Friday, December 18, 2015

Buck 15

Buck 15 Espresso bar is this tiny little place on the north west corner of Notre-Dame and Atwater. I had checked it out a couple months back and had put it on the back burner. Well, 2 weeks ago, it was time!
The place is tiny. Tinier than most coffee shops. Tinier than my freaking closet. OK, I exaggerate. There's a table right in the middle with about 10 seats around it and two counters with high chairs making the place big enough for 16 regular sized people. Chill reggae music (wait, is reggae ever NOT chill) was playing and most people seemed to be studying for finals. There also seemed to be many regulars, saying hey to the waitress and the cook. There were a couple girls pretty much screaming out and I just wanted to say this to them: calm down.

Warning: they do not accept interac. Which, by the way, is really annoying. Come ooooon! Everyone accepts freakin' interac these days. Had to go across the street and take some money out. When I came back, the line had sort of disappeared which made me happy because that meant I was going to get my food THAT much faster! Or so I thought (oooooh the suspense!).

I started to order and the first two things on my list that I really REALLY wanted, they were out of. Are you seriously serious about this? Darn tootin! I ordered a hot chocolate and an 'Avo yo toast'.
The hot chocolate. Oh. My. Chocolate. God. They could have sold it to me for 10 bucks, it still would have been a good deal! It was creamy, chocolaty, HAZELNUTTY goodness. Right. In. My. Mouth. The hazelnut was a surprise and it made the drink that much better. It tasted so flinging flanging great. It wasn't as hot as I would have liked it to be so I'll only give it a 10. Hot, it could have won contests, medals, olyyyyyympics!
Avo yo toast. Avocado? Good. Egg? Gooood. Avocado AND egg on toast? Goooood! This was lovely. The bread was hot and tender and oh-so-multigrainy-tasty, the avocado was perfect and the dill, which y'all know I'm not usually a fan of, was actually pretty awesome. I would have appreciated a runny egg yolk though. The dukkah was a first for me but what a great discovery. It's basically a mix of herbs, nuts and spices. I will put dukkah on everything from now on. You know; bread, veggies, omelets, cereal. OK maybe not that last one. I'm just going cray cray for dukkah! 

Service was, what's the word I'm looking for... CRAPPY. I'm not even trying to be mean, it's just a fact. The regulars (and favourites) that arrived way after me got served way before me. When I asked the waitress where in the holy hell my food was, she kind of shrugged and said 'soon'. If I hadn't payed for my food in advance, I would've been out of there in a jiffy. So I waited and waited and waited some more. I was thinking to myself how long it could possibly take to make this dish. They must have parboiled eggs at the ready and then there's the spread and the toasting of the bread. I'd say 3 minutes tops? I waited, and I ain't exaggerating here, at least 30 minutes. THIRTY! For a freaking toast! Ridiculous! I also had to ask for some water. Y'all KNOW how I feel about this. Oh, you know.

And now, the scores!

Food: 7.5
Service: -2 No, but seriously, I give it a 5.

I really want to go back to eat whatever I didn't get to eat when I went. But I also don't want to wait half an hour for a toast. Decisions, decisions.

Buck 15 Espresso Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Le Doggy Café

There are two restaurants in the vicinity that accept dogs: the Hot Dog Café on the south shore and Le Doggy Café on the plateau. Well, since I refuse to step foot on the south shore except for an emergency (bomb threat, tsunami, perhaps an 8.2 magnitude earthquake) and that I went to school with the owner of Le Doggy Café, you guessed it, that's where I went last week with Val and her pooch, Lola.
Le Doggy Café sends kind of the wrong message from the outside. I mean, it looks rather... boring. If I hadn't known it was there, I would have walked right passed it. It actually looks quite lame (sorry Gab!). It's when you get inside that it gets better! Way better. Or as I like to say: whhhhaaayy. It actually is a huge space with high ceilings and is really darn cute! There are two little nooks that are kind of hidden and that are surrounded by little lights; you know, if you want to have a romantic dinner with your dog :) OR if your dog is on a date? There's a play area with some toys and a big bowl of water too. Treats are given out when dogs come in which is super cute! Oh and they partnered up with some dog adoption places to have 'adoption days' at the restaurant, which I find uuuuuber awesome! They also have a very active facebook page with lots of freaking cute dogs (!

