Posts tagged gourmet
Must Eat Places in Los Angeles

Must Eat Places in Los Angeles-#eggslut-#eggsbenedict-#escaLA-#gourmet-#foodie-#laeats

Local eats for the foodie.

Here is my (extremely modest) list of Must Eat Places in Los Angeles during my short 7-day stay.

Apparently only one restaurant in California made it to the Top 50 Restaurants in the World this year and it was not a Los Angeles restaurant. Notwithstanding the slight, the city is actually brimming with new and unique restaurants popping up in the most unexpected places. You know, those restaurants that you travel an hour to eat at and you wait in line for another hour to get a seat!Here is my list of Must Eat Places in Los Angeles that I suggest you try out if you happen to be in the area. We focused mainly on trendy restaurants where locals go - rather than expensive, celebrity spots. Keep in mind that we stayed in a hotel in Koreatown (all of the hotels in L.A. were booked for E3 2016, which, ironically, was what Warren was in L.A. for), which is west of downtown L.A. and east of Hollywood.Clockwise from left: Chego!, Eggslut, and Villa Morelina1. Chego! 727 N. Broadway, 2nd Floor, Far East Plaza | Located in Chinatown, this little restaurant is famous for its fresh take on Asian fusion with it's "L.A.-in-a-rice-bowl". With dishes called Kimchi Spam Bowl and Kung Pau Noodle bowl, there's a bowl for everyone. You can order the dishes alone, or go with a combo of Ooey Gooey Fries (fries with kimchi etc.) and soft drink. You order first and then wait for your number to be called. We ordered the Chubby Pork Belly Bowl (rice with char siu flavoured pork belly, fried egg, sesame, herbs, chilli, greens, and salsa verde) and mixed it all together before taking a bite. It was simply delicious! The fat from the pork belly glues all of the flavours together  and there's also a bit of heat. The restaurant has very little seating, but there's plenty of picnic tables and benches in the middle of the Plaza to eat your meal. There, you'll join other foodies who have trekked all the way to the Far East Plaza, eating noodles from Pok Pok Phat Thai or Ramen Champ, Nashville-style fried chicken from Howlin Ray's (just opened recently, so beware of the long line), vegan ice cream from Scoops, or coffee  from Endorffeine. According to some L.A. food editors, Chinatown is the new "it" place for food, and I think they might very well be right.2. Eggslut 317 S. Broadway, Grand Central Market | Yes, that is indeed the name of this popular egg-loving food stand. It offers a variety of egg sandwiches, such as the Fairfax, the Cuban, the Egg Salad in fluffy brioche buns, just to name a few. It's name sake, the Slut, is a jar of puree potatoes, topped with a poached egg and slices of toasted bread on the side. I had the Egg Salad sandwich: mashed eggs in their mustard mayo sauce and chives, with a generous portion of arugula, confined in a fluffy and buttery brioche bun. The arugula and chives really gave the sandwich the peppery flavour needed to balance out the mustard mayo. Yum! But did I mention the wait??? OMG we must have been in the order line for at least 20 minutes, and then another 10 minutes waiting for my order. Warren ordered and ate from Villa Maneliana (a stand serving delicious tacos for $2.75! next door) before we were even half-way through the line. I don't think I would visit it again given the wait. I love eggs, but it's also easily something you could cook up yourself, as long as you, like Eggslut devote enough care to include gourmet ingredients. That said, if you're in L.A. for a visit, it's a must-try. 3. Villa Moreliana 317 S. Broadway, Grand Central Market | If the line at Eggslut is too intimidating for you...try the tacos at Villa Moneliana! They were handing out free samples and after one bite, Warren wanted more. Every imaginable part of the pig is used in the meat and nothing is gone to waste. As a result, the meat is juicy, savoury, and tender. You add your own toppings to the tacos, and they have quite the variety. They also gave us very generous portions of meat. Delicious.Clockwise from top right: Atticus Creamery + Pies, The Gumbo Pot, and JJ Bakery & Bosco Bakery Cafe4. Atticus Creamery + Pies | 6015 W. 3rd Street, outside of the Grove| After a sweltering walk out of the Grove, I stopped by Atticus Creamery + Pies for some awesome homemade ice cream and was not for a bit disappointed. The outside of the creamery is quite deceiving as its facade seemed a little tacky to me; inside is all modern, with clean lines and white and black decor. A friendly face invited me in and I tried 2 ice cream samples, the Honey Honeycomb and Raspberry sorbet. I got a scoop of the latter in a cup because the raspberry flavour was so intense and the texture reminded me of a snow cone. I also ordered their signature iced coffee made with milk and sweetened with maple syrup, the Atticus iced latte. The bill came out to be about $8, which is a bit pricey for the ice cream + iced coffee combo, even though I enjoyed both. Although I did not order their pies, Atticus is known for their multi-layered pies such as their peanut butter chocolate, Earl Grey, salted caramel, Oreo cheesecake, and strawberry pistachio pies. Check out their Instagram page to be wowed. Maybe next time.5. The Gumbo Pot | 6333 W. 3rd Street, The Original Farmer's Market| I can't say I was that impressed with Original Farmer's Market by the Grove (the previous weekend I had been in Montreal and I was blown away by how BIG it was and oh all the fresh fruits and vegetables on display there!), but I was impressed with the jambalaya that I had at The Gumbo Pot, which serves New Orlean style dishes. The jambalaya had a just enough heat to it that it cut through my bland palate on a hot day. It came with a side of salad with ranch sauce (slightly brown lettuce which could be remedied easily, so I forgive) and corn bread that was light and sweet, not at all oily. I chatted up with a couple who had ordered the shrimp po'boy and boy was the sandwich ginormous at a foot long! I finished only half of  my meal, so I definitely suggest sharing your meal with a partner; that way you can order 2 dishes and try both.6. JJ Bakery and Bosco Bakery Cafe | 3183 Wilshire Blvd, and 928 S Western Avenue, respectively | Both bakeries are located in Koreatown. JJ Bakery is perhaps more accessible by Metro as it is located on Wilshire Avenue. It prides itself of combining Asian flavours with French pastry techniques. Although there were more "exotic" flavours, such as green tea mocha and red bean fillings, I purchased an almond danish and a Parmesan cheese bread to try (to me, green tea mocha and red bean filling isn't exotic, it's very common in pastries & breads from Hong Kong bakeries, which I frequent). The bread and danish were alright, nothing  particularly special. The crust on the almond danish was a little hard, as it wasn't soft and fluffy, and I found the Parmesan cheese bread oily although the bread was nice a chewy. Later, I went to Bosco Bakery Cafe, which is in the Koreatown Plaza. Their bakery specializes in Korean style pastries, and as expected their pastries were light, fluffy, and not too sweet. I bought a twisted bread with sugar icing and a slice of orange Castellan cake. Both were quite good, and I have to say I preferred those to the pastries I bought at JJ Bakery. Granted, the pastries are very different, and it might be just my preference for lighter and fluffier fares.7. BCD Tofu House 3575 Wilshire Blvd | We were star-ving after our 5 hour flight to L.A. After checking into our hotel, the first thing I wanted was some comfort food. I love tofu and one of my fav dishes is soon tofu, a Korean spicy broth soup with soft tofu. After some quick Google searches, it turned out that BCD Tofu House, a chain of soon tofu restaurants in L.A., was just around the corner. It was opened 24 hours a day and had tons of parking. We got there around 9:00 pm and it was still packed with people, but it was easy for us to get a spot for 2. I ordered a soon tofu with beef and Warren ordered a stone bibimbop. We devoured pretty much all of the small appetizer dishes (we also each got a whole fried fish). When it came to the tofu soup, the broth was light with a ketchup taste to it and the house made tofu was firmer than I was used to. To each their own.Clockwise from top left: POT, EscaLA, and Yangi Gamgatang8. Yangji Gamjatang |3470 W. 6th Street | One of Warren's favourite dishes is gamjatang, otherwise known as pork bone soup, which is made out of pork neck in pork soup, flavoured with chilli, peppercorn, green onion and other spices, served with a side of rice. Yangji's gamjatang was extremely generous with their pork bone - I was even close finishing my portion. We really liked their pork bone; not only was the meat fall off the bone, the pork was slightly grilled on the outside so that the crispier meat on the outside edges contrasted nicely with the tenderness of the inner meat. The soup was also quite nice, as it was light and brothy. It was not spicy at all and in fact, any heat was from the peppercorns topping the dish. Overall thumbs up for this gem of a restaurant.9. POT | 3515 Wilshire Avenue | POT is the brain-child of Roy Choi, the man apparently "responsible for the food-truck revolution and the invention of the Korean taco" according to L.A. Weekly. The restaurant is located on the first floor of LINE Hotel, and upon arrival, you cannot miss the awesome hip-hop beats. The menu is dominated by different types of hot pots to share (they are kept wrong by the glass stove in the middle of each table), along with meat and noodle entrees. Unlike Chinese hot pot in which the whole point is to cook your own food, at POT, the stove in the middle of the table is used only to keep the hot pot warm as the hot pot is ready to serve and eat. Among the four of us, we ordered the Old School hot pot served with rice (with marinated ribeye bulgogi, noodles, kimchi and scallions), the Knock G (octopus, jalapeno, veggies, rice cakes, noodles, spicy BBQ sauce), and a BBQ Galbi (thick beef short-ribs). Highly recommended.10. EscaLA | 3451 W. 6th Street | EscaLA is owned and operated by Chef Chris Oh and Artist & Music Producer turned Entrepreneur, OG Chino, and the dishes on EscaLA's menu reflects their respective cultures: Korean and Colombian. Apparently it is a hub for L.A.'s underground hip hop scene, although when we arrived for brunch at 11:30 am on a Saturday morning, we would have never guessed. The stream of patrons seemed only focused on one objective: trying as much of Colombian food (with Korean touches) as possible. I ordered the Spicy Fried Chicken & Coconut Waffle (Spicy Marinated Chicken / House Made Coconut Waffles / Panela Syrup / Ají Verde / Shaved Street Corn w. Cotíja Cheese & Chili / Sunny Egg), while Warren ordered the Huevos Benedicto (Poached Eggs / Honey Ham / Lime Hollandaise / Achote Potatoes / Over Crispy Colombian Arepas). We also ordered 2 Empanadas, one with a beef filling and one with kimchi and chorizo rice filling, off of their dinner menu. Silly me, I forgot to mention to the server that I couldn't eat cilantro, so unfortunately I couldn't enjoy my Spicy Fried Chicken & Coconut Waffle as much as I should have. The Aji Verde was superbly lime-y and went super well with the Fried Chicken (which reminded me of fried Korean chicken) and the Empanadas. As a Canadian who rarely has Latino food (or access to it), the experience on my palate was well worth it.If you're thirsty...

  • I Love Boba and It's Boba Time |3512 W. 8th Street and  3450 W. 6th Street, respectively| Google "bubble tea" and "Los Angeles" and the term "boba" will pop up. Both I Love Boba and It's Boba Time have the typical bubble tea flavours (including fruity flavours), slushies, and smoothie, however, It's Boba Time also has shaved ice and superfood cups. It's Boba Time is a chain of bubble tea shops in L.A., while I Love Boba appears to be a standalone in Koreatown. Both places appear to charge about the same price for their menu items. Great cold drinks to quench your thirst during a hot L.A. day.

Other spots that we wanted to go to, but did not have the time or was out of the way...

  • Mercado | 7910 W. 3rd Street; 3413 Cahuenga Blvd., and 1416 Fourth Street, Santa Monica | There are 3 locations for this restaurant serving authentic Mexican food. It is highly rated and apparently always busy. We tried to head to the Cahuenga Blvd. location for lunch after attending The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, but it was 38 C outside and it was about a 20 minute walk so we decided to head to the W. 3rd Street location...until we discovered that it opened at 5 pm. Fail.
  • Cha Cha Chili |4625 Valley Blvd | Featured in Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, this little restaurant serves dishes that truly combines Korean and Mexican cuisine. After watching that episode, it was a no brainer that this was a must-go. Unfortunately, it was way out of the way for us (it is located north east of downtown L.A.), and we just couldn't make it out there.


Must Eat Places in Montreal


I went to Montreal this weekend for a four-day bachelorette party getaway, and here is my list of some top must eat places in Montreal.

I just returned from Montreal after a four-day getaway with several friends to celebrate our BFF Natasha’s impending wedding. There were a total of 11 of us + the Bride = 12. Out of the 12 of us girls, 3 of us were expecting and 1 of us was on antibiotics. We also flew in from Toronto at different times, and departed Montreal at different times. It could have all been a logistic mess, but thankfully, it all worked out due to the diligent planning of the bridal party.

If any of you are planning a bachelorette party getaway, Montreal is a fantastic alternative to an all-inclusive resort, especially for us Ontarians. It has a lot of history, a proud Francophone culture, great food, and the Zika virus cannot survive. Believe me, the latter was a deal breaker.

There are flights from Porter and Air Canada that fly right into the Montreal Airport. Although we all flew into the city (there were some fantastic deals at the time), Montreal is also easily accessible by Via Rail, coach, and vehicle.

Montreal also has a growing food scene. For all you foodies out there, I’ve described some of the places we went to below in this Must Eat Places in Montreal post.

The only thing I regretted was not brushing up on my French before I went! Although many of the Uber drivers spoke only French, we were still able to get to our destination fairly quickly without any problems.

I’ve included a map so you can visualize where all the hot spots eats are located. Even if you are not going to Montreal for a bachelorette party, some of the places we hit up are still worth a visit whatever the reason for your trip. Here are the must eat places in Montreal:

1. Courtyard by Marriott Montreal Downtown 380 Boulevard René-Lévesque Ouest | Located in downtown Montreal, the Courtyard is a fairly new hotel with clean rooms and modern aesthetics. It has a full fitness centre, indoor swimming pool, restaurant/bar, and a grab and go counter. Their manager working on the Friday was super friendly, however, he wasn’t able to find 3 adjacent rooms for us to check us in before 3 pm, so we had to wait a bit. Although we mainly used Uber, when we did need a taxi, the concierge called one for us. On the last day, we were able to extend our check out time to 2 pm. Overall, I didn’t have much to complain about the service or the hotel in general.

Montreal-Bachlorette-Party-Itinerary---Olive-et-Gourmando-#foodie-#montreal-#mtl-#pastries-#gourmet2. Olive + Gourmando | 351 Rue Saint-Paul Ouest | A French bistro known for its buttery pastries, cold sandwiches, hot paninis, and organic salads. Located in Old Montreal, it is a stones throw away from the waterfront and downtown Montreal. All of the chalkboard menus are in French, but the servers speak English fluently. I ordered the O + G grill cheese panini, a decadent toasted sandwich comprised of caramelized onions, Raclette and Gouda cheese. I swear it weighed as much as a brick. The sweet and salty definitely hit the spot. I also highly recommend the Big Healthy Salad (with or without chicken) which has quinoa, lentils, sprints Goji berries,  mix of baby greens and herbs, asparagus, and smoked almonds, served with tahini and pomegranate dressing. The restaurant was packed to the brim, and at least 20 people were waiting outside to be called for seats. We ordered take out and then walked down to the waterfront for a picnic. Image courtesy of Olive + Gourmando:

3. Waterfront - We walked along Rue de La Commune Ouest from about Rue Saint-Pierre to Rue St. Denis. During the summer months, there’s a ton of events held here, including nightly fireworks. It was here on the benches and picnic tables scattered along the waterfront that we ate our paninis from Olive + Gourmand. Gazing across the Saint Lawrence Rive, we saw the Habitat 67, a model housing complex designed by Moshe Sadie for Expo 67. You can't miss it.

Montreal-Bachlorette-Party-Itinerary--Le-Bremner-#foodie-#montreal-#mtl-#seafood-#lobster-#risotto-#gourmet4. Le Bremner | 361 Rue Saint-Paul Est | Co-owned by the charismatic Chuck Hughes and located in the basement of a row of historic houses in Old Montreal, Le Bremner is one of those restaurants that take you to the depth of the sea. It specializes in comfort seafood and is the more serious brother compared to the other Chuck Hughes’ restaurant, Garde Manger. In order to find the restaurant, you’ll have to look for it by it’s address as there is no name sign. There is a good variety of seafood on the menu. We ordered the cauliflower with parmagiano reggiano (or pecorino) and the tuna & tahini sashimi. Although the cauliflower was way overpriced (you only get 1/4 of a cauliflower head for $17), the creamy saltiness of the cheese really brought out the sweetness of the cauliflower.  At least half of us ordered the seabream with carrots and salsa verde as it was highly recommended. The fish is served whole, and the server debones it in front of you at your request. I tried my friend’s dish and found the fish extremely savoury. I couldn’t imagine having a whole fish to myself so I ordered the risotto with asparagus and lobster, which came on a plate. On first impression, the presentation was lacking, but it tasted quite good. It was light and flavourful and there was a generous amount of lobster, cooked just right and not rubbery at all. Highly recommend if you enjoy seafood.

5. Le 281 | 94 Rue Sainte-Catherine Est | A bachelorette party is not complete without a trip to le erotic cabaret (somehow the French translation for a strip club sounds much more sensual and less grimy than the English version) and Le 281 is one of the highly rated male strip clubs in Montreal. The men put on a Magic Mike-like show, from being fully clothed to wearing nothing at all. Needless to say, all of the girls quite enjoyed the show, and doubly enjoyed watching the Bride’s squirm whenMontreal-Bachlorette-Party-Itinerary--Frite-Alors--#foodie-#montreal-#mtl-#poutine-#fries-#cheese-#gourmetshe got a lap dance. This isn’t for everyone, but if you intend to do this once in your life time, then it should be at a Bachelorette Party when you can legitimately giggle like a teenage girl again. Admission, $13 per person, $15 per lap dance.

6. Frite Alors | 3497 Boulevard Saint-Laurent | A franchise restaurant in Quebec, Frite Alors serves Belgian fries deep-fried in duck fat. They have a variety of poutine toppings and sauces. Unfortunately if you are a vegetarian or vegan, this won’t be the place for you as they literally have nothing that is not fried or cooked in duck fat. A great place for a midnight snack.

Montreal-Bachlorette-Party-Itinerary---Buonanotte-#montreal-#bacheloretteparty-#montreal-#drinks7. Buonanotte | 3518 Boulevard Saint-Laurent | Buonanotte is a restaurant during the day and a club at night. They play mainly top 40 hip hop, and some early 2000 hip hop later at the night. If you’re in your 30’s you’ll love the music. The bottle service you might not like as much. I’ve never been to a club with bottle service where there was no true booth or cushioned seating and your “booth” was a 4 person table with a few chairs (we actually stole a few chairs from another booth), for 11 people. Although the bottles were not particularly expensive (we got a 750 ml bottle of Grey Goose and a bottle of gin for about $520 plus tax and tips), and the service was consistent (the bus boy was pretty good at clearing our used glasses and empty cans), it didn’t feel like we were being wined and dined. That said, the music was pretty good, it was not too crowded, we had great company amongst ourselves, and we got 80% of the bachelorette dares completed, so it ended up being a fun night.

Montreal-Bachlorette-Party-Itinerary---Lawrence-#foodie-#montreal-#mtl-#pastries-#brunch-#scones-#tea-#gourmet8. Lawrence | 5201 Boulevard Saint-Laurent | We had brunch here after anight of strip club and clubbing, and boy did this continue the overindulgence! The menu is chockfull of hearty, meaty dishes in generous portions. For sure, it did not have your typical English bacon and eggs dishes, instead, the thick cut bacon and runny or baked eggs had a side of pork kidneys, pork feet, or polenta hash brown (not surprising, very yummy). Thankfully we had made reservations, otherwise, it would have been next to impossible to grab a seat for 12 people on a Saturday morning.

9. Boulevard Saint-Laurent  & Avenue du Mont-Royal Est | There are numerous cute boutiques, small art galleries, and unique eats along Boulevard Saint Laurent, and the vibe reminds me of a more refined version of Queen Street West (west of Ossington) in Toronto. If you head east on Avenue du Mont-Royal, there is a mix of local retail and well-known brand name retail stores, along with thrift shops. While we were there, they had a food and street festival going on.

10. Gibeau Orange Julep | 7700 Boulevard Décarie | Not worth the drive or the time to outer Montreal where it is located. If you like orange juice that is fresh squeezed and then sweetened to creaminess, you will love the drink that Gibeau Orange Julep is so famous for. But if you want fresh squeezed orange juice straight from an orange, then this is not for you. Most of us did not enjoy the juice. It tasted artificial, unnaturally creamy, and unnaturally sweet. If you are a foodie, you will be disappointed. Skip this. It is not even worth locating on my map, however, I thought I would mention it as it was, for some unknown reason, frequently cited on travel blogs. 

Montreal-Bachlorette-Party-Itinerary---Cadet-#foodie-#montreal-#mtl-#dinner-#gourmet11. Cadet | 1431 Boulevard Saint-Laurent | Loved this restaurant! Newly opened in late April by the same owners of Bouillon Bilk, the interior is bright and decor simple with straight clean lines. It was so new that the washrooms were still under construction and we had to use the washrooms of the adjacent restaurant. All of the dishes on the  menu are meant for sharing between 4 or or fewer people. What I enjoyed the most was the complexity of flavours and textures in each dish. I would have a preconceived idea of how a dish would taste, and when I actually ate it, it would blow my mind because it didn't taste as expected! We ordered an asparagus dish that was to die for, and their salmon sashimi exploded with flavour. Six of us ordered about 10-12 dishes to share. We finished with a banana split with cardamon ice cream, coffee sauce, and strawberries, as well as a peppered strawberry tart. Every dish was amazing. It helped that we had a super friendly and cute server. Highly recommend. Montreal-Bachlorette-Party-Itinerary---Schwartz's-#foodie-#montreal-#mtl-#dinner-#smokedmeat-#gourmet

12. Schwartz’s | 3895 Boulevard Saint-Laurent | Every time we pass by Montreal, we stop by Schwartz’s for their famous smoked meat deli sandwiches. Over the years, their portions have been reduced and you no longer get a pickle on the side, but their meat continues to make my mouth water every time. Many famous celebrities have eaten there evident by the numerous framed celebrity photos exhibited all over the diner walls. You order your food with a waiter and pay by cash at the front after you’re done eating. It opens at 10:30 am for hot meals, so 2 of us went to line up around 9:30 am to make sure that we had a table for the 11 of us. You can also buy their seasoning and/or smoked meat either fresh or packaged at the counter next to the restaurant. Unfortunately, their menu is extremely limited so if you are a vegetarian be prepared not to be able to eat anything there at all other than coleslaw.

Montreal-Bachlorette-Party-Itinerary---Marche-Jean-Talon-#foodie-#montreal-#mtl-#farmersmarket-#market-#fruits-#gourmet13. Marche Jean-Talon | 7070 Avenue Henri Julien | We went to Marche Jean-Talon, a farmer’s market, for Sunday afternoon. Thank goodness we had that planned as it was raining cats and dogs. It is partially indoor with the remaining sections covered by a large tent. They have stalls and stalls of locally grown fruits and vegetables. We just had to sample some for tasting, and we couldn’t help but buy a few pints of raspberries and tomatoes. There are also a number of shops selling locally made cheeses, herbs, pastries, pies, fresh cut flowers, seafood, fois gras etc. Most of them offer samples. Overall a great food market with a variety of shops. 

14. Kazu | 1862 Rue Saint-Catherine | I always find it interesting to eat Asian food in other cities, and Kazu’s Japanese-inspired dishes did not disappoint. It is similar to Guu and other iyazaki restaurants that are so popular these days. If you want to get one of their 25 seats, you have to arrive at least an hour earlier than their open time of 5:30 pm. Even by 5:00 pm there was already a line up forming outside of the restaurant. Apparently they are famous for their housemade tofuMontreal-Bachlorette-Party-Itinerary---Kazu-#foodie-#montreal-#mtl-#japanese-#tofu-#izakaya-#fusion-#gourmet and shrimp burgers. I can’t say I was that impressed by their housemade tofu; to me, it was simply soft tofu sitting in a bowl of soya sauce with a seaweed garnish. It wasn't particularly soft or smooth or sweet. Tofu is my absolute favourite food so my expectations were perhaps a bit high.  Their shrimp burger was fantastic though - it was like a shrimp taco with lettuce and mayonnaise sauce but in a burger. Most of the other dishes had a salad on the side, which is more veggies than most of us had on this entire trip; my only complaint is that the salad all tasted the same. We ordered several dishes to share among the 8 of us. I enjoyed their 48 hour pork bowl, which was a bowl of rice, salad, and sliced pork in a sweet sauce, as it reminded me of Taiwanese minced meat…which isn’t technically Japanese. You will also enjoy their Tuna Salmon Salad Rice Bowl if you like to mix salad with rice and protein.


15. Le Cartet | 106 Rue McGill | This French bistro serves light brunch and lattes. There are many egg options, including my favourite combination, goat cheese and scrambled egg. Most dishes come with potatoes roasted in duck fat, and a small salad of fresh greens. They also specialize in lattes, and offer gourmet food products to purchase.

16. St. Viateur Bagel Shop | 263 Rue Saint Viateur Ouest | Famous for serving Prince Charles (and making him wait in line like all their other customers), St. Viateur Bagel Shop makes all of their bagels Montreal-style: they are smaller than other bagels with larger centres, boiled in honey water before being baked in a stone oven. I find Montreal bagels chewier and sweeter than other types of bagels. They come in plain, poppy, sesame, all-dressed, whole wheat, multi-grain, cinnamon & raisin, flax, and rosemary, and can be purchased inMontreal-Bachlorette-Party-Itinerary---St.-Viateur-Bagel-Shop singles, 1/2 dozen, or 1 dozen. If you buy the all-dressed bagels, make sure you tie the bag tightly otherwise, the smell of garlic will follow you everywhere! I regret buying only 1/2 a dozen of bagels because Warren and I gobbled them all up within 3 days.

17. Old Montreal | East of Rue McGill, South of Avenue Viger, West of Rue Berri |  A must go. I would recommend spending more time west of Rue Saint-Paul, where the smaller boutique fashion stores and restaurants are located. Although I usually feel nostalgic when walking on cobbled streets, the section of Rue Saint-Paul east of Boulevard Saint-Laurent has become so tourist-sy, with numerous souvenir stores peppering the street, that I would avoid that section all together. 


Phew! That was a long rehash of our Montreal Bachelorette Party Itinerary! I hope it is helpful to any of you who might be heading to Montreal for a weekend getaway.

On Sunday, I will be heading to L.A. for our babymoon. Warren will be there for a three-day conference. Right now, I'm more excited about the potential foods I'll eat (oh my goodness) rather than celebrity sightings (meh, whatever).  Stayed tune for another rehash. I promise it'll be worthwhile.


Garlic Lemon Butter Roasted Chicken

Garlic Lemon Butter Roasted Chicken that is simply delicious. Share this recipe with others! #chicken #lemon #butter #garlic #gourmet #organicI don't often make a roast chicken, other than on special occasions, but when I do, I often crave it with skin as crispy as chips and meat that's savoury and juicy - exactly what I would expect from this recipe for a garlic lemon butter roasted chicken.  I can't imagine any better combination than garlic + lemon butter. Garlic gives any seasoning depth, and lemon butter infuses just enough fat and citrus to produce a tender roast.When I make roast chicken, I prefer to go organic. I happened to have a Yorkshire Valley Farms whole organic chicken from Fortinos lying around. When I buy organic meats from Yorkshire Valley Farms (or any other reputable organic farm), I know that the animal I am consuming is grain fed and raised without harmful antibiotics. It's no wonder that their chicken meat is noticeably more firm, and the breasts much larger than non-organic chicken.Garlic-Lemon-Butter-Roasted-Chicken-ingredients-#chicken-#lemon-#butter-#garlic-#gourmet-#organicNot surprisingly, I don't have a roasting pan with a rack. Instead, I use either my Le Creuset round French oven or my Pampered Chef stone baking pan and layer the bottom with root vegetables  to prop the roast up. This way, the heat can circulate better below the roast as well as above.garlic lemon butter roasted chicken with potatos, onions, carrots and asparagusYou can roast almost any type of vegetables with the chicken, keeping in mind that the roast will be in the oven for about an hour so the vegetables should be able to withstand the heat for that long without becoming mushy. I picked up some asparagus since it is currently in season and placed them in the oven with the roast. Needless to say, they got super soft and stringy. So the next time, I would either wait until the 50 minute mark to put them in the roast, or I would just saute them separately.garlic lemon butter roasted chicken with potatos, carrots, onions and asparagus recipeFinally, I find that you really can't go THAT wrong with a roast once you know what you want to season it with. I usually just guestimate the amount of salt and pepper I need, and in this recipe that's exactly what I have done - guestimated the amount for most of the seasoning, including the garlic and butter. I find that the use of salt, pepper, and garlic powder marinates the chicken extremely well, even if you only have 1 hour between marination and roasting time. Just a reminder: garlic powder is quite salty, so if you do apply it to the chicken, you may want to be less generous with the salt + pepper.Garlic Lemon Butter Roasted Chicken with potatoes, carrots, onions, and asparagusThe garlic lemon butter is entirely optional - I have made roasted chicken without it and the chicken still turns out juicy and savoury - but sometimes I just want to make a dish that is a bit more special and that's when I will make it with the garlic lemon butter. The garlic and lemon adds extra depth to the taste of the meat and is really enjoyable on the palate. Let me know if it reminds you of a butterball chicken.We never finish the entire garlic lemon butter roasted chicken, especially the white meat. The leftovers make a mean chicken salad sandwich, or can be used to make chicken soup. Whatever your heart desires.Now I wonder why I don't roast chickens more often! I mean it's a 2-in-1 meal (with plenty of leftover for another meal) AND I can just leave it in the oven for an hour and do the laundry at the same time!


Garlic Lemon Butter Roasted Chicken
Recipe Type: Entree
Cuisine: Canadian
Author: Jessie Chui
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 to 5
Juicy roasted chicken with simple ingredients
  • 1 organic whole chicken (2.2-3 lb or 1.2-1.4 kg)
  • 1-2 Tbsp salt & pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp thyme or other herb (optional)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large lemon
  • assorted root vegetables (eg. potatoes, onion, carrots etc.)
  1. Pat the inside and outside of the organic whole chicken to remove excess moisture. Remove any giblets that may be inside the chicken. Loosen the skin from the meat of the entire chicken by pushing your fingers/hand gently in between.
  2. Make the garlic lemon butter: Mix the olive oil into the butter. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon into the butter. Crush and mince 1-2 cloves of garlic. Using your fingers, add the garlic into the olive oil/lemon/butter mix and then season with salt and pepper. The warmth from your fingers should make the butter quite malleable.
  3. Distribute chunks of the garlic lemon butter in the space between the skin and meat of the breasts, back, and thighs. Rub any remaining garlic lemon butter on the outside of the chicken.
  4. Season the skin (and cavity) generously with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  5. Place the cut lemon into the cavity. You can also place additional crushed garlic and onion into the chicken's cavity as well. Let the seasoned chicken sit for at least an hour in the fridge (ideally, up to 24 hours prior to roasting).
  6. When ready to roast, preheat your oven to 450 F. Wash and chop up your root vegetables to be placed at the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with thyme or any other herb you desire.
  7. Place the seasoned chicken, breast up, on the roasting rack or chopped vegetables. You may want to truss the chicken.
  8. Immediately reduce the heat of the oven to 400 F before putting the chicken into the oven. Set the timer for 50 minutes.
  9. At 50 minutes, check the temperature of the chicken at the thickest part of the thigh. It should read between 165 F and 180 F. Put the chicken back into the oven at 10 minute intervals until it reaches the required temperature. Basting the chicken with the juices at the bottom of the pan will create a crispier skin.
  10. Once it reaches the required temperature, take the chicken out of the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes before eating. Place a piece of aluminum foil, tented, over the chicken.

Garlic Lemon Butter Roasted Chicken with potatoes, onions, carrots and asparagussignature-4v