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Posts posted by fedelst

  1. You sir are correct. If it was my intention to only produce this quantity, then I would be doomed. However, it depends on who the market is. If I were to be going after the large chains, then this quantity is insanely small. However, my intention is to build sales in a very vertical market, and once I have established whether there is true market acceptance, then I would consider building the volume.

    Remember, this project is for sport at this point in time. I am not considering making a living doing this. However, if the demand for the product is reasonable, then I will get more serious about the product.

    I started producing these sausages as a concept, and the demand from my staff, friends and family, has been to market them. My current run of 10 kg at a time goes like water in the Sahara. I don't mind taking a swing at it. You know... nothing ventured, nothing gained....

    That doesn't sound like very much. I would imagine that in a worst case scenario your stuff would be neglected in favour of the larger customers. It happens in a lot of industries where the littler guy gets squeezed out of his merchandise despite a contract.

    I wish you the best of luck.

  2. Federal and Local food laws restrict the production of house manufactured meat products to the stores owned by the producer. Any meat product, such as charcuterie, sausages or prepared meals, that is to be sold through broad distribution must be produced in a certified licensed facility, that is HACCP certified. As such, any small producer looking to sell into a broad market legally must engage the services of a licensed facility, or build and certify one them selves.

    I am looking for a production facility that can handle small production runs of approximately an initial run cycle of about 200kg. per weekly run, with the capacity to grow this to larger weekly volumes.

    Any guidance is appreciated.

  3. Ah, as the season turns toward Spring--however slowly!--one's thoughts turn longingly toward Holland and the new crop of matjes herrings.

    Has anyone ever found anything like the Real Thing over here? in Montreal? The ones in jars aren't even close to the real thing, fished fresh out of a barrel in some wonderful fish market in Holland.



    If you have ever been witness to this but..... On the corner of St. Laurent and Roy there is a herring importer who has a loading dock on the north East corner opening on to Roy. Every time their shipments come in, you can see them unloading barrels of herring straight off the trucks into the loading dock.

    I don't think you can find much fresher (in Montreal) than what they were importing. I just looked up the company and it is:

    National Herring Importer 3805 St. Lawrence Blvd. 842-4633

    Now, I do not know their product lines, but I am sure that if they do not import Matjes they could tell you where to go....

    Good luck, and please post back if you do find fresh Matjes. I find most too sweet.

    BTW the ADAR line of Herring sold at Ikea is considered on of the best bottled products on the market.

  4. Can anyone make a suggestion as to where to buy jicama in Montreal?

    Certainly, You will frequently find Jicama in Asian grocery stores, as well as, some of the Latin American stores. Look for firm Jicama with no dark dimples. The Jicama should be as hard as a rock if it is fresh.

    Try to find a grocer that has good product turn over so that you have a better chance of getting Jicama in good condition.

    Places that I frequently find fresh Jicama would be Marche Hawaii on Marcel Laurin, The Asian grocers on Van Horne and Victoria, The Asian grocers on St. Denis near Jean Talon, or in China Town try Heng Heng, Kien Xoung or the large joint next to Cristal of Saigon.

    Happy hunting.

  5. Funny that you mention that, BLM and I were discussing this the other day. There are many similarities between the M:Brgr patty and the Mr. Steer. Both have a nice crisp exterior, and both are done on a grill. Comparing M:brgr to Mr. Steer makes more sense than comparing M:Brgr to La Paryse.

    M:brgr definitely has the decor and the high end toppings, but Mr. Steer does produce a burger worth eating. I could live without Mr. Steers iceberg salad with the French dressing though, and I prefer the fries at M:Brgr or La Paryse.

  6. Let's clarify the difference between M:bgr and La Paryse. These are clearly 2 distinctly different products here, yet, both are called Hamburgers, and like Tourtiere in our fair province, there are extreme variations, all of which can be legitimately called hamburgers.

