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Jul 30, 2007 05:49 PM

Anything new for former Mtl-hound?

Hey Montreal hounds, help a Toronto girl find something new!
I spent 2001-2006 at McGill and loved every minute exploring Mtl's food offerings (Santropol, Osaka sushi, Casa Tapas, Bistro Duluth, Cafe Etranger and Shambala were my faves). I'm heading back to Montreal this weekend, looking to try something new. We love veg-friendly Thai, Indian, Morrocan, Lebanese, Afghan, Mediterreanean, etc, and would like ideally to pay less than for $15 for mains. BYO more than encouraged, want to have a good time and be somewhere with a happening vibe. I'll be crashing up around St. Joseph/St.Laurent.
Thanks in advance.

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  1. Wish I'd been able to explore a little more while I was at McGill (same timeframe, oddly enough). Instead I stayed afterwards and have been discovering ever since. I tend to indulge my sweet tooth often, either at any of the bakeries along Mont-Royal between St-Laurent and de Lorimier, or on Laurier between St-Hubert and Papineau. Cheap meal eats can be had at Patati Patata on St-Laurent at Rachel, and if you're willing to travel a bit, Sana or Pushap's for South Asian food way up near the Acadie metro area. Down in Le Faubourg on Ste Catherine, you should be able to satisfy your inner Thai at Bangkok, though I can't yet personally recommend it. Your best bet all round though might be to hit the Jean-Talon market and enjoy the beginning of blueberry season. And of course, all other sorts of freshness. Including ice cream at Havre aux Glaces. It's almost always ice cream with me.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JQReid

      Thanks for the recs! I think we'd like to be able to walk (stumble, stroll, pub crawl) home, but we might check out Bangkok another time.

    2. Have you tried Chuchai? That's my favorite. It's a vegetarian Thai place at Saint Denis and Duluth. There is also a great Thai place super close to where you're staying, on Laurier west of Saint Laurent, but the name escapes me at the moment.

      10 Replies
      1. re: roarlaura

        Chuchai also has a more casual, byow twin, Chuch, next door with basically the same menu.

        Not new, but you didn't mention Le Petit Alep, which you should make it to when you go to Jean-Talon market (it is on the north side of Jean-Talon). Definitely vegetarian-friendly, and good.

        1. re: lagatta

          We're driving in on Saturday - how late does the JTM action go?

          1. re: LemonLauren

            Jean-Talon is not open late on Saturdays, certainly not later than 6pm - remember, farmers' hours - a lot of the stands start up VERY early in the morning. I'll try to check in the meantime to see if Le Petit Alep has reopened after their annual summer holiday - they also take a holiday around Christmastime.

            Yes, in terms of veg-friendly I'm like you - not a vegetarian but not big on red meats or an overly "meat-centred" diet. So I hope you'll be posting more here about things you find!

        2. re: roarlaura

          Been tp Chuchai, yup. Veg-friendly is really just my way of asking for healthier options - I do eat chicken and seafood, too.

          1. re: LemonLauren

            Healthier options... I'm constantly turning them down in favour of the buttery sweet demons of my life. For chicken, I would recommend Romados, except I couldn't honestly call it a healthier option. I wish I could recommend good seafood, but I haven't found any better than what I cook at home. Montreal's pretty poor for it, unless you're willing to pay through the gills for it.

            1. re: JQReid

              What's unhealthy about Romados, unless you mean some charring? Isn't it just grilled chicken, not KFC or chicken nuggets?

              1. re: lagatta

                i certaionly don't mind a little skin on my chicken, and some juices of course. i don't need ot eat like a rabbit, but i like having the option to make some healthier choices, in order to make up for other less-healthy choices (mmmm havres-aux-glaces ). the only reason i mentioned it in the post is that i find some places (especially trad French and other haute establishments) don't even give you that choice - everything is cream sauce, liver, duck, etc. so, i like some variety, and luckily, most med/asian food offers that :)

                1. re: LemonLauren

                  Which is funny, because of course most people in France don't eat things in sauce every day, and most heavier meats would be eatern more in the winter. There are a lot of steak-frites, but often we'd have a meal salad - my favourite being the salade de chèvre chaud with crottins de chèvre (hard, small goat cheeses) atop baguette croûtons, atop a mixed greens salad.

                  And of course part of France does fall in the "Med" category...

                  Guess it is like the difference between a lot of "Italian" restaurant food and what people actually eat in Italy, a country rich in beautiful vegetables and fruits.

                2. re: lagatta

                  Didn't mean to imply KFC grease levels. That stuff will soak through a phone book. But I get the impression it could be greasy for some people, even though I prefer it that way. Hence both my recommendation and the accompanying caveat.

                3. re: JQReid

                  "I wish I could recommend good seafood, but I haven't found any better than what I cook at home. Montreal's pretty poor for it, unless you're willing to pay through the gills for it."

                  While we don't have anything on a par QPRwise with, say, a fish taco in Ensenada, the shellfish at Ail Y'ail Y'ail deliver lots of bang for not too many bucks.