Juliette et Chocolate

 

Yumma! When my sister asked me if I wanted to go to the chocolate place I had no idea what was in store for me. I had about an hour & a half before my train back to Toronto, & this was definitely the best way to spend that time, relaxing with my sister & our friend Nancy, eating & drinking heaven from a cognac glass. The exposed stone walls & back patio, combined with the charming decor contributed to the joy of the experience.

Although chocolate is the star attraction, there are also other items to choose from; salads, crepes, fondue, ice cream, smoothies and more. The top price I noticed in the menu (they had English ones too!) was about $10.95. The place is licensed as well, so good times are abound at this warm & inviting cafe

As soon as we walked in we were greeted with complete friendliness from the staff, & smartly, they brought us all ice water to start.

For my hot chocolate I chose something called Manjari ? it was a dark chocolate 64% cocoa, and was composed of a combination of Criolla & Trinitario cocoa beans from Madagascar. Chantico this aint! This was the real thing, a thick liquid explosion of goodness. All that & I got a home made chocolate on the side. The drink was so big, it took me forever to finish.

I was also mighty hungry & uninterested in the prospect of eating train food, so I went for a buckwheat crepe with ham, cheese & asparagus. My sister had the spinach crepe & Nancy had a fruit crepe covered in chocolate & icing sugar. All of our crepes scored high on presentation as well as taste. Nancy?s was like a work of art. The portion sizes were decent as well.

It?s real easy to spend a $25 here; I had my crepe, my drink & I bought 2 pieces of chocolate containing cayenne, nutmeg, cinnamon & honey that was beyond fantastic. With my taxes & tip I spent just shy of $25 but it was worth it for a treat for sure. They also serve as an internet cafe …Good to know.

If I was in Montreal more, I would be there more. This was a completely fabulous experience worth repeating.

 

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Chez Cora

Chez Cora/Cora’s 6250 blvd. Cousineau St-Hubert, QC 450-443-5624

Several locations across Quebec & Ontario, including:

Locations in Quebec

http://www.chezcora.com/Main-en/Trouver-en.htm#Quebec

Locations in the GTA

4120 Dixie Road,
Mississauga
(905) 624-1297

Unit 13, 16655 Yonge St.,
Newmarket
(905) 954-1317

277 Wellington St., West (at Blue Jays Way)
Toronto
(416) 598-2672

My dad & I went for brunch on Boxing Day 2004, and he actually chose the spot. I was quite impressed; I would not expect him to choose a restaurant like this. I�ve been to Chez Cora in a few other spots in Montr�al before, like on Peel St. and in Old Montreal, and have always enjoyed my experiences.

In Montreal, you have a choice of smoking vs. non-smoking, & as my father’s a smoker, he was happy that such a choice exists.

We walked in at the right time; within seconds there was a lineup out the door behind us. We were seated and got our coffees quickly. This place was mighty busy, as reflected in the volume coming from conversations throughout the restaurant. The dining area is open concept (what is the point then of differentiating smoking vs. non I don�t know), and is family friendly. Although the menus are in French, our friendly waitress Mado was bilingual, and able to answer our questions when my French failed me.

The restaurant is fully licensed (beer with your bagel anyone?), and specializes in breakfast and brunch. They serve all the standards like eggs, bacon, waffles, pancakes & things like that, and after 11 they start to serve more savoury items like burgers alongside the breakfasts. They are most known for the massive portions of nicely presented fresh fruit that accompany most meals here, my meal having been one of them, (my father’s was not), as well as the always generous portions.

My father is not a frequent brunch goer, so he wanted a standard breakfast style meal. He ordered Eggs Maurice, $6.95 which is as close as one will get to a traditional breakfast here. His meal included 2 eggs, which he asked for over easy, sausages, potatoes, toast & baked beans. He initially said his eggs were perfect, and later changed his verdict to underdone. I�ll have to take his word for that as I do not eat eggs. We were both somewhat surprised by the fact that his �sausages� were actually hot dogs!?! How weird is that? The menu said �saucisse fume� which technically is the direct translation of a hot dog, but still it seemed odd. At least it was a jumbo. We asked the waitress to explain & oddly enough, Eggs Maurice happened to be the only meal on the menu that had hot dogs instead of a regular breakfast sausage. Oh well, it tasted fine. It was odd, but live & learn.

