July 28, 2009

Montréal- Sans gluten please!

Well I would first like to apologize for my non-existent self on the blog the past oh 3 or so months!!! I have been incredibly busy. When I first got back to AK I was welcomed home by my new puppy smiley, who took up ALL of my time. It is like having a baby, but you constantly have to drag them around the house on a rope toy and clean up all their accidents! Then in May I came down to Montreal to stay with my boyfriend, FP, for a couple months and go to school down here. I got a certificate to teach English as a foriegn language in the hopes that this next year in Europe I will have a job! FP signed in France this year, which is incredibly exciting as I will always have my very own personal translator everywhere I go! My French has also imptroved dramatically, so at least this year I will be able to say a bit more than just Questo!! Questo! NO questo! With that being said let me get down to business. This post is for all those Celiacs or gluten free people out there that may just want to travel to the lovely land of the French Canadians. I have eaten out quite a bit here and have some serious suggestions of where to go and where not to go!

FP and I sublet an apartment for the summer in Rosemont, which is about 20 minutes from the center of downtown, but still on the Island of Montreal. Montreal is absolutely abundant with ethnic restaurants, which is awesome! No where else have I seen so many Vietnamese restaurants. I swear you could probably find one every 5 blocks! Either the Vietnamese love the French Canadians or the French Canadians love to eat Vietnamese food! Anyway I love it here and I highly suggest for anyone to make a point of coming to visit Montreal and Quebec city, which is a very magical place.

Restaurants in Montreal sans gluten!

La Carreta (5 Stars!)
**English spoken
350 rue Saint-Zotique EstMontréal, QC H2S 1L7 (514) 273-8884
This place is my favorite place so far in Montreal! It is a little tiny restaurant with a wonderful ambiance where they serve Salvodorian food. Everything is gluten free on their menu, except for the burrito items (however, I think there are only 2 items that come with burritos!) The sangria is phenomenal and comes by the pitcher. The owner himself will greet you at the door and knows exactly how serious ingesting gluten is for us Celiacs! He also may make a couple suggestions about what to order, but don`t brush them away! We took his word and were speechless at how good the food was. If you are in the mood for South American food, then eat here!

Zero8 (3 stars)
**English spoken
This place is ok. Everything is gluten free on their menu, but be aware everything is also soy free, casein free, egg free, etc. So it is great that you can eat with no hesitation, but I am going to be honest when I say I love to eat cheese! I had poutine here and well it wasn`t really poutine. They called it poutine, but yet there was no cheese on my poutine! For those of you who are unaware of what poutine is, well it is the love of quebecers! It consists of fries smothered in gravy and topped off with cheese curds. It sounds absolutely revolting, but lets be honest, it is absolutely delicious! Ok, back to Zero8. This place does have good food, but it is very overpriced and I wasn`t thoroughly impressed. I did not have dinner here, so I could be wrong, but I did have lunch and paid about 16 dollars for a small bowl of poutine and some bruchetta. Ì don`t believe it was worth the price, but then again a trendy little restaurant that is allergy free on one of the hot streets in Montreal is bound to be expensive. So for those of you that have the money and want a nice trendy restauruant, then I do suggest this one.

Sushi time (4 stars)
**English spoken
3129, Rue Masson, Montreal, QC H1Y 1X 514-725-8181
This place is a little hole in the wall that serves excellent sushi. It is incredibly cheap and two can eat for well under 40 dollars! Just bring your own soy sauce. The daughter of the restaurant is trilingual and seems to have a good understanding of what contains gluten and what doesn`t. However, make sure you always ask! The sushi was fresh and they even serve take out and deliver!

Dong Que (2 stars)
**English spoken
1210 boulevard RosemontMontréal, QC H2S 2A5
(514) 490-0770‎
This is one of the many Vietnamese restaurants in Montreal. However, I was slightly disappointed with this one. I read a couple reviews online and was told this place had the best spring rolls in Montreal. I completely disagree. I could make better ones at home! Along with better sauce! I had some pho soup, which was actually really good. My boyfriend had some sort of noodle dish that he wasn`t particulary crazy about. The owner was also very unclear about what gluten was and didn`t even try to read the vietnamese card I had with me, which was very upsetting. He simply told me all I could have was 2 of the pho soups, that was it! I was incredibly disappointed as I was really looking forward to eating here. With that being said, the prices are really cheap and we ate for under 40 dollars. But I am sure at most Vietnamese places in Montreal you can eat for 40 dolllars and have much better food! So I recommend trying another place!

Ottavios (5 stars!)
This was the first restaurant I ate at in Montreal last year. This place is incredible. Their pasta dishes almost made me cry when I first had them and their mussels are to die for. I don`t really reccomend their gluten free pizzas. Frankly I think a good ol` Bob`s Red Mill crust is way better, but do eat their mussels, pasta dishes, salads, and even the dessert! The restaurant is very trendy and not horribly expensive. The waitstaff are great and I was even able to talk with the owner last time about why he decided to have a gluten free menu. They even have a whole section of their kitchen dedicated to staying gf. And you can also bring your own wine! They have two locations and if you don`t speak French, I recommend the Montreal location. In Laval you find English rarely spoken. So enjoy and bon appetito!

Quebec City

Kameleon (5+++ stars)
This place understands what being gluten free is. It is a new restaurant that doesn`t quite have its business in full swing, but I perfered it that way because my boyfriend and I were able to have a nice quiet dinner and a couple nice chats with the waiter. The food was phenominal and in my opinion is closer to fine dining without the prices! I was able to order a 4 course meal for under 30 dollars. I had cream of mushroom soup, followed by the best caprese salad of my life. For my entree, I orderd veal that was done to perfection and was complimented with some incredible gluten free lemon pasta. Finally for dessert my boyfriend had the chocolate mousse, while I had cheesecak sans crust. I was able to sample both desserts and was literally in heaven. It was one of the best gluten free experiences of my life. So if you want to spend an amazing romantic dinner (gf of course) in the lovely city of Quebec, I can`t recommend this place enough!

Enjoy these recommendations and there are more to come next summer!!!