    We all agree, that the burgers at La Paryse are very very good. Although they are a very different burger from most others. Served on a Kaiser roll, the burger is griddle cooked. So, this is not the same type of grilled burger we get at Mister Steer, the Queue or at m:bgr… La Paryse’s strength is in their accompaniments, whereas, the M:Bgr burger can be served with little more than the slice of tomato, and the onions and be really really good. Considering my favorite, 'the Special' which comes with Mushrooms, cream cheese, pickle Tomato onion and bacon. You could almost pull the meat out and not miss it.

    A La Paryse burger without toppings is …..well… a bit plat.

    Likewise La Paryse's Fries are textbook perfect, and their cakes are excellent, if you have room. I do find the La Paryse drink prices a bit high.

  7. I totally forgot about Paul's Finest. Great response...

    When first starting my collection of knives, I found that a good quality #3 Chinese cleaver to be oe of hte most versatile tools I owned. As long as you keep your knives sharp, and handle them properly, they will work as you require for most tasks. The problems start with ANY knife when you let your edges dull.

    If you can track down a gentleman named Roger Grenier, he had been present at the Salon Metier d'Arts selling mostly hunting and fantasy knives, but he makes some very good custom kitchen knives to order. i am not sure if he is still in the business, but I still have the knives he made to my specs and they work and look as good as the day he made them.

    When buying Japanese knives, be aware of the composition of the material used in the composition of the knife. Many of these are not well suited to use with acidic foods, and will leave oxidation on the onion, or tomato you are cutting if you are not careful. Also never, let anyone not familiar with sharpening these knives near them. I had a well meaning friend hand one to one of the roaming knife sharpener guys, who proceeded to bevel an edge on both sides of the blade... Doh... It took me a week of honing to work out the damage.

    Miyamoto on Victoria has a selection of these, the prices are lower than what they had sold them for years ago, but I suspect that if you shop arround you will find better prices. Certainly Paul's finest would be a good place to look.

  8. Clearly I am at fault for not calling in a reservation before arriving, and I was willing to accept these consequences. Likewise, I do not question the skill of t he kitchen.

    What I do take issue with is being told that there are no tables available in an empty restaurant, and then seeing first hand (upon my later return) that the supposed reserved tables actually in fact had not ultimate patron. There are loads of restaurants that would love to have a filled seat. If the hostess is attempting to create an illusion of high demand by turning away walk in clients where tables are available, she is doing her employer or the prospective patron a true disservice.

    Life is dynamic, sometimes we act on a whim, reservations sometimes don't happen, and one takes their chances. Had I been turned away, only to find a packed restaurant later, I would not have been so bitter.

    C'est la vie...

  9. Tempted by the postings about brunch at Bazaar Anise I decided to check it out and headed for brunch this a.m.

    Big Mistake…..

    We showed up for Brunch at 12:40 and were told that we could not have a table without a reservation, despite the place being ¼ full . The hostess told us that the reason there were so many places was due to the fact that they were awaiting their 1:00 seating.

    So we went to Lemiac …… After we finished at 1:45 I went back to Bazaar Anise to see how full they were, and there were only 6 people dining. I confronted the hostess, and asked her why she turned us away from an empty restaurant. The hostess told me the patrons were coming.

    We could have been in and out by then... I told her I would never darken their doorway again.

  10. Forget all the supermarkets and boutique nut vendors. Go where most of the Middle Eastern clients go........ There are a number of nut roasters up near marche Centrale. My favorite is Cananut on Mazurette. The selection of Pistachios is pretty good and you should be able to find Iranian, Turkish, California, in a variety of sizes and seasoning.

    Unlike the en Vrac places, you are welcome to sample the nuts before making your selection. Most importantly, their volume is good, so the product is fresh, and the process are so insanely low it makes you wonder how they make $$.

    Trust me, once you check it out, you will be a convert.

