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I LOVE trying new restaurants and that's what I want to share with you, any chance I'll get! You'll also find that I'm quite the critic, sometimes a tad harsh but hey, it's not show friends, it's show business! ITHQ grad in restaurant management, j'ai toujours quelque chose à dire et je cherche toujours à vous faire rire!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Sumac

I LOVE Sumac. Simple as that. It's love. And I met some pretty awesome girls that love it as much as I do. What what. It's Lebanese at its best. Forget Amir or Boustan, Sumac is where it's at. So that's where I was last week with Al and Mar, the Sumac 'experts' and V, one of my fave baby gurls from the gym.

First off, lemme say that Sumac is effin busy. All the time. ALL the time. All the TIME! Y'all get it? Obviously, there's a good reason for that! You want the best Lebanese fast-ish food, you go there, it's as simple as that. On top of being busy, it's happenin'! It was full when we got there at 8h30 pm and got even more full after that!
Happenin' usually means loud, and it certainly did in this case. Which is just fine, but when the table is as large as I am long, and you have a hard time hearing the person in front of you, it becomes a problem. A problem I would absolutely accept if I were in a night club. But this was not a night club. At least not that I'm aware of.

I've already written about Sumac so I won't dwell on the place itself (you can read about it here: http://www.eatingoutmontreal.com/2015/02/sumac.html ) but more on the food because let's be honest, this is the #1 reason why you are reading this.
I wanted to have a drink. Rum and fanta sounded like just the thang I wanted. Simple and right up my alley. You know, my drinking alley. It had just the right amount of rum in there (read: LOTS) and was nice and sweet. AND, when do I ever get to drink Fanta? I LOVE that stuff.
Hummus fries. So basically two of my favourite things. It should be part of that song in The Sound of Music-- 'some hummus on fries with lo-ooots of spices, these are a few of my favourite things!'. Yes? Let's do it! I'll call up the Von Trapp family. But before I do that...I would like to rename this dish 'The Lebanese Poutine'. I don't really like poutine and will only taste one that does not include either the crottes de fromages (ew!) or that brown sauce (eeeeew!), so this was purrrrrfect! The fries were crunchy and hot and soft on the inside. Basically, the definition of a good fry. On the fries, the spices were very present, which is what you want! Well, it's what I want! Aight so there's sumac (I bet at least 62% of you did not know that it was a spice), which adds a bit of acidity, and zaatar which is a mix of spices like thyme, sumac and sesame seeds. I remember when I was in high school, dem Arab boys would always bring pita type bread (from what I recall, it is called manouché---but I might be wrong) smothered in zataar. The spiciness came from the s'rug which was kind of sprinkled on so we never knew which bite was going to be spicy. For me, it was a nice surprise but for Mar, who dsont like the spice, it was not cool. The hummus was like a cloud: smooth and heavenly. some of the best I've had. And trust me, I've HAD hummus!
Chicken shawarma OR very full and colourful vagina. No? Come oooon! In this loveliness, there's hummus, tahina, purple and green cabbage and pickled turnip. Yes. What I noticed at first was that the chicken seemed a bit old. I guess they had cooked it earlier and hey, there were closing soon soooo. Still, obviously, the fresher the better (duh), so that kind of turned me off. It was still uber tasty tho but... the question remained: when in the hell did they cook it? The bread was very soft and fresh but maybe a bit too thin in some spots because all the liquid from the sandwich would seep through. If there's one thing i hate is having hands full of food juice. Hahaha: food juice. The turnips were perfect and I just loved the cabbage in there. Really loved the textural aspect of it. Crunch crunch crunch!

Service was aight: very quick, water on the table, but does not check if we're a-ok. How it goes is that you order at the cash (those big line-ups can get annoying) and then you are seated and wait a couple minutes for your plate. It's actually rather light-speed fast.

And now, the scores!

Food: 7
Service: 7

I can't not go back because I usually love it so much so ya, totes heading there again soon for more Lebanese awesomeness that will hopefully be a bit awesomer (don't even check, it's a word!) than the last time.