When we got there, we were alone and as luck would have it, the restaurant actually filled up within the next 10 minutes with lots of dogs, big and small (cute AND ugly in my opinion...hehehe). It was really cute seeing them run around, making dog friends (or, I guess in this case, we can just say 'friends'). Lola got so exhausted that after leaving, she slept in the car and crashed when we got to Val's house. I don't think she got up for at least a couple hours.
Before getting to the restaurant, we had walked up the Mont-Royal and I believed my toes were starting to get frostbite. Seriously. I was in dire need of something hot. Like right effin now. Luckily for me, they serve tea and other hot beverages so I had myself a nice chai latte. Oh yes!
This hit the spot. The foam was perfect and although the chai tasted a tad diluted, it was tasty and hot and warmed me up in 5.7 (that's right!) seconds. Mmmmm I could go for one of those right about now.
This resto has a vegetarian menu with some vegan and gluten-free options. Well, we just had to have ourselves the vegan mac n' cheese! What what! Brraaap brraaap! OK, imma gonna stop. Let's start with the salad: we could either have kale or spinach. Hello my fave kale, we'll have YOU! Pomegranates adorned the salad which made it that much different than the usual boring side salad. The kale was crunchy and fresh, the tomatoes added a bit of acidity to the mix and the pomegranates, a sweet side to it all. The avocado could have been a bit riper but hey, I'm in the business of cutting avocados, so I know they're difficult :) The vinaigrette was dill based. Ah, dill, my spice foe. If you ask me what herb I despise, I'd be quick to answer dill. But you know what, strangely, it was....not bad. It's a bold move to put a dill dressing on all your salads! Hum, maybe THAT's why she was the best student in my class. In any case, maybe there should be an alternative because dill is a bit like fennel or like black licorice; you either love it or hate it. 

And now, the macaroni. Well, it was just damn perfect. Creamy, cheesy. What else would a girl want? It was even still hot after 15 minutes. Now, THAT I like! There's nothing worse than a hot meal in a cold plate. Val thought the pasta was a smidge overcooked and after further consideration, I agreed. But again, a smidge.
The beet burger: beet patty with goat cheese, mayo and walnuts between two thin pieces of bread. All in all, this was good. I had never had a beet burger before! The goat cheese is obviously an...obvious choice when it comes to beet, but you know what, it's because they are perfect for each other. Just like Justin Bieber and Selena. Ooooor something. Forget I said anything. OK, there was whhhhhaaaaayyy too much mayo in there. It kind of took the I'm-eating-something-healthy side of it out. The beet patty was actually pretty damn great. It tasted like beet, looked like beet. Hey! It's a beet patty :) The bread was nicely toasted and felt lighter than an actual hamburger bun. The nuts were awesome in there, adding a textural element and lots of flavor. The beets on top were... unnecessary. And tasted way too much like vinegar. Oh and when one of dogs jumped up and almost took a bite out of my burger, I realized why we don't allow animals in restaurants. That dog was lucky he was cute :)

Service was good. Warm welcome. And when I thought 'hey we could do with some more water', she was right there. It was good, not special. I also found it a bit weird that when we were saying stuff about maaayyybe a dessert, she said something like 'oh not after the big lunch you had' or something. I was feeling more like 'hey that red velvet cake looks like it could go into my mouth'.

And now, the scores!

Food: 7.5
Service: 7.5 

I can totally see myself going back! Obviously to see my friend but also to see dem cute dogs :)
Le Doggy Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


A couple weeks back, my friend Isa and I were looking for a new brunch place. You know the rest: we wanted somethin' hip, somethin' new, somethin' good. We chose Sparrow because it had all those qualities AND it wasn't far from my friend's place on Le Plateau. I also would like to mention that although I am fully bilingual, I'm more on the Loi 101's side when it comes to restaurants and shops' names. But you know what, let's face it, 'Le Moineau' would be a shitty name for a restaurant. 'Sparrow' is much prettier and magical (yes, I'm going for 'magical' here).

We headed there at around 10:15 am and lemme tell you that the brunch crowd apparently woke up way earlier than usual because it was full. Full, full, FULL. I remember a time when going out for brunch at 11 was still considered early. I mean I'm all for the early wake up time but I thought that was MY thing, not half of Montreal's population's thang.
Anyhoot, Sparrow is a bar. Prettier than most bars, it's a nice setting for brunch. A very popular brunch setting! It has high brass-covered ceilings, sparrows on the wooden walls, marble tabletops and a big arse bar you can eat at. Filled with 100 MILLION bottles. Well, it's a bar... duh. Nice catchy indie music was playing and although the place seemed loud, with the 800 people talking, we could still hear each other.

