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A journey into the many ethnic cuisines my city and the world ...

Find great articles and reviews in Montreal…even better join us on dinner with my dinner group http://www.meetup.com/CheapEthnicEatz or visit my blog at http://www.cheapethniceatz.com

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Papas Tapas

 3547 Boulevard St-Laurent
Montreal Metro Area, QC
 

new concept on St. Lawrence boulevard

Papas tapas-martinis is a new concept on St. Lawrence boulevard that offers a you new Portuguese cuisine in tapas format.

Our team offers over twenty choices of tapas and the opportunity to discover our menu through a tasting menu of 3 courses. All our creations are prepared on the spot with fresh ingredients every day for a satisfaction guaranteed.

We offer a variety of 30 martinis and a wide selection of wines and Champagne available by the glass. Papas tapas-martinis is a family run business which takes pride over its professional service and top quality tapas dishes at affordable prices. The team at Papas is proud to welcome you at all times in a friendly atmosphere, whether for weekend brunch, business lunch or dinner.

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Restaurants Le Commensal

 1204 Avenue McGill College
Montreal Metro Area, QC
 

Good but can be $$

You have to be careful, it is very easy to load up on heavy (literally) food and end up with a $25 dinner bill. That said, there is in my opinion an ample and good quality selection of vegan food from a well stocked and clean buffet, lots of fresh salads, vegetarian food and a hot buffet with assorted tofu, gluten and other non-meat based choices.

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Buffet Vichy Lasalle

 7205 Boulevard Newman
Lasalle, QC
 

Avoid

I went to this buffet once with a large group of friends and had a great time and thought the food was okay . But my last visit there I was disappointed with the quality of the food and kept going for more simply because I didn’t like what was on my plate. no thanks-never again!

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Juliette & Chocolat

 1615 Rue St-Denis
Montreal Metro Area, QC
 

Chocolate drinks to die for

And so we headed to our last stop. This walk took an interesting turn, as we realized we had to walk right into the heart of the Just for Laugh Festival along St-Denis street. All I and most members could think was : Uh oh! How will we find a table to accommodate everyone with a festival around?

The dessert gods were on our side, we did not wait very long. We were promptly enough shown to our table for 13 at Juliette et Chocolat. The courageous trudged along in ordering their hot chocolates, chocolate shooters, chocolate martinis, chocolate crepes and chocolate fondue! This place is addictive. So, so, so good. Everyone was on a cocoa rush and buzz.

Savory crepes are great to…try the goat cheese and pesto.

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Crêmerie Meu-Meu

 4458 Rue St-Denis
Montreal Metro Area, QC
 

Homemade Ice Cream

Then we were off to Crêmerie Meu-Meu, my favorite ice-cream joint in town. Again everyone relished in the delicious homemade ice creams, gelatos, frozen yogurt, or soy based treats. My preferred flavor was unfortunately not available that night: Lavender. So I happily settled for a zingy ginger flavor with a black tea one. Gosh this place is heavenly. Imagine 12 adults on a street corner for 40 min eating their cone and cups. It was a funny sight.

At this point sugar rushes were becoming obvious and I thought for a moment the emergency insulin shots would be required. One of my members had a distinctive bobble-head thing going on.

ice cream

 

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Kilo Café

 5206 Boulevard St-Laurent
Montreal Metro Area, QC
 

My fave cake

Our first stop was at Kilo Café where everyone picked the most appetizing cakes or pies. That went down so well, everyone was quite satisfied with their choice. I also had the house ice tea which was wonderful. Just a dash of lemon juice and honey so you can actually taste the tea.

Here I had my altime favorite cake…the Roche Noire. Imagine a pecan crust, then a layer of ganache, then a layer of chocolate mousse, thet a layerr of whip cream mouuse. Oh my…a challenge to finish the last bite each time its os sweet.

