Sunday, November 27, 2016


I had been wanting (really, really badly) to eat Lebanese food recently. Sometimes, you just gotta have a good shish taouk with some garlic potatoes. You just gotta. So I went, and I got. Yesterday was Nilufar with Gus.

As soon as I entered, I sorta knew I was going to be disappointed. Iz kinda sad to say, huh? I had read really good reviews and then I enter, and it smells funny and it's a bit dingy and it dson't look very clean. Not uber fond of dirty restaurants, you know?
Some wobbling fake wood-plastic tables with some red and some green plastic chairs and dirty walls. I sound rough n' tough, but it's only because...well, I am. And if I'M not, who's gonna be, right? That's what I thought.

I think the poor guy was alone, doing the cash AND the kitchen, going back and forth. Argh. I went to order and looked at the poor little salad bowls that were on display, and they looked about 3 weeks old. I was very worried that he was going to serve this to people until I found out that he only has them on display so we can choose the salad but he has the real stuff in the kitchen. Kinda weird and not that good of an idea, if you ask me. OH, and if you'd ask the MAPAQ, they would also think the same thing.
Anyhoot, I ordered my usual Lebanese lunch: shish taouk and garlic potatoes, heavy on the garlic. My goal, when I eat them potatoes is to not be able to kiss anyone for at least 48 hours. I am SO lucky to be single :p

Those potatoes were lovely. Really, on the potato ball. They had the skin on which made the dish even tastier than usual. They were crunchy and soft and moist and were very happy to be in ma mouth (or vice versa). The garlic was uber garlicky. I'm afraid to say a bit TOO garlicky. It was as if they had made the sauce from uncooked garlic. Seriously, my tongue was itchy for like an hour after!

The shish was as cold as the potatoes were hot (and they were scorching). I'm not a fan of eating things cold when they are supposed to be hot or eating things hot when they are supposed to be cold. The pita was partially grilled, the chicken was very flavourful with a bunch of spices in there but the rest was a bit blah.  

Service was at the counter but the dude was very nice. Most likely the owner.

And now, the scores!!!

Food: 6.5
Service: 8

All in all, it was disappointing. Next time I want to eat Lebanese food, I'm heading somewhere else. 

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

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

CONTEST!!!! Miss Fresh !!!!

**CONTEST alert!!!! 1 share= 1 chance to win!!**

Do you loooove making easy peasy recipes? In 30 minutes or less? Wait... do you love getting food delivered to your DOOR? Who doesn't! MissFresh is basically easy in a box. What!!!! Share my blog FB page (  OR this picture on your timeline AND like this pic! Oh and why don't you go ahead and love my fb page and Miss Fresh' page while you're at it. In 7 days, a lucky person will win a box full of great stuff fit for 2 people X 2 recipes! (Oh, and hey, there all always left overs for yummy lunches!)

Vous n'avez pas le temps d'aller à l'épicerie? Pas de problème! Vous aimez découvrir des nouvelles recettes, facile à exécuter? Miss Fresh offre tout ça, et plus encore!!! Partagez ma page FB OU cette photo sur votre mur et aimez celle-ci! Et pourquoi pas aimer ma page FB et celle de Miss Fresh! Dans 7 jours, un ou une chanceuse se méritera une boite pour 2 personnes X 2 recettes! Miam!!!

Monday, November 21, 2016


I was invited to one of the openings of Vivalia. I was sick as a dsawg with gastro (ugh, memories) but I brought my gurl Al to help me with the eating (or lack there of) and judging.

Vivalia is a cute little restaurant in Old Montreal. And I do mean little: if I stretched out my arms far enough, they would be as large as the restaurant itself. TOTES not exaggerating. Believe me you. It was crowded in there and at some point I felt like I was prisoner of the wall, but apart from that moment, it was nice. I felt a bit like I was hanging out in a garden. I like gardens. I like em' a lot.
The ambiance was  happenin', with some jazzy, loungy music playing and people gathering around high tables. The concept of Vivalia is that they serve up 100% organic food (gooooodies!!) in a kind of buffet style, so that you can choose what you want from what's in front of you.

As soon as we arrived, someone took our jackets. I liked it already. We were told to choose whatever we wanted to drink: bubbly, white or red wine OR between a couple different flavours of kombucha. Yay! I had tasted kombucha before and loved it and y'all know I'm a sucker for fizzy beverages. Plus, the fermentation was bound to make my stomach a bit happier.

