Saturday, March 25, 2017

Lola Rosa

Last time I went to Lola Rosa in the McGill ghetto, it was roughly around 15 years ago. You know what this means right? I'm f*cking old! But seriously, all my best friends were at McGill at that time so I was spending about 92% of my time around there. You know, hanging out, going to bed at 4 am, smokin' da ganja, drinking, doing...other stuff :)
I remember going to Lola Rosa on Milton two or three times and all those times, I had ordered their famous nachos. I must've been high. This time, I was going with my lunch time buddy, the Asian persuasion man himself, Jer bear. Disclaimer: Jer is in, wait for it, Asia, for 6 weeks so I am skipping all those outings in solidarity. I'm kidding of course. Note to Jer: I luv u.
This resto is vegetarian/vegan. And one of the best and most popular at that. Lola Rosa has gained popularity over the years, so they have a second resto on Parc Ave in the Plateau/Mile End area (and a super new baby on William). I've been to both and I can say that I prefer the food, the ambiance AND the actual physical location of the one in the ghetto. It's just much more homey and comfy. With around 30 seats in house, it is quite the small restaurant. It's a good thing I got there early because everything was reserved except for a couple tables. You could see that most reserved tables were for regulars; most likely McGill profs and downtown workers. Some nice chill music was playing, which, by the way, became only background noise when it got full: the noise was akin to a full bar. It was very loud in there. Like, too loud: we almost had to scream. Dudes, I'm serious.
I had the Tunisian ragout. It looked awesome. You eat with your eyes first, right? Right! It was oh so colourful! I loves me a nice colourful dish! Let's begin. Bulgur. This was the base of the dish. I love how they chose this instead of the usual couscous. It was cooked to perfection. I've had overcooked bulgur and undercooked bulgur. I think bulgur is hard to gage. Or maybe that's just me. In any case, the gaging here was done to perfection. The almonds gave such a nice taste to the dish. They were hot from the pan and kind of charred. They gave a nice crunchiness and smokiness to this ragout. The beets on top were the 'salad' that was included with the dish. Meh. Seriously, those grated beets were dry and pretty tasteless. I dson't need no dry beets on ma shiz. The chickpeas were still a bit hard which pleased me, actually: when I don't want hummus, I don't need soft, mushy chick peas. The feta added some saltiness, the cooked dried raisins were packed with flavor and the onions were great, as always. If I could only marry an onion...Everything tasted of cardamom, coriander, cumin and all them satisfactory tagine spices. Just lovely, really.
Jer bear had the burrito. Mmmmmburrito!!! I just loves me a great burrito. The beans were well cooked, the coriander was awesome (when is it not, am I right?), the sauce was freshly made, the rice was on par (not dry, well cooked) and the avocado was to DSIE for. I'm a sucker for good avocado and there it was. The salad was 'meh'. Come to think of it, recently we haven't had the best luck with dem salads. Ps: Mesclun should be taken off the market. FOREVER.

Service was good and efficient. They were SUPER busy at some point but everything remained good. Water was in a bottle on the table and they even put a new one at some point. Mucho points for water! Our waitress talked really freaking fast, even for me! She took our order and we got our food quite rapidly. Another girl, let's say she was a busgirl, came to our table at some point and I asked her something in French and she said 'I don't speak French'. For some reason, I was baffled. Flabbergasted. I mean, come ON! I'm not a major Loi 101 supporter but you work in Montreal, I expect you to speak a bit of French!

And now, the scores!

Food: 8
Service: 8

If my life follows the same pattern, I'll be back in the next couple years :)

Lola Rosa Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, March 20, 2017

Ramen 9000

This place has been on my radar for a loooong while. Uh, ramen by two white boys? Imma say yes. If Ivan Orkin can do it, so can they! Ramen 9000 is a (long) pop up in St-Henri in an ice cream shop called Dalla rose. Dalla Rose? Well, it's for chef Michael Dalla Libera and co-owner Nick Rosati. Both hail from Nora Gray, yet another resto on my list!
Jer bear and I went there on a cold ass day, last week. It was SO nice to be in a hot resto compared to all the f*cking restos that let in all the f*cking cold during winter. Argh. The place is tiny, with four seats by the window and a counter in the middle. It's a very white place, and I'm not just talking about the boys! Cute little plants adorn the white walls. So cute that I felt like I needed to take a picture. Some funk was playing and I liked it. The stools were very uncomfortable but I guess that's fine because they are mainly used for Summer ice cream eating when people just sit for 3 minutes.
Story is, the two owners went to Japan last year with their significant others and fell in love with vegan ramen. I LOVE my ramen. Jer LOOOVES his ramen. And the quest for the best ramen in Montreal continues!
So, as it is in many ramen shops, you just write down what you want on a card. Loves it. Simple. Quick. Efficient. Not 86 choices.
The awesomeness. I had the vegan ramen plus an egg because I'm a big fan of dem marinated eggs. Hello. Heeeeellooooo (is it me you're looking for)! BTW, you can also add pork (a ramen staple), tofu or an egg to your veganism. A great way to get more clients, that's fo shizzle! They are smart, these boys.

