Thursday, April 17, 2014

Blackstrap BBQ


*Flash review alert*

Blackstrap BBQ is a great little place that is relatively new, located in the heart of Wellington Street in Verdun. As y'all know, I've been walking up there (you know, weekly walk and all...oh boy am I pathetic!) and discovering new restaurants for lunch time. 

I'd been there once before and had enjoyed it and my friend Cam who I went for a walk with today had never been so I was like hells to the yes, we are going! We got there at around 12h30... so prime lunch time, therefore the tiny place of around 30 seats was full! Iz ok! We waited maybe 5 or 6 minutes before ordering (you order at the counter and then you wait for your name) and then waited another 5 or 6 minutes before getting our food. And, cool thing, they serve the food in metal containers so no breaking of dishes!


The kitchen was right in front of us so we got to see the action up front. I LOVE it when you can see the kitchen. I mean, I don't like working in that type of kitchen but you know...

Last time I went to Blackstrap BBQ, we ate like big ass pigs (huh, maybe that's where I got my big ass...) so this time, I wanted to kind of limit it to ONE thing, you know, in an effort to have a smaller ass.


Chili

-Pulled beef
-Great taste
-Marinated onions a great addition
-Great brioche-like sweet bread
-A bit too much liquid in there


Brisket sandwich

-Meat a tad dry
-Great bread (made at a local shop called Léché)
-Adding either the sweet or hot Blackstrap BBQ sauce (greatness by the way) makes it great
-Coleslaw not acidic enough¸

Pretty much everything is made in house which is wonderful! They have a smoker at the back and when they are outta meat, WE are outta meat :(

And now, the score!

Food: 7

Great place and I will FOSHO be going back on my weekly treck to Wellington!

Blackstrap BBQ on Urbanspoon


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

L'atelier d'Argentine


I got invited to try out the new brunch menu of L'Atelier d'Argentine that started at the beginning of April. I LOVE getting invited because it means two things: you get served like you're a superstar AND it's free! Well, I mean, free but I always leave a good 20-25% tip to make up for it.

L'Atelier d'Argentine is a pretty freaking huge restaurant with two rooms: one that is more dinner-y and one more brunch-lunch-y. The first one has darker tones and the latter has more light coming in. This restaurant has a great view of the Old Port, located just a hop and a skip from de La Commune. And the atmosphere is just so nice with people talking and, hum hum, drinking over brunch!

Bloody Mary bar!
We were welcomed very warmly by the hostess and it was nice to see that when she saw who I was (well, wellll), she had a huge smile on her face and took our jackets. We were seated and at first I gotta say I was a bit disapointed in the fact that the maïtre d' was around but didn't come and say hi. Well, I'm just a little winy princess, aren't I? Fak. He came to say hi like 5 minutes later and he was very nice and charming and said he remembered where I was sitting when I was invited last time. He also said that everything was on the house; food AND drinks. Did you say drinks? Ah yes, ah yes he dsid :p


I started off with a nice mimosa :) I mean, what,s a real breakfast without a mimosa? It was just what a mimosa should be: sparkly orange goodness. It could have been a tad colder though. Note: you can have an infinite amount of mimosas for 26$/person!! What the what now?


Then, we both had the bloody Mary (inifinite amount for 19$/person)! What's o-so-cool is that there's the 'bloody Mary bar' where you can make your own with all these veggies and sauces and shiz! Just my type of thing! And oh, it was good!!!


Lea had somewhat of a fruit punch-y thang with rum. Hallo! It was really good and as per usual when you drink alcohol with fruit juice, it did not taste like alcohol therefore very dangerous!

So throughout the meal, I drank 2 mimosas (second drink was supposed to be a bloody Mary but the maitre d'  brought me another mimosa instead and when I told him I had asked for a bloody Mary, he said OK, well just keep that one too). 1 bloody Mary and half of Lea's fruit punch. Needless to say it was a happy brunch :)


I had meself the huevos fritos. I mean, come on, they had me at bacon! Basically, it was baaaacon, caramelized onions, eggs, purple potatoes (nice!) and sweet tasting toast. OH, and fruit. But, let's face it, when you have all of that, who cares about fruit? Ok well,bacon was yummy crispy goodness and so darn tootin' tasty! Oh goodness, thinking back, I want more, like NOW! The bread had a bit of sweetness to it which actually paired really well with the rest of the dish. The potatoes were great and well cooked but not TOO cooked (but lacked a bit of seasoning). The eggs were well seasoned: I hate it when I have to add seasoning to my eggs! The onions were just a great addition, with their sweet yet not so sweet taste! Basically, amazing.


Lea had the leeks and goat cheese quiche with a cherry tomato and arugula salad. Great also. I had a bite of the quiche and although it could have been warmer, it was still marvelous and pretty much melted in your mouth.

