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Souk - Just For Laughs (food truck gathering)

Has anyone been to the Just For Laughs Souk at Place des festivals (Place des arts / Complexe Desjardins)?

Other then the blog reviews, the Facebook page and the few articles announcing the event, their isn't much publicity, not even a webpage for the event. http://www.facebook.com/SoukAJustePou...

I would love to read people's experience / comments / reviews.

A bunch of us from work are going tomorrow at lunch, so I'll be able to make my own impression.

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    1. There was mention of it on here in the Food Events thread.
      CBC News covered it, CJAD had one of the truck girls on last week and I'm sure the French media have covered it as well. I'd say that's good publicity.

        1. re: Maximilien

          Yes, open from noon until 11pm daily from what was posted on twitter

        2. Lots of commentary on twitter about it!

          1. I took my family down for dinner and here's our report.

            I started with a "Maine" sandwich from La Mangeoire, basically a fried haddock sandwich. They'd run out of fries and a few of their other sandwiches so their chalkboard was full of scratched out items. No problem as this sandwich was very tasty and well-prepared. Next time I'll try the ribs sandwich which lots of people around me were enjoying.

            My kids wanted a Philly Cheesesteak and got that at Death Grill but although it was deemed pretty authentic by my husband (who used to eat them in Boston in his college days) they didn't love it.

            Next was a duck poutine from Lucky ?? which had handmade chips instead of fries which I thought was a problem but they didn't mind and my husband thought the duck was good. At $7 it seemed like a small portion compared to the sandwiches one truck over.

            Then I had octopus balls for $3 at Takoyaki. They were being painstakingly prepared and didn't look great but tasted really good. We also had a lobster roll that was very mild and a bit sweet, pretty good but not my favourite way to consume lobster.

            And the boys shared a classic beef and cheese pie which we knew they'd love since the truck was from the Australian tourtiere shop.

            My oldest son had a big maple sugar cotton candy, freshly prepared which was fun to watch, and the youngest opted for a creamy chocolate dipped soft ice cream.

            So all in all, a great way to eat out and have a lot of variety. We calculated that we tried about 15 things (drinks, popsicle as well) for less than $60. Oh, it's annoying that there is great seating with umbrellas quite far from the trucks and no seating anywhere nearby to enjoy the food while it's hot. Something for the festival people to improve in the future.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Plateaumaman

              I went yesterday. The highs were the octopus balls or Takoyaki. Though mostly doughy with a small piece of octopus, they were very tasty, covered with mayo, sweet brown sauce and bonito flakes. Also the "Delicieuse" aka lobster club sandwich from La Mangeoire was very good: a fried egg, 3 layers of bread, morsels of lobster with a lemony may and some tomato confit (no bacon). With a small serving of sweet potato chips. Not cheap though ($18). Also good was the chee'burger from Winneburger (Nouveau palais people). Tasty but smallish burger on a brioche bun.

              The low was definitely the philly cheese steak from Death Grill. Beef was flavourless and dry, runny velveeta cheese, some red peppers. It was tasteless.
              The Bahn Mi Pork Taco from Grumman was OK, but nothing more.

              I could not find the announced Tiki Bar, I asked around but no one knew. Also the little chalets were not installed (including the one from the Apollo team, I heard they were not happy about this). Not sure why.

              One beer stand was selling Fin du Monde, Maudite, Ephemere, etc.

              I found everything to be on the pricy side, but then again festival food is usually pricy. But I welcome this new trend and the variety.

              1. re: estilker

                I saw some guys standing in a booth with hard liquor and no sign or menu. Could that have been the Tiki Bar? If so, it wasn't very dynamic.

                1. re: Plateaumaman

                  No, because I asked them and the girl in the booth asked me what a tiki bar was. :-)

              2. re: Plateaumaman

                Porchetta sandwich from La Mangeoire truck - 9/10
                Pulled pork sandwich from Pas de cochon right after they poured a can of beer on it - 7/10
                Cold salad from Dada with lamb - 9/10
                Takoyaki, too doughy - 3/10
                Duck confit sandwich from Lucky - 8/10
                Grilled cheese with duck confit from Apollo - 8/10
                Cold salad from Dada with tuna - 9/10
                Fruit salad from Dada with pineapple, strawberry and avocado cream - 9/10
                Raspberry + White chocolate Revello from Cremy - 8/10

              3. Stopped quickly yesterday at lunch (I work in west of westmount, do it's quite a a travel to get there by subway)

                Lot of lineups (I hate lineups), so got a few samosas and beef tartare; both good, but not really worth it (IMO).

                They (organizers) should have arranged for some seating and lineup organisations..

                Will maybe go back tomorrow, bring my patience with me and try the "real" trucks.

