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Aug 2, 2010 06:08 AM

Who else went to Les Fetes Gourmande?

Just curious if anyother CHers attended this year. This was my first year going as it was in Laval and I am a Lavaller.

For me it was a big disappointment. The site was incredibly dusty and there was a complete lack of seating and only one small covered seating area. The food was also not so great. I was expecting more creative food and at a more reasonal price. Entrance already was 8$ pp and the average small bite from the exhibitors was 4$. The vendor selling the alligator was charging 6$ for a TINY little cup. And the emu crepe was a total disaster in my opinion. It was spiced with a tourtiere mix I think and the meat was shredded to basically a powder. A cheese vendor under the tent couldn't even tell me what cheeses they were serving! The only thing I somewhat enjoyed was the balkan burger from Balkani. I read another thread a while ago saying that Balkan burgers are the best so I was happy to try one without making the trip to the island.

As mentioned this was my first time there. Were the previous years the same?

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  1. Just to let you know, Balkani has a permanent store in Laval at Centropolis along with the JTM location.

    If this was the same fete as previous ones on Ile Notre Dame, yes I was disappointed a few years ago as well. I had managed to find a few booths I enjoyed buy I found the prices on the gouging side IIRC. The event was actually held at Centropolis this year, correct?

    2 Replies
    1. re: ios94

      Yes, at Centropolis beside the Colossus movie theatre. Basically on a gravel/sand/asphalt lot with virtually no cover from the sun. Yesterday was burning hot also and my friend's pregnant wife almost passed out. As for the booths, they had no asian purveyors and nothing really exciting from anyone else. The italian booths were your standard pressed paninis, the jamaican was beef patties and curry, and the terroir... man I can't say anything exciting about that. IMHO they played it really safe aside from the rather gimmicky "amazon" food.

      1. re: nextguy

        I don't know if any of you remember but they used to do something similar, called "festival international". I think it was in Centre de la nature but i could be wrong, back then CdN was very different and much smaller.

        The festival had coupons you purchased at 1$ and tasting was 1-3 coupons. It was quite good too. I really miss those days.

    2. I concur. Utter disappointment. They should have called it the meat on stick festival - nothing good, nothing original. I'm sorry, but it takes more than serving an exotic protein to be "original" or "interesting".

      Never again.

      1. We were disappointed as well.
        Dusty, yes.
        Premises, sweltering.
        Food, lacking excitement (OK they had the gimmicky snake, turtle (only available after 5pm the day I was there), camel, emu, seal - but c'mon can you actually taste the nuances of such small amounts either braised in a sauce, or combined with other ingredients into a sausage?)...frites alors...slab pizza...sheez.
        We also felt they did a double billing (fete gourmand + beer festival) to attract different people and perhaps increase their square footage. Failure on both counts. C'mon again, why call it a beer festival when the beer on offer is readily available at the SAQ or local microbreweries? If you're a beer enthusiast, you've tried all of these wanna try something different, brought in special.
        The prices? R-I-P-O-F-F.
        I will say the Italian porketta sandwich with very tasty crisped skin was deeelicious.

        When a similar event took place on Ile Notre Dame, the setting was at least somewhat pleasant, varied entertainment (not just Zamfir on the panflute), people doing whole spit lamb, a brazilian beach set-up, small stands showcasing their best, somewhat better price points. OK, not cutting edge food festival stuff, but a notch above the Laval fiasco... don't get me started on the dinner in the sky either...

        1. I am so happy that others share my opinions of this mess.

          1. I went there last week and I will never go back, that's for sure! What a rip-off. I was used to go to ones on Iles Notre-Dame. Those were much better in my opinion.

            Almost all of the food was 5$ for a really small portion. Also, how can you charge 4.75$ for a churros? It's fried dough!

            I think they should change their name for the Sausage Festival! That's all they serve almost. And if it's not sausages, it's some kind of unknown meat on a stick.

            We stayed there 20 minutes and left. We were so hungry that we headed for Five Guys in Vaudreuil. At least we got one good meal that night.