Tag Archives: Cuisine de Rue

Food Trucks – Le Cheese, Pas d’Cochon dans mon Salon, Meatball MTL, Dim Sum MTL, Boite à Fromages

29 Jul

Bouffons Montreal 2013 has come and gone officially. A great event that gave many people the opportunity to check out many of the different food trucks for the 1st time. In the past year, through a couple of Just for Laughs presentations I saw, I got to try a few more trucks to continue my explorations of what we have available to us.

Up first, Le Cheese – a truck all about cheese and the different ways one can enjoy cheese. On my first visit, saddened by the Fried Cheesecake being sold out (more on that later…), I went for their special of the day – a fried onion, bacon and swiss grilled cheese. A nice size sandwich – the bread had a great grilled crisp exterior and the combo of onions and bacon gave a nice fatty sweetness to the sandwich. The swiss wasn’t completely melted to my liking but honestly a minor quibble. Still a great sandwich.

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As luck would have it, I got the chance to walk by Le Cheese again a few days later when I went back to a final go-through and they had the fried cheesecake still available. 3 mini pieces of cheesecake deep fried and covered with a strawberry coulis. The cheesecake itself was nice and the strawberry coulis added some sweet fruitiness. The batter really had no flavour to speak of but at least it didn’t get in the way of the cake. A solid dessert.

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Le Cheese
On Facebook and Twitter @LeCheeseTruck

Le Cheese Truck on Urbanspoon

Next up, from the crew from La Salle à Manger, the trailer that is Pas d’Cochon dans mon Salon. These guys use charcoal grilling to deliver some great BBQ. They also offer some oysters and a few other items for some variety. They were one of the first “trucks” present last year during the festival run and have come back for some more – although their lack of a true truck prevents them from being part of the trial run in Ville-Marie.

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Their pulled pork sandwich is what they are known for so of course I would have to try one. What a beast of a sandwich this thing is. Huge portion of pulled pork, covered with a sweet tangy barbecue sauce and stuffed in a bun. Quite honestly, you pretty much need a fork to lighten the load before biting down on the sandwich proper unless you’re cool with getting BBQ sauce all over yourself in public. The pork itself is quite tender – it just falls apart as one would expect from great pulled pork. The BBQ sauce has a nice balance between sweetness and tanginess which I appreciate and the bun does a great job of soaking up all that sauce. Well done all around.

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Pas d’Cochon dans mon Salon
On Facebook and Twitter @Pas_d_cochon

Pas D'Cochon Dans Mons Salon on Urbanspoon

Meatball Montreal is a truck that specializes in…well… meatballs of course! On this evening, they had 2 options – classic meatballs or a BBQ variety – as well as lemonade and potato salad. Given what I had already had eaten, I decided to stick to just the classic ones.

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In one order, you get 2 meatballs with two pieces of bread, some tomato sauce, fresh basil and freshly grated Reggiano cheese. The bread was nice and crispy, the tomato sauce provided a nice tangy flavour and the fresh basil and Reggiano provided some bite but let’s be honest… none of this matters if the meatballs aren’t up to snuff. Thankfully, these meatballs are quite good. I think the key thing with meatballs is texture. Firm enough to hold together but still tender enough to really let the flavours of the meat and binders to come through. Perfect in this case. The meatballs could be cut quite easily just using a fork but they didn’t fall apart afterwards. A great and unique truck concept that truly stands out from the crowd.

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Meatball Montreal
On Facebook and Twitter @Meatball_Mtl

Fast forward to a couple of days later where, other than the fried cheesecake mentioned earlier, I got to try 2 of the more unique trucks we have going around. First up, we have a Dim Sum truck!! Just let that sink in for a moment….. I have to give major props to the folks who though this one up because this is, in theory, a great truck option and would that really brings a different flavour to the party. This very colourful truck offers a number of combos using some Dim Sum staple items.

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My sister and I went for combo #4 – a BBQ pork bun, a shrimp dumpling and a Sui Mai dumpling. The bun was probably the worse thing here – the pork itself had a nice BBQ flavour but the bum was completely flat and quite dry. The steamed shrimp dumpling was great and the Sui Mai was solid although pretty much pork with one mini shrimp instead of a true mix of the two. I love the concept and this has the potential to be a great component to our regular truck lineup.

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Dim Sum Montreal
On Facebook

And lastly, from the Plateau boutique of the same name, we have Boite à Fromages – a truck all about Raclette – in this case, the basic raclette dish of cheese melted on top of potatoes. Using that base, you can select from a few extra combination of ingredients added on top of that.

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I decided to go a little crazy with my selection and went with apples, caramel pecans and fleur de sel. Loved how the sweetness of the apples and pecans paired with the fleur de sel and the richness of the cheese. The potatoes, as always with raclette, provided a nice means to enjoy the unique flavour profile here. Very cool idea from these people and my only though once I was done was that I wanted to try their other options as soon as possible. I think that speaks volume to the quality here. Very well done.

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Boite à Fromages
On Facebook and Twitter @boiteafromages

Cheers!

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Mini Food Truck Roundup – P.A . & Gargantua, Winneburger and Monsieur Crémeux

15 Jul

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.

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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.

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P.A. & Garguntua
On Facebook and Twitter @pa_gargantua

P.A. & Gargantua on Urbanspoon

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.

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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.

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Winneburger
On Facebook and Twitter (through its parent restaurant) @NouveauPalais

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.

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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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Monsieur Crémeux
On Facebook and on Twitter (through its owner) @martin_juneau

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.

Cheers!

La Sandwicherie Zoe’s

2 Jul

A nice Sunday on Mont-Royal. The first one in the while. The sun is out, the tams tams are starting to play and hey, whaddaya know? More food trucks to enjoy! This time around, I get the chance to try La Sandwicherie Zoe’s and their gourmet sandwiches. Always love a good sandwich so I was very much looking forward to trying out this outfit.

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On this day, Zoe’s was offering a couple of sandwich options with two sidedishes and some desserts. Off the bat, I am a big fan of offering both small and large versions of each sandwich as it allowed me to try both in one shot! Wonderful!

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First up though, I decided to try out the tempura vines. Vine leaves stuffed with rice fried in tempura and served with a yogourt sauce. A very unique dish – loved the texture differences between the leaf, the rice and the crispy tempura coating. The yogourt sauce in theory added a nice cool creaminess to the dish however I personally felt the sauce to be too liquid so it didn’t coat very well to the fried vines. The flavour was quite good so it is a minor complaint.

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Now on to the sandwiches. The first option was the “Figure-tastique” – grilled chicken, poached figs, goat cheese pesto and some arugula in a fresh bun. When you first get the sandwich, you are stuck by the green color of the pesto. The bread is nice and moist and the chicken was grilled well without being dry. Absolutely loved the sweetness of the figs and the arugula added a little pepper to the mix. I was a little let down by the pesto because it didn’t end being as strong of a pesto flavour as I had expected. The goat cheese creates a nice creamy texture to it however. In the end, I enjoyed the sandwich but would have loved more pesto and more figs!

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The second sandwich was “La Cochonne” – Roasted pork flank, coleslaw and Coing confit. Loved this sandwich from A to Z. The Flank had a nice fattyness to it and the slaw adds some freshness and crunch. The real surprise here for me was the coing. Never had this particular fruit before but it added a wonderful tropical sweetness to the sandwich which paired very nicely with that pork. I will definitely order the large version of this one next time I have a chance!

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Finally for dessert, I tried the Brownie Pop. My phone ate the picture for some reason so no visual support for this one – essential a mini brownie on a popsicle stick. A little disappointed here. The brownie had a nice chocolate taste however it was a little dry so once I bite into it, it completely fell apart off the stick it had been stuck on. Also, they add crushed peanut in the dish to come with the brownie. However, there is no chocolate sauce or anything sticky on the outside of the brownie for said peanuts to attach to, so you just end up eat it separately. Would have been nice to combine the peanut to the brownie to create a nice textured bite. Again, just a minor detail but one that could have made a difference.

All in all, loved the unique sandwich combos and the overall menu of Zoe’s. A few minor quips here and there but nothing to discourage anyone from trying out Zoe’s if you are in the mood for a good sandwich. Check em’ out!

Cheers!

La Sandwicherie Zoe’s
On Facebook and Twitter @zoefoodtruck

Landry et Filles

2 Jul

A raining weekend doesn’t stop the hungry and most certainly won’t stop my quest to check out all the new food trucks here in Montreal. This time around, Landry et Filles were set up near the George-Etienne Cartier statue off Park Avenue (if you haven’t guess by now, that’s the closest official location near my apartment…) so I headed up on bike to see what they were bringing to the Montreal Street Food scene.

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On their website, Landry et Filles states that they aspire to pay homage to tradition all while creating new classics. The menu they offered on the day I was there seemed to match nicely with that “mission” statement. Some traditional homestyle dishes focusing on fresh and local produce. A relatively smaller menu compared to other trucks around but no issues with that on my end. There were certainly enough things here to peak my interest.

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First up, I tried the strawberry lemonade. A nice refreshing beverage – the hint of strawberry adds a extra sweetness with the tartness of the lemon. A perfect summer drink to enjoy on a hot summer’s day – not that it was hot that day but regardless… it fits the experience I was dreaming up for myself that day, so let me have it please.

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Second, something completely foreign to me: A Matane Shrimp Ploye. A Ploye is a New Brunswick dish – essentially a pancake of both buckwheat and wheat flour usually cooked only on one side. The flour mixture creates a light and somewhat airy crepe-like base to which Landry et Filles added some Matane shrimp, apples, lettuce and a wasabi mayo as a binder for the whole mixture. The shrimp was nice and fresh as one would expect from locally sourced shrimp. The apples added some crunch and a little sweetness to the mix and the wasabi mayo added just the right level of heat to the dish. All in all, a very nice well executed dish. It is a cool thing to try something completely new to you from a food truck and for that thing to be perfectly satisfying.

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Finally, for dessert, I chose the lemon pie-on-a-stick. Pretty self-explanatory here. Great lemon flavour throughout with a nice crust at the bottom. The outer shell of the pie keeps the whole thing together until you bite into it. Perfect mini play for one’s sweet tooth.

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All in all, a lovely collection of dishes to be had from Landry et Filles. I was strongly interested in the Meatloaf sandwich but I wasn’t hungry enough and honestly I didn’t have enough money in my pockets anyway. Based on one of my friend’s reaction to said sandwich, I clearly need to catch up with Landry et Filles at least one more time this summer. Looking very much forward to it and I hope you enjoy as well.

Cheers!

Landry et Filles
On Facebook and Twitter @landryetfilles

Chaud Dogs

29 Jun

Another day, another food truck to try. This time around, I biked over to the George-Etienne Cartier statue on the slope of Mont-Royal to give Chaud Dogs a try. Chaud Dogs is, as one could probably guess based on their name, a truck that specializes in gourmet hot dogs. Everything they use is 100% homemade – be it the handmade sausages themselves down to the mustard and ketchup they use. They have a focus on using seasonal ingredients and a desire to support local farmers through local markets. An awesome concept that I believe we can all certainly get behind.

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On this day, the truck was offering a homemade corn dog, a ‘Wu Dog”, black bean salsa, house fries, bottled water and a Lemon Thyme soda. While there was some temptation to try everything, I held off and decided to stick to the two dogs for this particular visit. If the dogs held up, then I would be back at some point to try the side-dishes.

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First up, the Chaud Dog corndog. A nice housemade play on the classic pogo. The sausage itself was quite good and the corn batter around it had a slight sweetness. The batter had a nice crisp to it on the outside but was thick enough to be nice and moist inside. Add to that homemade ketchup and mustard on top and you have a solid offering. If you don’t like pogos, I don’t think this will change your mind but for the rest of us, this corndog will do quite nicely.