They have what I like to call an international menu (like at Le Bon Vivant): smoked meat, steak, eggs, Turkish plate, Moroccan dish, breakfast banh mi WHAT! I love it. I love eating where they don't only have eggs for breakfast/brunch. This menu was 1000 times more interesting to me than a lot of places. Which is pretty much mainly why I was attracted to it.
I had the breakfast banh mi. Duh. I mean, even if you know me a little bit, you just KNOW imma gonna have this. I was so damn excited it! As soon as I read the menu on my computer, at home, I knew. It was pretty much callin' out my name: Maaaaaariiiiiiie. OK, no, not like a ghost. I'm getting off track here! So this is what I got: a huge chunk of leafiness with three slices of radish and sesame seeds they called a salad. I'm sorry, this was NOT a salad. NO! Oh and I got a huge mofo of a bread with tiny bits of things inside. Seriously, this was nothing compared to the 'regular', 'normal' banh mi I usually buy. The only thing that was different was the egg and at least that was well done: runny but not too much, it acted kind of like a spread on the bread. The coriander was nice but I would have liked more and the pickled veggies were few and far between.The pork was quite tasty but sadly a tad dry. All in all, quite the early morning Vietnamese deception ( I AM aware that it was not technically Vietnamese).
Isa had the Turkish plate. Turned out to be about 15 times better than mine. Sigh. She gave it an 8 and said it was a fresh, delicious variety of thangs. I agree. I tasted most of it and it was just on par. The egg actually tasted like a farm egg, olives were nice but a tad too salty (I agreed but informed her that hey, olives are pretty much supposed to be salty) and a tad mushy (mmmya, you do NOT really want that in olives), feta was good but too salty yet again (there's a theme here) and the bread was perfect and moist. a great mix, if you will.
Mimosa. Perfect. One of the best I've had. Eva.
We HAD to have ourselves some donuts. What? Giving in to a guilty pleasure now and then is fine. Right? RIGHT? These were nutella donuts. Yes AND yes. The time we waited for them: NO! I seriously think we waited a good 25 minutes. TWENTY-FIVE. For three tiny bits of donuts. Come on! I'm sure our waitress forgot to punch it in. Grrr. Well, they were effin delicious. Oh GOD. It was very close to orgasmic. They absolutely saved the day for me. Hot, doughy, smushy, yummy, lemony, nutella-y goodness. Right. In. My. Mouth.

Service was.... meh. Basically, we were told we had to wait 20 minutes but got seated at the bar 5 minutes later (yay!) and then relocated to an actual table because the bar was too high for tiny me (I say it was an all-together way too high bar!). That part was good. And then our waitress came to see us and as soon as she did, I knew I was not going to love her. Or like her. Throughout our meal, it just seemed like she didn't give two shits about us. She was just downright unfriendly. She didn't ask us how our food was, and she was plain rude half the time. The bus girl was way nicer, at least flashing a couple smiles here and there.

And now, the scores!

Food: 7.5 Donuts clearly saved the day
Service: 6 And we are being nice here

I have many friends that love this bar and go there in the evening to have drinks. I would like to go back and try more on their menu but I'm certainly not going to order the banh me again and imma gonna steer clear of that waitress.
Sparrow (Le Moineau) Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Rustique is located in St-Henri, about a 6.545 minute bike ride from my place. Now, tell me why I didn't try this bakery before? Mmmya, I don't know either. 
This place is so darn tootin' cute: wooden panels, very small with about 10 seats, upbeat music, staff friendly like there's no tomorrow. Oh and please notice the light fixtures: a bowl and a whisk? Come ooooon! Cuteness overload much? This was going to be our dessert after eating at Tejano BBQ just a few blocks down. Basically, we were continuing the 'pigging out' portion of our day.
This was to be shared with Lea. No no... not 4 or 3 people. Only 2. Cause we be pigs. Yep! Obviously, we wanted it all. But let's face it, our stomachs were not equipped for a buffet of yummy desert so we went for the feast instead (not sure that really makes sense but I'm rollin' with it).

