The “next generation” Jewish deli DGS, of Washington, D.C., does their own brining, curing, smoking, pickling… as much as possible is done in-house, but the bagels, which really have to be made in a bakery, are brought in. When they opened in 2012 they were unable to find a local bagel of high enough quality to be served with their meats and fish, so they bought par-baked Montreal bagels from St-Viateur and finished them off in-house. This worked just fine except for one thing: they couldn’t make bagel sandwiches because Montreal bagels are too small and the hole is too big. Continue reading
The long-time bastion of “normal food” in Kingston, Ontario, Aunt Lucy’s Dinner House, closed yesterday after 69 years of serving “time-tested recipes for that familiar taste of home.” In 1947, when the restaurant opened its doors for the first time, there really was an Aunt Lucy: Lucy Harper was the head cook and baker. The most recent owner, Bob Clark, purchased the restaurant in 2002. Mr. Clark passed away earlier this year. His nephew announced that the closing clears “the way for development of a new vision and future business opportunities,” in accordance with his uncle’s wishes. We are sorry to see Aunt Lucy go. See the LAF review of Aunt Lucy’s Dinner House.
Quick, what foods do you identify with Montreal? You probably named poutine, that French fry, cheese curds, and gravy amalgam but, unless you have an intimate knowledge of the city, everything else you thought of is probably Jewish food, like bagels and smoked meat. Why is that? Given that only two percent of Montreal is Jewish, how did so much of Montreal’s culinary identity come to mean the city’s Jewish culinary identity? Continue reading
Le Chien Noir is a French-styled bistro (with Belgian leanings) that serves such classics as onion soup, steak frites, and mussels. But what really attracts us to Le Chien is its sophisticated take on North American favorites, which can be accompanied by a bottle from the selection of Canadian wines and beers. Continue reading
The Financial Times takes a look at Schwartz’s Deli of Montreal, from a businessperson’s perspective. For instance, if you’re short on time the restaurant will be happy to deliver an order to your private jet at the airport (tip well!). If you have the time to eat there, FT says it’s worth the half-hour waits in freezing temperatures, as well as the lack of privacy (you are likely to share a table with strangers.). Schwartz’s GM explains their popularity: “[I]t’s so damn good.” Read the story here.
After over 50 years of building up its iconic status at a single location in Calgary, Alberta, Peters’ Drive-In is planning to open a second store in the city of Red Deer, about halfway on the route north to Edmonton. They are hoping to be open this spring. Peters’ owners are also considering restaurants in Edmonton and Saskatoon in the future. They are not franchising, however. These are all to be company-owned stores. Peter’s Drive-In was founded by Gus Pieters, who emigrated from The Netherlands about 10 years before he founded the restaurant specializing in burgers, dogs, shakes, and sundaes.
If you plan to spend some time strolling around Brockville in southeastern Ontario (a terrific idea), make sure you also plan to be on West Water Street around lunchtime, for it is here you will find Don’s Fish & Chips, a traditional take-out only chip shop. Continue reading
This was Zally’s restaurant! Who is Zally, you ask? Zal Yanovsky was famous for three things: he was lead guitarist for the Lovin’ Spoonful; he was ostracized by the ’60s counterculture for allegedly ratting on his dealer when he was picked up for possession; and, in the ’70s, back home in Canada, he opened Chez Piggy. Zally died in 2002. Chez Piggy is now owned by Zally’s daughter, Zoe. Learn more about Zally by listening to The Mamas and the Papas song, Creeque Alley. Continue reading