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Posts by Mayssam Samaha

Great Middle-Eastern restaurants in Montréal

I am of Lebanese origin and when I crave a taste of home, I turn to any of these Middle Eastern restaurants for a trip down my culinary memory lane. Kazamaza I really can’t pick a favourite dish at this Mile End address. Set in a funky yet simple decor complete with brick wall, Kazamaza is a vibrant restaurant serving traditional mezes as well as mains and grilled meats. Try their cherry kebabs and the delicious omelette with kawarma (lamb confit) served at brunch. Damas Damas on Park Avenue was ravaged by a devastating fire a few months but it’s rising from its ashes in a brand new location on Van Horne Avenue. This has to be one of my favourite spot for Middle Eastern food, specifically Syrian in this case. All the mezza are fresh and delicious but try some of the house specialties like the eggplant fatteh or the moloukhiya. BarBounya and Restaurant Su Both these restaurants are helmed by Turkish chef Fisun Ercan. Su serves traditional Turkish food including mezes and main dishes. BarBounya is a mezes bar with emphasis on small Mediterranean-inspired dishes that are meant to be shared. They also both serve one of the… / Read More →

Get ready for Montréal’s delicious Festival YUL EAT this September!

The second edition of Festival YUL EAT is coming to Old Montréal on Labour Day weekend (September 5, 6 and 7) and promises to be bigger and better than the first time around, not to mention absolutely delicious! Access to the main site at the Old Port’s Clock Tower Quay is free and allows for three glorious days rubbing elbows with Québec’s best chefs, producers and food providers. You’ll be able to discover and taste some of the products that make the province’s gastronomy offering so unique, and chat away with the purveyors who work tirelessly to keep us all well fed. Exclusive and original meals, a farmer’s market, street food, culinary workshops, and food-centric conferences are all on the menu of what promises to be one of the best food festivals Montréal has ever seen. Eat, discover and party at Festival YUL EAT presented by Evenko and Productions Premiers Vendredis! EAT YUL BRUNCH Start each festival day with your choice of any (or all!) of three collaborative brunches bringing together chefs and their assigned food trucksfor the event. Saturday, September 5 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Guest Chefs: Jason Morris, Restaurant Le Fantôme / Benoit Lenglet, Au Cinquième Péché… / Read More →

All you need to know about the 2015 Montréal edition of the Omnivore World Tour Festival

“More than anywhere else in the world, Omnivore and Montréal are in love.” This quote from the Omnivore World Tour Festival website rings as true for us Montréal food lovers as it does for the Omnivore team. The 2015 edition of the Montréal Omnivore food extravaganza takes place August 20-24 in partnership with the Society for Arts and Technology [SAT]. It will be the 4th time the festival has touched down in our fair city, and the lineup for this year’s gastronomic celebration is impressive! Take a masterclass with great local and international chefs, enjoy a unique dinner, or head to the hopping Omnivorious Party. Masterclasses This, to me, is the best part of the Omnivore World Tour. The masterclasses include demos, conferences and talks by some of the best chefs and food purveyors in the world. Sit in on sessions from local chefs such as Ségué Lepage from Le Comptoir charcuteries et vins, Marc Cohen from Lawrence, Julien Joré and Stéphanie Labelle from Cirkus, and the wonderful FoodLab Michelle Marek. This year’s event also hosts some great Canadian chefs, like Todd Perrin from Mallard Cottage in St. John’s, and international stars, including Anton Kovalkov from Moscow’s Fahrenheit and Pascal… / Read More →

12 great iced coffee treats to keep you cool this summer in Montréal

Nothing says summer like an ice-cold coffee drink. Whether you prefer a cold brew made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water overnight or a classic latte made by topping a freshly brewed espresso with cold milk and ice cubes, iced coffee drinks take over the city cafés come summertime. Below are a few of our favourite chilled coffee treats to try this summer. Vietnamese cold coffee at Cafeden If you’ve never tried Vietnamese coffee, you’re missing out! Cafeden is an excellent Vietnamese restaurant, and while not a café per say, their coffee is worth the detour, and they do offer it to go. Hot espresso is poured over condensed milk, ice is added, and the result is a sweet and refreshing drink you will come to crave. Coffee milkshake at Monsieur Crémeux The Monsieur Crémeux ice cream truck no longer needs any introduction to Montréal icy treat lovers. Their new brick-and-mortar spot on Beaubien Street serves a coffee milkshake made by mixing their superior vanilla ice cream with milk and homemade coffee syrup for a thick and caffeine-laden treat. Perfect storm at Caffè San Simeon The signature iced coffee at Caffè San Simeon is crafted first by filling an… / Read More →

10 things under 10 minutes from Jean-Talon metro station

Jean-Talon station, which connects the blue line to the orange line of Montréal’s metro (subway system), is at the heart of Little Italy. In this post, we feature 10 activities under 10 minutes from this station. The must: Jean-Talon Market Walking time: 4 minutes Ask any Montrealer what’s of interest around the Jean-Talon Métro station, and the first thing that comes to mind is the Jean-Talon Market. The largest open-air market in North America has been around since 1933. At this heaven on earth for any foodie, you’ll find spice and olive shops, butchers, artisanal sausage makers, fish and cheese mongers, bakers, restaurants and cafés, and, of course, fresh produce from local providers. Eat your way through the market, or shop for some edible souvenirs. Relax: Parc Jarry Walking time: 10 minutes Once you’re at the Market, buy yourself some cheese, Italian salumi, a nice baguette, and some fresh fruits and veggies, and head over to Parc Jarry where you can sit on the grass or at a picnic table and enjoy the view of the fountain with its ducks. During the month of August, you can watch a tennis match or two at the Canadian Open/Rogers Cup championship at… / Read More →