Bottom right: spicy chocolate itsi bitsi pie with marshmallow top. The crust was fantasticaaaaaal and crunchy and chocolaty and all that goodness. The chocolate was spicy enough to do 'that thing' on my tongue, which I always love when it comes to chocolate (I don't know how many times I've eaten that yummy Lindt chocolate bar with the chili pepper). The marshmallow part of it was, well, sticky! Try cutting THAT in half! It was a tug of war business between Lea and I. She won. I still had some but although it tasted just like it should (not too sweet), it remained way too sticky for me and my brittle teeth. 

Bottom left: pumpkin pie. Hello! It was great as a whole with a flaky, buttery crust that was just to die for but it sadly didn't taste much like pumpkin. I like it when my pumpkin stuff tastes like, well, pumpkin. Duh.

Top right: basically, a smore dessert. Ex-cuuuuuse me? Yes, you heard that right. Turned out to be a bit disappointing :/ The marshmallow took up about 8000 units of flavor buds. Wait, that sentence made no sense. Again, I'm rollin' with it. The marshmallow part of it was just too much, basically. Too thick and, again, too sticky (YES, I know it's supposed to be sticky). The chocolate part was awesomeballs but there was just not enough of it! I wanted it in reverse; more chocolate, less guimauve!

Top left: choco-nuts-coconut heaven allmighty in all heavens dessert. Yes, that much. Holy sh*t that was great. It was like dying and going straight to chocolate paradise. Every last bite of it was good, and when we did get to the last one, I believe there was a tear in my eye. OK, not really, but you get the point. The chocolate was dark and thick and stuck to your teeth like it just wanted to stay there forever (and I felt the same way). The nuts added a crunch, obviously, but blended in well with the smooth yumminess of it all, the coconut was present without being overwhelming, and that crust was just asking to be devoured. As you can see, I can get pretty intense when it comes to dessert! Haha!

Service was great: it felt like all of them owned the place. I've rarely heard of 8 people owning the same bakery. They were all smiles, gave us water, were very helpful when we asked what we should have (everything!!!!) and just plain nice.

And now, the scores!

Food: 8.5
Service: 9.5

I'm thinking of going back about 10 biiiiiiilliiiiiioooon triiiiiillion times. Good?

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

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Tejano BBQ

Aight, so there's about 18 new Mexican restaurants in St-Henri. OK, no, that's a lie. I believe there are 3. Still. One of my main goals in life right now is to go to all of them. So last week, I decided I should start with the furthest one (and slowly make my way up!). 
Tejano BBQ Burrito is Black Strap BBQ's baby. Basically, all the meat comes from Black Strap, which, let's say it, is pretty darn tootin' awesome. It is also quite tiny, even smaller than the latter, with about 8 seats on two counters. EIGHT. I think they've exaggerated there. We, as a group, we're taking up more than half the restaurant.
Anyhoot, the premise of this micro restaurant is that you get there, you order and you get the f*ck out! Ha, I kid, I kid. No. There's a counter kinda cafeteria (not to say Subway---cringe) style right in front of you when you enter. Basically, you choose out of a salad, a burrito or a large burrito. Thank my lucky ass stars I had the 'small' burrito. It was larger than my head, man! You choose what you want as a base (black beans, fried beans, Spanish rice), you choose yo meat (smoked chicken, chorizo spiced pulled pork, cumin spiced beef), and then you choose out of 200 veggie type thangs (guacamole is a dollar extra but well worth it, pico de gallo, radishes, marinated onions, hot peppers, green peppers, cheddar, lettuce, corn, etc...)
I had the smaller burrito (which, lets face it, was on the larger side of things) with beans and rice as a base, with Pico di gallo, corn, onions, peppers, guacamole and some lime on top (you NEED the lime on top!). All o' this for 10 bucks. Mmmmya, I think it's safe to say it's a good deal. I had the pulled pork oooof course.

Mmmkay, so the pork was unfortunately a tad dry, or a bit more than a tad. The guacamole was well worth the extra dollar: smooth and tasty... yum! The rice was really tasty and well seasoned but the beans were a bit on the harder side of things. Meh. The onions were oh-so-good, but you know me and onions :) The lime obviously did it's job and brought out all the flavors which was wonderful. I could have eaten it without the corn though and in the end that burrito was way too big, really. And totally falling apart. All over. Everywhere. After this tragedy happened, I was just eating the ingredients off of the bread.

Two of my friends that came along had different things off of the menu: Lea had the bowl and Sabster had the veggie burrito. Lea was REALLY pleased with her chicken (I tasted it; much juicier than my pork) and rest of bowl but Sabster was even less pleased than me about her veggie burrito. She found that there weren't enough veggie options to put in there. 