We could choose between the larger noodle and the thinner noodle. Jer had the big, I had the small. I found that the broth to noodle ratio wasn't great: I felt like I had a lot less broth than Jer. He told me that usually they go by weight, therefore I was gettin' more noodles because they are lighter. Damn iiiit! The broth was just WOW. Jer and I really had to think long and hard about if it beat out Yokato Yokabai. It didn't, but damn it, it was close! It was thick; just the way we like our broth. How did they achieve this level of thickness without fatty meat you ask? Weeeell, I'm glad you asked! The secret is in the soya milk. First, they make a dashi (with Japanese kelp and kombu from Gaspésie). Second, they make a vegetable broth with ginger, soy sauce, sake, miso, chili paste AND soya milk. Well, and other things too but I ain't gonna broth and tell! I feel like this is a secret they should keep! Seriously, they could win contests! It was VERY good. And that's an understatement!

The shiitake were full of flavor and right ON, the cabbage was marinated (yum!!) and crunchy, the noodles were perfectly cooked. The sprouts were uber fresh and the egg was one of the tastiest egg I've ever had in ramen. Let's just say that for a 12 dollar ramen + the 1.50$ for the egg, I was FULLY satisfied. And then some. Oh, let's not forget the sprinkling of sesame seeds on top. I LOVE sesame seeds. I'd put them in my cereal... IF I ate cereal :)

Service was great. Smiles all around. Water was refilled. The front dude, I believe his name is Nick (I said I BELIEVE) was just AWESOME. AND cute. You know, for girls that like that... gender :p Yes, even if I'm a LESBIAN (argh, hate that word), I can tell if a guy is cute. True dat. When I told him I was a restaurant blogger, he really talked to me about their experience in Japan, and how they went about developing a vegan broth recipe. I gots to say, I'm pretty jealous: hello, awesome ice cream in the summer and f*cking awesome ramen in the winter? YES!

And now, the scores!

Food: 9. Easily one of the best in town. Jer added 85 points for actually having a vegan broth.
Service: 9.5

Ce fut un GROS coup de coeur. I'll be back FOR SURE. No doubt in ma mind.

Ramen 9000 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, March 17, 2017

Torteria Lupita

This, along with at least 50 other restaurants made the list on my computer: places I MUST eat at. Not being open for dinner/Sunday/Monday really made it difficult for me to get my Lupita fix. Well, I finally got a chance to go there for lunch this week with my step mom! YES!

Story is that Olive + Gourmando's ex manager opened this with her mom last year. Well, I'm sure as hell glad they did!
The place itself is very colourful, with picnic tables and lots of counter space. It seems like just the right place to have a family gathering. Spanish music was playing and the ambiance was great! The mom (I can only presume), came to welcome us, show us to our seats, and gave us menus. She had this big smile on her face that could only mean how happy she was to work there. I love being greeted with a smile. Much better than someone that does not want to be at work that day.

They are famous for their tortas but the woman convinced us to have the soup as well. It was -8000 degrees outside, see.
La soupe. It looked so tasty! And it was! Mexican corn (kind of like a chick pea but not), lime, chicken, radish, spicy but not too much. There was also some crispy cabbage in there. It was just what we needed. All the flavours went well together and as Jo put it, 'I never think about radishes in a soup, but it works'. There were some dried herbs which I could have done without.
The torta. More specifically, the Cochinita! Braised Mayan pork, mayo à la habanero, marinated onions, frijoles and cabbage. Let's stop for a moment and talk about the bread all of this goodness was in. Oh. My. God. Holy sh*t. What the f*ck!!! Pretty much the best bread I've ever had in ma mouth. And I'm serious. And Jo thought the same thing. We both said at some point that we were full but kept on eating because the bread was way too good to pass up. This wheat bread was like a soft cloud. The pork, although a tad dry, was packed with flavour. The cabbage was awesome in there and added some crunch and the marinated veggies were there to add some vinegar and a little tang to it all. The frijoles were also just so lovely and yummy!!! Everything married well. Argh, I want another one right NOW! That mayo was just spicy enough without being overwhelming. All in all, a WOW sandwich.