                1. Just went today and really enjoyed ourselves! Highlights: Lucille's lobster rolls (lots of lobster !!) Delicious! Hint of spicy well flavored toasted bun- sublime. Another favorite: Takoyaki, both the octopus and mushroom were divine! I also really like Grumman's pork banh mi.
                  What I found alright: Apollo's grilled cheese with the duck (could have used more seasoning)
                  Lucky's salmon plate on a mango salsa (it was ho-hum) and I did enjoy Cremy's cake's on a stick.

                  I found this blog to be quite helpful

                  Have fun and enjoy
                  I plan to head back with a new group to try the brochettes (next to Cremy) and a sandwich at Le mangieore. I also hope to try out some food from Dada...

                  1. My friend and I shared the octopus takoyaki ($4 for 4) -- they were good, but pretty salty, and the pieces of octopus are very small.

                    We also had the steak &mushroom and chili pies from ta (tourtière australienne). Both were very good and piping hot. Big chunks of meat in the steak pie. (about $13)

                    Finally, we had the pulled pork sandwich from Lucky7 and didn't like it at all. It was lukewarm, dry and greasy at once. Mostly bland. The pulled pork from the next truck (Pas d'Cochon dans Mon Salon) looked much better and a bit bigger for the same price ($7) but we only realized that afterwards.

                    We didn't have dessert, but P√Ętisserie Cremy is there, and they have big delicious brownies for $3. I've loved every pastry I've bought from that place, and the owner is friendly.

                    1. @melani1: When you say Souk, does that mean that it's a flea market on the JFL premises? Is there other things on sale than food?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: maj54us

                        nope, only food ( and the usual JPR merchandising)

                        1. re: Maximilien

                          I noticed some jewelry stand at the eastern most point.

                      2. I loved this new food concept at a festival. Enjoyed my lobster roll $10, Dada salad $5 (lamb, porc, noodles+) in a paper cone with chopsticks, cannele pastry $2, lemon macaron $1.50, and really good was the Alsace flammee $7.50, could be shared (forestiere with emmental:all prepared after you order). I had the Philly steak sandwich for the first time and not impressed, also my meat had some gristle. The corn on the cob mexican style and the maple syrup sundae tempted me but will have to leave for another occasion.
                        This may get deleted but I have to say as I waited at restoflammee kiosk a family asked to sample the maple syrup barbe a papa at nearby patisserie booth and instead of handing a paper cone to them employee at front told them to stick their hands in the large pan, which they did scaping the edges to get some in their hands!
                        I found the employees helpful in explaining the choices despite being so busy. Also fruixi bike stand was there with some Quebec fruits and vegetables-- the blueberries and especially the raspberries were delicious and reasonably priced. Overall the cost is fair as includes taxes and tips not necessarily expected. There is a lack of seating but I was glad to get out of this crowded area and find some open space. The crowds will get worse as the English festival side starts up so might want to give it a try sooner than later. Some of the food cabins were still being painted up on esplanade Thursday evening -more a souk in development but I did see tiki bar in operation Friday. I think they seemed to be coping well in very small quarters for large crowds.
                        They also give free snowcones in a commercial kiosk at back of site, next to air canada booth
                        Brilliant idea this year!
                        The African festival is in same area, just east of main festival site, and they have their food stands as well, but it ends soon.

                        1 Reply
                        1. the pulled pork sandwich at pas de cochon is actually great. the sauce isn't that flavourful but the meat is succulent and juicy. It is definitely worth the $7.

                          The takoyaki was kind of gross

                          1. I've tried a bunch over the week:

                            - Takoyaki - doughy but good, worth the price
                            - Dada cones - these are constantly changing; my favorite was the nordic shrimp with dill on shaved cucumber & radish - perfect light summer treat, not too heavy, left room for more snacking. Tried two others, both very good. I'll go back again & again.
                            - Pulled pork from Pas d'Cochon - pork was tender, a bit bland on the sauce for my personal liking, filling for the price, good bun.
                            - Alsace flammee - looks like nothing special, but way better than expected. Freshly prepared, great crust & creamy sauce on the one with onions / lardons.
                            - Hotbulldog - Big juicy sausage in a soft baguette. Proper fair food, but easily overshadowed by the more unique purveyors. Not fantastic but not bad. If street food was routine in Montreal, I'd grab one for lunch.
                            - Marche27 tuna tartare taco was superb. Toppings didn't overshadow the tuna.
                            - Lucky's duck poutine - really enjoyed this. Work with the thin & crispy homemade chips (not fries).
                            - Paletas from La Catrina - $4 may seem pricy for an ice pop, but there are some really unique flavors, all-natural ingredients. Corn & wild blueberry was a hit, plus I really enjoyed the mint yogurt with Mexican chocolate. Pineapple-jalapeno was tasty, and cucumber-lime is very refreshing on a hot day (won't leave you thirsty like overly sweetened iced treats). Can't miss.

