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Posts Tagged ‘C-’

Perhaps it would be fairer if judgment were withheld until classes start again, but I don’t see myself going back to this tiny canteen. On-campus cafés tend to close or substantially downsize during the summer when students go home and faculty go travelling. It’s possible that the latter happened to this mini cafeteria. At least, one would hope that that was the case. When I stopped by at the start of July, all there was to eat were two watery self-serve soup kettles, some prepared sandwiches and individual cups of apple butter (to spread on what, one might ask?) and what looked to be a to-order sandwich counter. There may also have been coffee. Considering the size of the building, and that it is filled with doctors and medical students, the meagre offerings were very surprising.

Metro: Peel

3655 Promenade Sir William Osler and Rue Peel

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It is impossible to go to the F Bar without comparing it to its neighbor, Brasserie T!. The building architecture is the same, the inside set up is the same, and yet it is not to Ferreira Cafe what Brasserie T! is to Toque. Granted, I have not yet been to Ferreira Cafe, but there was a singular lack of attention to detail that is uncharacteristic from a place associated with a successful, high-end restaurant.

It was a weekday, it was during the bustle of Francofolies, but it was 6:15pm, the music outside hadn’t yet started, and the restaurant was only half-full. Still, they made me sit at the bar, watching Casablanca on their flat-screen tv.

There were but a few things on the menu, and I chose the beef/foie gras burger “with a wink to Daniel Boulud,” though I am certain that Mr. Boulud’s version did not resemble the half-hearted thing on my plate. The pattie was an unappetizing grey, it was well-done, greasy, not seasoned well, and I could not taste any foie gras. Plus, there was a repulsive layer of mayonnaise coating the bottom of the bun (had it been in the menu description, I would have forgoed it). The greens tossed in oil that accompanied the burger could have used some sort of seasoning or acid, and only succeeded in falling on my skirt and soiling it. Ten minutes into eating, the bartender came back and I was finally able to get ketchup for my half-eaten fries. The man sitting nearest to me at the bar had ordered some sort of salmon that came in a stainless steel pot, and I was actually nauseated by the aromas emanating from it.

Normally, I find myself ordering dessert at disappointing restaurants, not because I want more of the same, but because I am unwilling to let the meal end on a low note food-wise, and this is how I came to order the apple vanilla purée, tea infused figs, ginger crumble, goat milk frozen yogurt. The dessert was good, and was an interesting, sophisticated presentation of texture and flavors, and all qualities I would have appreciated at the start of my meal. My decaf cappuccino was also good.

By the time I got dessert – and it took a while to get – I wanted to leave immediately. It took an eternity for the bar tender to come back to me, longer for her to get me my check after I reminded her, and then she had me wait uncomfortably by the cash, dodging laden servers and customer alike in the cramped space, for me to pay. I wanted to run out of there, to be free of the insipid music playing on a loop throughout my meal, of the hostesses and servers standing around and chatting away about nothing at all instead of actively doing something job-related, and of the idea that I could have walked twenty feet more to get to a truly satisfying dinner at Brasserie T! instead of wasting a meal, time, and money on such a disappointing experience. This was the level and service and quality of food that would have been expected from a second- or third-rate resto, and not from a place affiliated with one of the most expensive restaurants in the city. I hope this experience was a fluke, and perhaps I will give them another chance when my anger recedes, but for now I have no desire to return to this establishment or recommend it to anyone else.

metro: Places des Arts

1485 rue Jeanne-Mance and rue Saint-Catherine Ouest

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Charles Dickens supposedly wrote one of his lesser known novels in a back corner of this otherwise nondescript and forgettable resto. I cannot recommend this resto, unless you are a starving tourist in Old Montreal who values quantity over quality.

While my four lamb ribs were delicious, juicy, and well-seasoned, the pesto pasta they accompanied lacked all flavor, color, texture and volume – this is unfortunate coming from a restaurant named after pasta. Pesto is hardly a difficult sauce to pull off. My husband, who wasn’t hungry to begin with, made do with the limited salad bar option which came with my main course. If one considers the bread basket, salad bar, and main course together, than this is a “value” restaurant. The waitress, while friendly enough, was spacey and unresponsive.

Markedly out of place was a blackboard filled with a wine list of expensive boutique wines from all over the world, in odd contrast to the value food menu; neither the decor, the menu offerings, nor service seem to warrant such oenological grandeur.

metro: Champ de Mars

273 rue Saint-Paul Est and rue Saint-Claude

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One downside of working for a university is that the staff/student calendars don’t always coalesce. This Monday, I went to the Law Café, Thomson House, SSMU (student center), and McGill Bookstore (thinking there was a café there, and finding myself mistaken), making my way down McTavish Street until I finally entered the Bronfman building’s tepid and inappropriately named canteen. Boasting only pathetic and unsatisfying pre-made sushi made with a disturbing amount of mayonnaise and a noodle station…maybe a few cookies and salads, too…this is my last choice at which to eat on campus, even after the Faculty Club and Subway. Perhaps the only thing going for this place are the two TVs tuned into the news.

metro: McGill

1001 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest and Rue McTavish

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This mediocre sushi restaurant in downtown Portland was rated subpar for two major reasons:

Reason 1: Mystery food. My pickle salad appetizer had pickled daikon, pickled ginger, and a mass of mysterious beet-dyed pickled slivers that I thought might be pickled plums. It didn’t taste bad, but I prefer informed eating. The waitress didn’t know what it was, the cooks couldn’t identify it – I was going to have to wait for the manager to come back for identification. As the manager hadn’t returned by the time I was ready to leave, I’ll never know.

Reason 2: Bad rice. It’s glaringly obvious when rice is poorly cooked, and the rice here was gluey and unpleasant in my mouth. The fact that it was slightly warm under each piece of fish, which I usually prefer in sushi dishes, did not help the fact that it was overcooked using too much water.

606 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205-3401 USA

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My husband found this Spanish resto not far from McGill. A full yet sad-looking lobster tank sits by the window table by the door. As per many low to mid-level restos in Montreal, the interior is somewhat rundown and decoration is limited to a couple of weathered paintings, like the requisite matador and bull. A postage stamp-sized stage nestles in the middle of the room – for music? For a lone flamenco dancer? Who knows?

Food and beverage were not bad, but also not notable. The sangria Espagne was refreshing, sweet, and not too alcoholic. The soup of the day, potato leek, was thin yet well-seasoned and hot. Paella was small enough for one, slightly dry and overcooked. Generic flan dessert.

Metro: Place-des-Arts

3507 Ave. du Parc at Rue Milton

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This tiny, bustling food court-style cafeteria has a mini Tim Hortons, deli sandwiches, salads, swarmas, sushi, and pizza. Unfortunately, it gets extremely crowded when it’s too cold to sit outside, so expect to eat somewhere else or on the floor in the annex with the rest of the students. This is the sort of place that study fiends migrate to when they can’t bear to be far from the library or venture outside in between classes; otherwise, there are more pleasant and less rushed lunch options around campus.

metro: McGill

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