Service was great and very familiar. Water service was good and there was always a smile on that woman's face! The only thing that lacked was the fact that she never checked if we liked it or not. Or maybe she just KNEW we would like it! HAHAHA!

And now, the scores!

Food: 9
Service: 8.5

Do I even NEED to say I'll be back?

Torteria Lupita Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, March 13, 2017

Boucherie Dans La Côte

I was meeting my friend Jer for lunch before work and had passed by this place many-a-times. I work at Transat and I go to Place des Arts metro. Do the math. Or don't. Point is, I pass by this place pretty much every day.
I like small places and this was one of them. 4 seats at the counter facing the window and 4 seats at the table. That's it, that's all! Surprisingly, it was warmer than most restos in the winter. And I write 'surprisingly' because hey, they have a huge motha f*ckin' walk in for all that meat! The music was indie rock-ish and right up my alley! Oh and the stools weren't really stools, they were more like high chairs, which is about, oh, I dunno, 100% more comfortable. Just looking at the cuts of meat they were selling, my mouth was literally salivating. I swear, I MAY (or may not) have drooled onto their floor. As an artisinal butcher shop, they were hitting the meat spot, fo shizzle. Oh and it didn't smell as 'meaty' as I would have thought!

They serve up a couple sandwiches and some other dishes for lunch so here we were!
Rillettes de porc! A nice thick sandwich! The bread was really soft, and it wasn't no day-old bread, no siree! The rillettes were awesome and peppery and not too fatty. There were some marinated veggies in there that added some vinegar and a nice crunch to it all. The lettuce was also uber fresh and crunchy. YUM! Jer was eyeing my sandwich and since I didn't feel I could handle more bread, I gave him the rest. He WOULD have bought another one.

Service was great. I was welcomed with a huge smile and our sandwiches arrived in less than 5 minutes. Water was refilled. Just the way I LOVE it.

And now, the scores!

Food: 8.5
Service: 8

Oh, I'm totes going back. No doubt about it.

Boucherie Dans la Côte Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, March 12, 2017


Larry's was on my list. OK, this is how it goes: I have a pretty extensive list of restaurants I just need to try and when I go out for lunch/dinner with friends, I always look at my list first. Larry's was located right where I needed it to be: mile end. I was meeting my baby gurl Isa for lunch before work! FYI, Larry's is Lawrence's baby boy. Lawrence is ALSO on 'the' list.
The place itself, at 11h40AM was full. FULL! WTF! Dsamn man. With around 16 seats on the floor plus 11 at the counter, it was pretty small. It had a nice ambiance, an open kitchen, actually nice soft-like country music and a VERY hipster-ish vibe. A tad TOO much for our taste.

Mmmkay, so this resto serves up small dishes akin to tapas. I loves me some tapas! Of course, I had chosen them before getting there. Hello, do you not know me?
Isa decided to have the Spruce pop. She wanted to have a 'regular' pop, but they don't got any. I tasted it and it just reminded me of Buckley's. You know, that really freaking harsh syrup you buy to get rid of all your germs? Ya, that one. She wasn't cray for it either and half of it was left in the bottle when they took it away.
Le ceviche. Albacore ceviche. Hum, yes! I loves me some good albacore. This was fresh. Oh, so fresh! A tad on the oily side but good nevertheless. The pieces were a bit too big for me (for a ceviche, really), but it did taste yummy. Very well seasoned, with a little homemade salsa type thang atop it. Yasssss.
Anchovies and tomatoes. I gots to say, I ain't a fan of run-of-the-mill anchovies. But fresh anchovies? You GOT me! The tomatoes were right on, grilled to perfection. Juices were comin' out of them and dem juices were good! Unfortunately, the bread under the anchovy wasn't day-old bread, it seemed more like three-day-old bread. Meh. And the oil. Why so much oil? Not uber pleasant.
Pasguetti!!!!Spaghetti with bread crumbs, capers, mackarel sauce and herbs. At the bottom, a bunch of oil. But WHY??? The bread crumbs gave it a nice texture, the capers, some acidity and the mackerel just fit right in there. But we were dumbfounded by all the oil at the bottom. WHY?? It was just unnecessary!
Flammkuchen! A mouth full, really! Hahaha! Akin to somewhat of a pizza. That dough didn't seem cooked enough. Those herbs were lovely though. The flavours were awesome but again, that dough did not seem cooked through.
The oxtail. Obviously, we don't get much of this here. Like, ever. It was, again, in this dough. Again, a tad on the oily side. But why? I LOVED the oxtail. Isa wasn't havin' it. I mean, she's from South Africa, where oxtail is pretty much like beef: everywhere! I thought it was tasty and flavourful. It even tasted a bit like cinnamon I thought. She thought it was lacking in flavour. Damn it!
Dessert. Now, THIS was a nice surprise. Rice pudding with custard and torched à la crème brûlée with some cranberry compote on top. I'm pretty much in love with the breaking of the crème brûlée and this was the same. For a second, I felt like Amélie Poulain. The cranberries were very fresh and had a hint of orange mixed in. The whole dessert wasn't overly sweet and it was just so f*cking good. That rice was perfect and that custard was perfect too. Just one bite with all the elements of this dessert was enough for me to make a decision: it was hella good. 

