Tag Archives: Montreal

Beauty’s Luncheonette

21 Oct

Certain restaurants in Montreal are what one would call institutions. As a local Montrealer, these are places that you should get to at some point because to miss them is to miss out on experiences that are part of what makes Montreal special when it comes to food. Schwartz’s, Moishes (eventually in my case), Laurier BBQ before the Ramsey fiasco, St-Viateur and/or Fairmount bagels (depending on where you side on that debate but that’s a story for another day), etc…. In the end, you may leave slightly underwhelmed because your experience couldn’t possibly match up to the hype but regardless, they are places that you must experience for yourself.

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Beauty’s is such a place. A staple of Montreal since 1942, they have been owned by the same family the whole time and have been serving up breakfast in Mile End ever since. Any day of the week you pass by, you will see a line-up outside. On this beautiful thanksgiving weekend, before heading to watch the Alouettes sadly get beat at Molson Stadium, I finally got my chance to visit Beauty’s with some friends for a little late breakfast.

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Beauty’s is known for their special – cream cheese, smoked salmon and onion on a bagel. However, I am not much of a fan of smoked salmon so I chose to go with the Beauty’s basic – two eggs, home fries, one meat with a bagel. A simple dish but one that must be spot on if you are worth your salt as a breakfast place. Very good overall. The home fries in particular were quite delicious.

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To that, we originally ordered some latkes and I took a Classico Beauty’s smoothie. However, they had run out of latkes by the way we got our order in. So just the smoothie would have to do. Strawberry, banana and orange juice – simple but classic. A nice thick consistency and very delicious. The perfect complement to a nice breakfast.

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Is it a earth shattering breakfast? Not exactly. But it is a Montreal landmark that serves a very good breakfast. The place looks exactly like what you think it would – a diner that has been going since 1942. It has a wonderful old fashion feel that I absolutely love – right down to the owner greeting you at the door and joking with you as you wait for your table. You may want something more unique or different for breakfast but that’s not Beauty’s and that’s fine. They simply do a damn fine breakfast as they have been doing since 1942. For that reason alone, you need to check it out. I waited way too long. You don’t have to make that same mistake.

Cheers!

Beauty’s Luncheonette
93 Mont-Royal West
514 849 8883

Beauty's on Urbanspoon

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Douro

8 Oct

There are restaurants that, for some reason, become family favorites. Be it for a specific food item, the wine list, the decor or even the service, these are places that you will go back to time and time again because you enjoy it and are in the mood to go back. They become staple of the rotation when the family seeks a nice place to enjoy a nice weekend meal. For my family, Douro is one such place. Given we recently went back for a nice Saturday evening meal, I figure now would be a good opportunity to talk about it.

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For the uninitiated, Douro is a Portuguese restaurant located of the fringes of Little Italy here in Montreal. They serve tapas style dishes or you can stick to the classic appetizer/ main course format if you’d like. Each time I’ve gone, I have stuck to the tapas menu. Amongst the tapas options on this evening, we went for chorizo sausage, grilled squid, grilled calamari, garlic shrimp and cod cakes. Every item is cooked very nicely without overdoing the ingredients – simply allowing the natural favors of each items shine through with some slight enhancements. The grilled squid is of particular note here.

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The next serving brought forth some delicious mussels as well as 2nd helpings of squid and cod cakes. The mussels were rather small but they were still delicious as was the garlic and white wine broth.

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To top off the evening, a deliciously fresh pastry. Nice flaky crust and a buttery smooth filling.

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Add to this delicious food a nice bottle of Portuguese white wine and you have yourself a very nice meal to enjoy. The service is outstanding and personable. I have some minor quips about the decor of the restaurant (although I seem to be the only one who feels that way) but they do not distract for the great food you will enjoy. If you are looking for a nice enjoyable Portuguese meal, I highly recommend giving Douro a shot. Maybe your family will enjoy it as much as mine.

Cheers!

Douro
6518 Boul. St-Laurent
514 273 6969

Douro on Urbanspoon

Pastaga (Brunch Edition)

17 Sep

Another beautiful Sunday in Montreal can only mean another Brunch opportunity. This past weekend, my brunch partner and I….and yes… I have a brunch buddy. In lieu of a relationship, brunch is best enjoyed amongst friends, so we have made this a regular occurrence. Great way to maintain friendships you care about. Food for thought (and pun completely intended). Anyway… Pastaga is a restaurant that I have wanted to visit for some time now. Eventually I will go for dinner but for the time being, having been biking by it every weekend for the past 3 months on my way to Jean Talon Market, I decided that brunch was a quicker option for the time being.

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Pastaga does brunch on Sunday exclusively. On this beautiful day, we arrived before any rush and sat down right away. Right off the bat, the place has a great look and feel. Very simple and fresh decor. The large window in the front of the restaurant provides a large amount of natural light which lights up the space. Simple wood tables, couch chairs and a nice bar in the back. The killer element is the glass wall in the back which exposes the beautiful kitchen for all to see. I could have sat there for hours.

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Started off with a strawberry smoothie and the complimentary sugared doughnuts with housemate caramel. Smoothie was light but had a great taste. The doughnuts were very good as well. They didn’t have the warm fluffy texture of something that has been made fresh to order but were delicious regardless. Nice crunch to them and not too dense. The caramel was the star however. Perfectly rich and smooth.

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As a main course, I had Pastaga’s version of a hash. Grilled potatoes and peppers with bacon, egg and toast. Simple in principle but exquisite in execution. All the elements came together wonderfully for a great dish. The bacon in particular was just perfect. More a large slab of pork than what most would consider bacon but no complaints here. Simply a great dish.

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My friend had the Benedictine plate. Pastaga’s play of this dish included a fowl drumstick. Once again, every element of the plate was perfectly executed. The biscuit was good, the poached egg was perfect, the drumstick was great and the hollandaise sauce was exceptionally light with the same taste one would expect from most hollandaise sauces. Another great dish.

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Finally, to finish off the meal, we split the petit fours which consisted of 4 mini brownies with a candied grape in the middle of each. A perfect sweet ending to a very good meal.

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Pastaga was a great brunch experience that I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a nice place to try out. This meal further reinforced my need to come have dinner here as well. Anytime you are in the Little Italy/ Jean Talon Market area, you would be hard pressed to find a better brunch option to enjoy on a nice relaxing Sunday.

Cheers!

Pastaga
6389 Saint-Laurent (corner Beaubien)
438 381-6389

Pastaga on Urbanspoon

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