    They also have tons of other nuts, grains, dried beans, and a bunch of different regional Zataar's.

    Arkhavan is good, but the selection and price at Cananut are worth the trip. BTW the Iranian Dried Apricots at Arkhavan are unbelievable. Try them spread with their thick Yoghurt.

  11. Final Chapter....The confit was eaten.....And it was the best darn confit I have ever made. Using the same process as I always use, with little more than a bay leaf and a few pepper corns in the fat, I could swear that the duck had a slight sweetness to it. Although I am highly skeptical that this is directly related to the maple in the ducks diet, I will have to run this test once again using both maple fed and non-maple fed ducks to verify whether this is a candidate for the journal of irreproducible results.

    It would be interesting to verify whether maple fed ducks actually do not digest all the sugars, and if any of these excess sugars are in fact present in their muscle or fat. Unfortunately, I am less then well equipped to measure such subtle levels of sugar, as I only have a simple bulb saccharometer for brewing. So... I guess I will have to make multiple batches of Confit and rely on my palate. oh darn...

    This calls for an NRC grant application to be submitted.

  12. The original joint was pretty much bare white walls and good food. The place on CDN had more elaborate decor, with a brown carpet and tan walls. They were trying to make the place a grade above the usual hole in the wall.

    We have been going to the place on Victoria near Edouard Monpetit. I forget the name, but you can not miss it. It is on Victoria on a south East corner with a big green sign. The Vietnamese pancake with shrimp and beansprouts is laced with coconut, and really good. I also order the platters of grilled rolled meat accompanied with the rice paper wrappers and mass of bean sprouts and veggies. My wife usually orders the sand pot filled chicken and bamboo shoots on rice.

    Not your usual pho joint, but the food is good.

  13. Checked it out for lunch today.... and this place serves a GOOD burger. The AAA comes with Tomato Onion and a pickle slice. i added the grilled onion and the smoked gouda. My lunch partner had it with the house smoked Bacon (apple smoked).

    The Burger - Well seasoned meat in a thick patty. Not as big as Mechant Boeuf (too big). The meat was moist, and not greasy, The grill was hot enough to get a good sear / char on the outside, without being burnt, while the interior was cooked through. i normally eat my burgers pink, as cooked through is usually dry, but these were cooked through and i did not miss the pink. Clearly someone studies the right temperature to getthe desired results.

    The Bun - Simple corn meal crusted white roll. Worked perfectly.

    Garnish - The selections are very varied and creative. Yes the Truffle Mayo is one of the choices, but then again so are fresh sliced Black or white truffles, about 8 cheeses (including torta marscapone), and a myriad of veggies including grilled or caramelized onions etc.

    The fries - Sweet potato were cooked crisp, unlike most SP fries, which are limp and greasy. The standard issue fries are very good as well crisp and hot, medium brown on the outside. Worthy of being served with the burger.

    After ordering a beer, I noticed the large selection of floats. Damn, I would have ordered a root beer float...

    The dessert menu looked interesting with such choices as a chocolate covered Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich, and a Fresh baked chocolate cookie (for $10, go figure).

    The basic AAA burger at lunch along with an order of reglar fries and a soft drink will run you just under $13, so the pricing is not so bad. However, each condiment other than the standard issue onion, tomato, and pickle will cost you $1 each and up.

    I do have to say, that in the case of the M:Bgr, less is better. Don't over do it with the toppings. The burger stands out on its own.

    The truffle mayo sounds good though.

    I would go back, even though it is minus 12 and 8 blocks from my office. They will do well.

  14. Chez Mai, later moved to Cote De Neige across from the Cote de Neige mall. It was run by Mai and her husband Dick, who later divorced. Mai ran the place for a few years following but the quality of the food declined, and in an attempt to revive her dwindling clientèle she nailed the coffin shut by adding Karaoke and she ultimately closed... Might this be the place you were thinking about??

    The food was some of the better Vietnamese in the city in its day.

