Summer has truly arrived in Montreal and with it comes festival season. Place des Arts becomes the center for festival after festival as people come to enjoy some Jazz, some dancing and as is the case right now, some laughter as Just for Laughs has started up. Last year, Just for Laughs made headlights as they had a event for food trucks (le Souk) where people got to try Grumman 78 and others for the 1st time along St-Catherine street. This year, they have kicked it up a notch with Bouffons Montreal – up to 41 trucks (!!) being located all around Place des Arts for the next 2 weeks. Food truck heaven…. it’s a beautiful thing.
This past weekend, I was able to make his first visits to the area to continue my quest of trying all the trucks. First up, I hit up P.A. & Gargantua from some grill-cheese sandwiches. Gargantua is all about gourmet grill-cheese using local Quebec cheese, unique breads and adding some extra goodies to make an awesome sandwich. On this day, they were using cheddar from L’Ile-aux-Grues and a Mie au lait bread. I decided to try the bacon sandwich – which adds bacon, shallot confit and smoked butter.
Off the bat, the bread is grilled perfectly. Nice colour and crunch while keeping the interior a little soft to go with the melted cheese. The bacon, to my pleasant surprise, was actually thick-cut bacon and not overly crispy so it added a nice fattiness to the sandwich. The cheese was warm and melted all the way through but maintained some thickness to it so it wouldn’t just fall out of the sandwich. Great richness came out of that cheddar. This wasn’t some cheap Velvetta cheese here. The shallots and the smoked butter added a nice notes as well but thankfully didn’t overpower the flavour of the cheese and the bacon. Well done overall.
Next up, there was the Winneburger from the fine folks at Nouveau Palais on Bernard street in Mile End. This old school looking winnebago serves up classic summer BBQ fare – burgers, chips, milkshakes and lemonade. I decided to go for the regular burger and a lemonade to get a sense of their offerings.
The lemonade was solid – sweet and freshening. Perfect for the hot summer during which it was consumed. The burger came with cheese, onions, lettuce and a tomato. This was a perfectly executed classic burger. The beef patty was nice and juicy without being too messy to eat on the go. The bun had the right level of crunch on the outside with the nice soft interior. All the vegetables were fresh and classic for a burger. This burger is exactly the kind one hopes for when having a nice BBQ back home. Just a classic item done right. Quite nice.
Lastly, this round-up needs a dessert to finish it and hey, whaddaya know…. there was an ice cream truck to enjoy! Chef Martin Juneau and his team at Pastaga (love their brunch if anyone is looking for a good brunch spot) have created Monsieur Crémeux, a bar all about slushies and soft serve ice cream. They do vanilla ice cream and then offer different augmentations to said ice cream – in the form of different sundaes or a Mont Blanc.
I decided to go for the pecans, maple bites and maple syrup sundae. Off the bat, the soft serve vanilla ice cream is killer. Nice soft silky texture with a great vanilla flavour. Great base to add some sweeter additions. The maple and pecan crunch added some nice contrast to the smooth ice cream and the maple syrup… well it’s maple syrup people. You all know what that adds to a sundae. Just a great sundae – the perfect summer treat as you walk around downtown taking in the sights and sounds.
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All in all, a great weekend of food trucking was had by all. I’m still not sure if having all the food trucks parked 5 minutes by bike away from my place for the next 2 weeks is a blessing or a curse but at least I know I will eat well! Hopefully you all get the chance to see what Bouffons Montreal has to offer.