                            1. Two of us had Myriade iced coffees, Takoyaki, Apollo gazpacho, and Pas d'cochon pulled pork + tomato salad. I honestly wasn't blown away by anything. The Myriade iced coffees were good, but pre-made so not quite up to their usual high caliber (even if Anthony was onsite). The takoyaki balls (both octopus and mushroom) were good, but as others stated, more doughy than I was expecting. The Apollo gazpacho was, in my opinion, unreasonable. At $6 it was a remarkably small serving of thin, bland soup. In fact, it seemed more like a melted smoothy to me. The Pas D'cochon items tasted good and were great value.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Fintastic

                                Just a comment on the pre-made coffee. It's not unusual to have pre-made iced coffee, especially if they are cold-brewing it. In fact, cold-brew is 12-24 hour process if I'm not mistaken. It's quite popular now, with some roasters (like Stumptown), even bottling the stuff.

                                If you wanted freshly brewed, you could have ordered an Iced Americano?

                                1. re: foodie_mtl

                                  Although you could be right, I'm pretty confident this was not cold brew. It lacked that bourbon-y flavour you normally find via this method. Also, cold brew tends to command a premium price, and this was just 2.75. I understand why Myriade chose to make their iced drinks in advance, but there's no way that a large tank of coffee sitting out in the sun all day will be as good as what they produce on-demand in their store. It's true that we could have ordered espresso-based iced drinks for fresh brewed.

                                  1. re: Fintastic

                                    The iced coffee is from the store, same as what's being served in the store. Cold brew doesn't command a premium price because it's less labour intensive, whereas brewing one cup at a time over ice often requires one person's attention for 3 - 5 minutes (and is rarely done well). We've never served any kind of iced coffee except for cold brew, fwiw. Cheers!

                                    1. re: Anth

                                      Well, I've been corrected by the man himself! This is good to know, Anth - thanks for letting us know. I assumed you've been using fresh drip for your iced coffees, but I'm glad to know it's been cold brew all along. Obviously it makes sense that the reduced prep-time will make cold brew less expensive, though I've recently paid extra for this method at other cafes in Europe.
                                      Anyways, I don't want to insult your product - you guys make the best coffees in town. I've been coming down with a cold so it could have tainted my impressions.

                              2. My girlfriend and I tried the pulled pork from both Lucky's and Pas De Cochon Dans Mon Salon to compare. Lucky's was slightly better because it had coleslaw, but both were bland and not worth the money at all.

                                Stick to Grumman taco truck - they're the best food truck in Montreal, hands down!!

                                9 Replies
                                  1. re: lindsho

                                    Had the Pas de cochon pulled pork tonight and really enjoyed it. Big and juicy and for the 7$ tax in price tag, it was a great meal. Unfortunately, it really filled me up and I wasn't able to try much more, so I'll be back tomorrow. Hubby tried the octopus balls and the beef tartar and liked them both (although he said the octopus was the highlight). Brought home some HUGE brownies from Cremy for a snack tonight. They were about 4$ each.

                                    1. re: causeimhungry

                                      Yup, thumbs up for the pulled pork at Pas de Cochon. Grumman is way overrated and overpriced IMO.

                                      Pierogies at Euro Polonia were excellent but also came at a premium, $6 for 3 pieces.

                                      1. re: ios94

                                        Never tried Grumman but I do get more negative than positive reviews about them. So they're not on top of my list. How hard is it to screw a taco?

                                        1. re: maj54us

                                          they haven't screwed up, they just aren't very memorable in my opinion and not worth the slightly expensive price. i wouldn't complain if they were selling tacos for $2, but $4-$7 for an ok taco is a bit much.

                                          1. re: catroast

                                            I agree that they're overpriced, but maybe they have to be considering they can't run full time...yet!

                                            1. re: lindsho

                                              they have a permanent restaurant at the Faubourg downtown.

                                          2. re: maj54us

                                            Yes, I think the main source of negative comments on Grumman is the price tag associated to it, not the quality per se. Their pretty-good tacos (interesting and original, with some taste combinations working better than others), but likely not the best you've ever tasted.

                                            But if I went to the Souk (and it wasn't so overcrowded that I decided to turn around, which happened this week) I would probably try another of the food offering, Grumman has a permanent restaurant and are more present at other festival, so try something that isn't usually around.

                                            1. re: sweettoothMTL

                                              Grumman was also the first one in town, all the other "operations" have started this summer so obviously they have some more recognition and is the basis of comparison for food trucks in montreal.

                                              As for their permanent location at Faubourg, same quality, same price, but i find the tacos a bit bigger over there (more stuff in them)