Sumac Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, August 22, 2016

Le Passé Composé

The boss Val and I just HAD to see Mel before she either got too fat to move or gave birth. Val's sis once owned this restaurant and she wanted us to go there. To be honest, looking at the menu at first, AND the prices, I was not convinced. She promised me that I would not regret it so hey, as the awesome blogger that I am and discoverer of all things restaurant, I said suuuure!
Le Passé Composé has recently moved from the Plateau (on Roy) to the village. Although the place looks very small from the outside, according to many peeps the new venue is 100 times better. And bigger. They actually have a huge mother effin terrasse at the side of the restaurant complete with a little garden (with the biggest zucchinis I've EVA seen) and many picnic tables. I would say it could easily hold up to 55 people. If not more. 80 if you are tiny.
Val was somewhat known there so we were in for a treat. I love treats. And THAT'S why I love Halloween! Haha! But seriously: treaaaaaats! We sat down outside on the sunny terrasse and ordered some freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. Yaaaaaaz!!!
You know how freshly squeezed orange juice is just so damn good. Multiply that by 8. This was so fresh and sweet and served at the perfect temperature, as if it had just left the fruit itself! One second it's in the fruit, one second it's in ma glass! Mmmmm! You'd think it would be a bit sour because, well, it is a citrus after all, but it was just perfect! Perfecto mundo! People say that, right? And look at that colour!!!! Well, that's just my favorite shade of pink!
Panko crusted french toast! Yeeeeeeeeeeeees! This was courtesy of the chef, so yes again! It was crunchy and sweet and soft on the inside. It was kind of like eating candy (second Halloween reference=I can't wait!) but better. Wow, this was a big winner in my book. Adding that maple syrup just made it unbearably good. Seriously, I was like ,'what the f is this awesomeness in ma mouth?'. Obviously I couldn't eat this every day because I would balloon up to 800 pounds, but maybe once a week?
The pièce de résistance. Mmmkay so you know what a good breakfast tastes like, right? How about a great one? Well this was one of the BEST freaking breakfast I've had. In my life. And y'all know I eat out a lot (whaaaaat? it's my second--unpaid--job)! Fresh fruit, home made smoothie, poached egg with foie gras, pancetta chip, caramelized onions and foie gras sauce on brioche.

I don't even know where to start. Easy does it: the mango-lime smoothie was perfect, not too sweet, very smooth, just thick enough and uber flavorful. Fruits were very fresh but that ain't why I ordered this dish. Duh. Who orders anything for the fruit? The brioche was cheesy and spongy and airy and like a pillow. Yep, I was eating a very tasty pillow. Oh, with it absorbing all that yummy foie gras sauce, it was the best sponge ever. EVER! The sauce was a tad on the salty side but still awesomeballs. It was thick but managed to infiltrate everything and that's what made it damn good. The pancetta was a great textural element, adding a nice salty crunch to the dish. The egg was perfect. I'm very egg-difficult. This was a perfect egg. I hate having to add salt 'n peppa, you know? I'm way too lazy to grab those shakers! It was splendidly seasoned. Yes, I chose 'splendidly'. It's fitting. Trust me. Go there and you'll be saying 'splendidly' left and right. The foie gras was, well, come on, it's foie gras people! Think luxury. Think delicacy. Think $. Think FAT! It was really tasty and went really well with the whole dish. Egg and foie gras? Yes! Brioche and foie gras? Yes. Foie gras sauce and foie gras? Well, sheesh, that's just a match made in food heaven. For the record, that is the heaven I would like to go to. The only thing that was NOT perfect was that it wasn't as clean as I would have liked it to be. You always have to 'clean' the foie gras by taking out the veins of the liver. I could still taste some sinew when biting into it and that was a bit unwanted to say the least.

Service was excellent, but again, maybe it's because Val knew the owner. Kind of like when I get invited to try a restaurant; I never know if it's the real service or the fake we-invited-you-therefore-you-are-special kind of service. Water was on the table and she checked if we liked our choices. No, they were just awful, I think you should bring more so that I can make an informed decision. Mmmmthanks!

And now, the scores!

Food: 9
Service: 9

And I shall go back 8 times. Because I must, damn it!

Passé Composé Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Chocolats Favoris

Val just wouldn't shut up about this place. It was 'Chocolats Favoris this' and 'Chocolats Favoris that'. For at least 2 weeks. I got so sick of this that when she suggested we go on Sunday, I said sure. But ONLY because I wanted her to stop talking about it. Ok, the real reason was that I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I had heard little things like 'best ice cream ever' and 'oh my gawd you'll love it'. You know, little things.