My meal on the other hand more closely resembled a typical Cora breakfast. My meal was called Sarrasin de Galette $8.95. This meal included 3 sausages (standard breakfast ones this time) wrapped in buckwheat crepes, topped with melted cheddar both inside & outside the crepe with mixed fruit on the side. My mountain of fresh fruit included watermelon, grapes, pears, apples, oranges pineapple, & kiwi all decoratively carved & was quite the impressive display. I was able to get them to omit the bananas � no problem 

My food was quite good, and the portion was so big I needed to take some of it to go. My dad gave a mixed review to the potatoes, but was very impressed with the baked beans, said they tasted homemade. I tried some they really were good! He said the beans were the best thing on the plate & his plate was so big, he couldn�t finish his meal either. His one comment was �everything is very good, but I didn�t expect hot dogs�. I�d have to agree with him on that.

All in all, this was a positive dining experience & I�ve been here before & will definitely be going back many more times. I’ve not yet been to any Toronto locations, however I�m interested to try them out soon.

Restaurant La Cabane de Portugal

3872 ST LAURENT BLVD
(514) 843-7283

 

La Cabane was the best dining & drinking experience I’ve had in a long time. We (my friend Ken & I) went to this Portuguese tavern in a crazy blizzard one Sunday night, and I’m so glad I went.

La Cabane very much embodies the whole spirit of the plateau. It has a very relaxed and cozy atmosphere, very cool. Ken said this is a place he’s never seen a fistfight. To say it’s a Portuguese tavern is completely accurate, there are a lot of Portuguese dishes focusing on meat & sausages like chorizo. In addition to the meat dishes, there are also salads, desserts & coffees. The top price is $15.95 for the filet mignon.

We started the evening off with a large pitcher of Boreal Noir to share. This beer was sooo delicious, I just wish I could find it in Toronto dammit! It is like Guinness, but it is a bit sweeter & goes down was smoother. Believe me when I say it goes down easy, I could have drank it all night.

Our first appetizer of the evening was Petisco – a dish that included pork, chorizo, Swiss cheese chunks, pickled peppers, and olives in a white wine, olive oil sauce. This dish was so to die for! It was so savoury and delicious, and came with crusty rolls to soak up the sauce. At $10.95 for the small, and $14.95 for the large order, this was completely worth it. Good call Ken!

Our second appetizer was just as fantastic. We shared the garlic shrimp, which came in an artery hardening pool of melted butter, yumma! The shrimp were very tender & sweet, you could see the garlic swimming happily in the butter. We got more crusty rolls to sop up this delicious pool of yum.

To cap the evening we ordered alongees, and our waitress was smart enough to bring ice water to accompany it.

This dining experience was one to remember, good food good friends, good times.

Chuch/Chuchai

 

My dream come true, a completely vegetarian restaurant, with close to one hundred Thai dishes. Located right on the Plateau at St. Denis between Rachel and Duluth, this restaurant offers traditional a vast variety of Thai dishes, mostly consisting of noodle dishes, tofu entrees, mock chicken, mock fish, mock shrimp and mock beef in traditional Thai styles. For our feast last week, I ordered the hot and sour soup, in a thick red tomato chili broth. Although the soup was small and did not have tofu, it had mock chicken, and mushrooms, but no bamboo shoots. Oh well. The soup portion was quite small considering it was $3.75. For my main dish, i ordered the Thai green curry with vegetables and tofu ($11.00). For our appetizer, we all ordered the seaweed fried with tofu skin, surrounded by fried basil. That dish was to die for, creative, very crunchy, flavourful, and tasty. In addition, we also ordered a round fresh veggie rolls with peanut sauce. The peanut sauce was spicy and chunky. For their main dish, Aaron and David ordered a red curry with mock chicken and mock shrimp with fried spinach in a peanut sauce. Since we all shared, I was able to taste everything. All of the dishes were fabulous. The green curry was slightly stronger and more pungent than the red curry.

Vivian and her friend Aaron arrived as we were finishing out meal. They ordered the deep fried spring rolls, served with a clear beige coloured dipping sauce. Viv seemed to like what she ate. The menu is crazy. There are so many choices it is difficult to choose. The menu is intimidating. I saw many dishes that seemed appetizing (Thai Eggplant, Mock Chicken with Sauteed Vegetables, Mock Beef Curry, Mock Fish and Shrimp with Vegetables)

 

There is no dairy, but some dishes have egg, which can be omitted by request.

Chuchai has a liquor license and an outdoor terrace in the summertime. Entrees are from $7.95-$12.95. Next door at 4094 Saint-Denis is Chuch, which are owned by the same people, but offer take-out and allow you to bring your own wine. It’s a more casual dining experience and the menu is identical. The deli counter offers more than 50 mouth watering “one day old” dishes, all vegetarian and mostly vegan products, for considerably cheaper prices. They can also heat up the food for you in the microwave, thus making it a little less expensive.