Ps: both our plates were only 12$ so it's really affordable and I like that too!


We were persuaded to eat a desert. Holy bejesus, I was so full on food and alcohol but hey! We had the dulce de leche crepe with milk semifreddo. Holy cow was that semifreddo great! It was gosh darn succulent! It melted in your mouth with all of its goodness! And the crepe too! It was very chic and only 9$! Does it seem like I'm astounded by their prices? Well, I AM!

Service was excellent, of course! The waiter was there to give us water, to ask if we had questions, to give us our food and our drinks (VERY important!). He was very professional and that's what I like in a waiter!

And now, the scores!

Food: 8.5
Service: 9

All in all, another great experience at L'Atelier d'Argentine!!! If you have 15 to 20$ to spend on an excellent brunch, PLEASE go there!!!

L'Atelier d'Argentine on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 14, 2014

Comptoir 21


My fun activity recently has been walking on Wellington and finding a nice, good tasting restaurant! And oh did I ever find that last week at Comptoir 21!

This is the third Comptoir 21 in Montreal and it's a great freaking thang that they opened one on Wellington, I tells ya! And it opened just recently! OH, and the last for digits of their phone number? FISH! What what!


This restaurant has a big 'U' shaped counter so that the waiter can be in the middle for easy serving. It's decorated very simply with a huge fish on the wall made by an artist in 2013 and some fishies on the wall. I personally don't think they are taking full advantage of the space they have, half of it not having any tables... I mean... there's an opportunity there to make more money people!


Alright, so the chairs are a tad uncomfortable... I couldn't rest my feet on anything so my legs were basically hanging. You know, being short and shtuff!

Anyhoot, I asked the waiter what I should order to get the 'real experience' and he said fish n' chips. So I took the 'small portion' (there's also a bigger portion but gosh darn it, I can't imagine what it could look like because my small one looked--and felt-- like a gigantic one!).


So, small portion of fish n' chips it was! It comes with homemade fries, homemade tartar sauce and homemade coleslaw. Let's start with the coleslaw! One of the best I've had: it had just the right amount of vinegar. The sauce was seriously like a burst of freaking goodness in my mouth! YUM! And it was just your basic relish and mayo but it tasted like so much more! The fries were crunchy but could have been crunchier. And now, the fish. Ah, the fish (cod). HOLY BEJESUS!!!!! Hands down, the best fried fish I've EVER had! Oh, I'm not even kidding! The batter became just crispy enough and the fish was so moist (lord, I hate that word!). Ah maaaaaaaaaaaaaan! I never have these but I can safely say this was my first fishgasm ;) I just wanted more! And the lemon added just the acidity needed. 


Service was great. Glass of water was always full and service was prompt. Plus, the waiter came to check if all was good. The only thing that bugged me was that when I told the waiter that this was the greatest fried fish I'd ever had, he said something like 'well duh, that's why we have three restaurants'. Geez, cocky much? 

And now, the scores!

Food: 9
Service: 8

Well, my legs were numb by the end of lunch but if you like fish n' chips, this is a MUST!

Comptoir 21 on Urbanspoon




Friday, April 11, 2014

El Sabor de Mexico


I moved to Pointe-St-Charles in November and hadn't really been able to fully discover the area until recently, when it started being all sunny and warm-ish. Last week, I decided to walk to Wellington in Verdun and take a tour! And oh boy was I ever satisfied with all the restaurants on that street!


Man, that street is full of restaurants! And most are quite inexpensive too!!! My kinda place :) As I was getting near the end of the 'fun part' of Wellington, I saw this cute little Mexican restaurant (new, since January). It looked so cute from the window (except for that huge OUVERT sign!), plus, the menu looked great. And by great, I mean table d'hôte for 11,99$! What what!


So you get in and it's very mexican looking. Is that a thing? All these lively colours and cute table cloths! I was loving it! The place itself is kind of small, about 30 seats and lunch time, there was only one waiter. It's a good thing the place was empty except for a couple, at around 2 PM. Looking at the menu, I was obviously seduced by the 11$ table d'hôte: soup or salad, main (quesadillas, fajitas...), and desert and coffee OR wine.


As a starter, I had the tortilla and tomato soup with some sour cream and crispy tortilla on top. The soup was very nicely flavored, the sour cream added just a touch of creaminess and the tortilla added some butteriness (I SWEAR, it's a word!) and  that crispiness that is always welcomed when you eat soup. The perfect bite was obviously a bit of everything!