Service was at the counter. Kinda like Subway. Damn it, why do I always have to go back to Subway. Anyway, they were really nice, explained our options, told us what they preferred and asked how hungry we were and suggested either the burrito, the bowl or the huge mother freakin' burrito. All in all, very courteous and knowledgeable.

And now, the scores!

Food: an average of 7
Service: 8.5

I think I'll try the other Mexicano restaurants before I go to this one again but it's not totally off my list :) 

Tejano BBQ Burrito Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Le Bon Vivant

Val and I set out to have brunch a couple weeks back. This turned out to be QUITE the adventure, seeing as she had her dog with her and we wanted to find a terrasse to eat on. Turns out, not that many terrasses open for brunch. Where you can tie up your dog. Or where it's easy to park. Or on the island.

Anyhoot, we finally just dropped off Lola at home after pretty much driving around the city and went to a restaurant very close to our apartments: Le Bon Vivant. I'd been meaning to go there since it opened some months ago. Well, it was time.

It was surprisingly empty-ish when we got there at 10h30---prime brunch time---or is that later? I'm lost because I wake up uber early on weekends to take full advantage of my day. What? I'm old. We were very warmly welcomed by the waiter with a 100 Watt smile (seriously, it was blinding, almost). We were seated right away at the open window and felt like we were pretty much on the sidewalk. People walking by were literally brushing up against us. OK not really. Oldies were playing and then some great classics from the 90's. Basically, music that makes me want to say yay!

We were oh-so-hungry by then so we ordered... drinks! Morning drinks are almost AS good as evening drinks, you know.
I had the bacon caesar because, well, there's... well... there's the bacon and well, the bacon! Oh and the caesar part. The bacon was crunchy, perfect goodness. Yes, yes, YES! The rest... was so disappointing I felt like returning it (but Val gave me dem eyes) and telling them that tomato juice a caesar does not make. Seriously, it was thick, tomato-y, and straight up unpleasant. Val's mimosa looked about 100% better at that point. I ended up not even finishing my drink. ME!
Yes. Oh, AND yes! This was approximately 800% better than the dreaded drink. Val and I shared huevos rancheros and the 'bene' BLT. I mean, come on, look how amazing those dishes look!!! Damn amazing I tells ya! Lets start with the huevos:  fresh corn right off the cob (like, seriously, 2 minutes prior), yummy juicy sausage ,and perfect potatoes that were just a bit spicy (I loves me some spice). The guacamole was as soft as a baby's butt and the bean puree too. Rrrrrrrr, that's me drooling just thinking about it. The only thing was that the eggs were a tad dry. That's seriously the only damn bad thing I could find :) And also, please note how nice the presentation is. A+

The BLT. First off, let me just say that when I saw 'green salad' on the menu, I thought fosho I was gonna have some God forsaken mesclun on my plate. Would you believe that it wasn't? It was a mix, yes, but a good one. F*ck mesclun! Yes, that's how much I hate it. Alright so first off, the open face sandwich was on brioche bread. So already there, that's like 100 points! So soft and yummy. The mayo was nice and tangy, the egg was nice and thick and runny, the bacon was 'fou raide' as Val described it. And everything was hot. Which, as you and I know, is a must. The only thing I could possibly find that was wrong was that it was a bit too salty and the egg could have been cooked 10 seconds less.

Service started off awesome and got a bit less awesome but remained good. Water was ALMOST always in our glasses and service was quick in general.

And now, the scores!

Food: 8.5
Service: 7.5

This restaurant has such a variety of choices (from kimchi to steak to fish n' chips) that I'm just gonna have to go back 8 times. Yes, 8.

Le Bon Vivant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Café Cantina

A couple weeks back, Val and I ate breakfast at Café Bloom. One of its neighbours is Café Cantina. So we obviously had to eat a late afternoon snack there. Duh. Two restaurants in one day? I say bring it!

This is another one of those places in a very bad spot: end of rue Centre, close to the tracks. I mean come on. Who in the holy hell goes there? Absolutely butt f*ck no one. Which is why it closes at 4 (YES, 4!) on weekdays! I don't even know how they make their money. I just don't.