Chocolats Favoris has been in business for over 30 years and has been serving up ice cream for the past 20. And THAT was your bit of history for today. They are the new baby in the Quartier des spectacles, located in the Complexe Desjardins. The place is freaking huge! Damn huge. Humongous. Mammoth. OK, iz big. Extra tall ceilings, white everything à la Juliette et Chocolat (but better, of course--can you sense a bit of bitterness here?) and chocolate e-very-where. You can't hide from it, it's everywhere. Mmmmmchocolate.
Aight so, one thing that has made this place famous is their 12 dipping chocolates. Whaaaaaat. So you get either vanilla or chocolate ice cream and you just get em' to dip it, dip it good. And dip it good, they do: they dip the ice cream for over 45 seconds to make sure there's a large coat of chocolate on there. Rrrrrrr (enter Homer Simpson drooling sound). The one sucky thing is that if you decide on the chocolate ice cream, the girl told us that they have to put it in a cup because it doesn't hold or some shizzle. Not cool man. Not cool. Obviously, this made me choose vanilla. I wanted to full experience.
Dulce de leche for me and caramel fleur de sel for Val. I often say stuff like 'heavenly' or 'it tastes like heaven'. Well, forget about all those times because this right here, THIS is mother f*ckin' heaven. In a cone. I don't even know what to write. I was flabbergasted by the yumminess of it. And that, people, barely ever happens to me. Fo serious. The fact that they dipped it for such a long time (seriously, I even looked at my phone--cause who has a watch these days) made the dipping chocolate oh-so-thick. There was at least a centimeter of awesomeness coating the ice cream. And it was thick. And it was awesome. AND it was the best damn sweet thang I've had in a long time. Both flavours, being caramel-y and all, tasted about the same, but that just means twice the goodness in ma mouth. I just couldn't believe how great it was. Woooooooooooooow. I didn't want it to end and when it did, I was a tad disappointed to find out that the humidity had gotten to the cone and it was not as crunchy as I'd hoped it would be. But who cares about that cone. What matters is the heaven on top.

Service was quick and uber efficient: pay, give name, call name, serve. And they were about 7 behind the counter so it was fast fast fast!

And now, the scores!

Food: 1 miiiiiillion! But seriously. 9.5 because of that humid cone
Service: 9.5

Would I go back? What do YOU think?

ps: I already have plans of going back next week :p

Chocolats Favoris Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

El Gordo

I bike past El Gordo all the time. It's only natural that I'd want to eat there. AND it's new. AAAAND they serve tacos. AND mojitos. Hello. Checking them out on the internet, I discovered that it was more like 'goodbye' because it was obvious that the food sucked a**, if you know what I mean. Ew, I don't even know what that means! Seriously, even for a new resto still trying to fit in and find its way, the critics were very harsh. One thing really made me want to still try it tho: the fact that you can get any drink in pitcher form. Yep, that's right! And since I was about to be able to start drinking again after 1 month off.... Hello mojito! 
It's way smaller than I thought it would be inside. I think they may have more seats outside than in, which is a rare occurrence. I really liked the lamps which kind of gave a homy, almost gypsy feel to it. Skulls were drawn on the walls, dia de los muertos style. The decor was a bit over the top but keeping with a chill feel. And I'm sticking to that!
Jad had called me at around 8h50 to tell me that the 5$ (usually 9$) margarita deal was finishing at 9. Totes wanted one to start off my evening of mojito drinking. I really loved the glass! It looked like a recipient you put your candle in. Right? Totes. The margarita itself was whhhaaaayyy (you know I'm serious when I add h's everywhere) too salty and sour. It made all my taste buds go cray cray. And not in a good way. And it was strong as all hell. Wow. Imagine this ad: 'Wanna get drunk fast? Well, just have a sip of El Gordo's margarita and you're on your way!'.
This is the reason why it all started: el mojito. Ah yes, my love affair with mojitos rages on! We obviously had to get the pitcher for 40 $. The waiter brings it to our table and also brings a can of San Pelligrino limonata. Why you ask? Well, he informs us that this drink is SO strong, that he STRONGLY recommends we dilute it. Hahaha! Me, dilute a drink? NEVER! But I sure did, after a sip. Ohhhh, did I ever. It was pretty much like taking shots one after the other. Dang! So, as weird as it was, that limonata did come in handy.
Tacos con puerco. I was bracing myself for narstiness. For realz. But these were really not that shabby. Not too shabby at all. The pork was moist, the pineapple brought in a bit of sweetness, the salsa was a tad too hot (and I LOVE me a good hot-as-hell salsa) and the cilantro was obviously awesome in there. All in all, a great little taco. Hello little taco, you want to get in my mouth? Ya, that's what i would say to it if it'd be walking down the street. I know what you're thinking: i need to stop doin' drugs. Ya, I'll get right on that.

Service was not the best. I had to actually physically get up to ask the waiter for water because after 5 minutes of being seated, I think it's ridunculous to not have a glass in front of you. The food arrived quite rapidly to our table and the drinks even quicker. That's the way I like it. All in all, really nothing to write home about. I ain't writing home about this, you best be sure of that.

And now, the scores!