Sometimes, when I get invited to these things and I get there right on time (as everyone should, pfff), I wait and I wait AND I wait for food. I am not a very patient person. This time, we got our drinks, we walked over to a free table against the wall and a couple minutes later, a dude came out with food. Yes. Food! And by that, I mean, 'yes, food that I will barely taste because I'm uber sick'.

I actually got to discuss with the manager and the people responsible for thinking up ways of making Vivalia better and more known. They are already thinking of franchises, which is awesome, albeit a bit early and I got to discuss with them how to do this and where to do it, which was awesome (hey, I AM important!!!).
Sushi! Since I've stopped working at Sushi Taxi, I haven't had sushi, like, at all. T'is sad. So I was pretty happy when sushi started arriving. They had a couple different kinds including a california roll, a salmon roll and a vegepaté roll! Let's face it, I'm kind of a sushi expert and these did not feel or tasted like real sushi. But A for effort! The rice was undercooked and the pieces were falling apart. BUT the taste was still there. The california roll was apparently the favorite but I preferred the vegepaté! I mean, when do you get végépaté in a sushi? Never! It was quite lovely! I've had végépaté, I've made végépaté, I've bought different kinds... one could even say I'm somewhat of an expert. Yes, it was a tad whhheird to have it in sushi, but quite original! It was moist, yeast-y and home made goodness. Just the way good VP should be.
Celery and apple salad. I gotta hand it to them, they had cute little vessels. I mean, how cuuuute is that??? But celery and apple? Meh. I'm sorry. I'm a firm believer in 'if I can make it at home, I won't eat it in a restaurant'. And could have definitely made this at home. It was good, but there was too much vinaigrette and it was missing seasoning.
Quinoa salad. Same concept here. Some veggies and some quinoa. Again, it kind of lacked flavor. AND a wow factor.
Falafel! I loves me some falafel! Awesome mix of flavors and very herbal! Which, by the by, I love! The mayo was vegan! Hey, you can make mayo without eggs, I give you 28$! Why? Who the hell knows, but I feel like it. It was very nice and my stomach actually appreciated this.
This was a favourite. Al and I wanted more of this. Like, a LOT more. Basically, this was goat cheese and.... yep... goat cheese :) It was quite strong for goat cheese but it was good and soft and goaty? Hahaha, you know what I mean! It had much pepper in there which made it taste awesome! There was a little cracker under but, really, who gives a sh*t about the tiny cracker when the goat cheese is so good?
Saaaaandwicheeeees!!! With home-made bread, no less!!! The salmon one was uber tasty with some cream cheese and some greens! The home-made bread made it even better. Yes, it was quite simple, but it was simple made awesome, you know? The chicken sandwich was as good. The chicken was moist and the tomato fit right in there. Surprisingly, the tomato did not make the bread soggy. I will have to email them to see how this phenomenon did not occur.
The wannabe tajine. Ha, my friend Val exploded with a 'whaaaaaat?' when she saw that I posted this as a 'tajine'. Hey, she's married to a Moroccan. I was a bit bummed to see more quinoa here, instead of the usual couscous. Apart from the fact that it wasn't a real tajine, per se, that little tiny dish tasted really good: the chickpeas were  nice and spiced up and actually felt like I was eating a somewhat-real tajine. Well, except for the quinoa. I would have preferred some couscous, of course.

Sooooo, there were a couple other dishes buuuuut I totes forgot to take pics. I was sick, ok? I wasn't really there :/

Service was great throughout the evening! There were a couple of uber friendly people passing around food and emptying our tables and what not! They were also moving around with bottles, which, let's face it, is very important when it comes to openings! Hahaha!!!

And now, the scores!!!

Food: 7.5
Service: 9

I'll be going back fo shizzle! Especially now, that I can actually eat and taste the good stuff!