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Erico Choco-Musée

 634 Rue St-jean
Québec, QC
 

Top Chocolate

I was recently in Quebec City for a 24hr getaway. How lucky I was to enjoy balmy temperatures of 14 C with rain….NOT! And all I had were capris, sandals and a thin little sweater. Well at least this situation permitted me to discover a little epicurean delight I might have missed had it been July like weather (in July!)

Yes, the lovely aroma of chocolate called our names and nothing was more comforting then the feeling of the hot nectar of the Gods flowing down our throats and warming us up. And what a hot chocolate it was! I think this is a rival to Montreal’s Juliette et Chocolat. NOW WAIT here me out before screaming in protest to my last blasphemic comment! It is not served the same wait, it is not comparable if you match it cup to cup…..but I have to say the hot Chocolate found at Erico Choco-Musée had a certain ‘je-ne-sais-quoi’ that was superior. Only down fall was not having bigger cups for sale! There is no real how-to info for me to share so just go the Quebec city and try it.

Of course you can buy all the chocolate you want in the store but the real main attraction here is the Chocolate Museum. Attached to the store is a room filled with Chocolate history, facts, equipment and art. Its a real fun attraction for the kids with a few interactive stations.

Now I would say the best find here is a pamphlet on the health benefits of chocolate. Next time someone tells you to stop eating so much chocolate, well tell them how its in your best interest to improve and uphold your great health. See some facts about dark chocolate:

- 100gr. of dark chocolate has the same amount of fiber then 100gr. of whole wheat bread.

- contains serotonin, which helps fight stress and depression

- contains fluorine to help FIGHT cavities, not cause them!

- contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B12, D, and a slew of minerals like copper, iron, magnesium, etc.

See how good chocolate is for you!!!!

Hugs and biscuits
Evelyne

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Maison Du Macaron (La)

 4479 Rue de la Roche
Montreal Metro Area, QC
 

French sweet treat

This is going to be a fun blog to write….because it was a great topic to research. My boss told me about this delectable place called La Maison du Macaron. He insisted I go there and write about them. Did I mention my job is totally unrelated to this blog! So I got in touch with the owners and set a meeting time. Off I went during a lunch time with my pen, my writing pad and a clean taste bud slate. I felt like a reporter!

I was greeted by Mme Crop, co-owner of the store. She graciously spoke to me and answered all my nosy questions and then offered my a little complimentary tasting. So let me share with you now my first investigative report ever!

La Maison du Macaron is co-owned by M and Mme Crop, a married couple from France. Yes, there is a love story here…a sweet one. They met while both working for Gérard Mulot, a famous bakery, in Paris. Both mastered their baking skills over the next years and then they decided to move to Montreal and see what our city could offer. They agreed on giving it 2 years, if nothing big happened they would return home. At first the prospect of returning was a strong possibility as both were shocked at how pastries were not considered an art form here as it is in France.

Eventually Mme. Crop quit her job to complete a 6 month business plan program and the couple opened their present store on September 13th, 2008. Armed with delicious macarons they waited anxiously to see how their goodies would be received by Montrealers. Within 3 weeks the couple was flooded by media interest. Business has boomed ever since and they now try their best to keep up with the high demand.

So what is a macarons exactly? Macarons are little treats made of floured almonds, sugar, icing sugar, egg whites and ganache. They come in an array of colors and flavors. Only the finest quality ingredients are used. For example the pistachio paste used to make one of their most popular flavors is purchased at 100$ per kilo. Two domed meringues are glued together with a tasty ganache. The ganache is the part that is infused with a flavor such as: chocolate, vanilla, coffee, lemon, strawberry, pistachios, blueberry, cinnamon, fleur de sel caramel, grand marnier, pear…and the list goes on. Macarons are best consumed within 5 days and can be kept in the fridge. Make sure to take them out 30 min before serving them if cold. In their shop you will find:

16 various flavors at all times
the flavor of the month
a seasonal collect of 6 special flavors. Hurry to try the Spring/Summer collection before the Fall/Winter collection arrives.
Large maracons with fruits that can be served and cut like a cake
Iced macarons
Seasonal for now: salty macarons and a Christmas macaron log.