Amazing thing for them is that they were voted last year as one of the best Mexican restos in MTL to warm up your [cold as hell] winter! (
The place itself is quite small, with about 20 seats on the ground floor and perhaps another 20 a couple steps higher.We were the only ones in there at 5 PM and we got a warm welcome but it was eerily quiet in there! Kinda good, kinda weird. We weren't looking for a full meal so we decided to share some guacamole (guac and I: a love story) and some quesadillas.
Simple, yet, delicioso! Wait a second, that ain't spanish at all! The guacamole was nice and soft and oh-so-DAMN-yummy. Oh and very limy-lemony, which is mucho importanto (here I go again!). The only thing that I would have added is a tad more salt. That's it. There was a lovely salsa roja (I got it!!! Spanish, finally!) that was quite spicy but never enough for me. Val kinda choked on the spiciness but I say BRING IT ON. These were devoured by us with homemade tortillas. Hello.
Cheesy quesadillas! This was a nice surprise. Very fresh, very tasty. The quesadillas were hot, crunchy and cheesy, but not too much... You know when you burn yourself because of an overload of melting cheese? Ya, it wasn't the case here. We had some salsa, guacamole and sour cream to put on top and basically bring us right smack to Mexicano heaven! Just the contrast of the cold sour cream and the hot cheese was awesome. We also had a little coarse coleslaw with, hold on to your hats, wait for it, cumin in it! Now THAT was a nice surprise! It brought Val aaaaall the way back to Morocco apparently. Who knew a Mexican dish could do that?

Service was good. Nothin' special. Our waitress was very quiet but very nice. Our food was there in 2.5 seconds. She answered all our questions and knew her shiz.

And now, the scores!

Food: 8.5
Service: 7.5

I'm fosho going back... just have to find a day that I'm not working passed FOUR! Sheesh.

Click to add a blog post for Cafe Cantina on Zomato 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Café Bloom

Look! Look, it says 'Café Bloom' on the window!
Do you know how many restaurants are opened at 8 am on a Saturday morning in MTL? 3. OK that's a lie. But for us early risers (yes, even on the weekends!), there aren't that many options if you don't want to go to a 24 hour diner (meh) or a coffee shop (let's face it, NOT breakfast!). I was looking at my options on Zomato and I found this little gem, hidden in plain sight, about a 10 minute walk from my place. Oh, and in the past 2 years of living in this neighbourhood, I had neva eva EVA heard about or seen Café Bloom. Oy! 

Alright, so, located in a weird part of Pointe St-Charles where people rarely go if they don't work/live around there (unfortunately restaurants often close their doors because of lack of clients in that area), Café Bloom closes early on week days alike many restaurants around it (i.e: Café Cantina) because, well, there's pretty much no walking traffic. Like, at all.
This place was a lovely discovery, I must say! It's tremendously cute with its kids corner, mismatched tables and chairs and kinda hipster-y vibe (only kinda :) and great indie music. I kind of felt at home. They have an open kitchen, which I love... well until you see the cook pick his/her nose but thank the little baby Heysus I didn't witness any of that that day. 

The menu is on the black board behind the oh-so-very-cute bar: viennoiseries, coffees, home made juices, and brunch. Val and I both had the same thing, which, I must say, is a rarity; we usually try to get different things so we can taste them both but apparently we had our eyes on the 'tartine du brunch'. 
Tartine du brunch: scrambled eggs with herbs, parmesan and mushrooms on rye bread, mixed salad and cabbage salad. Let's start with the bad. Neva EVA put mixed salad anywhere on your menu. NO! I do not care if YOU like it (I don't know why you would) OR if you think it's oh-so-cheap (obviously there's a reason for that). Just don't do it. It was slightly acceptable about 8 years ago. Then, it was arugula, which is MUCH better, and now it's somethin' like kale which is MUCH MUCH better. Needless to say the addition of the three slices of radish was lost on me. Then, the cabbage salad. It was alright: adding sesame seeds was a nice touch and brought a little je ne sais quoi to the dish but it lacked salt, therefore flavor.

The scrambled eggs were nice and fluffy and moist (I despise that word--cringing!). The parmesan could have been a tad saltier, surprisingly. The mushrooms which were mainly morels (hello!) were good and full of flavor (garlic, hello!) but a tad on the squishy side. The herbs were great and obviously fit right in there: eggs? bread? mushrooms? I'm gonna have to say 'hello!' again! All in all, good but I wished the parmesan would have been a bit melted, ya know?

