Monday, March 30, 2009

Five chefs square off to prepare 70-pound heritage pigs!

It's called Cochon 555, a United States food competition tour where in each famous foodie city, five local chefs prepare five 70-pound heritage pigs and are matched with five local winemakers. Pork, bacon, loin, cheeks, feet, ribs, give it to me all! I wish one would come to Toronto. I think Mark Cutrara from Cowbell would easily take it but that's the point of the contest -- to see if he actually would!

Crepe Saint-Viateur (Une)

221 rue Saint-Viateur Ouest

Montreal, QC H2T 2L6

(514) 270-6322

Number of times visited: 1

Crepes $5-10

One-man operation: serves, cooks, cashes. Very friendly. Crepes are standard but very well-made. Definitely homemade-tasting. I had the Popeye on a buckwheat crepe, which was fresh baby spinach, ham and cheese. Really liked that he used fresh spinach.

Rating out of five stars: *1/2

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bofinger Barbecue Smokehouse

1250 University Street

Montreal, QC

(514) 750-9095

Number of times visited: 1

Mains $8-14

Very friendly staff. Had the pulled pork sandwich with Memphis sauce. Pork was very dry. Bun soggy with Memphis sauce. Sauce was okay - vinegar tang with a bit of a spicy kick. Fries good. Better places I've had pulled pork: gourmet style at beerbistro in downtown Toronto financial district, and Memphis Style Smokehouse in North York (a Toronto suburb).

Rating out of five stars: *

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bhel Puri

Bhel puri has to be one of the greatest (Indian) snacks known to man. It's sweet, spicy, tangy, savoury, crunchy, soft all at once. I've never made it from scratch before though. I just get this awesome bhel puri mix in a bag, but I know there are many variations of it. The one I use is in a green, re-sealable bag. But if you ever see a bhel puri package in a store, I highly recommend you pick it up and try it out. I bet most kinds are fail-safe. I don't see how you can mess it up!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Top Chef host "sexy" commercial for Carl's Jr. burger

I felt so offended when I watched the below commercial for two reasons:

1. Because it's such a degrading portrayal of woman.
2. Fast food should never be encouraged! Not just because it's an affront to taste palettes, but also because of the economic, political and social exploitations it has caused over the past 70 decades, and continues to cause. (Book recommendation: Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser.)

The Naked Chef has come a long way.

Remember when Jamie Oliver was just this thin, scruffy, blond 20-something Brit lad who cooked messy but delicious-looking meals on Food Network?

Five more TV series, three restaurants and an overhaul of Britain's public school meals later, he's still building his empire. Introducing Jamie, the magazine. And he has another kid on the way in addition to Poppy and Daisy with lovely wife Jules. (Ten bucks that the third will be Lily if it's a girl. If it's a boy, all bets are off.)

I still love his down-to-earth, home-cooked comfort style, and that he's all about natural, local produce. He's always had a bit of a gruff personality, but at the same time, is really an endearing man. I love that his sole purpose for Twitter (so far) is: @jamie_oliver wish I could answer all the food questions, but its all on the website already. this is just to talk to you lot!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


3895 Saint-Laurent Boulevard

Montreal, QC H2W 1X9

(514) 842-4813

Number of times visited: 3

Mains $6-12; Smoked meat, about $10/lb

Efficient staff who are as friendly as they can possibly be for basically working probably the busiest job in Montreal. Smoked meat sandwich superb. French fries fantastic. Must always buy at least a pound of sliced cold meat to go. There's a reason why this place has been in business for nearly 80 years.

Rating out of five stars: *****

Discovered great site that divides Boston's fine dining scene into restaurant, neighbourhood and chef: restaurant tab is similar but doesn't have the extra added feature of labelling by chef. Probably because we're not as populated.

Beginning to see while Toronto's dining scene is fab, the population size limits dining size limits opportunity for choices and competitive creativity.

Les Enfants Terribles

1257 Avenue Bernard

Outremont, QC H2V 1V8

(514) 759-9918

Number of times visited: 2

Apps $8-16; Mains $14-35

Fairly friendly staff but a little bit scattered. Still mostly attentive. Really great, warm, modern space. Food good but not great and not for those prices. Tender calamari; crispy, flakey, lightly golden fish and chips; nice decent-sized lamb burger, fairly juicy, nice touch of goat cheese, not too overwhelming; seemed to have been served bottom-of-the-batch frites. Subpar vanilla creme brulee.

Rating out of five stars: *