    I just fumbled over this thread and was surprised to find the start date in 2003...

    Anyways, it got me thinking (steamed buns aside). Chinese favorites can be so subjective and personal. Speak to a friend and they'll say something like "XXXXXXXX has the BEST chow mein cantonese", meanwhile, I'm cringing, 'cause I HAD XXXXXXXX's cantonese chow mein and, well, it was pretty bland.

    Meanwhile, I bring him to YYYYYYYYY and casually order the plate. Of course, to me, its simply the best in the city, hands down. The friend, though, says "its OK"...WTF?

    Is it just me? Or is chinese super subjective?

    And just one more thing. Does anyone recall a vietnamese restaurant, tiny, family run, that closed shop. I'm not sure of its exact location (its only been about 20 years), but I think it was on Victoria just north of Vanhorne, just around the corner from the small mall. They had a million hanging plants in the place, all in various stages of health. One thing is for sure, they had a killer whole fish with chili peppers....OK, if you don't recall this place, can you recommend a family run joint (nothing fancy) offering a similar dish?

    Just asking.

  15. Just by the fact that everything added on the burger has a price tag, should have made it clear that this was Moishe's spawn... Like Moishe's, where you order a steak, and if you want even the parsley garnish would have a price on it.

    This is the sequel to the Moishe's hot dog that was selling Costco a while back.

    I have to check this out. But considering the prices, and the upscale positioning of the product, they clearly are in a different market than La Paryse. La Paryse is the peoples burger. Affordable, consistent quality, and the reference standard for a good burger.

    I am guessing that this will land in the range of high end market product, along the lines of Mechant Boeuf.

  16. You might wish to explain that you need Lardons. Which is essentially unsmoked pork belly. In most cases you can use some meaty fatback. But if you are making cassoulet, the belly works best.

    Or.... you can try a butcher who does know. The guys at Fairmount Butcher on St. Laurent near Schwartz's are the gods of all things pork.

    Hi all!

    I need to know how to ask my butcher for pork belly ASAP!

    Also, does anyone know if Berkshire pork is available in Montreal?


  17. Seared the Foie gras for new years dinner. It was definitely something special. Very velvety and smooth, and a very mild flavor, more so than most other foie gras. Actually, pairing this with any sauce or accompaniment with a strong flavor would obfuscate the taste. Simple toasted brioche worked perfectly. (Although I had originally intended to serve it with lightly toasted ginger bread, I had made that aft, once I tried the Foie Gras, it was apparent that his would be a huge mistake).

    Salted the legs after I broke down the duck, and set the confit to cook yesterday. It is now aging for a bit before I indulge. The fat rendered was just enough to cover the legs and more than sufficient to fill the jar.

    More after I crack the jar and dig out the confit.

  18. You said it better than I. The prices are justifiable if the food stands up to the standard expected. About 15 years back l'Express was notorious for their oh so snooty waiters. However tolerating them was the cost of admission It seems that they mellowed with time.

    Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know. I would prefer to sit down to a consistently good tartare at l'Express than suffer the fate of getting pin worms from a place that has no respect for their food.

  19. I would site this as a classic example of bad service spoiling what could have been a good meal, but in this case, it seems both were at fault. Thanks for taking one for the team. I was considering checking it out, but after hearing about insane prices, and now about lousy service, I think I will wait for the dust to settle.

    Perhaps the Maitre'd was the former Maitre'd from QDC; who, when my wife had received an over cooked steak covered in an excessive amount of steak spice (making it too salty) had the gall to tell her that a steak with a light pink middle was in fact Rare, and that there was no salt in the steak spice (I kid you not). He argued with her about re-doing the order, and insisted that she takes the roast beef as it could be served immediately. The fresh steak showed up, sans any seasoning. She had asked the waiter why no seasoning. He told her that the Maitre'd had requested it that way and offered some on the side.