Service was ok: First off, when we said we didn't want coffee (that's right, TWO non coffee drinkers eating breakfast together), she didn't even bother asking if we wanted something else. Well, she a: lost more sales and b: more tip. And we had to ASK for water. I don't like asking for water. It should always be in my glass. Point final.

And now, the scores!

Food: 7
Service: 6

I'm toooootes going back to try more! And soon!

FYI: they have hosted exhibits in the past 2 years for up and coming artists!

Click to add a blog post for Le Café Bloom on Zomato

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Épicerie Jean Guy

This place had been screaming out for me to try it: located but only two blocks away from my apartment, it was either closed when I wanted to go or opened when I was off to work. Grrr. But one day, miracle! Oh, it was on. It was on like the break o' dawn yo. Ok, getting a bit ghetto here.

The only thing I knew about this place was that it was Asian. Yes, with a name like Épicerie Jean Guy, obviously the name of the dep that was there before it, it seemed really freakin' Asian! When you enter, you actually realize that its real name is Frais Inc. , which, seriously, isn't that much better. And don't even try finding info on the internet... I think there's a little paragraph about this place..on ONE website.

So I knew this wasn't going to be the most gastronomic adventure of my life but I just had to try it. With their menu outside listing they had General Tao, I knew this wasn't going to be the best.

I got in and discovered this wonderful place. Wow. There were 4 seats around a two-booth table with a guy telling me it's so cheap that he eats here at least 4 times a week.... and as I look at the prices, I'm happily surprised to see that its uber (yes, I can use that word) cheap and that the owner doesn't charge taxes. Ok, that's a tad whhhheird.
This was 7 dollars. I think I could have fed 2 countries with this portion only. Man. There was a bare minimum of veggies and lots and lots of noodles with lots of soya sauce. I took about 5 bites and then I was full. It was very salty and seriously, I don't even know why they bothered putting veggies in there.
Pork dumplings. The texture was nice and for 2$/6 dumplings, I believe this is called a great deal. They were good, just not great. They had a nice crusty side which was good but what was inside was nothing exceptional (really? you thought it was going to be exceptional at 0.33$ a dumpling?).
Service was...funny. Ya, I think that's the right word for it. Basically, I thanked my lucky stars (ya, I have some, don't you? :p ) that there was a regular there waiting for his order because I would not have gotten any sort of explanation about anythin'. Nothin. Nada! Oh and the cook (the only dude working there) also prepared the guy that got there after me's meal before mine because he was, you guessed it, a regular. You know, I wanted to be annoyed but somehow I doubted it was going to do anything.

And now, the scores!

Food: 5
Service: a well deserved 4 but in his defense, I don't think he spoke any of the languages I speak (French, English, some Spanish, a tad bit of Russian and a smidge of Italian. Oh, let's not forget my best friend's native tongue, Tigrinya. But, as far as I know, only a handful of people speak it. OK, maybe two handfuls. Aaaand I'm rambling again.)

I really don't think I'm going back there. It was an experience. But not one I'd like to revisit.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015


I loves me some good brunch. I'm always looking for a good place to do just that and so last weekend, I decided to try Ludger: it's close, it's popular, it's a tad hipster-y. So basically, everything one would want in a brunch resto. I went with J, my ex English teacher, who is always a great partner in crime when it comes to critiquing restaurants.

This review will be on the short side cause I lost all my notes and pics (except these two) along with my beloved phone. Where, you ask? Well, in the canal Lachine of course! Dumbass. 

The place itself looks really nice, chic-ish but not too much, cool-ish but not too much. I would just like to go there with all my friends and sit and eat and drink all night. That's the feeling I was getting. But this was brunch hour so we sat on their narrow terrasse that still could hold about 45 clients and put our sunglasses on because it was a hell of a sunny day!

I usually go for the largest breakfast on the menu but this time, since I had just come back from the gym, I was feeling more on the healthier (ish), smaller (ish) side of things.
I had the rillettes de porcelet (I thought you'd prefer that over 'potted meat'!), poached egg, potatoes and strawberry, apple and endive salad. I love having freshness in my plate. It just makes me happy! AND corny, apparently. Aight, so the potatoes were oh-so-diddely-good: cooked just right and tastier than most potatoes I've had in a long while! There was a lovely mix of herbs on the potatoes that made them even better! The egg was perfecto mundo. Yes, yes, get over, it, I speak Italian. But seriously, it was soft, unctuous, seasoned to perfection. Hence, perfect egg. The rillettes were very tasty but were a tad too salty. But don't get me wrong, they were great on toast with the egg yolk. Oh yes. Wait for it... yes! The salad was just yummy. the strawberries were fresh and uber sweet and the endives' bitterness countered that perfectly. The apples added some crunch and another level of flavor. I would fosho order this salad on its own. Fosho yo.

