience?

Who makes a great rissotto in Montreal?

any particularly oustanding vegetarian risotto options out there?

Vegetarian-friendly restaurants & South Indian for lunch

I've had the dosas at all those places and while they are different, they are all outstanding.

Chowish neigbourhoods for living in Montreal?

I'd say for cutting edge chow, Petit Patrie is the winning choice right now. Lots of affordable places to dine (like what I imagine the Plateau used to be before the expensive places all took over) great grocers and an awesome liquor store. Plus one metro stop to JTM and a quick ride to downtown.

Grits in Montreal?

Okay, I know this is the north and not the south and all. But surely there must be someplace in town willing to overcharge me for grits. Surely? I'd prefer to buy them and cook them myself but if someone serves them for breakfast, that would be good to know as well.

Thanks.

JES

CHOW Root Beer

This is probably a stupid question, but is there a way to make one's own sugar-free root beer?

Mar 03, 2007
JES000000 in Recipes