KC, you know my niece, Vanessa, the musician from Montreal? She has a gig in town on Friday night but she arrived a few days early to hang with friends & family. We spent much of the day together yesterday and had some excellent food adventures (poor dear, I’m sure there’s nothing good to eat in Montreal).
I wanted to take her to the Terrace Cafe in the new art gallery for lunch – it finally opened and I haven’t been yet. Unfortunately, only gallery patrons have access to the cafe (unlike upscale Zinc which has its own street entrance). Admission to the gallery is $12 which would have made for a very expensive lunch indeed. I wonder how well the cafe will do with only gallery-goers to draw on?
Instead we crossed the street to City Hall and had lunch at Kids In The Hall Bistro. No relation to the comedy troupe – Hall refers to City Hall and the Kids are “at-risk” youth who are getting a chance to acquire work and life skills by staffing a restaurant (read about it here).
Lee joined us for lunch, as did Vanessa’s mom. Lee and I both had a Kids In The Hall Burger which is topped with back bacon, fried mushrooms and Cheddar cheese.
It was delicious – a hand-formed patty (I think), very juicy. I give it extra points for being crowned with a crispy onion ring.
Vanessa and her mom both had the Bistro Club Sandwich, which was a grilled chicken breast, tomato, lettuce, bacon and cheese on a kaiser bun. Vanessa seemed to like it.
For our sides, we all chose the soup of the day – red pepper and sausage. For me it was the highlight of the meal – spicy and chock full of sausage (not sure what kind).
Later Vanessa & I took a walk in the hood. On our way to the ravine we passed this lemonade stand:
The sign says “100% of our earnings go 2 help save endangered animals and their habitats.” When pressed, the kids couldn’t tell us which endangered animals were going to be saved with our 50¢ so I suspect they were going to use the money to buy beer and cigarettes. Beware.
For dinner, we went to Sofra (including V’s mom and the consort). I think you know it’s a Turkish restaurant (have you been?). All the good things I’ve heard about it are true. One of the best restaurant meals I’ve enjoyed in many a moon.
I’m not a big beer fan (I hardly ever drink beer unless it’s accompanied by food), but I really liked this Turkish pilsner (I had two).
They bake their own pita in a wood-fired oven so it’s fresh, fresh, fresh (and coated with sesame seeds). The humus was excellent and packed some heat. The chef wouldn’t tell us what made it so hot, but apparently it’s not cayenne or chili peppers. It definitely had a lot of garlic and black pepper.
Akdeniz salatasi – a salad topped with fried herb goat cheese and dried apricots. We didn’t really need to order a salad since our entrees came with salad, but I’m such a sucker for goat cheese.
The Turkish version of stuffed vine leaves are called dolmas and these ones had raisins and pine nuts in the rice which made them extra sweet and succulent.
My kuzu pirzola (grilled rack of lamb) was very tender and juicy. The seasoning was spicy but it didn’t overpower, and it was cooked the way I like it – medium rare, almost rare. Perfection. I thought the bulghar pilaf was a nice change from rice.
My sister had the kilik baligi kebab (swordfish kebab) which she also really enjoyed.
We were too full for desert so we ended with Turkish tea and coffee and the Turkish delight our waitress brought with the bill (hazelnut flavour).
KC, if you haven’t been, you really need to go.
Posted by Jean Poutine