Food/drinks: 7
Service: 6

Tacos are the new 'in' thing right now so there are about 800 new restaurants that serve them up in the area. I went to El Gordo and I had my pitcher of uber strong mojito.  I'm happy. I'm ready to try something else.

El Gordo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Arepera


I have about 4 groups of friends at the gym. Hey, what can I say? Peeps are attracted to my muscles, like, 'oh, she'll show me the way, she must be awesome!'. Or something. Haha. All jokes aside, I love my gym friends. And I gots to say, some have become my, wait for it, real life friends. Fo realz yo. Anyhoot, my girl (yes, you are MINE) Mar wanted me to review her fave Venezuelan restaurant. I warned her about my reviews that can go both ways and she still wanted me to go to Arepera. So I dsid. Along with her (wait, also MINE) home girls Al and Ash. Oh and Mar is from Venezuela so this was gonna be eeeeepic. I may be exaggerating. Epic is a big small word. It was gonna be dsamn awesome.
The place itself is so cute: colourful, vibrant, everything a South American resto should be... and usually is! Large paintings of the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix adorned the walls along with a rainbow colored guitar, a hammock full of plantains (so, basically my fave kind of hammock) and in the corner, little wooden houses on the wall. Too cute. The 28 seat restaurant is on the small side but the vibe is on the big side! Latin music is playing and you KNOW it's festive. For me, South America is always having a big partay. That everyone is invited to.

Mar was actually going a bit cray cray (hey, that's a good thing!) at the idea of me tasting all that Venezuelan goodness. Well, to be honest, I was going a bit cray cray too. Just looking at the menu, I wanted to eat it all. Fun fact: this restaurant is pretty much 3 quarters gluten free and has many vegetarian/vegan options. I actually asked 'how many of these arepas should I order' (and in all honesty they all looked like they belonged in my mouth and I was planning on ordering at least 3) and Mar answered a very decisive 'only one'.  A bit of sadness ensued. Side note: arepas, apart from being the best corn product out there (and we all know half of the stuff is made out of corn), is a traditional, hand-made, Venezuelan corn bread.
Passion fruit and sugar cane juices. I had a sip of the sugar cane one. It was good. I found that it tasted like a sweet iced tea. Not uber fond of iced tea tho. The passion fruit juice was oooooooh so good. Hells to the yes. It was like drinking a field of passion fruit. Ya, if that wasn't a thing before, it is now. It was a bit tart but so sweet and diddely damn delicious.
Platanos!! Ah yes, plantain. The hotter brother of the more common (at least here) banana. I mean, come on. Come ON! They were soft and full of flavour and add a bit of queso (mild feta) on there and BAM, you got yourself awesomeness in the form of a bananer.  Oh ya and put some of that cilantro and citrus sauce on there and you got the number 1 platanos. Fun fact #2: Ash proclaimed herself to be a cilantro hater but, turns out, she loved the sauce more and more as the meal went on. We got another one on our [cilantro] side, guys!
Reina Pepiada. Or shredded chicken breast in an avocado sauce OR avocado attack as I would describe it. This was everything I'd want an arepa to be: hot, fresh, full of avocado and oh-so-tasty. Ya cause after having a couple bites, I could've called myself an arepa expert. Duh.
La LLanera. 'Carne mechada' with feta cheese and avocado. Oh and watercress on the side. I found it really nice to have watercress on my plate. When do you EVER have watercress on yo plate? Neva. That corn bread was soft and crunchy all at once and just heavenly, really. And I'm not just saying that because I hadn't eaten anything that resembled bread in 1 week. The meat was very well seasoned but a bit on the dry side (that put a tear or two in Mar's eyes, I swear). The avocado was obviously amazing (I mean, when is avocado NOT), the watercress was a very interesting touch and I loved it. I liked the earthiness of it and the way it married well with the cilantro. That's right, I say stuff like 'married well' now. I'm totes fancy. Since the arepas themselves aren't on the spicy side, we had a nice home made hot sauce. And when THAT got too hot, we could balance it out with that amazeballz cilantro sauce. I want some of that in my fridge, man.
I had set my heart on their cheese cake with plantain but alas, they didn't have any at the time. Damn iiiiit. So, I settled on the gluten-free chocolate cake. It was more like a reversed fondant: caky on the inside and lots of liquidy chocolate at the bottom and on top. Dude, I am NOT complaining. It was chocolate and more chocolate. Thickness was de rigeur and I was very ok with that. It was super duper heavy and you know what, it was so tasty that I didn't really mind.
Coconut rice pudding. Coconut? Oh f ya! Rice pudding? Not usually a huge fan. This one was fresh and cinnamony and the rice was perfect. So f*ck ya to rice pudding baby! And, come on, who doesn't love coconut?
Flan. OK, wow. Best damn flan ever. I think they mixed somethin' up because this tasted exactly like the cheesecake I wanted, safe for the platanos. Seriously, wow. Woooooow. It dson't look like nothin' but woooow. I'm gonna stop saying that now. Wow. OK, now. It was soft, it was dense, it was gone in 2.5 seconds. I secretly wished Ash would not have liked it so that I could just put it all down my throat.