What does the future hold for M and Mme Crop? Well they assured me that macarons are not a passing fad and they will become more and more popular. Right now M and Mme Crop are looking to expand with more locations in Montreal and possibly Quebec City. They are also in discussions with 1 big buyer. And of course new flavors and products will be developed. They are incredibly busy during the holidays and get many requests from companies for corporate gifts or wedding receptions. A Christmas seasonal hit will hopefully soon become a regular year round: the salty macarons. The meringue remains sweet but the filling is a salty flavor. A popular one is foie gras and figs.

This is where I get to talk about my tasting he he. All I can say is….yummmmm! I tried the fleur de sel caramel (their most popular flavor), raspberry (my favorite), peppered mango and strawberry rhubarb. Biting into a macaron is a delightful mixture of sensations: crunchy, moist, a little crunchy, sweet, and overwhelmingly good. Let me tell you though by the end I was on a major sugar high and could not wait to get back to work and eat a vegetable. But I did taste more then one would in a serving. After all I had to sacrifice myself for you, my readers.

I asked Mme Crop what her favorite flavors were. She likes vanilla, apple cinnamon and peach a lot. And of course I asked what were her favorite cheap restaurants were so far. She is a fan of M sur Masson, Khyber Pass and Fondue Mental.

Of course I ended up leaving with a little 6-pack for me to take home and enjoy at a slower pace. I want to extend again a big thank you to Mme Crop for having me at her store. I also want to wish them a happy 1st year anniversary coming soon. Members of the dinner group will soon also have a chance to try some macarons as I am including this store on our annual all-dessert event coming up shortly.

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Lab

 1351 Rue Rachel E
Montreal Metro Area, QC
 

Best cocktail and absynthe

This one was a discovery suggested by Johanne. WOW is all I have to say. Talk about really original cocktails. And the waiter spent a lot of time explaining things to us. Ok it was not crowded but still he was passionate. They offer everything a bar can need, consultations, classes for groups. Its a great place for events. They are specialized (in secret) in Absinthe as well with a large selection and the right tools to serve it properly. No food is served. Two draw backs: its a bit far from the metro without frequent bus service and its mostly stool seating without back support.

But still worth the outing. Here is one of my cocktails I sampled:

LE PROVENÇAL
Une coupe de soleil à la française qui se compose à votre choix de Citadelle gin ou de Grey Goose vodka avec du vermouth blanc, du sirop de lavande et du jus de canneberge blanc. Grey Goose vodka, white vermouth, lavender syrup and white cranberry juice

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Typhoon Lounge

 5752 Avenue de Monkland
Montreal Metro Area, QC
 

Great martinis

Located in the Monkland village this place is frequented mostly by the cool Loyola campus and Dawson students who want to stay locel. They have really nice maritnis…a short list but a good one. one of the best Cosmos in town. The place recently underwent a more then needed renovation. There is a short menu of salads, wraps and burgers. Simple dishes but really good. I had a burger with goat cheese and avocado. the dumplings in the appetizers are excellent too and there are 12….enough for a meal for one person.

So I was there last night with Aurora and the other Evelyne and Thursday at 9pm are at $7 for the ladies, instead of $10. It also comes with a fortune cookie. Here is the fun part: the fortunes were written by Typhoon and custom made in San Francisco. The cookies are nothing to rave about but I had too share the 2 fortunes i got:

Confucius says use more eye contact & slow lip movement if you really wann flirt effectively
Stop talking about how good you are in bed and prove it
Ok, so I expect to get lais that night…but did not haha

One friend got:

Tell your waitress “Do you ahve a bun in the oven?” and you will receive a free baked cheese dish. Well…we did and it was so good!

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