To put it bluntly, I am crazy-passionate about food. Growing up, I wasn't much of a foodie. In fact, I was a picky-eating lanky little gal and that continued well on into my adult life. A few years ago, I started exploring the city on a culinary level and discovered lots of Montreal's tasty gems. Note to non-Montrealers: Montreal is a hub for amazing restaurants (and I mean A LOT of them) Over the years, I've refined my tastes, though I am always game to try just about anything. I don't have many dietary constraints though I try to eat fresh, keep it reasonably clean, and don't eat much meat.
That being said, January was a month filled with an unusual amount of meat. However one look at these pics, and I think you'll see why.
burger de ville
Surely, if you're a Montrealer, you've heard of Burger de Ville. They've been making a big splash lately because they were featured on the 6 o'clock news as the makers of Montreal's best burger. I don't want to sound like a food hipster or anything but uh... I've totally known this from Day 1 before all the hoopla happened.
I go to Burger de Ville - no joke - once or twice a week. I want to say I feel disgusting or ashamed about it, but in all honesty, I don't. It's downright delicious.
Now - what to get at Burger de Ville: I have two favourites that I like to alternate amongst. The first is a burger (duh) and the second is a salad (not-so-duh.)
Now for the meat lovers, the Cantina Burger is this tasty chunk of heaven you see here. It's an off-menu limited-time burger (though I've been ordering it for months now) and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. As with all Burger de Ville patties, it's made with a hunk of fresh beef, topped with a melted slice of mozzarella, some pesto, pancetta and it sits between a warm poppyseed bun (don't forget your toothpick.) This sucker will have you burping garlic all day but it's so worth it. Get it in a combo with a side order of spicy fries - and don't forget to ask for the spicy mayo!
Now onto this salad: everyone makes fun of me for ordering a salad at a burger joint, but let me tell you - it's a bleeping good salad, and I don't say that often. It's called the De Ville Salad and it consists of mixed greens, topped with goat cheese, tomatoes, dried cranberries, pecans and a sweet and tangy tamarin dressing. It has so much texture and flavour that I gurantee you will not feel like a total lamewad about ordering a salad at a burger place.
One last thing - order a chocolate milkshake. They're thick, heavy as f*ck, and worth the pain for all my fellow lactose intolerants out there.
Visit www.burgerdeville.com for their locations.
Ever been to a Venezuelan restaurant? Someone told me I should go here once and I forgot about it for like 2 years. Whoops. And yes, I do indeed regret it now that I've tried it because it was some insanely tasty stuff.
Now Bocadillo has two locations: one on Bélanger and one on St. Laurent. We opted for the St. Laurent location, even though the other one is much closer to home (I was feeling adventurous on that particular day.) I met the boyfriend downtown, and we walked from Berri metro station to the restaurant. Now if you're a Montrealer and are more or less familiar with both locations, you know it was a long-ish walk. If you're a Montrealer and are mapping out our route, you know that there was a hell of an uphill battle in our mini-journey. If you're a Montrealer and are piecing together that we did all this in January, you know we did it whilst freezing our butts off. What does this have to do with our Bocadillo experience? Absolutely nothing, aside from the fact that we arrived there starving and frozen stiff.
It was a Monday night and so the restaurant was pretty empty. While some people view that as a bad sign, my boyfriend and I view that as a peaceful meal. When you walk in, there's a counter with a big menu behind it - gahhh, so many choices! I had an idea of what I was going to order, since I always go into a restaurant prepared and with their menu more or less memorized. The boyfriend on the other hand is of the indecisive nature and is a fan of lengthy on-the-spot decisions. I went with the pulled-pork arepa with a side of yuca fries, while the boyfriend went with a pulled-chicken arepa. If you're unfamiliar with Venezuelan cuisine, arepa is a flatbread made of cornmeal - I guess similar to cornbread but much more delicious. You can choose to have it grilled or fried - I went with grilled and it was awesome (didn't want it to be too heavy.) I'm by no means a fan of pork, though this was a no-brainer since the pulled-pork had been marinated in a passion fruit juice. Yes, you read right. This gave the sandwich a juicy texture and sweet, salty and tangy flavour - it was like taking a bite out of Ryan Gosling [read: heaven] The yuca fries were also great - they had a nice crunch to them and were perfectly complimented by the garlic dipping sauce they give you. The meal was overall beautifully overwhelming, though not to the point where my heart slowed down. Needless to say, it filled me up enough to keep me warm for the walk back to the metro station.
I highly recommend this place - if you're new to latin American cuisine, well this is a good start. The food is yummy, the price is right (we spent under $30 for the both of us) and the staff is super friendly. Check them out online for more mouth-watering photos: www.bocadillomontreal.com
The homemade kosher non-kosher pressed sandwich
I'm cheap. So I'm assuming some of you reading are also cheap. So here's one of my favourite at-home recipes to make you feel like you splurged on a restaurant meal without actually spending much. All the ingredients can be found at your average grocery store or better yet, at Wal-Mart - if you're super stingy like me.
What makes this sandwich interesting is the use of a kosher bun - which is fluffy, a tad sweet, and pretty tasty on its own. Combine that with a bunch of Italian cold cuts, and you have a kosher non-kosher sandwich.
- Kosher buns (the onion kind is my favourite)
- Genoa salami
- Calabrese salami - the spicy kind is the best
- Provolone cheese
- Gouda cheese
You can mix up the cold cuts, try different cheeses - whatever. It'll likely be delicious nonetheless. Just stack it up, make sure you have lots of cheese slices thrown in, and ensure that it's standing well above 2 inches high. The key part in this process is pressing the sandwich flat and getting the cheeses super melty. I have a Breville sandwich press that I like to fire up everytime I'm craving one of these babies, but a pan and trusy spatula on a stovetop works too.
Again, if you get your "supplies" at Wal-Mart, you can have one or two of these for every day of the week totalling under $40. How's that for lots of cheap and delish meals?