North American eateries

Ratings are on a scale of 0 to 24. The scale used to be 0 to 10, so restaurants written about before 2012 may have only had their ratings adjusted by formula and not by hand (hence all the 2s, 5s, 8s, etc.) The scale works as follows:

24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16
15 14 13 12 11 10
9 8 7 6 5 4
3 2 1

An asymmetrical 0 to 24 scale may not be intuitive, I realize. But as a rule of thumb: a double-digit score means I liked it, while a single-digit score... less so. Also, as you might expect, scores from many years ago may not be very reliable, so do check the dates.

French Canada

Ah, donuts. Qu'est-ce qu'on deviendrait si ils existaient pas !

Click on the column titles to sort the entries!

Name Cuisine Address Last update Score
Au Kouign-AmannBakeryMont-Royal & Drolet, Montréal2012-06-2214
Regular croissants are meltingly soft with just enough crispness on the outside to provide a pleasing reddish tint and a bit of crunch. Almond croissant is made with almond paste rather than goopy custard. Good stuff.
Olive & GourmandoBakerySaint Paul & Saint Pierre, Montréal2012-06-2212
Regular croissants were much like those at Au Kouign-Amann, with a looser wrap. I also got a kitchen-sink brioche (apricots, macadamia nuts, white chocolate, coconut) that sounded better than it tasted.
Le PaltoquetBakeryVan Horne near Stuart, Montréal2012-06-2116
This place serves what are, as of this writing, the best croissants I have ever eaten. They are tiny and don't look like traditional croissants, but oh so good: chewy, buttery. I also found a box of chocolate-caramel Gavottes here!
Mamie ClafoutisBakeryVan Horne btw Outremont/Champagneur, Montréal2012-06-2113
The plain croissant we got here was pretty standard, and Elizabeth's chocolate/strawberry thing was way too bitter for me, but I got a pastry with peach and pistachio paste that was delish.
Havre-aux-GlacesDessert (ice cream)Jean-Talon Market, Henri-Julien & Marché-du-Nord, Montréal2012-06-2112
I went here in 2005 and thought it was super great. I went back in 2012 and thought it was okay. I guess the difference is probably that in between I went to Sketch in Berkeley and La Dolce Gelato in White Rock, which raised the ceiling of how good I thought ice cream could be.
BottegaPizzaSaint Zotique near Saint Dominique, Montréal2012-06-2110
This is a pretty standard Naples-certified pizzeria. I got an arugula pizza that would have been subpar if not for the spicy oil the restaurant offered. Elizabeth really liked her eggplant pizza, but again, it tasted like any other of these places to me.
PaillardFrenchlocal chain, Québec2012-06-2012
Here I had a very good plain croissant: flaky (as in crisp-flaky, not crumbly-flaky) with a very moist, buttery center. I also got a chocolate almondine which was just okay (too goopy) and a brioche that I thought would have orange zest in it but turned out to be filled with little orange cubes.
Le BilligCrêpesSaint-Jean near Sainte Claire, Québec2012-06-2010
The crepe I got here (cheese, spinach, olives, tomato sauce, poached egg) was fine, but I've had a lot better (in New York, and even in Berkeley).
St-Viateur BagelBagelslocal chain, Montréal2012-06-2010
I went here in 2005 and was reluctantly served a decent but non-revelatory bagel by a very grouchy guy attending to a pit of bagels. Different grouchy guy in 2012, but same experience.
La BanquisePoutineRachel near Boyer, Montréal2012-06-205
This place serves poutine — fries covered in gravy and cheese curds — 24 hours a day. Elizabeth is Canadian and considers this a reasonable food, sort of like the guy in Lanark making a haggis for dinner and not as a joke. She ordered a vegetarian poutine here and I tried some. Poutine is not for me.
Café Soup'HerbeVegetarianOld Chelsea near Nordik, Chelsea, QC2012-06-1912
Here we got a bowl of peanut soup; a spinach salad with strawberries, almonds, and sesame/poppy seed dressing; a tartlette of asparagus and artichoke hearts; and a slice of chocolate pecan pie. They were all pretty good. I imagine that if I lived in Ottawa I would probably come here reasonably often.
La ChilenitaChileanMarie-Anne & Clark, Montréal2005-09-1211
Good empanadas.
En Compagnie des CrêpesCrêpesJean-Talon Market, Henri-Julien & Marché-du-Nord, Montréal2005-09-128
Okay crêpes with microwaved fillings, situated in the middle of a very impressive produce market.
Pâtisserie de GascogneBakeryLaurier & Jeanne-Mance, Montréal2005-09-128
This is a fair-sized shop with breads, pastries, chocolate and so on. Not bad, but nothing memorable.
ChuchThaiSt-Denis btw Rachel/Duluth, Montréal2005-09-1114
I can't eat at most Thai restaurants because even the supposedly vegetarian dishes include shrimp paste and fish sauce and the like. Chuch, the less-fancy spinoff of Chuchai, is one of the rare exceptions. Its menu is many pages long, and the appetizer and soups I've tried here were very good; curries aren't quite as good.
RockaberryDessert (pie, etc.)St-Denis btw Rachel/Marie-Anne, Montréal2005-09-112
Saw a couple of glowing writeups on this place, and it was right near the hotel. Too bad for me. Bad pie, bad beverage, friendly but slow service, smoke in the non-smoking section.
Le Nil BleuEthiopianSt-Denis btw Pins/St-Louis, Montréal2005-09-1011
Respectable Ethiopian.
Meu MeuDessert (ice cream)St-Denis btw Marie-Anne/Mont-Royal, Montréal2005-09-1011
Decent ice cream; some weird-looking flavors, and I didn't trust my French enough to believe some of the ingredients (clay? coal?). I got vanilla.
Juliette & ChocolatCrêpes, chocolateSt-Denis btw Émery/Maisonneuve, Montréal2003-08-248
The crêpe I had was pretty bad — way overdone, just shy of burnt. But I also had a tall glass of white chocolate milk that was quite excellent.
Le CommensalVegetarianSt-Denis btw Ontario/Émery, Montréal2003-08-248
This is a vegetarian buffet with a huge selection — you grab a tray, load up your plates, and pay by weight. Unfortunately, the fare isn't especially better than what I remember of the dining commons food back in college.

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