Posted Aug 2, 2009 in Food, Travel | 0 Comments

Tasty Treats for Wallets That Tweet

Rotisserie Portugalia - Travel Fashions

A little tapped out from all the summer travels. I decided to keep it a little local. I showed you before how to travel to Montreal on a limited budget. Now I’m going to share what I deem as Montreal’s hidden secrets.

First of all, my knowledge of these establishments is from being a member of a secret organization of “heterosexually challenged” individuals with big appetites. The G.G.L.F aka Ghetto Girls Loving Food started about 5 years ago. We were on a search for great tasting, affordable food worthy enough for travel.

These meals go for 12$ maximum, are full of taste and some of the best ethnic treats around.

Meli Melo - Travel Fashions

MELI-MELO 640 Jarry East

A Haitian grocery store. Grocery store? Yes, believe it or not, some of the best meals in this city can be found in the back of stores, alleys, or other obscure locations. I suggest going for lunch, as the dinner take-out crowd can be quite extensive as the portions are large and perfect for families. For 5$ you can have a “mini-griot” meal. This meal comprises of pre-marinated broiled pork chunks with rice and brown beans. The meat can be a bit dry which I kind of prefer with the seasoning but always tasty. If you’re the adventurous kind ask for a little “pick-lees”. These are vegetables soaked in vinegar and hot peppers. A bite of griot and tad of pick-lees definitely sparks your mouth up. Don’t forget to add some fried plantain for a 1$. To wash down the meal try to order some Good-O Kola Champagne. $6

Wilensky’s Light Lunch - Travel Fashions

Wilensky’s Light Lunch   34 Fairmount Ave

This snack shack is an institution. Residing in the same local for decades serving nothing but hot pressed sandwiches in a grainy bun with a dab of mustard. Sounds simple and plain, not so. Between this sandwich and the original soda fountains they have (choose cherry), you have a great lunch. Watch out, they close pretty early. $5

Rotisserie Portugalia  - Travel Fashions

Rotisserie Portugalia    34 Rachel W.

This place has fought for the right to hold the title of best Portuguese grilled chicken. Undoubtedly, the best in my opinion, others who prefer greasier, or blander taste will venture on St-Laurent to eat. However, “some like it hot”.  The GGLF know what they are talking about. We are seasoned veterans from diverse ethnicities, so we know taste and spices.

The chicken is pre-marinated and then topped with Paprika (from what we were told), then grilled over an indoor grill. The trick is to order it extra spicy with a side of fries. Make sure to eat it while it’s hot; the juices that linger in the bottom of the take-out bag are great to dip your white meat in (excuse the pun). The damage is about 11$ but just remember this is a whole chicken so divide that by 2. Just make sure to call in an order an hour before. The chicken is only cooked when ordered, fresh off the grill. Don’t forget to top it off with a cold bottle of Sumol (lemon soda).

My Cahn    1086 St-Laurent

I have to admit I love Asian food but I find that they are fast becoming too commonplace and we are bombarded with mediocre restaurants. Chinese food can be found on every corner and Vietnamese is fast becoming out dated. However, before you give up on Vietnam try My Cahn. I was told about this place by a close Vietnamese friend of mine, who himself owns a chain of restaurants, to go here for the soup. I enjoyed the soup (probably one of the best in Montreal) but actually enjoyed the service. Not because it was amazing but because of the strikingly familiar service. These waiters are obviously  on the lighter side of the fence as the place is commonly known as the gay place in Chinatown. The gossip is so thick here so be prepared to be spoken about in whispered English/French or out front in Vietnamese.

Doby and Andy    1111 St-Urbain (below KamFung Dim Sum)

This is an odd name for a Chinese restaurant. Disregard the name and just go for the home made food. Very simple and very fast but most of all very cheap! You can have a plate of rice with vegetables and meat for 6$. The food is tasty and like usual you don’t go to Chinatown for the décor, service, or cleanliness. Expect to get a confused look when you order as the official languages of Canada are not spoken much in this resto.

I would say you have an amazing view but then again…you don’t, but it’s a view that’s quit busy with pedestrians. Oh just shut it, I like it, go try it out.

La Banquise   994 Rachel E.

We’ve sampled some of the better known ethnic flair. We can’t forget this is Quebec, the locals get a little antsy if you don’t include them. My suggestion is Banquise. It’s a favorite before, during and after hour spot with a patio to boot. You can order from the menu various kinds of poutine..its not just  cheese curds, fries and gravy here. Its religious! Make sure you get the spicy sauce and sit out on the terrace. Under 10$ unless your like and ordering like RASSS!!!!

These are just a few of my choices. Unfortunately, I only have a limited space. I highly encourage you to try these hidden gems. Just one thing, remember to keep an open mind. These are ethnic spots most of them mom and pop shops and do not serve you in the customary North American manner. In some places a smile from the staff can be considered as a miracle. Just go for the food, check it out and enjoy. But if you get the runs…don’t look at me   ;)

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