March 2011 Archives

By Virginia BostockScreen shot 2022-03-29 at 6.20.52 PM.pngThe Montreal Arab population, accounting for approximately 110,000, represents just over 5% of the Island of Montréal's population. There are two districts in Montreal that are home to this growing population.
Montreal's "Little Maghreb" is a neighbourhood in the Villeray-Saint Michel-Parc Extension District, and it is home to roughly 63,000 immigrants from countries including Morocco, Algeria, Sudan, Western Sahara, Lebanon and Tunisia. Cuisine from these countries is varied, but shares many similarities relative to North African cooking. Popular foods from the region include: Chakchouka, Lamb Couscous and M'hanncha that feature a mixture of spices, including cardamom, cumin, fennel, nigella, galangal and turmeric (see recipes below). A popular bakery/pastry shop is Boulangerie Zaatar on rue de Castelnau. The baked goods are not fancy, but fly in the face of the standard, weary, and syrupy Middle Eastern pastries. Theirs are how Middle Eastern baking tasted a long time ago.

by Ruby Aria
Screen shot 2022-03-29 at 8.40.29 PM.pngWalking around Mile End is like checking historic points off of a neighborhood map. For decades, Montrealers have coveted their Mile End favorites like the St. Viateur bagel bakery, open 24/7 and a neighborhood staple since 1957. The old Rialto on Parc Avenue, though having gone through several ownership changes, has survived with all its charm and structural integrity since the 1920s.  And then there's Rotisserie Laurier BBQ. A neighborhood landmark since 1936, this Mile End restaurant is on its way to becoming something bigger and better. After 75 years, Rotisserie Laurier BBQ and Gordon Ramsay are about to deal some risky business.        

Recently news hit that celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay had become part owner of Rotisserie Laurier BBQ along with current owners, Danny Lavy, Danielle Lord, and Marie-Christine Couture. Does the likes of a straight shooting and crude celeb chef fit into the quaint yet increasingly trendy area of Mile-End? One might argue that Rotisserie Laurier BBQ is not in need of saving, seeing as it has survived for over seven decades. On the other hand, for a place that looks tired and out of place on Laurier Street, it most likely will benefit from a Ramsay-style reformation.  

by Mariella Castro
Screen shot 2022-03-21 at 2.12.35 AM.pngImage source: Flickr
Food - - some people see it as source of nutrients in order to survive, others, like Antonia Till, see is at an area of infinite pleasure and delight. It is raw, unlicensed sensuality, a physical delight which will, with luck - and enduring taste buds, last our life long.  Personally, I am food lover and I enjoy every aspect of the restaurant experience, so this week I decided to compare two different types of five star restaurants: the classic and the trendy. It was tough to choose two restaurants, especially here in Montreal where food is superb, but let's face it, gourmet restaurants are not cheap. Since I already had a reservation made to a trendy one, Garde Manger, my selection process was a bit easier.  I chose Garde Mange for my newcomer, trendy restaurant, and I chose Le Club de Chasse et Pêche as a forever classic restaurant.  We'll see what type you prefer at the end. I have my personal opinion, but I will mention it at the end so as not to spoil the fun ;)
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Image source: Flickr.
The majority of the Haitian population in Canada is foreign-born. The large majority of Canadians of Haitian origin lives in Montreal and the Montreal Haitian population, just shy of 100,000, represents roughly 5% of the Island of Montréal's population.

A significant percentage of Montreal's Haitian population resides in Montreal North. Montreal North is an oblong municipality located along the Rivière des Prairies in the northeastern part of the island of Montréal.  It is bordered in the east by Rivière des Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles, at the southeast corner by Anjou, the south by St. Leonard, the southwest by Villeray-Saint Michel-Parc Extension and the west by Ahuntsic-Cartierville.

Haitian cuisine/recipes include many of the ingredients that we use on a regular basis in Canada, as well as a number of tropical vegetables and/or fruits that can only be found at specialty shops.  A chain of grocery stores in the east and north end of the city is inter Marche/4 Frères. With18 locations, they cleverly allow their franchise owners/managers to adapt to their individual community's needs and wants in order to satisfy the tastes and requirements for creating traditional home-cooked meals. 

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A Toast to the Irish

Virginia Bostock
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The Irish have had a long history in Montreal. Griffintown is the name given to the former Irish settlement in the south-western downtown part of Montreal comprised of Notre Dame St. to the north, McGill to the east, Guy to the west and the Lachine Canal to the south. The Irish around the world, as well as all the "Irish wanna-bes" will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day on March 17. In honour of this celebration, I have created a St. Patty's Irish Martini and Toasted Shamrock Appetizer

Ji Jia Ying
Screen shot 2022-02-16 at 1.13.51 AM.pngFrom late February to early May, perhaps the best known activity in Quebec is eating hot maple taffy off fresh snow, which is made by a cabane à sucre. Cabane à sucre are Quebecor sugarhouses, which most of the time are family owned. Usually, you can find one less than a day's trip out of Montreal. The old, near-backwoods, warm environs are the reason that tourists from everywhere in the world and the Quebecor families go to the small, authentic sugar shacks every winter. There are hundreds of sugarhouses in Quebec. Many families and guests gather together to celebrate and enjoy the sweet treats that are offered.

By Jordano Aguzi
Screen shot 2022-02-12 at 9.08.15 PM.pngOn a cool Saturday morning, a line steadily grows outside of a hole in the wall in the heart of NDG.

The yellowing, archaic sign subtly boasts in fading black font: COSMO I enter through the small entrance and it is blatantly obvious that this Cosmo is not at all affiliated with its magazine counterpart. The only thing that's similar is my own excitement to lose my Cosmo cherry. After constant stories of mythological grandeur told about this not-quite-epic Greek diner, it was about time to have a taste for myself. Expectations were not low, but they were definitely met, and as I eventually understand that Cosmo represents more than a diner; it represents the independent Montreal ideology.

Screen shot 2022-02-10 at 6.08.37 PM.pngTim Hortons coffee is as Canadian as it gets. The Constitution Act of 1867 declaring our country as being "one dominion under the name of Canada" was drafted into the wee hours of the night on that first of July, and Tim Hortons coffee was there throughout the night to keep the patriots awake. Even before then, when the bison roamed the great plains of what eventually would become Alberta and Saskatchewan, and the natives galloped around bareback wearing huge feathered headdresses, our ancestors always stopped by a Tummies' least a couple of times a day for a double double. And then the great Tim Horton himself took to the ice...
By Virginia BostockScreen shot 2022-02-09 at 2.56.21 PM.png
Antipasto Plate

Scallops Mornay   

Buttered Asparagus  

Toasted Garlic French Slices  

Classic Tortoni  

White Wine   



The city of Montreal is home to a number of popular coffee chains, such as Starbucks and Second Cup; however, if you are seeking out a special experience, Montreal houses an even greater number of independent coffee shops spread throughout the city. The independent coffee shops in Montreal are hallmarks of city's rich diversity and culture.

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A History of Bagels


Joan Nathan, self-proclaimed bagel enthusiast, claims bagels and bagel-like rolls have been around for centuries. Her article, "A Short History of the Bagel," makes reference to different localized varieties from around the world: the taralli from Puglia, Italy; the buccellatum from Rome; and the girde from China, even Egyptian hieroglyphics from the Louvre depict a bagelesque treat in ancient times. (Nathan) 

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