ISO Fresh Baked Pita
I just had some really excellent Lebanese take-out from Garage Beirut - fresh fattouche, thick hummus with lamb and roasted nuts, great homemade kofta, and the best pistachhio baklava I've had in the city... but the one dud that always sticks out is the lack of real handmade pita bread. I've only just realized that there's not a single Middle Eastern food stop in Montreal that I know of, offering anything more than those boring bagged cardboard-tasting pita wedges; at times despite the quality and authenticity of other items on the menu. Strange that a cultural staple food based on it's simple, quick and sustainable origination (back to nomadic roots), would be so rare in a city with such a large and expanding Lebanese and Middle Eastern community. Is there no place to get fresh baked Lebanese pita or shrak bread in this city, and what's with otherwise decent restaurants (even at the high end!) using those plastic-packaged, store-bought or Arz brands, that taste nothing like the real thing? Does a proper Mid. Eastern bakery exist anywhere in town?
I think they make their own baklavas and it was incredibly light, crisp and sweet without being too rich. The layers of phyllo were really delicate without being flaky and filled with whole pistachios and what tasted like a waft of honey and flower water. It was fantastic.
And yes, I've eaten proper Lebanese in other cities and Middle Eastern countries and recognize that this isn't the ultimate universal benchmark, but afaik it's the best (in it's class) that I've had yet in Montreal.
Anyways, thanks for the tips -- I'll check out Montreal Pita on Beaumont, as well as Achtaroute and Andalos next chcance I get, but it's still a disappointment that there are no Lebanese restaurants or food shops that make their own (it's not hard!) when there's more than a few decent options for tasty mezes and fresh salads, skewered meats and fish, and other cheap Middle Eastern eats around town. It's kinda like eating smoked salmon on a frozen english muffin... spoils the experience.
Interesting quest. I remember the old Achtaroute that was on Acadie had a women make "markook bread" (not sure about spelling) right in front of you. By the way the had a fire and are rebuilding. they relocated until they re-open near the place that sells peanuts a block away on chabanel I think.
I don't know for hand made but for freshly baked of the belt go to Montreal Pita on beaumont. The oven are behind the door that serves as an outlet. Or find out about the cooking timeslot of places like Achtaroute or Andalos. By the way Andalos was such a disappointment on my last visit. The food lost it's flavor. I guess becoming big means loosing quality.
I'm curious about the baklavah you had. Is it perpared bu them or from a bakery.
I tried garage beirut and it was a solid and tasty lunch. Expensive for lunch for 1 peson but it was good. Total cost was like 28 dollars for chicken hummus and taboulay. Their chicken had this lemony taste from the marinade that was quiet good. They're not a fine dinning place but they are not a fast food place neither.
On a visit to Bee-Sweet the manoushay was cooked from scratch in front of me. They are not consistent on sweets. The best I had for baklavah from them was when it was coming out the oven. But my favorite place is still Mahrousé on Liege street at l'acadie.
1238 Rue Mackay, Montreal, QC H3G 2H5, CA
@BHO: Funny? I don't understand your comment. If my memory was good it was 13 or 14$ for the chicken plate that came with hummus and toom, 6$ for the taboulay, water and coffee. with tax it was around 28$ excluding the tip of 15%. It was a great meal but expensive for a lunch.
carveli and lafayette have homemade pita - but that's greek style
there's a big lebanese bakery on beaumont.
i'd like to point out that garage beirut is only exceptional in light of what we consider lebanese food in montreal. lebanese everywhere else in canada (except halifax) is like garage beirut