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Secondly, the “Wu Dog”. A very unique Asian-inspired play on the standard hot dog. Here you have a grilled sausage with a sesame/poppy seed bun, marinated carrots and Daikon radish,crispy chicken skin and hoisin sauce as a condiment. Big winner for me on this day. Each individual component was well done and created interesting contrasts in terms of both texture and flavours. In particular, the use of the marinated vegetables and hoisin sauce really added a lot for me. I loved the chicken skin but honestly their presence made it hard to actually bite into the hot dog as one would want to do. I ended up eating most of it separately and leaving myself smaller pieces to actually bit into on top of the hot dog. Regardless, a very creative option to be offering in this truck.

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Two for two so far in my food truck experiences this year. Love the fully housemade concept, the creativity and the flavours that Chaud Dogs brings to the party. If one is craving a good hot dog, Chaud Dogs is definitely one you want to look for this summer in the street of Montreal!

Cheers!

Chaud Dogs
on Facebook or Twitter: @chauddogs

Camion Au Pied de Cochon

21 Jun

At long last, we have food trucks in Montreal! Well…. we actually had some last year but they couldn’t actually, you know, park somewhere and serve food outside of festivals, so this is closer to the real thing. Regardless, there is much rejoicing around these parts and for me, it means that I have some more trucks to track down this summer. I won’t spend anytime here discussing how this summer’s pilot project works so please just google MTL street food to find out the details in terms of locations, hours and the full list of trucks.

First up, on the opening day of the project, I had the chance to head to Victoria Square to try out Camion Au Pied de Cochon. Now I realize that this will be the 4th post I write about Au Pied de Cochon and its various off spring. The reason is quite simple… I love them that much!

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The concept they are going for is salty and sweet. You order in the front and from there, you pick up your items from either the salty window and the sweet window. The menu is an blend of dishes from the Duluth restaurant, the Sugar Shack and some unique truck items.

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I went for their big combo option with an added item. That item was a fried duck leg with maple syrup BBQ sauce. Anyone who went to the Sugar Shack this past spring got a taste of this particular item. Nice tangy BBQ on top of some great duck. Nice crispy exterior while still keeping some moistness inside. Great option for only 3$!

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The combo box itself contained four times – a maple soda, a foie gras poutine, a “beigne Cochon” and a “beigne sucré”. The maple soda was nice and refreshing with just the right amount of maple syrup flavor to make it sweet but not overbearingly so. This was one of the components of the Whiskey Soda I had up at the Sugar Shack…. Still the best one I have ever had.

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Next up, the foie gras poutine – their old restaurant classic and signature dish. If you’ve had it there then you know what to expect. They succeeded in translating perfectly to the food truck. Crisp golden fries, cheese curds, a piece of foie gras and their foie gras gravy – perfect in the restaurant and perfect here.

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Now for the new stuff. The “beigne Cochon” really stretches the definition of a doughnut. In reality, this is a smoked meat sandwich where a doughnut is the bun. Yeah…. You read that right… A doughnut bun. Picard and his team are just nuts man. Anyway, this sandwich was amazing. A very generous portion of pork smoked meat, white ham and pork tongue with some mustard sandwiched in between that doughnut. Great combination as the doughnut mimics a sort of brioche bread. Nice and golden with a good crust yet a soft interior. The perfect way to differentiate themselves in this food truck rush.

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For the “beigne sucré”, they take the exact same doughnut but then stuff it with a filling of your choice and then add powered sugar. In my case, I went for the rhubarb option. Stuffed to the gills with a cream and rhubarb filling, the doughnut, which had been perfect for a sandwich, became a wonderful sweet treat to cap off the meal.

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A very strong entry to the food truck world by the Au Pied de Cochon crew. Keeps in line with their “go big or go home” style of food all while adding some new twists for the truck. Very generous portions at a reasonable deal overall I think. If this is indicative of what we can expect from this generation of Montreal food trucks, we will all be very lucky people.

Cheers!

Camion Au Pied de Cochon
On Facebook or Twitter @camionpdc

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