for July, 2012
Looking to catch up with a friend in Toronto, we were drawn to Fire on the East Side after hearing about some amazing fried chicken on waffles. Upon getting there and scanning the menu with no sign of the dish, it proved to be totally elusive. According to our server, the dish had never existed at the place. I won’t lie, we were pretty disappointed, as we had chosen the place based solely on the possibility of eating that specific dish. We contemplated leaving for a few seconds, but the thought quickly vanished as we took the first few bites out of the house made banana bread. Moist and soft, the little square of sweetness bolstered our appetites and we sat on.
Intuitively, you might guess that from the name of this restaurant, a mash up of Asian and Western food would be served here. For better or for worse, there is no trace of Asian-ness in the food, the decor or the atmosphere. Instead, it is a modern, rock-themed diner that serves up greasy diner food (for the record, the music that was playing when we went was amazing). Shanghai Cowgirl is simply a name – and an intriguing one at that. I just keep imagining this fierce Asian lady in a flower printed high collared cowgirl outfit on a horse kicking ass somewhere in the South. Is it just me?
We spent the day walking and shopping all over the city of Toronto, from the downtown core all the way through to Parkdale. With tired feet and hungry stomachs, we walked just a couple blocks more to wait in line at Grand Electric. Arriving only two minutes before opening at 6 pm, a huge line had already amassed outside its wooden doors. A good thirty to forty people had gathered in anticipation of being among the first to be seated that Saturday night. We were hopeful but dubious as to whether or not we would get in on the first round.
Cuisine Szechuan serves exactly what its name advertises. There’s no dancing around it – this place serves legit Szechuan food, plain and simple. There are no frills, no added extras – just real food that stays true to its roots. There’s a mixed aura of respect and fear around the restaurant for its ability to produce delicious but mind-blowingly spicy food. I’m talking fish filets marinated in chili peppers and I’m talking cucumbers marinated in chili flakes and oil. Basically hot on hot on hot.
Mâche restaurant is a newly opened casual spot on St Denis – in the heart of the Latin Quarter. The menu includes comfort foods like Mac and Cheese, Pulled Pork sandwiches and Poutine. We decided to try out Mâche on a hungry night when we didn’t want to break the bank – nearly the entire menu is under 15$. We started with a pint of beer and a glass of Sangria and sat out on the terrasse.
After a semi-satisfying dinner on St. Denis (more on this in a following post) at Mache, we were hankering for something sweet. Obviously, right. A quick search on Google showed me the closest ice cream shops and just steps away was the one and only Dr. Frost. I had passed by multiple times but never had the chance to visit. The bright pink sign had stuck in my mind, but for some reason I had recalled it as Pinkberry… We don’t have those here yet, unfortunately. Scanning over reviews and commentary from various users online, I learned that the “macarons givrés” were something they were known for, and that it was a must have.
As an ex-resident of the West Island, I’m happy to say that I still frequently go back and visit. Panama has been one of the newer, ‘trendier’ restaurants to appear in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, along with the installments of La Verita and Panne Pazzo by Marche de l’Ouest. After hearing several acquaintances praise the Jean Talon location of Panama for their authentic Greek food, we decided to try it closer to home.
Desperately searching for a last minute brunch place to take my parents to Saturday morning, I came across Julieta’s after a few minutes of research. See, my parents are hard to please when it comes to the food department. They have a natural, predominant preference for ethnic food regardless of what time of day it is – and they love to try new restaurants as much as I do.
Make your way through the hustle and bustle of the Jean Talon market, past the Boitre aux Huitres, the colourful flower stalls and the smell of a freshly baked bread, fragrant cheeses, and the spice shop boasting mixtures from around the world. Browse the boutique specialty food shops and stop by the fruit stands to sample the carefully farmed fruits and vegetables and you won’t be disappointed.
Having heard great things about Antonio Park’s westmount restaurant Park – Our expectations were set high going into the the experience. The first surprising thing is that it’s in westmount at all – this is not fertile culinary ground – NDG yes, westmount No. Park is situated on Victoria street (close to sherbrooke) below Victoria Park Spa where the now defunct Vic Park Market once was.
Situated in what one could call the Little India of Montreal, Bombay Mahal is at the centre of all the commotion. Competition is fierce for customers craving Indian food in the area, with the likes of Curry House right across the street and places like the Chand Palace, Punjab Palace, Moti Mehal and India’s Oven (the list goes on) beckoning on every street corner and nook and cranny of Parc Extension.
I don’t know why I don’t go to La Fabrique more than I do. This place is amazing. I just remember the one and only time I went for dinner, I was completely blown away. Looking for somewhere to brunch, La Fabrique came up in my search and rose coloured memories gently came floating back.