Service was very friendly and fast. Just the way I like it. We had to ask for some more water though, which, as you know, is one of my pet peeves. Ugh.

And now, the scores (Mar, hold your breath)!

Food: 8.5
Service: 8

I believe there are many more arepas I must try, and i will not rest until I do!

Arepera du plateau Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Burger Bar

I was meeting my ex boss (and without sounding like a suck up, one of my all time faves) to discuss my almost six year old blog. I know, it makes me sound totes old. Well, maybe cause I am. But let's not dwell on my 35, almost (yish) 36 year old self. We wanted something close to his office so it had to be downtown. I am SO not an expert on downtown; I'm more of a Sud-Ouest specialist.

I picked Burger Bar simply because I had already been to mbrgr and Deville's and that was pretty much the next one on the list, burger wise. Obviously not because of the SUPER original name :p This place has been there for at least 5 years, so that's like a 100 in restaurant years. Props. Oh and it's on Crescent. I'm not super fond of Crescent; it's always loud and it's as if every gino (ya, I went there) with a nice car has to drive on that street and make huge engine noises. Ugh. 

You get in and it looks more like a pub than a resto: very dark, wooden chairs and tables, tall club-like waitresses. That's right, I now describe girls as 'club-like'. They had a little terrasse up front with about 14 seats that was kind of hidden yet in plain sight, complete with uber plastic-y tables and chairs. Uber. Plastic. Apart from all the blinding plastic, it was nice because it was around 100 times more personal than, let's say, Winston Churchill's huge mofo of a terrasse right next door. 

I obviously had looked at the menu 8 times and already knew what I was having. Oh, AND it was my return to alcohol so I wanted to make it a good one.
Limonade Burger Bar. It had pineapple juice in there! And lots of vodka. Or maybe it was the first-drink-in-a-month sensation. It was fresh, it was sweet but not too sweet, it was delicioso. Uhuh, I'm goin' all Italian up in here.
Le Supersonique. Dear lord! My mouth is really small. Like, really small. Like, dentists curse whenever I get shit done in there. I tried mouth stretching exercises as soon as I saw this approaching. My first thought was that I was slightly disappointed that the rings weren't IN the burger. Took off the rings, squished the burger. To the max. The lower bun was soggy because of all the squishing juices so that made it even harder to eat. And not that pleasant. The bacon was awesome but, let's face it, when is bacon NOT awesome? The rest was... normal. A normal burger. I mean, it was good, but not wow. The potatoes, which, by the by, cost an extra 4 bucks, which I think is kind of steep, were up there: crunchy, soft on the inside, hot, well seasoned, perfecto (oh, there goes my Italian again). With some spicy mayo dippin' it was just p-e-r-f-e-c-t. 

Service was aight. She waited just long enough to bring me water for me to be annoyed. I know Max had not arrived yet but that dson't mean I can't get no water. We got our food in a very timely manner and our drinks even timelier. Is that a thing? It's a thing.

And now, the scores!

Food:7.5
Service: 7.5

I'm sure there are 100 other restaurants I need to try before I go back to Burger Bar. And my burger quota is pretty much maxed out for the next 6 months!
Burger Bar Crescent Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Fortune

I went to Fortune for the first time last year for a 'work meeting' with Val and Shar. We discovered their margaritas and then we discovered more of their margaritas. OK, let's just say tipsiness was reached... before work :) Hey, it's the best way to start a shift. OK, perhaps not. But it sure made it fun.
Quickly, because I've already described the place in my previous post: it is really small and you should definitely sit at the bar to have a good view of the tequila. You know, at some point in high school, my nickname was 'no more tequila for Marie'. I shant explain for I think it's pretty clear! My super duper friend Jad wanted me to try their shrimp n' grits and who am I to refuse good food? Come on, I'm a restaurant blogger, it's my job to try what y'all like. Fo serious! 
Hello! AND hello again! I'm probably the biggest shrimp fan I know. I'm like Bubba in Forrest Gump: I like shrimp cocktail, shrimp curry, coconut shrimp, shrimp in a stew, shrimp in a salad, pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, shrimp everything. And when I took my first bite of this dish, my eyes actually lit up. Holy f*ck! Those shrimp were cooked to damn perfection. Shrimp are a bit like calamari; cook em' a second too long and they become plastic. And that ain't no fun. They pretty much melted right in ma mouth. Melting shrimp, that's what I love. FYI, grits are coarsely ground corn kernels boiled with water or milk. Ps, that was for you AND for me, cause I don't think I had ever had grits before in my long life. It kind of resembles the texture of polenta. These grits had cheddar in them and the dish was accompanied by roasted jalapeno, tomatillo sauce and chicharron. By the by, this was only 7 bucks. Aight, so the chicharron brought a lot of taste to the dish but some of that nice pork rind was a tad too hard for my teeth (read: rock hard). So that kinda sucked for me; it was like putting small pellets in my mouth. Jad LOVED them tho. The jalapeno was just awesome in there and brought in some nice heat. The tomatillo sauce, i would have liked to have more. But you can't have everything, can ya? Coriander obviously fit right in there. For me, coriander would even fit in with ice cream. Cereal. Cake. I. Just. Love. It.