Cafe Santropol

 3990 rue St. Urbain, Montreal
Phone: (514) 842-3110

My favourite dining spot in Montreal, since i was 17. Located right in the heart of the Plateau at Duluth and Saint Urbain in the old part of the city, Santropol has been a unique cafe for the community since 1976.  Located on the main level of a colourful old greystone building, this “chain-free”, “non-corporate” Bohemian cafe serves coffees, teas, and mostly-vegetarian fare to an assortment of clientele, ranging from funky artists from the Plateau, yuppy families and their kids, students from McGill, Concordia, UQUAM, and UDM, as well as seniors, teenagers, and Joe-Schmo.

The place has been undergoing a “mainstreaming” process since the early 1990’s but the menu still has much of the same items . Prices have gone up slightly. Tea selection has steadily decreased over the last decade since this place has become more well known for its famous “overstuffed” sandwiches on molasses bread, garnished with a colourful assortment of fruit and vegetables.  

In addition to huge sandwiches,  Cafe Santropol makes funky salads, unique soups (many vegan ), vegetarian pies, and their classic vegetarian chili.

The place is dark, but has an urban, grungy, funky decor (recently Santropol has become more mainstream). Back when I lived in Montreal, I was a weekly visitor to Cafe Santropol. I went almost every Friday or Saturday night from 1993-1999. When I visit Montreal, I make it a priority to go for lunch or dinner.

They were known for their herbal teas, coffees, and milkshakes flavoured with a variety of specialty syrups (almond, maple, mint, peach, are among some of the choices) constitute the available nonalcoholic beverages.

Some of popular sandwiches featured at Cafe Santropol are: Midnight Spread (peanut butter, honey, cream and cottage cheese spread, nuts and raisins), Paspebiac (tuna, tomatoes, and creamcheese), Sweet Root (apples, nuts, coriander, grated carrots and raisins, mayo) Tomato sandwiches, my favourite Vege Pate, and the Saint Urbain Corner (honey, nuts, olives, cream and cottage cheese (can be ordered with ham or chicken). My favourite from my teens is No. 13- (banana, honey, cream and cottage cheese, blackcurrent jam).

Vegetarian pot pies come in three varieties: spinach, millet, sarrasin and olives. They are served hot with vegetable salad.

For lunch fare, the menu is identical, but there is an option of a half sandwich/half soup deal. This option is offered from Monday to Friday until 5pm. Eligible sandwiches have an asterix (*) beside them. They specialize in herbal tea blends, now available for sale at Boutique Santropol, along with T-shirts and posters. Some Santropol brand herbal tea blends include Curiosi Tea, Humani Tea, Hospitali Tea (I used to enjoy Materni Tea but it does not exist anymore). Other herbal tea blends include Lemon Zinger, Cranberry Coe, and Emperor’s Choice. Some drinks include soft drinks (Coke/7UP), Milk Shakes, Diabolo (soda water and choice of twenty flavoured syrups), Cafe de La Maison (coffee, whipped cream, and choice of twenty flavoured syrups).

 

The restaurant is spread across three little dining areas, plus a romantic, amazing back terace with a pond with real goldfish and several cats that run by, this place has been voted for years as the most romantic place to bring a date.

Sandwiches range from $7.95-$9.95 and come with vegetables and are quite thick. I used to order the vege pate sandwich for years. The bread is fresh and to die for but I do not eat it anymore. A main staple is the vegetarian chili and the salads are worth trying. The dressing is simply wonderful with a mysterious hint of avocado perhaps? One percent of the bill is sent to organizations that ease hunger in Qu颥c and developing nations. Santropol Roulant (A Meals on Wheels service) literally across the street on Duluth and serves as a meals on wheels service for Montreal’s poor. Takeout is available. Accepts all cards. Open late on the weekends

Le Commensal

Montreal

1204 McGill College
(514) 871-1480

1720 St-Denis
(514) 845-2627

South Shore -Saint Lambert

4817 Boul Taschereau 
(450) 676-1749

Toronto:

655 Bay Street (main entrance is on Elm Street)
(416) 596-9364
Quebec city
860 Rue St Jean
(418) 647-3733

 

With 7 restaurants in Canada (3 in Montreal, 1 in the South Shore, 1 in Quebec city, and 1 in Laval) and 1 restaurant in Toronto, Le Commensal has been a leader in providing healthy vegetarian cuisine that is diverse in flavours, colours, textures, and palattes.

For over 30 years Le Commensal has been providing a large selection of options for vegetarians. The name, Le Commensal, comes from the word “commensal” meaning an organism that lives off another organism without harming each other. That is the true essence of vegetarian cuisine

Food is priced according to weight, so if you are hungry and the items you choose are hefty, expect to pay between $20-$25. From my last visit, i chose beet salad, sweet and sour seitan, chili, ratatouille, cous cous salad, hummus and tabouleh, strips of tofu braised in ginger. Although it’s a glorified cafeteria, food is piping hot, fresh, and full of flavour and colour. Overall decor and setting is tranquil, and relaxing. Food is labeled v (vegan), l (dairy), and o (eggs).

Le Commensal offers some take home meals including an assortment of sweet and savoury pies and quiches, fresh soups (broccoli, butternut squash, carrot, Indian lentil, minestrone, pea soup, tomato and barley, and hearty vegetable. In the past, I’ve bought tons of vegepate ( a veggie alternative to liver pate), and packaged marinated sweet and sour tofu and sweet and sour seitan.

Frozen meals include a meaty Bourguignon Stew (cubes of seitan, button mushrooms and pearl onions, simmered in a red wine sauce, with heavenly mashed potatoes) , Cacciatore Veggie Simmer (soy-protein simmered in a tomato and herb sauce, served over pasta), Chinese Stir-Fry (slices of seitan baked in a tomato and tamari sweet and sour sauce, served with garlic-saut饤 pasta.), Creole Jambalaya (rice seasoned with jalape񯠰eppers, garnished with beans, vegetables and chunks of soy protein), Greek-style Casserole (saut饤 tofu with garden vegetables seasoned with garlic, lemon, oregano, topped with basmati rice), the classic lasagne (drop dead delicious) with layers of fresh pasta with tomato sauce, creamy b飨amel sauce, and an assortment of cheeses, the three bean chili (a hearty dish of beans, chunky vegetables and Le Commensal Mexican style ground soy) , Le Commensal Thai Delight (strips of seitan in a tangy sweet-and-sour sauce, with a hint of chili pepper) , Vegetable Couscous (simmered vegetables and chick peas smothered in tomato sauce with couscous), the famous Veggie Shepherd?s Pie (seasoned ground soy with sweet corn and mashed potatoes).

You may notice that many items are sweet. This is because the chili, seitan, and the ratatouille has an added touch of maple syrup that accentuates the flavour of the dish. For Ontarians who dine at Le Commensal, it may give them a touch of Quebec maple syrup.

Be careful, you can choose low fat dining by opting for salads and light fare, there are some oily and rich, decadent dishes like the drop dead yummy lasagna, tofu burgendaise, and the seitan in the various sauces (sweet and sour, etc). Even though some chocolate cakes are vegan, don’t assume it’s fat free or sugar free. Be careful. Choose smaller plates (meals can cost $12-$16) while larger plates can cost more ($14-$23). Food is refreshed constantly and overall decor is clean, not cluttered, tasteful, and pretty relaxing. Considering it is a glorified cafeteria, they try to avoid making it resemble a food court by having it divided in sections and putting calm music, free water, and choosing colours and designs that make the place overal tranquil and not busy (like McDonalds, Subway, or other fast food chains).

Accepts all cards and has liquor license.

El Zaziummm Restaurants

51 Roy E. Sherbrooke métro Tel. 844-0893
1276 Laurier E. Laurier métro. Bus 47 Tel. 598-0344
4297 Saint-Denis Tel. 288-9798 Mont-Royal métro.

 

El Zaziummm is a colourful place to dine. Three locations spread across the east part of Montreal, most locations in the funky Plateau neighbourhood. It’s quite funky and ecclectic in its decor. With toilet paper rolls used as napkins, this place serves Tex-Mex-Californian fare in a creative way. The menu resembles a comic book and the décor is described as bright, colourful, and animated.

Some dishes include Lili’s punch (rum, pineapple, lemon, lime) a beverage that arrives at your table in a beach bucket complete with plastic shovel! “Folle cuisine de plage” (crazy beach cooking) is the slogan. It looks like the unholy trinity (Acapulco gold, tequila and tropical sun) all conspired against the decorators.

Other items include Nachos, guacamole, shrimp cocktail, gazpacho, beef or chicken tacos, fajitas, California hamburger, and chicken cactus salad. Prices are from $7.95-$12.95. Many vegetarian options. Accepts all cards.