Service was perfect when we first got there because, well, we were the only ones on the terrasse. She brought my two mimosas (no, silly, not both at the same time!) in a timely fashion and water was on our table before we even had time to sit down. Of course, when it filled up, we had a hard time finding her. Tis the way it goes!

And now, the scores!

Food: 8,5
Service: 8

I am definitely going back. Mmmmmmm poached eeeeeeeeggggg!

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Le Vin Papillon

Le Vin Papillon had been on my list for a short time, basically since Val had gone a couple weeks prior to my visit. She had loved it and raved about it so, hello! I had Lena and her hubby in town that weekend and I wanted to bring them somewhere hip and cool and all that jazz so I thought about this restaurant. Plus, it's a 12 minute walk from my place, like a lot of new restos. By the way, I'm a cool person that lives in a cool hot neighbourhood. Yes, that's correct.

This resto is David McMillan and Fred Morin's third baby after Joe Beef and Liverpool House. It's tiny and corridor-like and sadly went unnoticed (by me) for about 1 year and a half. Note to self: open eyes. They take zero reservation so get there at a weird eating time OR pray that you'll get a table. We did the latter on a busy, warm Friday evening and I think we waited about 10 minutes. Nice.

As soon as you get in, the ambiance of the restaurant fills you and suddenly you feel happier. Seriously; smiling faces everywhere, people hustling and bustling, waiters explaining the menu left and right. It was just a welcoming, wonderful atmosphere. There was a terrasse out back which seemed happening as well. The menus were on the wall, which as we all know can be a good and a bad thing. A tad annoying when you're sitting up against them and you have to turn around. Oh, also annoying when it's quite dark.

Now the premise of this resto is, if I'm not mistaken, tasting good wine (hello!) whilst eating some simple, yet well made dishes. These dishes are made with fresh produce, mainly from Québec, if they are available of course.
Our first dish: sea urchin. I had actually neva eva tasted those. Me! What. So obviously, this was an obvious choice. It turned out to be a tad bit disappointing: although the texture was actually quite nice en bouche, the taste was nearly nonexistent. It was kind of a sad beginning. 
Shaved ham with awesome cheese (I totally forgot to note which cheese, damn it!). Now THIS was goooood! The ham was so thin that it melted in your mouth and the [awesome] cheese was peppery and sweet all at once. Mmmmmm, it was yummy, peppery salty goodness. I want you to promise me that if you go there, you WILL order this. Just do it.
Gravlax! Oy, the asparaguses (that's how you spell it, right?, hehehe) were cooked just right. I hate overcooked asparagi (second try?) and I loathe undercooked ones too. The fish just right smack melted in yo damn mouth. It wasn't too salty, it was just right. Texture was just right. Ok, it's safe to say it was just right, yes? The bun that was accompanying it was just lovely. Airy, soft loveliness. Probs (it's a word) almost just out of the oven. Although it was wonderful, it didn't really belong in this specific dish.
The 7 layer dip. YES, 7. I can't even begin to describe everything that was in there; I just know it was tasty, zesty, feta-y and soft. The chips, on the other hand, were a bit on the too-hard-for-my-liking side.
Morel stuffed bread. Or, as we should say en bon québécois, guédille aux morilles. This was a tough one. Only because we were three and I think there were two morels in there. Lots of button mushrooms, but two morels. It was good, but again the lack of the main ingredient was kind of frustrating.
The best picture ever. I mean, the cauliflower. AND the worse pic ever taken by anyone, EVA. I think le Vin Papillon is popular in part because of this plate. Why? Because everyone orders it and everyone likes it. Plus, it's so damn simple yet oh so good. Mmmmm, I'd go for another charred one of these bad boys!

Service was on par, even if it was a bit slow at times. the restaurant was full to the brim so perhaps that was why. We didn't really feel it so that was all good. Our waitress was cute and quick (those two qualities go together, right?) and she explained the wine and the food and answered questions.

And now, the scores!

Service: 8
Food: 7.5

Well, its a 12 minute walk from my place, it's good, AND cute girls work there? I'm obviously going back.

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