Back to dem grits. Those grits were like magic, man. You lookin' for magic grits (as Vinny described them in one of my all time fave movies, My Cousin Vinny)? They reside at Fortune. They were soft, they were pillowy (is that a thing? it is now!), they were cheesy and lovely and smooth. I want to say they were the best grits I've ever had but I really believe that I've had grits just this one time. But oh God were they ever good. You got it, right? GOOOOOD!
The pork guédille. Carrots, radish and cucumber. And a little cabbage on top. This looked great! You're sensing the tone, aren't you? Mmmmya, for me, it didn't turn out as good as it looked. The cucumber was awesome and marinated. I just love that briny taste. The bread was crunchy and very guédille like. Hahaha, suuuure! The pork, in my opinion, was a bit on the dry side so that was kind of a turn off for me. The thing that ruined it tho was that it wasn't radish per se, it was dikon in there. I usually like dikon in dishes but here, it had an overpowering taste that just didn't fit in. Obviously, the lime and coriander made shizzle better, but just couldn't save the day.

Service was good, with a no muss, no fuss kinda way of doing things. We got there when there was no one (it quickly filled up), so we got to order and get or dishes within 15 minutes. There was one girl in the kitchen and one girl serving. That's what we call 'knowing how to manage a restaurant'. I didn't find our waitress particularly great, and it seemed to be hard for her to crack a smile. But she did ask us if we were happy with our choices and so that gives her a good 5 points!

And now, the scores!

Food: an overall of 8. But we gave 11 gazillion for the grits plate
Service: 8

I went back, didn't I? I would totes go a third time for dem shrimp n' grits!

Fortune Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, July 29, 2016

L'Gros Luxe

I wanted to write another restaurant review. Ah, it always starts like that. Whenever I only have one review left on the back burner, I start feeling antsy and feel like I should have another one goin'. Why L'Gros Luxe? Easy: open late on Sunday evenings, close to my place, and cheap food that one would eat when wanting to pig out. OK, I didn't totally want to pig out but, since I hadn't had dessert in a couple weeks, I was planning on doing just that. Oink oink.

L'Gros Luxe is located where Limòn used to be. I loved that restaurant and I still, to this day, do not understand why it closed. Especially to be replaced by a l'Gros Luxe. It's very sad, really. Let's all hold hands and cry. Aaaaand we're good! But seriously, even if you serve awesome food and you have 8 billion clients, your restaurant is always at risk of closing. Yep, this is what I retained from my stint as an ITHQ student: 'Your restaurant WILL close. Do NOT open a restaurant. You will NOT succeed'. And all that jazz. Props to my friends who actually have opened restaurants and are still successful (read: surviving) to this day.

L'Gros Luxe kind of feels like a saloon. 'Hey, meet me at the saloon', I'll say. OK, no. No one ever says that. Forest green walls, wooden everything, chandeliers hanging. Alright, does that even sound like a saloon? What IS a saloon? Maybe I was a bit off. Hey, I was comin' off a 12 and a half hour work shift so I might have been a bit woozy. Bob Marley was playing and everything was irie man.