Next, it was the chorizo and queso quesadillas. There was also some hot salsa (I like it hot!) and a little onion, and tomato salad with a bit of parsley. As Joey on Friends says in one episode: 'put em' together!'
Hahaha. But seriously, I just opened the quesadilla and added some salsa and some of the salad and it was marvellous! All the flavours were there. The salsa obviously added some spice and the salad and parsley toned it down a bit. The chorizo was nice and there was a lot of cheesy goodness! The only meh thing was that the chorizo was a tad greasy, actually going through the tortilla and onto the plate. Oh and I asked and they do not, I repeat, do NOT make their own tortillas. I was a tad disapointed.

Now, I thought I was going to have a desert, even if I wasn't necessarily still hungry for that but I was then told that, as 'stated' on the menu, it was either coffee and desert or wine. I thought it looked more like coffee OR wine AND desert. But anyhoot, I got a nice big glass of wine and seriously, where is alcohol included in the table d'hôte except maybe in Europe?

Service was great: the waiter came to greet me at the door and I chose my table, and from then on, he was ever so present because, well, there were only 3 clients in the place, including myself. I wasn't served water regularly which kind of annoys me but he answered my questions and came to ask me how I liked every course. I did see him look at his cell once, which I don't think is ok but at least it was only once :)

And now, the scores!

Food: 7.5
Service: 7.5

A great new find! If you happen to be walking on Wellington, dso it!!!

El Sabor de Mexico on Urbanspoon






Monday, April 7, 2014

Furusato


*Flash review alert!*

I was having lunch with my dad today and yesterday he called me to tell me that we should go to Furusato! How happy was I? And today, he told me that his girlfriend would be joining which made me even happier :)


This place is tiny and it opens at 11h45 AM so you should get there by 11h40 to be sure to have a spot. You can make reservations and so you get in and half the tables are always reserved! I've been there with my dad at least 10 times and we've always been satisfied.

Enough of this, let's talk food!


First, THE tea. It comes in this oh-so-cute little tea pot :) Plus, when it's empty, we get more! It's nice and hot and so body warmin' on cold days (damn you never ending winter).


Salad

-could not get simpler
-iceberg and ONE piece of pepper (sheesh!)
-nice tasting japanese vinaigrette


Miso soup

-Like the tea, very nice on a cold day!
-Not that much seaweed=good and not overwhelming
-Nice taste and simple soup
-Must cost about 0,02 cents to make :p


Sushi Mori: 5 nigiri, 1 cone, 2 heiwa (futomaki), 3 cucumber hosomaki

-2 tuna, 1 shrimp, 1 salmon and 1 white fish (TBD ...) nigiri
-Not VERY well rolled
-Quite tasty except the white fish had some fat on it


Desert

-Neapolitan ice cream
-NOTHING special
-Liked their green tea ice cream: much better and much more fitting

The service was OK. The girl, who barely spoke any english or french had a hard time understanding us. First off, I asked for three glasses of water but she only brought ME one. Then we had to tell her we said three. Meh. And I mean, poor her, until 12h30, she was alone, serving the whole restaurant. Even if it's not that big, with 4 courses + tea plus person, it can get quite hectic I bet! When we asked for water the second time around, we got it 10 minutes later.

And now, the scores!

Food: 7
Service: 6.5

Even if it's not the best rolled sushi in town and doesn't have the best service, at that price (around 11,50$), I'd go back every day :)


Bistro Japonais Furusato on Urbanspoon

Saturday, April 5, 2014

O Bico


Lea's friend is the chef at O'Bico so she said we should meet there one evening. PLUS, it's a ten minute walk from my place! Hurray!


The place itself, as you can see from the picture above, is really nothing special. They could have put more thought into it, if you ask me! But that's not the most important thing! The important things are the food and the service! Anyhoot, this place is pretty small, with a brick wall and around 40 seats.

Let's talk food!


First off, sorry about the picture quality; it was very dark in our corner near the window! Anyhoot, I had a glass of white house wine for SIX bucks! I likes me some good deals like that! And it was actually decent. I ordered the chorizo sandwich which came with fries and coleslaw. I must say, probably the best coleslaw I've ever eaten: it had just the right amount of acid in there and it was just creamy goodness! Mmmmm... I wanna go get some right NOW! But I won't. The fries were a bit spicy which was well appreciated and they went well with... the spicy mayo! They weren't as crispy as I would have liked but still really great. The sandwich itself was so darn tasty: yes, the bread was a tad too dry for my taste but the chorizo and the spiciness of it all made up for it. Mmmmmjuicy chorizo! Oh and there was some coleslaw IN it which I found quite nice indeed! Oh and arugula -which added freshness-and well, I loves me some arugula! And just adding a bit of hot sauce in there made it even tastier! A very simple, good meal!