Service was OK. As Isa pointed out, it's never ideal to get served by four different people. Totes on her side here. I like two, tops! The dude that took our order had to ask us three times because he wasn't writing it down. Boy, I don't think your memory is as good as you think! What sort of really annoyed me A LOT was the hipsteryness of it all. What IS that hair cut? What ARE those pants? Are those FAKE GLASSES? I know, I know, I judge, I judge. But you guys already know that I am a judger. They looked funny to me but they were still nice kids :) Oh but one of the waitresses had really long hair and I could just see it in the wind, practically landing in my food. Hair and food just dson't go.

We did get our food in a timely fashion tho so that was nice. They did not check how much we liked our meal but one of them explained the dessert in length so that was appreciated.

And now, the scores!

Food: 6.5
Service: 6.5

As you must know by now, I rarely go back to the same restaurant. I guess if I need my oil fix, I will return. Hahaha :)

Larry’s Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


Last time I visited Romados, it was before the fire of 2013. I lived on the plateau at that time(ah, the good old days!), only a couple blocks away. I'd go there all like a floating cartoon following a smell. Mmmm!
So, when my cousin Gen and I decided to go out together for lunch, I totes suggested Romados! Why? Well, I wanted to see the new digs. But most of all, I wanted that awesome chicken back where it belongs; my mouth.
Romados is this magical place that sells Portugal. Seriously. That piri-piri, that chicken, those pasteis de nata!!! Basically, there are about 25 seats, a counter for the pastries and other loveliness and a counter for le chicken.
The chicken. With salad and fries. I said yes to some extra spice in the piri piri (I mean, who doesn't like spicy?) and had the quarter leg. Okay, let's start with the salad. Okay, we're done talking about the salad. The fries were perfect. Who says you need ketchup? They were hot as f*ck, really well seasoned, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Le chicken. Ah, le chicken! It was juicy, it had crunchy skin, it had awesome piri-piri sauce on it, it just fell off the damn bone. Basically, chicken heaven!
Pasteis de nata. Hello. Hello you! When I went to Portugal, I couldn't get enough of these (and gained 5 pounds probably). These were just as lovely. Custard-y goodness. Mmmm. Soft, flaky, everything you should have in a pasteis!

Service was good. Everyone smiled, everyone was happy. It's nice to go somewhere where people are happy. I guess selling 300 to SIX HUNDRED (yes, this is a fact) chickens a day makes you happy as can be! It was counter service but still worth mentioning!

And now, the scores!

Food: 9
Service: 9

There's no doubt in my mind that I'll be going back.

Rotisserie Romados Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Jackie et France

I'm on a mission. Well, let's face it, I have many missions when it comes to restaurants: finding the best ramen in Montreal, and visiting every Asian resto in the city. But I'm also on a mission to eat at all the breakfast spots in Verdun/Pointe St-Charles/St-Henri. I go out quite a lot with my dad for breakfast and I always choose a new spot :) Well, it was Jackie and France's turn!
Looks SO empty. Of course, I had to take a picture of the only tables without patrons.
I asked around to see where we should go, mostly because I'm running out of restaurants in the area. Jackie et France is a very homey, Acadian (yay!) breakfast and brunch place on Bannantyne. We arrived at around 8, you know, the normal breakfast time for my dad and I. We had a very nice welcome by the waitress (I wouldn't expect anything less in an Acadian establishment) and were seated right away. The place could use a little sprucin' up, with the old curtains, tables, chairs. The walls also looked a bit on the yellow side. Perhaps a new coat of paint? Looking around, all the clients looked like regulars, and I know there are a lot. Actually, the people that I know that have been there are ALL regulars.
The ham omelet. Run of the mill. You know what, I've become quite the difficult breakfaster-bruncher. Not uber fond of the 'regular' foods aka simple omelet, potatoes and a couple slices of fruits. I'd rather eat original breakfasts, you know? My friend Jer DID mention that they sell 'guédilles', which, I must admit, I had not noticed on the REALLY BIG menu (seriously, it was like a menu with 98 choices from an Asian resto). Aight, so, the omelet was a tad on the dry side o' things BUT hey, I was happy with the quantity of ham in there! The beans were p-e-r-f-e-c-t! I'm a sucker for good beans, like any good Québécois should be! The cretons were smooth and stuck to the roof of my mouth like any good cretons should! Mmmmm! I ate mine AND my dad's. Yes, I'll eat MY food and YOUR food! They reminded me of tante Berthe's cretons: you had to be there (my dad's ex' aunt from Québec city from, like, 25 years ago!). The potatoes were perfect until I ate a hard one and it got stuck in ma teeth. Uncooked potato ain't cool man. Not cool.