I was seated very quickly by the window. Great little spot so close to the sidewalk that I was afraid to leave my phone on that side of the table. I had already looked at the menu and knew what I wanted: a grilled cheese with pork and a pickle. Or pickled pork? Hum, ew. Side note: apparently they make awesome caesars with lots of stuff in there AND out (i.e.: a burger on a stick WHAT!!) but I'm still doing my month-without-alcohol business.
Grilled cheese Cubano and sweet potato fries. Lets start with the fries. Think about the most perfect fries you've ever tasted. Got it? Well, these were it. Crunchy, yet soft on the inside and seasoned to the t. Perfect. This, paired with that tangy dijonnaise type of mayo was a great match. The grilled cheese had 3 cheeses: mozarella, cheddar and suisse. Should be good right? Wrong. The cheese actually tasted like nothing and the only way I knew there was cheese in there is that it was all stringy and shizzle. They could have put water in there and it would have tasted the same. It would have been a bit soggy though. The pork was nearly nonexistent and the existent part was dry. The pickle was nice and briny but a pickle-only grilled cheese? Not a huge fan. On the menu it mentioned that the bread was artisanal (hehe, anal!--yes, I am 5) and from my point of view, this was white bread bought at Maxi. Nothing artisanal 'bout that!
Not sure I mentioned it, but I hadn't had a 'real' dessert in over 2 weeks. I deserved my dessert. I picked this: fried cookie dough, vanilla ice cream, lemon, white and dark chocolate. Before I say anything else, let me just mention that having known it was gonna be like dat, I would have waited to have a different dessert somewhere else. First off, it tasted nothing like the cookie dough I had been dreaming about. Yes, I have weird food dreams. It just tasted like a ball of fried dough. Bah. And it was quite hard to get through with my spoon. I would have needed a fork AND a knife! The ice cream had transformed into soup within a couple minutes and the white chocolate and the lemon were no where to be found. I looked, I swear! All in all, a very disappointing dessert.

Service was ... normal, for a lack of a better word. Got seated right away and mentioned that I was going to start by my lonesome but probably would be joined by a friend in a bit. They took that as 'I am waiting for a friend and am absolutely not hungry or thirsty right now so don't come to my table for 10 minutes'. I may be exaggerating. It was at least 6 minutes. Actually, I had to wave him down so that I could order and get some agua. I hate waving, it makes me feel like the Queen. Ha! At least he came and asked if we wanted anything from the kitchen when it was about to close. Many places don't do that and then you are still hungry and annoyed.

And now, the scores!

Food: 6 (potatoes can't always save the day)
Service: 7.5

On account of the flat grilled cheese and the uber dough-y dessert, I shant go back.

L'Gros Luxe Sud-Ouest Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Nozy

I go to restaurants a lot. Like, a LOT! With this blog and all, I feel like it's a second (unpaid) job. That I love. I usually try to go to budget friendly restos, but once in a blue moon, I wanna splurge. Splurging is good. It cleanses the soul. Or some shit.
Nozy had been on my radar for a little while so when Lea mentioned we should hit it up, I was totes down. BTW, for those of you wondering why it's called 'Nozy', it is for chef Nozomu Takeuchi. The restaurant is quite small with about 30 seats, and mostly everything is white. I kinda liked it, it looked very pure. White walls, white chairs and white pieces of cloth hanging from the ceiling made for a nice and calm ambiance. As a contrast, the tables were black and there were tiny wooden things hanging on the walls that kind of looked like pasta portioners. 
 
There were seats at the bar and a table located at the front of the restaurant that made for such a cute little nook. Jazz music was quietly playing, and at some point, it totally became awesome with some old 90's Janet Jackson! Hahaha! Weird, but awesome.
As per usual, I knew what I was having: the Omakase menu: a series of dishes selected by the chef. According to the internet (the whole internet, yes!), it was about 6 courses. We told the waitress we wanted it to be a surprise. On their FB page (side note: I'm not uber fond of the fact that many restaurants now don't have actual websites, only FB pages), it said that it was 50$ but when we got there, we noticed that it was 60$. OK, not a huge difference, but a difference nonetheless. I still had to go for it though. And Lea followed suit. Just a little note here: the drinks could be more original. I mean, litchi martini, cucumber cooler, bloody caesar? Been there, done that.
Miso soup. A nice little starter in any Japanese restaurant. This costs about minus 5$ to make. Seriously. It was good and simple and effin hot. I think I burnt my tongue to the second degree with this bad boy. Of course, Lea waited until it wasn't as hot. Wise girl.
The appetizer. It looked just beautiful and very colourful. I love colours on my plate. It makes me want to eat it more (the dish, not the plate!).  Fresh snapper sashimi. Get IN ma mouth! Now. It had finely shaved dikon, radish and ponzu sauce, which, for anyone interested, is a citrus-based sauce. Not a seafood based sauce like the waitress informed us. Citrus. Her brain may have made a wrong connection like ponzu-citrus-seafood... or something :) There was a hint of sesame oil in there, which was a bit too heavy for such a light dish. The ponzu was nice but there was a missing element, like salt perhaps. The fish was awesomely fresh though and absolutely and irrevocably melted in my mouth. 
Our waitress then arrived with 2 rectangular boxes, one on top of the other. I found that really cool. She placed them one in front of the other and opened the first one. A+ for presentation. My first thought was 'f*ck, I should've told them I am not a fan of wakame'. Shizzle. I just really am not fond of that texture. The taste is OK, but the texture is not. I know a lot of people like it. I am not one of those peeps. Anyway, I'm a good [food] sport, so I tasted it and apart from that stoopid texture, I can tell you for sure that this was one of the best wakame around. You know, around. It had a lovely sesame taste and wasn't as hard to chew than others (I REALLY have a problem with weird textures, I do realize this!). 
 