    Bad attitude has no place in the food service industry. Likewise, it is surprising that a place that is positioning itself as an upscale restaurant, and is in a phase of building a client base would even send out a plate that has not been checked first.

    If you had ever watched PM at the QDC you will know he is obsessive about quality and service. Starting a new venture always has some wrinkles to iron out. I suspect that thinks will improve. Otherwise, we will just continue visiting the other 'first of it's kind in Montreal' French style Bistros such as Laloux, L'Express, Chez levesque, etc. :biggrin:

    I don't like his restaurants much and I don't like the food that much either, but despite that, yes, he has contributed a lot to the food scene for better or for worse. Like they say, there's no such thing as bad publicity.

    I was there a few days ago to have quiet brunch. It does look like a classic french bistro, wine glasses clean and comfortable. Just like QDC and Trinity, service and decor seem important and it shows that a significant portion to the bill will help pay for these luxuries. There's not problem with that, but I prefer to concentrate on food, then everything else, which brings me to the food.

    We ordered a dozen oysters to start off with. All of them were very fresh and clean, however, 8 of them didn't have the adductor muscles cleanly cut. That's the first mistake. When you pay $3 each, I expect more. We also ordered a french onion soup which was very good, but not quite worth the $10 they are charging imho. I ordered the french toast brioche with fresh fruits. It was certainly one of the better french toasts I've had but portions were very small. Not only that, but the fresh berries were not fresh. Dried up blueberries and mouldy raspberries composed most of the dish. For something that costs $13, I also expected at least fruits that weren't dried out and mouldy. Last, we had the bavette with a salad replacing the fries cooked medium rare. The temperature was fine, but the salad had a large piece of inedible dried twigs in them. This should not be acceptable for a McDonalds, let alone a restaurant that wants to make its mark in Montreal. If that wasn't enough, the piece of hangar steak was the toughest piece of meat I'd ever eaten. I know hanger isn't supposed to be a tender cut, but this HAD to be the toughest I've ever had. If Pois Penche wants to compete with L'Express, Lemeac, Ptit Plateau or even other bistros in food quality, they will need to step it up several notches.

    Even worse than the food was the attitude of the maitre'd. I told my waitress about what was wrong with the food, and she had talked to him about these problems. She came back to us saying they would give us a free coffee on the house. I asked to speak to the maitre'd directly and already his attitude towards everything was obviously bad from the start. He said the fruits aren't bad, but they are out of season, that he didn't prepare the oysters, that the chef can't sift through all the leaves to pick out bad bits. Finally, he said he would comp the french toast.

    Lets just say I didn't have the best brunch of my life. Worst than coming out dissatisfied because of bad food, I left angry because they tried to defend food that was obviously subpar. To be honest, I WANTED to see this restaurant succeed because I live close by, and because it's good for Montreal EVEN if it's a Morentzos restaurant. But unless I see people chiming in saying that things have improved, I won't be going back.

    Love him, or hate him, Peter Morentzos has clearly contributed more to the Montreal restaurant scene than any nasty blog posting.

    Your comments are spot on.

    I reply on my tippy toes, because i'm starting to feel like Joe Clark taking a walk on Sherbrooke Street every time i post anything. I believe that anyone who invests as much as Peter Morentzos does, and takes the chances he does to bring important additions to Montrealrestaurant scene, i applaud it. I'd rather be walking by a french brasserie than a boarded up location in the heart of downtown. Now weather the steak/frites, boudin noir, oeuf meurettes or just a fine herb omelette will be noteworthy or not, i am sure he will figure it out.

    Hope it works out because the 24 hour open idea, as ambitious as it is, is kinda cool.

  20. nothing beats a Schwart's Smoked Meat with a side of half sours, and some fries for a casual, very casual lunch. It does not get much more Montreal that this.

    Cheap, authentic, and tasty.