Vivalia Bistro Express Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Café Frida

I brought my Mexican, Gus, to yet another taco place last week. Whaaaaat? I like me some tacos! This time, it was Tacos Victor's neighbour, Café Frida. Yep, apparently, los tacos y los burritos stick together, with about 4 restos that serve up Mexican goodness in a two block radius.
This place is even tinier than the other one! To get to our table, we literally (and I do mean 'literally') had to hop over a couple sitting at the table next to ours! It was kind of awkward and I really hoped that I wouldn't need to go to the restroom during lunch!
It was such a cute, tiny restaurant! Very colourful! And by that, I mean EVERYTHING was colourful! The walls, the boards, the lovely garlands! It felt so warm, when it was so cold outside. Like a hot cup of cocoa! Ah, warmth. And Frida was everywhere. Seriously, I've never had so many unibrows look at me at the same time. To complete the ambiance, there was some nice Spanish music (I don't think we can say that the whole playlist was composed of Mexican music, so I'm going with Spanish!) playing. I loves me some good Spanish music, I tells ya! I absolutely HATE going to a restaurant where they decide to play the top 20 hits. Ugh.
Tacoooooos! Nopales, cochinita and chorizo! It was my first time trying nopales! Cactus! Whaaaaat! I mean, who can say they ate cactus? Except Mexicans. And perhaps South Americans? Oh, and of course, them desert dwellers. OK, so everyone has eaten cactus except for me! Damn it, I'm always the last one! Anyway, I HAD to have it. First off, I gots to say that the tortilla was perfect. JUST perfect. It was crispy yet still tender. The taco was quite tasty, a bit like I was eating a plant. Oh wait... :) I loved the onions in there that added a nice crunch. I gotta say that the cactus itself wasn't my fave. Shiz, I really wanted to like it. It just didn't talk to me, you know? I like it when cacti speak to me. Aaaand I've officially gone cray cray.

Moving on. Cochinita. Marinated pork with red onions. Pork? Yes. Marinated onions? Ya giiiirl! The pork was uber moist and just melted in my mouth. Mmmmm... melting meat. The onions were delightfully tangy and just fit so well with the pork. Let's face it, when do onions NOT fit? WHEN? Signed: biggest onion fan in the WORLD.

Last but not least, chorizo! Home made, of course! It was spicy and not dry at all (see how much I DON'T want to go overboard with the word 'moist'--which, for you newbies, I HATE!!!) It was very cheesy which is always yummy! Well, my lactose-intolerant stomach would say otherwise but let's ignore that for now. Gus was telling me how, in Mexico, only the cheap vendors would put potatoes in there to fill it up so that they don't have to use as much meat. AH-HAAAAAA!!! Gotcha!!! But seriously, there weren't that many so I definitely did not feel cheated but I also did not necessarily want the extra carbs.
Why not continue eating Mexican goodness? Quesadillaaaas! Ya baby! We had mushrooms sautéed with red onions, red peppers and frijoles. Gus looked really weirded out that there were frijoles (beans) in his quesadilla but did mention that he really liked it. But apparently, they're not supposed to put it in there. BUT it was really good. Dilemmas, dilemmas. It was cheesy goodness, that's what it was! We ate those two pieces in about 5 seconds, tops. That tortilla, again, was right on and the frijoles were perfect in there. They had the right consistency to kind of take up room without taking up too much, you know? You know? The peppers added some sweetness and the mushrooms were wonderful. Hey, simple CAN mean good. A bit o' lime on there and BAM! Awesomeness on a plate!
Pastel impossible. Whaaaaaat. The. F. Half flan, half chocolate cake, merged together. Again... WHAAAAT? How. Did. They. Do. Dis. It was sweet but not too sweet and as someone that is not the biggest flan fan (I mean, who is), it was the perfect dessert. Apparently it's a traditional dessert. Lucky them. Pffff. I wish WE had a cool dessert like this to call 'traditional'. I would just love to know HOW they stick em' together. Ah, the mysteries of life! I actually had never seen this before. Café Frida is now officially THE Mexican connection in MTL. Done.

Service was great. The waitress was all smiles and such a cutie. She spoke to Gus very quickly in Spanish while I tried to understand. Slowing down would have helped. Geez. I would have liked more water at some point but in her defense, we were very hard to get to! I even had to reach out and take plates from her hands because we were in such an awkward area!

And now, the scores!

Food: 8.5
Service: 8.5

Totes going back. Regresare por mas! You know, it was starting to look like a quest to find the best taco in town, but it's done. Iz over. Café Frida wins :)

Café Frida Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Tacos Victor

Tacos are all the rage in St-Henri/Petite Bourgogne right now. Basically the whole south-west of Monteal is Mexicanising itself. And what do you need most when you go for tacos? A Mexican!!! Lucky for me, I know a good one :)
Gus and I headed to Tacos Victor on a very rainy Saturday. Ugh, you know, one of those days. The place is small with about 15 seats. It's all wood: walls, tables, ceiling! You get the Mexican vibe with the deco in there and it does give out a nice warmth, especially when it was so crappy outside. There was a tiny piñata in the window that was just screaming for customers to come in and have some good fun.
Jamaica water made with hibiscus and Horchata water made with rice. I felt like both could have been colder. The rice one was too thick for me although it was really good with hints of cinnamon. The hibiscus juice was special (I don't drink that every day!) and not overly sweet but not really my cup-o-tea.
Shrimp taco and flank steak taco were my two choices. Gustavo quickly informed me that in Mexico, they almost never serve tacos con camarones (shrimp) because it is too expensive and tacos should be made with stuff that dson't cost much. I like how they think.

The shrimp were perfectly grilled and had absorbed some great flavours. The tortillas (there were 3!) were on the soggy side  and not even that awesome coriander could save the dish. It was good but not super, you know?

The flank steak one had the same tortilla problem. The meat itself was on the dry side (booooo!) The onions were awesome in there, adding a tangy side.

And now, the potatoes. Why? Why put more carbs on top of carbs I ask? You should have seen Gus' face when they brought us our tacos! I mean, they were OK, but not the best and wtf were they doing in there. I wonder. Someone, please, gimme an answer.
They brought us pan de muerto to celebrate dia de los muertos. It looked great! The four lines were meant to be bones. Uh, awesome! You could actually SEE the sugar on that baby! Hahaha! It was very good and a lovely dessert! We obviously didn't eat all of it but it was very considerate of them to give us that dish! Actually, I then read that their first 50 customers on that day would get one for free!!! Ya boy!

Service was, for a lack of a better word, smily! She was such a cutie pie and frowned big time when Gus, in his severe voice, told her in Spanish that it was not that good. Poor little one!

And now, the scores!

Food: 6.5
Service: 9

So many taco places, so little time! I'll try another one next time :)

Tacos Victor Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Contest---BOOM J'S

Do you loooove Jamaican food? Restaurant Boom Js Cuisine is THE Jamaican connection in MTL! Share my blog FB page ( OR this picture on your timeline AND like this pic! Oh and why don't you go ahead and love my fb page and Boom J's page ( while you're at it. In 6 days, a lucky Jamaican food, Jerk chicken lover, will win one of three dishes (3 draws: 1 BBQ chicken, 1 jerk chicken and 1 SPICY jerk chicken!!).

Vous êtes amoureux de la bouffe Jamaïcaine? Boom J's dans Pointe-St-Charles est LE resto Jamaïcain en ville!!! Partagez ma page FB OU cette photo sur votre mur et aimez la photo! Et pourquoi pas aimer ma page FB et celle de Boom J's! Dans 6 jours, il y aura trois tirages (1 assiette poulet BBQ, 1 assiette poulet jerk ET une assiette poulet jerk ÉPICÉ!!)!

No problem man!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Tapas 24

My friend Shar's boyfriend is one of the chefs at Tapas 24. You know what that means, right? Ya you do! Ah, free food. Wait. Ah, awesome free food. Hold on. Ah, awesome free tapas! OK, I'm done. But seriously.
Tapas 24 is a restaurant with high ceilings, lots of wood, and a huge and thick AND expensive looking marble bar. It has an open kitchen on the first floor and I've been told there's another one upstairs (hey, I'll have to see it to believe it!). The owner used to be Sébastien Benoît, the Québécois comedian and he has sold it to an actual manager. Who is very present. And, I gotta say, looks a bit scary. I'm sure Shar would disagree because she is always there, gettin' free shtuff, so he can't be that bad! 