In the middle, a trio of three sashimi: snapper, red tuna and white tuna or hamachi as it should also be called. All super duper uber fresh. I'm pretty sure they were caught out at sea about one hour before our arrival. It's possible, right? Right? They all just pretty much dissolved when they hit my tongue. Man, that was fresh fish. This may just have been THE freshest and best sashimi I've ever eva tasted. The white tuna was my favourite. Perhaps because i rarely have any. F*ck me that was good. I'm sorry about the cursing but this deserves it :) It was accompanied  by fresh wasabi from the freaking root. The rooooot! This is a very rare occurrence. And one I oh so appreciated. It was hot as all hell but a little bit on each piece of sashimi made it even better! Right under, there was a nice little not overly dressed salad with a great big shiso leaf. Mmmmmmshisooooo. If I'd be a Kung Fu master, my name would totes be Shiso. Oh wait, I just stole that from Kung Fu Panda, didn't I?

In the third bowl, beef tataki in ponzu sauce + secret ingredients. I like secret ingredients. It was so tasty, again with the raw meat just melting away on my palate. I thought that the use of ponzu was good here, but that it was a bit of a repeat from the appetizer and lacked seasoning. 
Yuk, bad lighting. Sorry.
Second box! This is exciting! Lets start on the right with the karaage chicken. I've had karaage before. Many a times, it can be dry and many a times it can have an amount of fat on there that is... unflattering AND many a times, it lacks in spices. Well, this one was purrrrfect. No, it's not a cat people, it's chicken. I'm getting off track here. First of all, usually (OK, MY 'usually'), you have white meat in there. This was brown meat. Much much moistier. Is that a word? I think SO. The spices were a mix of ginger, garlic and hot pepper. A winning team, I'd like to say. With a bit of soya sauce, that chicken won every chicken contest. Crunchy, moist, spiced just right, seasoned correctly. 

In the middle, mashed potatoes with pork. I like to say that it was a cloud of heaven, those potatoes. Wow! So soft, I think they put it through a fine sieve about 8 times. The dish kind of looked very Christmasy to me. Not Japanese. Christmas. Japanese Christmas? Anyway, the braised (I presume for many hours) pork needed no cutting because it broke down as soon as I touched it. So damn good. A bite of potato mousse + pork transported me back to, you guessed it, Christmas! i don't even know why. It was really tasty and well executed but I don't know how well it fit in with the other dishes.

Miso marinated salmon. Miso? Yes. Salmon? Yes. Put em' together man! The salmon was so tender and it was oozing miso. Yes, oozing. Just by looking at it, it was flaking off. Is that a thing? Anyway, it was simple, yet very tasty. Just like most things should be.
Salmon X 3. Salmon tataki, salmon sashimi and salmon tartare. On rice. Although the rice was perfectly cooked to perfection (did I say that twice?), I don't know how I feel about eating cold fish atop hot rice. I'm not sure I'm fond of it. It feels weird to me for some reason. The tartare had a miso and tomato sauce and was really spot on. The naked sashimi (hihi, naked) was as on the ball and as fresh as the ones we had in the first place and the tataki was tatakied (new verb guys!--put it in yo dictionary) with nanami, an Asian spice that is akin to chili powder but with sesame seeds and other spices in there. Iz hot yo. AND good. AND smoky. But again, it felt funny to eat warm tartare. No? 

After that, we really debated whether or not we should have dessert. After the waitress told us that the ice cream that was part of one of them was not homemade, I lost my dessert erection. 

Service was great throughout our meal. Our dishes were quick to arrive and our waitress answered my 600 questions. She knew I was writing an article (I never say it but this time, I asked her to explain our dishes 'slowly, so I could write it down') so I'm not sure if we got special treatment or not. Anyhoot, water was on the table right away and we could just serve ourselves which was nice. She was very attentive and checked many times throughout our meal to see if we were satisfied. 

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for: the scores!

Food: 8
Service: 9.5

Will I go back you ask? Hells yes. I've already started putting money aside for it. True thang.

Restaurant Nozy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato