Sunday, July 21, 2013

Paillard - Quebec City, Canada

Paillard is a cafe-style eatery that has several locations in Canada. The restaurant serves a combination of fresh breads, pastries, sandwiches and ice creams. The food was so good that we had to stop here twice on our vacation - once for a late night snack and the other for a small lunch.
The long communal tables were very cool

The restaurant has the feel and taste of a traditional French cafe but the fast speed of the American eatery Panera.

For our late night visit, my family ordered coffee and desserts.

Charles and I tried the macaron choco-banane. At first, I wasn't sure I would like it but soon after the first bite, my judgement completely changed. My first thought was it tasted like a banana dipped in chocolate fondu, which is delicious.


Then, Charles and I spilt a napoleon pastry.  This traditional French sweet is made up of three layers of puff pastry sandwiched in between two layers of pastry cream with the top pastry layer glazed with icing.

The pastry layer was filled with flaky and buttery goodness. The layers surrounding the pastry layer cream were dense and rich in yellowish cream. FYI this is a messy dish and whatever you eat it with (fork, spoon, fingers, ext...) it's still going to leave crumbs behind. But don't worry because the reward is worth it.

Unfortunately, we don't have the pictures from our lunch because we ate in a hurry to catch our flight home.  The lunch service has a number of choices such as sandwiches, soups, salads.  But the star of their lunch entres is definitely the fresh, home made breads. Honestly, it really didn't matter what they put in the sandwiches because the breads were amazing.

If you're in Quebec, definitely check out Paillard's.  It's a fun place for everyone - individuals, couples, families and students - where the food is fresh, fast, fabulous and famously reasonably priced. I only wish they had restaurants in the U.S.

- Thomas

Paillard on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Cactus Silvestre Tex-Mex Restaurant - near UMBC

Cactus Silvestre is a small Tex-Mexican restaurant located just outside of the University of Maryland Baltimore County campus in Halethorpe, MD. 

My friend Pouloumi Banjeree has been raving about this restaurant's 99 cent Taco Tuesday special for a while and wanted to introduce me to this place.  So, I headed down with her to check it out.

Located in a strip mall at 5315 East Dr 
 (21227), you could easily miss Cactus Silvestre nestled among the many shops on the road.  Parking is  a little tricky too.  I suggest parking in a one of the lots on the street.  
Pouloumi couldn't wait to get her Taco on

Pouloumi and I both ordered four hard-shelled tacos filled with sapid chicken, delectable shredded cheese, crisp lettuce and Pico de Gallo (a relish of finely chopped jicama, cucumbers, radishes, onions, bell pepper, and oranges) and salsa on the side.  The Chicken was marinated and roasted in a rotisserie oven that gave it a somewhat sweet taste and tender texture. The Chicken itself made the taco. Pouloumi was right.

 Pouloumi ordered one Churro with her meal. A churro is a classic Mexican pastry resembling a doughnut or cruller and made from deep-fried delectable dough and sprinkled with sugar. The savory cinnamon sugar gives this enormous churro a heavenly flavor that will rock your taste buds.

- Charles
Cactus Silvestre Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Eggspectation - Montreal, Canada

 My family and I always enjoy Egggspectation in Maryland. We found out on our recent trip to Montreal that it's the birthplace of the franchise. Some menu items were the same as in the U.S, while others were pleasantly different. There were several restaurant locations in Montreal to choose from.  

Charles ordered the Eggspectation Bagel Breakfast Sandwich - decked out with a fried egg, bacon strips, tomatoes, raw onions, Swiss cheese and lettuce. This sandwich combines breakfast and lunch to form the ultimate sandwich. It's a huge sandwich and it's even bigger taste.

I selected the Western Wake-Up. The omelette was thick and filled with assortments of ham, sautéed peppers, and onions. I am completely enamored with their seasoned Lyonnaise-style potatoes ( Charles' dish also had these potatoes). Who can resist their thick, well seasoned taste and an insanely soft bite. I think these potatoes are one of the best potatoes I have ever tasted!

 My mother chose the French Toast FlambĂ© which was made with thick bread slices that kept the bread firm and tender. Topped with fresh strawberries, bananas and walnut laced with an incredible pure Canadian syrup sauce, it was the bomb. What a difference the real deal syrup makes!
Charles ordered a fruit shake which was available in a variety of flavors. While it looked great when it was brought to our table, it wasn't very sweet.  Maybe we are just used to more sweet shakes in the U.S.  He wouldn't order this again, but it was worth trying.  

Eggspectation on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 7, 2013

La Maree Restaurant - Montreal, Quebec

 La Maree restaurant is located near the port in the heart of old town Montreal. We sat in the outside patio area covered by a blue awning overlooking a town square that was alive with street performers and vendors.

La Maree serves French foods and is known for its  seafood, steak and grills.

My brother and my mom both ordered the Filet de Saumon, servi avec riz et legumes - a grilled salmon fillet served with rice and vegetables. The top had a slight crisp but was moist and tender inside covered  with an alluring light cream sauce with peppercorn and fresh parsley flakes. Paired with the side of rice and vegetables, it was amazing.

I ordered the Chicken Sante Fe composed of tender grilled chicken topped with thick and creamy goat cheese, succulent zucchini and roasted peppers with a side of a vegetables and rice. It was amazing.
My dad ordered the Tortellini Au Fromage Ricotta, Sauce Rosee - pasta stuffed with thick ricotta cheese in a tantalizing red rosee sauce. It was tasty but after seeing our grilled salmon and chicken dishes he wished he had orded the same.

With its unique location on the corner of the famous Place Jacques Cartier in old town and its awesome grilled seafood and meats,  La Maree is certainly worth the visit. Plus, the service was quick and friendly. We'd go back in a heartbeat.

Place Jacques Cartier in old town Montreal

Maree on Urbanspoon