Bah, again a bad picture. Grrr. Lea had herself a beer and a poutine with chicken and porto sauce. Well excuse me! I'm not a huge fan of poutine but this one was quite pleasant. Lea loved all the flavours, the sauce was great with all the ingredients.

Service was good although not very professional. We got there and from behind the counter, the waiter told us to sit anywhere. He brought us menus and a bottle of water for easy refills. I like that; you don't have to holla to get water all the time. For my second glass of wine, it took me about 5 minutes to finally get his attention because he was talking it up with the cook. Come on dude!

And now, the scores!

Food: 7.5
Service: 6.5

It's close to my house. It's portuguese food. It's cheap. I'm going back!

O'Bico on Urbanspoon


Monday, March 24, 2014

Érablière St-Henri



Now THIS is a real cabane à sucre (yes yes I know its called a sugar shack!): if you have to drive more than 40 minutes, if, when you get there, you have no idea where you are, and if you see deer crossing the road right in front of you.... you are going to the real thang baby!

My sister was in town for a couple days so we decided that going to a sugar shack would be fun. I hadn't been in a couple years, my sister hadn't been to a real one in at least 10 to 15 years and my mom, surprisingly enough, hadn't been in about 28 years! Whaaaaaa? We HAD to go!


The place had two rooms for your sugar pleasure :) I'd say it can sit around 100 people in all. It was complete with plastic table cloths and fake leaves everywhere :p But you know what, it was darn tootin' homey and I likes it!

Alright, let's get down to the food because there was, as per usual à la cabane à sucre, a shiz load!


To start us off, there were cute little mason jars with marinated beets (just vinegary enough), pickles and homemade ketchup (just a touch of sweetness) on the table! YUM!!! And to top it off, there were delicious cretons that came with warm bread :)


Pea soup---a cabane à sucre classic! It was good but I found that it lacked a bit in the taste department.


Then, our waitress (who is the daughter of the owners---à la cabane à sucre, it's all in the family!) brought us maple syrup soaked baby sausages, bigger sausages, beans (me.loves.beans) smashed potatoes and du ragoût de boulettes (I'm not even going to attempt to translate---but it's the bowl on your right).  The mini sausage in maple was surprisingly dry and, well, I ain't the tiny sausage kinda person. The bigger ones were tastier (yes, I know, here come the lesbian jokes ;p) and had more moisture! The beans were perfect... just like they should damn well be at a sugar shack! The potatoes were OK but a bit dry and didn't taste like much. The ragout de boulettes was really good, tasty, just the right amount of salt in the yummy sauce.... but there wasn't enough!!! We were 5 and I think there were 6 meatballs. Grrr. 


After, there was the omelet and the tourtière (meat pie). The omelet, we all could have done without. It was tasteless and... hum... square! What the what now? The tourtière was wonderful and when you added some of the ketchup it was gosh darn delicious! All the right spices were present. But, again, that omelet... WHAT were they thinking?

Apparently, my memories of 'oreilles de criss' were not as good as I thought because that was, well, NOT good. It was WAY too hard and unpleasant. Bah. I know what it is but it was literally like putting pure dried up fat in my mouth (which it is...http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oreille_de_crisse). The bacon was good but a tad overcooked.


Mmmmm: ham! I loves my ham! And actually my whole family has somewhat of a ham crush. When it's done well we can eat it foreva (ex: the other day, my mom gave me some ham that she made and I proceeded to eat TWO big ass ham sandwich in 1 hour---what's WRONG with me!?). Anyway, it tasted of loveliness and maple and you could break it off with a fork!

Oh it's not even close to being done, but this was the desert: Pancakes, sugar pie and maple syrup pie and 'grand-pères'. Ok, so basically, the 'grand-pères' tasted (AND felt) like raw dough. Meh. The pancakes were good but the stars were the two pies, and by looking at this picture, you can see we did NOT have enough for all 5 of us! Geez! I liked the maple syrup one better than the other because it's not every day that you get to taste that yumminess. Mmmm... it was so soft and silky and obviously had around 8000 calories in every bite.


And this was the finale: de la tire d'érable (or 'maple taffy' if you prefer). Oh yes; this boiling maple syrup that hardens as soon as it hits the snow reminded me of childhood! Some opted out because they were 'too full' but I thought 'hey, what's another 600 calories'?


Service was good: she brought us a pitcher of water at the beginning of our meal but we did have to ask for more... And I mean, she only had two tables to care for. On the other hand, since she was the owners' daughter so she knew a bunch of stuff about maple and the making of the maple syrup and what have you so that was very cool. 


And now, the scores!!

Food: 7.5
Service: 8

Such a fun experience! I loves me some sugar shack and this was exactly what I needed! So if you feel like you want to go to a real cabane à sucre, go to Rigaud and you're set!


Érablière St-Henri on Urbanspoon