Ranty food review aka where not to eat in Old Montreal

So with the family being here on vacation from Ontario, we of course made a trek to Old Montreal and the port since it was my nieces first time here.

To my utter disappointment,  Le Merville which was hands down my favorite restaurant of ALL time (which says a lot coming from me!) has closed it’s doors for good and Amir in it’s place.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind Amir when I’m drunk & starving but we wanted to go somewhere nice.  Seeing as how most restaurants in Jacques Cartier Square have rather exorbitant prices given their upscale locale, you would think that the food would be fabulous, good, above decent?

Twice now I have eaten in the port recently only to be horribly dissapointed.

Both times.

In July I went there with a friend to see the fireworks at Le Ronde and we wanted to grab something to eat.  I was down with going to subway because I was eating on the cheap that night.  I wasn’t feeling something fancy or sit down.  We almost went to La Grande Terrasse but for some reason decided against it.  So we went to Montreal Poutine instead.  Which wasn’t bad per se, the poutine was good but nothing to write home about.  The smoked meat was a little more greasier then I prefer and it came with a nice green salad.   Including a drink, tip and taxes it was almost $30.00!  Thirty bucks for that?  Are you fucking kidding me?  They sell their t-shirts for cheaper!  I mean seriously, I will drop top dollar for GOOD food.  Not mediocre eats you know?

Needless to say, I’ll be heading to Lefleur (or however that’s spelled, don’t judge me!) next time I need a poutine fix.  It’s cheap, uber fast and freaking delicious!  Although I have been told to give La Banquise a go as well.

Anyhoo enter yesterday:

Le Merville is closed much to my sadness so we thought we would give La Grande Terrasse a go for lunch with the kids.

HUGE mistake!

The prices appeared to be borderline reasonable-ish enough at first glace although they were a little up there.  Just goes to show you that you don’t always get what you pay for!  For some reason people seem to have it ingrained in their minds that if it costs more, then the quality is better.  Jacques Cartier Square is known for having some of the most pretentious expensive restaurants in the island.  It goes with the territory of being in such a beautiful place on the island I suppose.  Not only that it’s a major tourist pit in the summer especially and most places are seasonal as well.

Being a Chef, I get that.

So we arrive, the place is crazy busy with servers running around all over the place.  We were largely ignored until I managed to nab a server to see if we sat ourselves.  Which would have been a tad awkward since we were 5 and the tables are bolted to the floor and either sat 2 or four people outside.  Anyway, we finally got a seat and it was SO windy that everything kept blowing all over the damn place!

We order our food: Chicken quesadilla ($15.00), poutine (which was very small $8.00), Royal burger with poutine instead ($17.00), Terrasse Trio ($13.00 for 4 chicken wings, some onion rings, 4 cheese sticks & salsa) & Fish & chips ($16.00).  Soft drinks ($3.00 each) for a grand total of  $93 + change with tax.

The food: SHIT!  I was beyond appalled at the low quality of the food for such a location!  The ONLY thing that appeared to be made in house was the quesadilla.  The wings were super tiny, the fries were your typical McCain shoestring french fries much like McDonald’s, no seasoning at all and they were cold, the cheese sticks were pre-fab frozen stick in the fryer for 3 mins deal,  the onion rings left an after taste of fryer oil that was in dire need of changing, the skimpy piece of fish was mechanically separated, pre-fab and obviously frozen, Captain Highliner style.  Although Captain Highliner is superior to the fish that was served.  The tarter sauce was nothing more then miracle whip with cucumber and nothing else, the burger obviously came out of a box too!

I’ve eaten at my share of places in Montreal and tend to favor the more casual pub style deals because even though I am a Chef and have some seriously high expectations when it comes to food; I’ve eaten better at McDonald’s compared to this place! For the price that we paid, I could have gone to IGA, gotten far more superior quality food and fed all 5 of us for at least a week, if not longer!

La Grande Terrasse, you went above and beyond my level of disappointment!

I miss Le Merville 🙁


OMFG I’ve been so busy its insane!  I’ve become horribly addicted to Mafia wars, so much so that I think I need Mafia wars rehab lol.  In between MW rounds though I’ve slowly been building pages and getting some much needed work done!  Anyway time to backtrack a little bit…

Saturday I did some work during the day, didn’t get to sleep in because Ms. Kitler had a dire case of the munchies and demanded I feed her in the wee hours of the morning!  I love her, she’s great but come on its Saturday!  Then I hit the town with Ms. Donna Saturday evening.  She had to work, I didn’t so we met up at Berri metro which was SO sketchy!  I really hate Berri square when there isn’t an event because that’s where most of the drug dealers hang out and sure enough we got offered half price on PCP…  Which didn’t surprise me but I hate hanging out at a metro by myself whilst waiting for someone to show up.
Then we went to Cafe European for dinner which was nice, we sat out on the terrace but it was somewhat windy & chilly so our food got cold a little too fast but it was pretty yummy. We were there for about two hours, munching and talking. Jeremy was in town so I gave him regular text updates because we were supposed to meet up later for drinks.

Then we headed off to Kilo Cafe for coffee and dessert. I skipped the coffee because I knew I wouldn’t get any sleep but I had a Kilo sunrise instead which is the same as a tequila sunrise but with peach schnapps instead and it was good. Quite girly but tasty just the same. We shared a piece of this decadent raspberry thing (can’t recall the name) but it was SO good! Light and airy with whipped cream and raspberry goodness throughout and we were stuffed!

So then we headed off to the drugstore for some drinks, this bar is massive! It has like 4 floors (as most places in the village do) with a rooftop terrace but that was closed so we settled in on the third floor which is semi closed in because its surrounded by four walls but no roof so no wind which was nice! There was someone getting married and they were being rather loud and obnoxious so that was kind of annoying but we had fun just the same. We didn’t stay out too late since we were taking the metro and didn’t want to miss the last one. Never did meet up with Jeremy, I got a text that said” sorry hot men” and that pretty much explained it all 😉

So Sunday was my day with Jeremy, we went out for brunch which seems to be our tradition of sorts now when he comes here. Anyway it was pretty warm and sunny out and that means terrace time! Also meant that I got a sunburn and so did poor Jeremy! Must invest in some more sunscreen. I of course know better but you know how it is… Anyway we were talking about my dental issues and I was debating did I want breakfast or something else. So we settled on breakfast, we ordered the same thing and just as I was about to dig in Jeremy says to me” Um Honey, there’s a shell in your eggs” sure enough there was and it was HUGE how could you not see that?

Not only that, part of my eggs were slimy and not fully cooked which really grossed me out! Jeremy offered to share which is very sweet, but I still had my toast so I just nibbled on that instead. Then they came back better cooked and shell-less but you’d think they’d change the plate… UGH! Jeremy found a bunch of shells in his too and that of course is a total turn off. That aside our waiter was cute, very sweet and prompt! So I left him a nice tip just the same. In any case it was really nice to sit and catch up with Jeremy. Talked about a few things that would be really good for the site, and just life in general. I made him a photo album of the few pictures I have of us and the various trips he’s taken up here and he really liked that which was good! He brought me some goodies that you can’t buy in Canada so that was extra nice!

My week thus far has sucked, can’t sleep to save my life! Monday I had really odd dreams of the psychologically disturbing sort and it was cold in my room so I kept waking up every freaking hour. Tuesday I had strange dreams again and woke up at 5am cos i had to pee and that was just annoying! I hate when my sleep gets interrupted like that! Throws my whole damn day off! Maybe tonight will be better, I hope so!

In happier news… I have a dental appointment at McGill July 27th! Sucks about the wait but at least I got my foot in the door!

I made cake!

Its banana and its yummy!  My friend/co-worker the pastry guru Krystal was kind enough to pass on her recipe to yours truly so I gave it a spin.  Was is a little over cooked on the bottom because I used loaf pans as opposed to cake pans so it took a little longer to cook in the middle but its no SO bad that its not edible.  Its by and large the EASIEST banana cake recipe I have made to date and this one is definitely a keeper!

I don’t plan on icing it or anything, I like it plain with a little butter as I REFUSE to use margarine!  You know the thing that kills me about margarine is that their target mareket is “heart healthy” or trans fat free and so on.  While these of course are all GOOD qualities for any food margarine is ONE yes ONE molecule away from PLASTIC!  Someone please tell me how that’s SO much better for you then butter?  Yeah no thanks!  I’d rather buy butter and know that even though its not as healthy that it at least comes from a cow and isn’t manufactured in some factory with a ton of stabilizers/oil and God knows what else and is a little too close to becoming Tupperware for my liking.

I also dived into a box of chocolates that I got from a dear friend that lives in the US.  One thing I love is unique food!  Its the Russel Stover “urban” chocolate collection, I have pictures and will do a chocolate review on Thursday as I still need to upload them from my camera.  I’ll tell you, I’m not a die hard chocolate fan unless is HIGH quality chocolate.  I do on occasion like your average chocolate bar of course but for the most part I don’t consume a lot.  I have a box of Lindor chocolates (the petite desserts collection) that I bought in Ontario at Christmas that I still haven’t finished off yet.  Speaking of chocolate bars there’s a new 3 musketeer’s bar that’s chocolate mint and dipped in dark choclate, must try and of course send one to Ania who likes the regular one’s and she can’t get them in her part of the world which is a travesty if you ask me!