I had already been with Shar and a couple friends but hadn't written a review, which is SO unlike me! This time, I was gonna get it, get it good!
Anchovies atop avocado with some xeres vinegar and coriander sprouts. I really loved the xeres in there and the avocado was just perfect. The anchovies were really tasty but a tad too salty for my taste. I was still surprised that I loved this dish so much because I'm not usually a big fan of the anchovy persuasion. 
Oysters. Ah, oysters: a love story. I used to just not want to ever taste those bad boys and now I can't get enough! These are the freshest damn oysters I've ever had. And I've had oysters. That's right. Two had leche de tigre (lemon, fish stock, chilis...) and raspberry, which sounded weird but tasted awesome and sweet. The other two had kombu, ponzu and fish eggs on top. Wow, dem cooks know how to find a winning tasty combo! I couldn't even tell you which one I preferred.
Bacalao croquette or cod croquette. All I's gotta say about this is damn girl! Like, fo realz. With that maple syrup sauce? Holy effin Heysus! Ya, that good. They were moist and tender and not dry like some croquettes tend to be. That sauce added the finishing touch to one of the best bites of the night.
A bad picture. Uh, I mean, the shroom plate. Button mushroom, enoki and oyster mushroom with a pine nut emulsion and chestnut crumble. The button mushroom were perfection (you never hear that when referring to those mushrooms) and were engorged with flavour. The enoki were cooked just right, for a second or two. Those bad boys are easy to overcook because they are so tiny. The oyster mushrooms were somethin' else. WOW! It was like eating a very expensive piece of meat. Fo serious, guys! I do NOT kid when it comes to food. The sauce was nice and you could actually taste the pine nuts in there but there was a bit too much of a good thing. The crumble added a nice texture to it all and married well with all the shroomy flavors!
Endives with oranges, dates, blue cheese, almonds. This was new on the menu and I'm damn happy about it! The endives could not have been more fresh! The falvours were a match made in heaven even if at first glance, I was like whaaaa? I also noticed the blue cheese which I am NOT a fan of. Normally. This time, it was just so great in there and not as strong, which helped the liking. The nuts added a crunch and the dates added a certain sweet side to counter the blue cheese's salty side! It was just on the ball.
Clams with artichokes, dry xeres wine and Spanish ham. The artichokes were right on. No canned artichokes here. Just the real stuff, which, by the by, is great. Do you even know how long it takes to cut an artichoke to get to the heart? And also, there's the annoyance level. Hahaha. Can you tell I hated doing this while at ITHQ? The clams were very tasty and had absorbed all that yummy hammy (haha) juice. Haaaaaam juice. The ham was a tad salty and the whole dish bordered on over salty but did not reach it. It was close though. It. Was. Close.
 Patatas bravas with aioli and salsa brava. This was a bit too much. A tad unnecessary. Shar's bf's 'excuse' for bringing us this was that we needed something to soak up that awesome clam juice. Damn it, he was right. The potatoes were actually crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and moist: just how you would describe THE perfect fries. The salsa brava had a nice smoky aspect to it and the aioli was very tasty. We didn't finish this: there was more to eat!
Chocolate fritters. Oh. My. Effin. Double-effin. God. 70% dark chocolate. This was my kind of dessert! I don't even think I need to explain how good this was. But seriously, these little balls were full of melting hot chocolate. Aaaaaand scene!
El pomelo. Another new item on the menu. This was multi-layered. Mmmkay, so you have the grapefruit, right? And then, you have a pistachio parfait. And THEN, you have pieces of grapefruit. And to finish it off, you have whipped cream flavoured with camomile. Wow. I am not usually a fan of fruity desserts and this just made my day! Pistachio parfait was just perfect and actually was a perfect match with the grapefruit. Who would have thought? And don't get me started on that whipped cream. The camomile was subtle, just as it should be. Lemme just say it's a good thing this is on their new menu! Lemme also tell you that I was one of the first ones to try it. This is when I stick out my tongue :p

Service was just wonderful. We were seated at the bar so we had Sara's full attention. That's right, I got her name. We're going out next week. Damn it, I lied, we're not. She served us wine all evening (all 4 glasses---each!) and as soon as we were done a dish, she would take it away. We also had the maitre d' bring us new plates/utensils in a very timely fashion and our glasses of water were always full. Shar's bf came out whenever we got a new dish to check up on us. Well, AND to give her a kiss but that was just sweet :)

And now, wait for it, the scores!
Food: 9
Service: 10

I have a feeling I'll be going back. And I will be the last one to complain!

Tapas 24 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato