Sunday, March 28, 2010

Eggspectation - Oeufs Savoureux (Montreal, QC)



After dropping off our beloved rental car, shown: here and here, we were ready to grab some breakfast before hitting up the streets of Montreal. After looking over Lonely Planet's suggestions, we found an Eggspectation close by to our hotel, so off to get some oeufs (eggs) we go! By the way, I was being sarcastic in regards to our rental car. PT Cruiser? Meh.....


Banango - Banana, Mango, & OJ


Page - Strawberry, banana, blueberry, kiwi, honeydew, papaya, pineapple, cantaloupe, and OJ

Before going over the breakfast menu, we decide to order some smoothies. My buddy B went with the Banango with a shot of rum. A more exciting way to start of the morning! While my buddy Morg and myself went with the Page, without the extra kick of alcohol. Hey, what can I say, we're good boys! :)

Toast & Maple Syrup

Toast w/ Maple Syrup


Eggstravaganza - 2 eggs, 2 french toast, sausages, potatoes, fruit


Eggwhat? - Corned beef hash, two eggs, toast, potatoes, fruit


Eggspectation - Three egg omelette w/ mushroom, onion, sausage, peppers, bacon, ham w/ grilled potatoes and fruit

We decided to get three separate items off the menu. Even though I did not taste the first two items my friends ordered, they seemed to enjoy it. I decided to go with the namesake of this restaurant, the Eggspectation. Although the food did not blow me away in any shape or form, it did hit the spot on a cloudy spring morning in Montreal.

How does Eggspectation compare to a say an IHOP or Denny's here in the US? I'd say I much prefer the food at Eggspectation. Though, come with no expectations, other than getting some delicious egg dishes, or as the French people say, "oeufs savoureux!" There are quite a few Eggspectations in Canada and Eastern parts of the United States, so get your egg on! Au Revoir!

1313 De Maisonneuve West
Montreal, Quebec H3G 2R9
(514) 842-3447
Official Website

Sunday, March 21, 2010

La Banquise - Poutine Heaven! (Montreal, QC)

Resto La Banquise 24th

La Banquise

As I was planning my trip to Montreal, my buddy from Canada told me I must eat two things when I get to Montreal: Poutine and Smoked Meat from Schwartz.

"Poutine, WTF is poutine??" I thought to myself....

Thankfully, he gave me this link and I was able to discover the magic dish of Montreal named poutine.

In addition, I caught the video of Bourdain on his trip to Quebec where he discovered poutine, and notably, the poutine selection at La Banquise. (Start at the 7:20 mark)

Basically, to the poutine novice out there, the building blocks of a good poutine are three things: crispy fries, rich gravy, and some good squeaky cheese curds. Sounds simple? Yes, but it's wonderfully delicious, especially for those harsh winters of Montreal.

As our travels went from Rochester to Montreal lasted until 3AM, once we finally arrived and settled in our hotel, the first thing I could think of was poutine at La Banquise. Thus, I persuaded my buddies to join me on a last night snacking run, and I'm glad I did.

Classique Poutine

Poutine Classique (5.6 CAD)

3 Viandes

Poutine Trois viandes (7.8 CAD)

Since it was late, the three of us decided to share two types of poutine. We first went with the classic poutine, and the other, was a three meat (minced meat, pepperoni, and bacon). The portions were huge, and we only went with the small plates of poutine. The poutine was simple, hearty, but 100% delicious! The fries were crispy, the gravy was rich, and the cheese curds were simply fantastic! The only regret was not being able to try the other interesting poutine choices La Banquise offers. On the menu, there are over 22 different choices of poutine! I can't wait to go back and try a few more.

Dining RoomLe SignOutside La Banquise

All in all, it was a wonderful introduction to Montreal's signature dish of poutine. Even though it's more of a fast food poutine restaurant, it's open 24/7, so you'd be able to satisfy your poutine craving anytime. La Banquise is definitely a must visit, and I'll definitely revisit for more poutine action on my return visit to Montreal. Trés Bien~

Final Rating: 8 out of 10

La Banquise Resto
994 Rue Rachel Est
Montreal, QC H2J 2J3, Canada

(514) 525-2415
Official Website

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dinosaur BBQ - Rawr! Quick Stop in USA (Rochester, NY)

Outside shot of Dinosaur BBQ

Dinosaur BBQ

After our stop at Niagara Falls and Tim Hortons, my travel companions and I made a run for the border and came back to the good ol' US of A. Originally, we were planning a stop in Buffalo for some wings, but since we had already tried some at Duff's in Toronto, we instead located a BBQ restaurant in Rochester to get our grub on!


Dining Room

Upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted with numerous bikers chillin' on the patio outside Dinosaur BBQ, quite an intimidating sight. As we spoke to the hostess about getting a seat, we were told it'll be a wait in the upwards of 90mins. It looked like eating at Dinosaur BBQ would be an even bigger intimidating sight! Fear not, our trusty hostess pointed us to the To-Go counter where we could eat some tasty BBQ in the comforts of our homes. While we don't know where to take our food, we knew we had to get in line, stat! So now, what to order......

Pulled Pork Sandwich (I believe)

Pulled Pork Sandwich

One of my friends went with the pulled pork sandwich. Looked like a great choice as he chowed down hungrily at the sandwich!

MmmmmBeef Brisket Sandwich

Brisket Sandwich

I, on the otherhand, went with the beef brisket sandwich. Tender, juicy, and 100% effing delicious! Us hungry travelers destroyed those sandwiches in a matter of minutes.

Mashed Potatoes and crazy, pasta salad, and rice & gravy

Top: Crazy Pasta Salads, Left: Mashed Potatoes & Gravy Right: Dirty Rice

Another shot of my 2 sides

My 2 sides of: Mac 'N Cheese and Green Bean Salad

We can't forget the sides, right? I enjoyed both of the ones I picked. Mac 'N Cheese and some cool salad to finish off the meal. I love a good BBQ!

I loved my Jolt!

And I washed everything down with a Jolt! Why can't we find some Jolt drinks in California?? This one bottle kept me up from Rochester to Montreal! Yes, this Cherry Bomb, was da Bomb!

Eh, so where did we eat our meal you ask? Well, look no further than outdoor benches at the Rochester Public Library:

Rochester Public Library

As the three of us continued our journey into Montreal, we bid au revoir to Rochester as we jetted toward Montreal, the home of the poutine!

Crossing the US/Canada border

Yes, even though the border patrol officer gave us, three Asian Dudes from California that were driving a Cool *barf* PT Cruiser a lot of shit, we still love you America! Yes officer, smirk all you want when we told you we're Computer Engineers and a Stockbroker. Be an Asshole! We were only coming back to America for the BBQ!

Final Rating: 7.5 out of 10

99 Court St
Rochester, NY 14604
(585) 325-7090
Official Website

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Petrossian - DineLA. Round 2. Still Awesome! (West Hollywood)



Hey Angelinos! Yes, I'm still a Los Angeles based food blogger, even though I was and will still post about Canada and New York City in the coming months. Though for now, I'll step back and discuss one of my favorite restaurants here in the City of Angels.

After my last visit to Petrossian, I was looking forward to a return trip to Petrossian. However, after my recent trip to New York and Philadelphia, I was gearing towards simple meals for the first part of 2010. However, things changed with a few friends from College asked if I was interested in doing dineLA this time around, and with Petrossian back on the list, I figured, why not?



Since there were 3 of us, it's obvious the "gamut" style was the way to go, as we ordered all 9 things on the dineLA menu. Again, during dineLA, it's $44/person, which was an insanely good deal!

Caviar Pizza

Caviar Pizza - Crème fraîche, capers, red onion

As we waited for our food, Chef Ben Bailly started off our party with a Caviar Pizza. The crispy thin crust was filled with Crème fraîche, capers, red onion, and finished off with an ample serving of caviar. Simply delicious! So good that my two friends fought for the last slice of pizza. That should tell you something about this dish.

Tsar Cut Salmon SamplerTsar Cut Salmon Sampler

Tsar Cut Salmon Sampler - Classic, dill, black sea spice

Three various types of smoked salmon, and all quite delicious. Topped with some lemon and capers, it's quite nice. Simple, but one of the must gets at Petrossian.

Green Bean Salad

Green Bean Salad - Burrata, marcona almond, caviar

The light burrata cheese went quite well with the green beans. Surprisingly, the flavors meshed quite well. The almonds added a nice crunchy texture, while the caviar added the extra salty flavor this dish needed. Very nice.

Shrimp Papillotte

Shrimp Papillotte - Passion fruit, chilli / ginger sauce

Ah....the shrimp papillotte, a dish I had on my previous visit. I likened it to a crispy fried wonton meets shrimp tempura, but much better. The spicy and sweet sauce is the real kicker, and makes the dish work. I liked it last time, and my perception hasn't changed. A must order!

Caviar SurpriseCaviar SurpriseCaviar Surprise

Caviar Surprise - King crab, apple jelly

This dish was featured on kevinEat's tasting menu, but in reality, I was there the night the dish came to fruitation. The excited staff, and Chef Ben Bailly himself wanted us try the tin caviar dish that night. The mix of caviar, crème fraîche, king crab, apple jelly was fantastic. The layers of texture, taste was unique and refreshing. I really enjoyed the sweetness of the apple jelly, and king crab, with the slight tartness of the crème fraîche, finished off with the brininess of the caviar. Fantastic!

Black Truffle Mac N CheeseBlack Truffle Mac N Cheese

Black Truffle Mac 'N Cheese - Orrechiette, bacon, parmesan

Did you expect me to come here and NOT order the Mac 'N Cheese? The flavors of the bacon, the parmesan, and the truffles were bombtastic! It's so good, my friend kept the bowl towards his side of the table. I don't think I need to describe this dish any further than just order it. If you go to Petrossian for lunch, just get this mac 'n cheese and you'd be set. Thanks!