Your 2015 guide to Food Trucks and Street Food in Montréal

Montréal’s food truck pilot project has been growing exponentially since it was established in 2013. It has become one of Montréal’s favourite ways of grabbing some good on-the-go food. Year after year, the project is being improved upon and extended to include better schedules, not to mention more trucks, tantalizing food offerings, and locations. This guide will steer you in the right direction to discover all the culinary treats coming your way starting this week! This year’s street food season runs from May 1 to October 31. The city has granted permits to 35 food trucks for 38 pre-determined locations (50 available spots) in and around six different city boroughs, which is a welcome expansion. In the past, the project had only taken place in and around the Ville-Marie district. But this year, it’s grown to include the following boroughs: Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, South-West, Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie, and Verdun. Other boroughs might be added throughout the season. Below is a list of the 35 participating food trucks (27 of which are returning favourites from last year) with links to their websites or Facebook pages: Alexis Le Gourmand Assommoir mobile Boîte à Fromages Café mobile Dispatch Camion Au Pied de Cochon La cantine… / Read More →

Weekend brunch options around downtown Montréal

Brunch is a very Montréal affair. Montrealers partake in this culinary tradition quite regularly with complete abandon – and at a leisurely pace – to start the weekend on the right note. While there are tons of delicious brunch options all over the city, here are some of our favourites in and around downtown to Old Montréal. Old Montréal: Le Cartet Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Part restaurant, part fine food store, Le Cartet has a very New York feel to it. It’s open almost all day, every day but is especially nice for weekend brunch. Le Cartet also doubles as a fine food store with an impressive collection of chocolates. Suite 701 Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday brunches at Suite 701 are laidback while Sundays are set to the beat of an in-house DJ. The brunch menu includes items such as fried chicken, mac and cheese as well as your usual omelettes and egg dishes and their signature house cocktails. Restaurant Holder Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m.to 3 p.m. A typical French brasserie, Holder’s cuisine is classic français. The brunch menu includes great omelettes and Benedicts as well as a kids’ menu… / Read More →

Irresistible chocolate treats in Montréal

Ah! Easter. That time of year synonymous with daffodils, spring and chocolate. Since spring and daffodils seem to be in no hurry to make an appearance, let us all rejoice in the gift of chocolate, or rather, the gift of chocolate giving. The quirky A sense of humour seems to be the common thread with Montréal’s chocolatiers this spring. Funny looking sheep, unusual Easter eggs, goofy chocolate chicks and floppy-eared bunnies have all found their way onto the shelves of many of Montréal’s chocolate makers. Juliette et Chocolat and Fous Desserts are both guilty of indulging in this quirky trend we love so much. Pâtisserie Gascogne’s Laurier outlet welcomes you with an oversized nutty-looking sheep and a handier sized chocolate menagerie for you to take home. Chocolats Privilège has several locations around town, including the Atwater and Jean-Talon markets. This Easter, their collection includes hand painted Easter eggs as well as some very funny bunnies resting on chocolate bars. Award-winning chocolate maker Christophe Morel makes some of the best chocolate in Montréal, and could be included in all the categories in this article. His chocolate bars are first class, his bonbons boxes are elegant and sophisticated and his floppy-eared Easter… / Read More →

A “cabane à sucre” (sugar shack) experience in and around Montréal

Once again we find ourselves at the tail end of a long and arduous winter that is still not ready to take its leave. The only light at the end of this icy tunnel comes in the shape – and taste! – of sticky sweet maple treats that we are ready to welcome with open arms. Traditional cabanes à sucre (sugar shacks) are found in the country, amidst the forests of maple trees, although pop-up urban cabanes have been providing maple-laden meals to city dwellers. Come spring, syrup seekers congregate in country cabins, sit at long communal tables and eat simple sugar shack food that help whisk the winter blues away and welcome spring. If you are looking for such a spot in and around Montréal, below are a few of our favourite sugar shacks. La Cabane chez Jean New to the cabane à sucre scene this year, La Cabane chez Jean is a stone-throw away from downtown Montréal at the Beach Chalet of Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Notre-Dame. In a “cozy cabin décor,” a menu of traditional dishes such as baked beans, omelette and maple sugar pie will be served to everyone’s delight. Dates: Friday to Sunday, March 20 to… / Read More →

Hot food for cold days in Montréal

It’s the perfect time of year to be talking comfort food. And not just comfort food, but hot and spicy comfort food that will keep us warm while we go about our daily lives in this harsh and frigid weather. I read somewhere that some parts of Canada are colder than Mars these days. That’s certainly how I feel, but I refuse to stay in and hibernate. To keep me (and you) warm and cozy, here are some of my favourite hot foods. Indian vindaloo curry at Dévi Vindaloo is one of the spiciest Indian curries on Devi’s menu, but the complex and interesting flavour make it worth the tears and is guaranteed to keep you warm for hours. Spanish zarzuela de mariscos at Restaurant Mesón Filled with several kinds of seafood, zarzuela is the Spanish answer to the French bouillabaisse. Hearty and with a faint kick, it’s a great dish to consume when it’s cold out and you’re in need of a warm hug. Cheese fondue at La Fonderie Who doesn’t crave a cheese-laden extravaganza when the temperature plummets? Dive into La Fonderie’s Swiss cheese fondue or the Swiss and Québec combo raclette, with a side of tartiflette to… / Read More →