    My husband and I are adventurous eatings but without a lot of disposable income. We're looking for authentic, delicious food, but not at enormous prices. Anything distinctly "Montreal" is a plus. Any suggestions? Neither of us have been there before. Thanks!

  21. So, you are wondering if the PDC Maple Syrup duck is worth the $$??

    Here is where I am at so far. I bought the raw duck with the Foie Gras. The Foie gras is cryovac'd and weighed 1.56 lbs. The duck, although being a canard de barberie, has a lot of fat. I pulled the 2 Magret and have the salted legs sitting waiting to become confit. The layer of fat on the breasts is insane. The fat rendered from the carcass and collected from the cooking the magrets is just over 1.5 litres. More than enough for my confit.

    So far, we had only eaten the magret. The texture was dense and richer than most magret I usually buy. No, it does not have a Maple flavor, nor did I suspect it would. The quality and flavor of the meat is excellent. Normally I would prepare a pear, or reduced port sauce, but decided to go with the maple theme, and made a sauce with some slightly reduced super rich Grade 'C' Dark maple syrup, a couple ounces of Glenfiddich, a bit of salt, and 1/3 cup of butter whisked in as small chunks. The smokeyness of the scotch worked well with the sweetness of the syrup, and the whole thing worked perfectly with the duck.

    All in all, the magret was clearly a better quality product than what we usually see. A bit pricey, but, easily justified in the name of research.

    I will report back after we work on the foie gras, and once the confit is ready.

    Pass the Zocor...

    PDC has custom-fattened 60 ducks with maple syrup.

    They're on sale this Friday to take home with you. Whole bird with the foie gras is around 110$. You can also wait until the 27th - for 140$, you get the whole bird with foie gras, but all the elements are prepared by PDC (legs are confit, foie gras is en terrine, etc.). I think you can also get just the foie gras for about 70$.

    Reserve 'em while you can (I know I already did!)

    edited for typo

  22. If what you are looking for is swine free product, you might try a kosher or halal grocer. If you want animal free, you might want to try agar agar. Although the Agar agar does not have the same consistency as an animal based gelatin. It all depends upon what you plan on doing with your gelatin.

    I'm looking for veal based gelatin or at least a gelatin that wouldn't contain pork product.  Any idea where I could find something like that?


  23. Through this thread there has been a continual statement that Las Lilas is crazy expensive, yet no one has ever qualified what Expensive is?

    Can anyone give me an idea of what a good steak dinner in Ba would normally cost in a decent upscale restaurant? and what Las Lilas would charge for a similar meal?

    Just curious....



    Just had to chime in as we are in BA right now. We have to say we highly recommend Cabaña Las Lilas BECAUSE it is touristy. We have been to three other restaurants for steak before going there and while good, we were getting frustrated. We like our meat rare. After ordering and explaining in both English and our limited Spanish (using the recommended words for ¨juicy¨ and red and even pointing to examples), our meat always arrived with just a little pink in the middle. It seamed to be a case of them knowing better than us the way it should be prepared.

    At Cabaña Las Lilas, the cuts were very thick (which we also were not getting at the other places) and red bloody, fatty mounds--exactly what we were looking for! Plus we got pretty lucky and walked up with no reservations and got seated near the water on a beautiful night.

    If you can afford it and that´s what you are looking for, then go. We were very glad and spent a third of what it would cost in the states (we didn´t order any sides or wine, we were just there for meat!). Also go to the other places too to experience Argentine style.

  24. Now this is what this forum is all about :biggrin:

    Thanks for the heads up.

    PDC has custom-fattened 60 ducks with maple syrup.

    They're on sale this Friday to take home with you. Whole bird with the foie gras is around 110$. You can also wait until the 27th - for 140$, you get the whole bird with foie gras, but all the elements are prepared by PDC (legs are confit, foie gras is en terrine, etc.). I think you can also get just the foie gras for about 70$.

    Reserve 'em while you can (I know I already did!)

    edited for typo

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