Service was good. Food came out extremely fast. So fast that I wondered how in the holy hell they had put those dishes together that rapidly. She did not ask whether we liked our food or not and we had to ask for water. Grrr. There was only one waitress for the whole dining room so shizzle was left on tables for a while. Dunno how I feel about dirty plates at the next table chilling there for 30 minutes.

And now, the scores!

Food: 6.5
Service: 6.5

I'm on a quest to try every breakfast hot spot in Verdun. And THAT is exactly what imam gonna dso.

Jackie et France Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, March 3, 2017

Isakaya Kabocha

Another day, another lunch date with my Asian persuasion dude, Jer! He suggested Isakaya Kabocha on St-Laurent, where he'd been before during a street fair and hadn't been too impressed with their kimchi poutine. And THIS is why he decided I should go. Hahaha! I AM always in for a challenge and to try new places even if there's a possibility of sucking because I get to write a review. Let's face it, I'm a review whore.
The place itself is very dark. A bit too dark, I found. The walls are black with very thin white drawings, and the tables were dark as well. Little wooden stools, a long counter with the kitchen behind it and high ceilings. And there you have it ladies and gentlemen: the restaurant! As soon as I entered, a smell entered my nose. You know, the very strong cleaning product they use to clean murder scenes? THAT one.
I had looked at the menu but was waiting for Jer to tell me what to have. When he said 'whatever you want', I began to get worried AND a bit mad. I then informed him that he is responsible for the dishes I order when I'm Asian-ing with him. In the end, he conceded.
Miso soup. The run-of-the-mill Japanese soup. It was good, nothin' special.
Shokado Bento. OR many f*ckin' things on TWO plates (ish type thing). I was literally speechless when they brought those two bento style boxes on the table. Both for me, I asked? Yes, of course. Ha. Yes, yes, of course! Here we go: sashimi, beef carpaccio, karaage (fried chicken), salmon tartar, fried salmon, potato salad, kimchi, green salad, steamed rice, green tea cake. 

Let's start with the sashimi. Oh, how I love fresh raw fish in ma mouth! It was like candy. And it melted... IN ma mouth. The beef carpaccio was on par with a lovely and very tasty ponzu based sauce with a bit of horse radish to kick it up a notch. It wasn't tough at all and again, just disappeared into my taste buds. The fish that was on the endive leaf (apparently it was salmon, but Jer and I want to say otherwise) with what seemed like rice krispies (hey, I don't judge) was really effin good. But the crunch was not so crunchy because it was moist. DAMN that word! The karaage's batter was a tad on the thick side and didn't taste as much as I'd wanted. I like it when there are spices in there. This was spice-LESS. I liked the texture though. The kimchi: what I would like to say about this kimchi is that it is not kimchi. NOT KIMCHI. As I just mentioned, I don't judge :p And by that, I mean I am the judger of all judgers. It tasted nothing like kimchi, was way too sweet and it was too liquidy. It just wasn't right.

The potato salad was dry but I did like the tanginess. You know, when it gets you at the back of your cheeks? Ya. I'm not even going to mention the mesclun. As soon as it got to the table, Jer bear looked at me as if to say 'shiiiiit, she won't be happy'. And I wasn't. Please stop the mesclun. Just stop it. The salmon cubes that were deep fried were, again, too dry. I ain't a fan of dry food. It tasted like it had been marinated in too much acid, also. Not uber pleasant. The dessert WAS pleasant! It was this very dense green tea cake with just enough whipped cream on top. Not overly sweet and actually quite nice! Save for dessert, food in the first box was better.

Service was good. Very good water service throughout (you know that on a scale of 1 to 8000, it is THE most important thing in my book) and was very present. Even so, he never actually asked us if we liked what we were eating :/ -8000 for YOU! We still got our food in record time. Would not expect anything less from an Asian establishment!

And now, the scores!

Food: 7
Service: 7.5

Do you know how many isakayas there are in Montreal? Ya, me neither. But I do know that I must visit ALL of them!

Izakaya Kabocha Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato