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Delivering our daughter to McGill

Our daughter is starting at McGill and we will be travelling to Montreal with her in less than two weeks!!! Your help with our meal plans would be greatly appreciated.

She is a pescatarian. So we are interested in places with vegetarian or good fish options. During their last visit my wife and daughter had dinner at Le Pistou on Mont Royal E. Both of them loved it. She's been trying to recreate the salmon salad she had there ever since. I'm sure we will return. I also plan a dinner at Lola Rosa closer to McGill. Lunch at Boustan for their felafel is a possibility. I was considering Pintxo's for dinner but I'm not so sure if there are enough fish/veggie options. Auv Vivres sounds good too, but for lunch or dinner? We'll also take in one or more of the pizza places mentioned on the recent 'best pizza' thread, probably Bottega.

So where else should we go for great seafood and good vegetarian food?

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  1. As I noted on an earlier thread, I'm also developing a map of potentially interesting places for her. I got some great feedback earlier and would love to hear about more restaurants, cafes, pubs, markets, etc. especially those that would not crush a student budget! Here's the map: http://tinyurl.com/mhmhon

    3 Replies
    1. re: BernalKC

      That's a sweet thing to do. You get top marks for parenting. (In my family the roles are somewhat reversed.)

      1. re: BernalKC

        Finally updated the map with 20+ new locations. Thanks so much everyone.

        I'm wondering if Milos or Philinos could be a memorable restaurant I went to 30 years ago with my mom when she came for a visit. It was a Greek seafood place where they brought the day's catch to your table in a basket and you picked your fish and discussed various options on how to prepare it with the server.

      2. I, as a vegetarian McGill student, have eaten my fair share of restaurants in Montreal.

        For a more casual meal try Santropol, Aux Vivres, Soupe soup or Fuchsia
        Every time my parents visit we go to Il Focolaio (pizza) at least one night. The charcoaly outside, tender inside crust is amazing and the almond cake is addictive (from a bakery on Dante in Little Italy).
        These are places that your daughter will be able to go to on a student budget (when she's no longer on a meal plan)

        For a nicer meal try Ferreira. Not many strict vegetarian options but as it is Portuguese the menu is mainly fish/seafood. This is another restaurant we have visited more than once.

        My parents are gourmet foodies who enjoy their wine and meat so when they are in town we usually hit joints that catering to plant-eaters isn't high on their list of priorities.

        In addition to chowhound, Midnight Poutine is a great resource. They have a food section, and if your daughter is interested in exploring the city at all, the other articles are a great way to investigate. http://midnightpoutine.ca/food/

        4 Replies
        1. re: Aynsley

          Good call on Midnight Poutine. the food section is all about good cheap eats.

          1. re: Shattered

            Our daughter, who has similar inclinations, has enjoyed Basha, a Lebanese cafeteria chain whose branch closest to McGill is probably on St. Catherine across from the Bay. It is located above street level and commands a good view of the shoppers promenading below.

            Since we too are bringing a daughter up to McGill (from the States) this is a very useful thread. Thanks.

            1. re: VivreManger

              Don't forget all the Greel psarotavernas! Excellent grilled fish and shellfish as well as superb veggies grilled to perfection, salads, breads..... we had dinner at my fave on Saturday, Philinos. This is close to the McGill vicinity and there were several McGill families in there with their new "McGillites"! The waitstaff is marvellous the ambience is lovely. You won't be disappointed! And welcome to Montreal...you made a wonderful choice!

              1. re: mammab

                A cheaper place near Philinos is Terrasse Lafayette, a Greek BYOW at the corner of Jeanne-Mance and Villeneuve. The calamari are usually very good, and there are vegetarian options and good salads.

        2. Fot the best pizza, try Amelio's (201 Milton, very close to McGill). The white pizza is excellent, and the vegetarian one is good too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: amelie1980

            Amelio's is a very good option very close to McGill.

          2. the concordia ghetto has a good selection too.. al taib and boustan would be good as they have a good selection of vegetarian food

            1. Pintxo has their menu online but they don't have a great selection of foods that matches your daughter's diet.

              Japanese restaurant Osaka on Bleury has raw (sushi) and cooked fish. I like the grilled mackerel (Saba) and squid.

              1. Au Cinquième Péché always has excellent pescatarian and vegetarian options on their menu. That said, they often close for a week or two at the end of August. Don't know what their plans are this year.

                ChuChai serves fair to very good vegetarian Thai. Next-door Chuch serves much the same food at slightly lower prices in a more informal setting and is BYOB to boot.

                1. I have a suggestion for you: When I delivered my daughter to Baltimore for school, (A long way from Vancouver, BC where she was brought up). I found some good restaurants that I thought that she would like, but that just might be out of her price range. I went to a few of them and bought some gift certificates. Then every couple of months or when she sounded a little stressed, I would send her one of the certificates unannounced.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: bigfellow

                    We have our Dad of the Year, nominations are closed, no-one else need apply.

                    1. re: Shattered

                      Nah...just yer average single Dad.

                    2. re: bigfellow

                      OMG -- would one of you folks care to adopt another? Wow.

                    3. I am a McGill grad student - here are some of my favorite budget-friendly places in the downtown/Ghetto area. I tend to stay away from meat except on special occasions, so these will all have a large number of veggie options.

                      Lola Rosa - a great little vegetarian resto on Milton.
                      Java U - cafe on Sherbrooke across from the school of music. Fast and cheap for the days when I have to work during lunch - good wraps and they always have a vegetarian soup option.
                      Le Commensal - McGill College at St. Catherine's. Huge vegetarian buffet that charges you by how much you take. I think it's around 2 dollars per hundred grams.
                      Chop Crazy - fast food salads. I go to the one under the Scotia Bank CInema in the underground city; the ingredients seem the freshest at that branch.
                      Boustan - The absolute best falafel in town - and they deliver late at night!

                      For an occasional treat, I get sushi at Tri Express on Laurier in the Plateau - delicious!!!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: jcampbell

                        Lola Rossa is very casual - I'd choose it more for lunch than dinner. Java U is practical but nothing special.

                        Boustan and other Middle Eastern places west of McGill are great options. There is also a new East/Southeast Asian area - "Chinatown 2" near Concordia where there are certainly fish and non-meat options, though it could be a matter of communication.

                        I confess I don't like le Commensal much anymore. And the pay by the weigh policy adds up very quickly - I find it expensive for the quality.

                        A question - will she be on a meal plan or staying in a residence or shared flat where she will actually be cooking? That could be a whole other subject; finding nutritious, tasty and student-budget food. Segall's grocery on St-Laurent at the corner of Duluth is full of students from McGill, UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal) and other institutions of higher education.

                        1. re: jcampbell

                          «Boustan - The absolute best falafel in town - and they deliver late at night!»

                          Can't agree. It may be the best falafel downtown, but that's not saying much when every other place is serving mildly spiced sawdust fried ahead of time and reheated in a microwave. For the best, head to Chez Benny (Snowdown metro), Pizza Pita (a short walk from Plamondon or Namur metro) or Jerusalem Express in the Cavendish Mall. All make their falafel mix from scratch and fry them to order.

                        2. This feedback is awesome. Time to update the map. Thanks everyone!

                          I love the gift certificate idea, bigfellow. And, yes, she will be on a meal plan, but one that does not include weekend meals. (Or maybe it does, just not at BMH?) So I expect she will be doing some food shopping.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: BernalKC

                            My only other rule when I dropped my daughter off is a little off the food topic. I made any of her boyfriends go to rugby practice with me. Old Boys rugby team fathers tend to stick together. If they survived that then maybe, just maybe...LOL

                            1. re: bigfellow

                              i enjoy commensal when downtown http://www.commensal.com/en/ou/restau...
                              but careful to choose the lighter options than heavier hot meals to keep it under 10$, slice of bread comes with meal and hard to resist dessert buffet!
                              I would also suggest chinatown greens and shrimps dishes, fish dishes which i have had at both vip on st. laurent and bejing in chinatown core. Havent been to lola rosa since owners changed but it is very handy as is amelios. I thought this was a fun place to have a lobster pizza (cost around 10-11 for a small but filling pizza but cooked in miniature pizza oven in a remodelled freight container overlooking the locks where boats go through to get to old montreal http://www.muvboxconcept.com/index_en... I have tried both their lobster roll and lobster pizza (preferred the pizza) and like the cute concept. You can also get veggie options at Patiti Patata 4177 St Laurent, Montreal,http://www.hour.ca/food/food.aspx?iID... ...which is a good student place and there are others listed here http://www.mcgill.ca/files/residences... A family outing for fish cant go wrong if you choose Milos on nearby Parc avenue, have special priced menus for lunch and also for late evening meals you can find these deals on their online site

                          2. Okay, I've been holding back on this, but you all seem shy as well...

                            Let's face it, most students don't eat their way through a city. Dad mentioned pubs on his maps; well no offense but those are a little upscale for first years (McKibbins is the only one I think is realistic for atmosphere and proximity, and that's for special occasions).

                            Otoh, do I really need to mention the bars she will frequent? I mean, she'll know them the back of her spinning hand within a fortnight (McGill kids are supposed to be smart enough to know what that means without a dictionary, haha).

                            Ah heck, here's a few names: Biftek, Korova, Tokyo, Bar des Pins, Peel Pub, Reggie's, Mad Hatters. See how it works? One for each day of the week!

                            12 Replies
                            1. re: Shattered

                              I'm a grad student, and despite the fact that I like eating out, I didn't really have the funds to do it when I was in undergrad. I do now, and it's nice, but I don't really expect a 17-18 year old girl to be a dining foodie. Especially since she'll be in residence, with 10+ meals a week already accounted for.

                              That said, if it's on someone elses tab, some of my veggie friends like Lola Rosa. It's near McGill too!

                              1. re: Shattered

                                Trust me, she will be broke. More so than she realizes. Not looking forward to those long distance budget negotiations! And I'm quite sure she and her crew will find their own way to the bar. Point taken.

                                So the map was just as much for mom + dad when we visit as much as for her. Many of those places are totally out of the student universe, but I'm trying now to add lo-budget destinations.

                                I do hope the map helps her explore the city a bit. She is a budding foodie who likes to cook, so I can totally see her checking out Marche Duluth and taking in some tea on the terrace at Santropol. I know when I was a U0 student at those same dorms (30 years ago!) I was in a bit of a cocoon and did not get out into what was then called "the main" -- with the notable exception of those 4am treks to Arahova and the Bagel Factory!

                                1. re: BernalKC

                                  for cooking, you have several choices
                                  Supermarket (Safeway): Provigo and Metro (more expensive imho) nearby
                                  small markets: Marche Lobo + Eden aka Galeries du Parc
                                  Chinatown is a 15 minutes walk
                                  The 80 bus brings you to Plateau Mont-Royal and Mile End has a lot of grocery stores on Parc Ave
                                  In the summer I go to Marche Jean-Talon with a group and I split the 5lbs bags of veggies.

                                  Let me know if you want a tour :)

                                  1. re: marblebag

                                    There is no Safeway in Québec - do you mean Loblaws?

                                    One of the key grocery stores frequented by students is Segall's, at the corner of St-Laurent and Duluth. A friend calls it "the United Nations of Rude", but it is cheap and has many kinds of food; quite a lot of vegetarian food, frozen fish consumed by the Portugeuse community, some halal meats etc.

                                    1. re: lagatta

                                      Supermarché PA on Parc is also a very good option for grocery shopping near McGill. They always have great deals and decent produce.

                                      http://www.supermarchepa.com/

                                      1. re: SnackHappy

                                        They have very good prices on cheese (including a lot of ewe's and sheep's cheeses, as they are Greek), and the produce is quite fine. Segall's is great for packaged stuff and even frozen foods (including fish and organic poultry, though I know daughter doesn't eat that) but their produce can be dodgy.

                                        1. re: lagatta

                                          There is a little grocery store (forgot name) on parc just above milton next to spanish restaurant and their prices on fruits and vegetables are cheaper than nearby metro and provigo, easy to miss it but students are often there shopping

                                          1. re: wilmagrace

                                            That is Marche Lobo. Other than good fruit and vegetable prices they have the cheapest Liberte Yogurt around.

                                            1. re: marblebag

                                              thats true, even their individual yogurts are often priced at 89 or 99 cents so is a nourishing snack along with a fruit if in mcgill ghetto and needing a pickmeup -they provide the spoon

                                2. re: Shattered

                                  Bar des Pins!!! Good times indeed....
                                  Oh and, Provigo is definetely a better choice than the Metro in La Cite. They've just expanded it to include a pharmaceutical section and on Mondays there is a 10% off deal for students, (This is the one on Park and Sherbrooke)

                                  1. re: berbatov

                                    The larger Provigo at the corner of St-Urbain and Mont-Royal has had the 10% off for students for quite a while; it is farther from McGill but doable as a part of a shopping trip up St-Laurent, then back down St-Urbain, either by bicycle or public transport.

                                    It is nice to know about independent grocers such as Marché Lobo succeeding in remaining competitive with the chains.

                                  2. re: Shattered

                                    why go so far? there is GERT's that ON CAMPUS.. and if she knows the right people, she'll get free beer :P

                                  3. It's funny that nobody mentioned Yuan Vegetarian Restaurant, on Sherbrooke and St. Denis, which has an all you can eat lunch buffet for $7.99 ($10.99 weekends). It's vegan, I think, really good Asian food, and I go there every time I'm in Montreal. The link is www.yuanvegetarian.com

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: HeathClifff

                                      I've never been, but I was sort of under the impression from this board that Yuan had heavy, cloyingly sweet sauces and sort of overall medicore food, which might be why it wasn't recommended.