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Big Grga

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  1. Pho Lien (5703 Côte-des-Neiges) is a favorite of many Montrealers. I had a very good pho at Asie Moderne (1676 Poirier) in Ville St-Laurent. In general, I would avoid Vietnamese restaurants around Duluth, Prince Arthur and other touristy neighborhoods, as they often specialize in "brochettes". You know, the places where suburbians go when they want to eat "exotic" food. Chinatown and Côte-des-Neiges would be the best areas to go to for pho. I mean: "suburbanites", of course. He he.
  2. This poutine thread brought back painful memories from I when I lived in the Maritimes. Poutine is now easy to find in New Brunswick and PEI restaurants (Acadians go berserk when they see that the poutine they are now served in their province is the Quebec thing, not the traditional Acadian dish, but that's another story). Anyway, I realized that, while poutine is a very simple dish, it is also very easy to botch. Once, in a truck stop near Moncton, I had poutine made with roast beef gravy. Yuck! But the "best" one was the one I was served in Charlottetown: mushy fries, good ol' roast beef gravy, topped by a slice of Kraft Single orange process cheese, melted in the microwave. Truly a classic.
  3. I ate at a sushi restaurant called Osaka a few years ago. It was pretty good and not too expensive. It's at 581 Barton St East. I also remember having a decent meal at Le Chinois (173 King St East). Hope that helps.
  4. Adonis is excellent for meats and vegetables, indeed. However, I have Lebanese friends who swear by Al-Challal, further West on Cote-Vertu. They agree that Adonis products are very good, but way too expensive. Also, Adonis' prepared foods (humus, taboulé, baba ghanoush, etc.) are far from the best. There's too much lemon juice in their taboulé, which kills the more delicate flavours of parsley and mint. As for their baba ghanoush, it ranges from ordinary to horrible. It never has that special smoky taste. If you're in the neighborhood, call in advance and order from Dima (go North on Acadie, then right on Dudemaine). Very good Syrian restaurant, although I don't like to eat there, there's always a pipe or cigar smoker and poor ventilation. (And by the way, their baba ghanoush is called "metabal"). Anyway, it's always interesting to explore the streets around Acadie and Cote-Vertu for good Middle East butchers, bakeries and restaurants.
  5. It's true, Montreal has to be one the best restaurant cities in North America, value-wise. Here are a few places I discovered recently: - Iris (50 Jarry East) - Salvadorian. Great pupusas, including one with chicken, which you won't find in too many pupuserias in Montreal. Good service and no giant-screen TV to bug you. - Al Tarbouche (740 Cote-Vertu). Opened last week by my Lebanese neighbor, and man, he can make a mean kefta. Don't be put off by the location (in the Montpellier shopping centre), it's all home-made and very tasty. - Jolee (5495 Victoria) - Sri Lankan. Go there for the masala dosa, a sort of pancake filled with vegetables and served with chutney. Slow but friendly service, and the prices will make you laugh (less than $10 per person, tax included).
  6. I'm casting another vote for Thai Grill. While it may not be the cheapest meal in town, it certainly offers the most "beautifully crafted" Thai food in Montreal. They have many dishes you won't find anywhere else, such as duck filets sautéd with litchis (delicious but a bit too sweet by the end). It has the ambiance going for it too, and service, which was their weakness, has improved in the past months. When we don't have 100$ to spend, though, we go to Phaya Thai on Guy (near Faubourg Ste-Catherine). Almost as good, with simpler dishes, for half the price. Ban Lao Thai (930, Décarie, in St-Laurent) is very good too.
  7. I've heard good things about Coin mexicain (2489 Jean-Talon East) and La Guadalupe mexicaine (2345 Ontario East), but I still haven't tried them. I wonder why we don't have more good Mexican restaurants in Montreal. Is it because Mexicans tend to immigrate to the US and Ontario rather than Quebec? Or is it because Montrealers are already used to tex-mex food and they think it is the real thing? Well, at least there are many very decent Peruvian, Salvadorian and other South American places in town.
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