Crispy Peanut EggCrispy Peanut Egg

Crispy Peanut Egg - White asparagus veloute, caviar, mache

Here we have a soft poached egg, breaded in peanuts and fried. I loved the runny yoke from the egg going into the asparagus veloute. The taste is light and the caviar comes in due to the salty taste to balance out the dish. An important element to this particular dish.

Halibut Brandade

Halibut Brandade - Sunny egg, piquillo pepper, black olive oil

The halibut brandade I liked a lot. I enjoyed the egg mixed in with the halibut puree, which created a much creamier taste and texture. Served with the given toast, I enjoyed it a lot!

Braised Pork Belly

Braised Pork Belly - Soft polenta, balsamic relish onion

What we have here is a delicious pork belly, cooked to perfection. Beneath that, we have a bed of buttery polenta with a tart balsamic sauce to accompany the dish. Good, yes. Fantastic? Definitely. I'd have to say, it's my favorite entree of the night between the three choices. I mean, who doesn't like a well cooked pork belly?

Sicilian Pistachio Creme BruleePetrossian Chocolate MoelleuxVanilla Panna Cotta, Strawberry JamVanilla Panna Cotta, Strawberry Jam

From top: Sicilian Pistachio Creme Brulee, Middle: Petrossian Chocolate Moelleux, Bottom (2): Vanilla Panna Cotta, Strawberry Jam

I'll combine the dessert review as it's quite similar to the dessert offering from my first visit besides the strawberry panna cotta instead of the peach version. Quite simply, very very solid! The desserts are light, refreshing, and a great way to finish up a fantastic meal. The creme brulee as I mentioned before, fantastic! Especially if you're a pistachio fan like myself. The Chocolate Moelleux was not too rich, but instead, quite delicate. Finished off with a pistachio ice cream. Very nice! Finally, the strawberry panna cotta. It's not too sweet, just the way I like it. Another solid preparation of panna cotta.

Dining Room

Dining Room

All in all, another fantastic meal at Petrossian. My two dining companions were equally impressed with the food, service, and Chef Bailly himself. I like the simple, but clean decor of the restaurant, but the important part of this place is the food. I do hope Petrossian would allow Chef Bailly to explore more with his skills, because I know he can do even more than what I've seen so far. I'm actually going back to Petrossian tonight and I'm looking forward to some more delicious grubbin'! Thanks again Chef and see you soon!

Petrossian West Hollywood
321 North Robertson Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90048
(310) 271-6300
Official Website
Petrossian Boutique & Cafe in Los Angeles

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tim Hortons - Yes, I Tried The McDonald's Of Canada (Niagara Falls, Canada)

Tim Horton's

Tim Hortons at Niagara Falls

Prior to my trip to Canada, I was told of Tim Hortons by my buddy Sam and how I'd see it everywhere I went in Canada. True to his words, it was indeed in every corner on the streets of Toronto, though we really didn't make time to try it out. That held true until we made our stop at Niagara Falls.

Tim Horton's

Turkey Bacon Sandwich

After driving out from Toronto, and making at a stop at the world famous Ice Wine vineyard, Inniskillin, we finally reached Niagara Falls. Starving, we quickly found the visitor's center and saw a Tim Hortons. With a limited food selection around the area, we decided on getting lunch at Tim Hortons (even though we heard this guy yelling "Fresh Sushi, here!"). I ended up going with the BLT sandwich combo with a choice of doughnut. The BLT sandwich was edible, cured my hunger, but that's about it. Sorry for the blurry picture, as using a dSLR camera while shooting the sandwich placed on your lap wasn't a wise idea.

Tim Horton'sTim Horton's

Tim Hortons' Custard filled Doughnut

In reality, these doughnuts are fine, but they're definitely not anything I had at Doughnut Plant. But hey, it's sweet, and filled with custard, so I'm A OK with these!

Tim Horton's!Tim Horton's!

Top: Ice Cappuccino, Bottom: Frozen Cappuccino

How could I not get a Tim Horton's coffee drink to put the final touches to my Tim Horton's experience? So what do I think? Think Tim Horton's coffee like a poor man's version of McDonald's coffee drinks. It does its job, but it's nothing special other than it's a vehicle for caffine.

I'm glad I was able to try Tim Hortons, but unless there's no other restaurants around, like at Niagara Falls, I doubt I'd make a return visit on my next Canada trip. I can see why people go, as it's damn convenient, but the food, drinks, and dessert were all pretty average.

I'll end this post with a few shots of Niagara Falls...

More shots of the HorseshoeThe Mighty Niagara Fall (Horseshoe)On top of the HorseshoeAmerican FallsThe famous ride into Niagara

Final Rating: 5 out of 10

Tim Hortons
6650 Niagara Parkway
Niagara Falls ON, L2G 4C8
Tel: (905) 354-7790
Official Website