In the last year and a half arepas have exploded onto the Montreal food scene. For those still in the dark, an arepa is a flat bread made out of ground corn flour that is then stuffed with a variety of meats, fish, veggies, and cheese to make a delicious (and gluten free) sandwich. The arepa is very popular in Colombia and Venezuela, and can fortunately be found in several places in Montreal. Branching off from my go-to arepa spot, Bocadillo, today I tasted the arepa offerings of Arepera.
Arepera is located in the Plateau, specifically the corner of De Bullion and Duluth. The restaurant itself is somewhat small, but that really only adds to the cute and quaint vibe Arepera gives off. Unlike Bocadillo, Arepera is much more of a sit down meal, with waiters and a full menu that has options for meat lovers and vegans alike.
Yuca, otherwise known as cassava, has been an integral aspect of my past arepa experiences, being boiled then fried into a French Fry-like format, only better. I was slightly disappointed to learn that Arepera does not serve fried yuca fries. Instead they have yuca chips. As a substitute, my waitress suggested the fried plantains. I wasn't too impressed with the yuca chips (they kinda just tasted like normal kettle chips) but the fried plantains topped with white cheese were sweet, salty, and deliciously tender.
But the arepas are the real stars of Arepera's menu, as they should be. Tons of options are available and the menu is divided into meat, fish, vegetarian and 'ultra' vegetarian arepas, along with some platters and breakfast dishes. Plus they give you full bottles of delicious avocado sauce, in regular and spicy varieties, for your dining pleasure. Going for the most interesting thing I could find, I ordered the boar chorizo arepa while my dining partner tried out the shredded chicken cooked in a tomato sauce.
The boar chorizo was a solid choice. Cut into smaller chunks, the sausage was very manageable to eat in sandwich form and was perfectly paired with the sauteed onions and green peppers also stuffed into the arepa. I do have to say that the arepa buns at Arepera are superior to their Bocadillo counterpart. A little more crisp and thin, without losing the crucial doughy softness needed for a sandwich, Arepera has some hot Venezuelan buns.
Unfortunatly, the shredded chicken arepa was not on par with the boar chorizo. It could have been personal tastes, or just a menu misunderstanding, but the chicken wasn't as saucy or spicy as I hoped it would be. Also the cheese on top was cold, whereas the meat was hot, and a strange medium was the result. The arepa wasn't terrible, it just wasn't what I expected, nor was it as tasty as the boar chorizo.
To go along with my meal I ordered a sweet and tangy fresh tamarind juice. Arepera regularly offers a long list of freshly squeezed exotic fruit juices, so if you don't know what tamarind is don't fret. They serve mango and guava too, and I am sure they are equally as delicious.
Every meal needs a dessert finish, and Arepera did not disappoint with its sweet selections. More than a few options are available for dessert lovers, such as chocolate mousse and flan, the latter being my choice. I'm kind of a dessert snob, but I was impressed with Arepera's fantastic flan. It lacked that gross, egg-y flavour that besets lower quality flan and was just the right amount of sweet.
Over all I did enjoy my Arepera experience. The service was fast and friendly and I enjoyed nearly everything I ate. I wouldn't say that Arepera officially trumps Bocadillo, but for those looking for a more relaxed arepa experience with a larger menu to choose from, I would totally recommend hitting up Arepera.
Baguette Brochette (aka BB) is set to open its second location on September 4 in Saint-Henri.
When it first opened in the Plateau in September 2019, BB brought a taste of Africa to the streets of Montreal, using recipes and spice mixes from the Ivory Coast mixed in with a classic French baguette. BB also brought Montrealers homemade sauces, spices, juices and other Northern African dishes.
They even offer vegan and halal options.
Despite opening less than a year before the start of the pandemic, it has quickly become a Montreal staple for its great food and amazing vibes.
On the second anniversary of the original location opening, the BB team told MTL Blog it's proud to open itsdoors in another one of the city's tastiest neighbourhoods.
"After searching a lot, we thought Saint-Henri would be the best place to have the BB 2," owner Jad Ezzeddine told MTL Blog.
"It is our way to come to you, as you guys always came back to us. And of course, we love to expand and share more African tastes and vibes around Montreal."
Baguette Brochette's 2nd Location
Cuisine: Noth African
Address: 3491, rue Notre-Dame O., Montreal, QC (Opening September 4)
Why You Need To Go: If you haven't tried these sandwiches yet, you have no idea what you're missing!
La Maison Onyx is a pop-up that will run between July and October, giving marginalized chefs a stage to showcase their culinary expertise. Up first is Saint-Henri's Tropikàl Restobar, a Caribbean and Afro-Latin restaurant, which will be there from July 7 to July 27.
Tropikàl will be followed by Maquis Yasolo, an Afro-Québécoise restaurant in Saint-Henri. Later, MasterChef Canada’s Marissa Leon-John of Elle Jay’s Private Dining and Afro-Vegan chef Evy Mendes of Cantine Toca Toca will be serving up delicious eats.
La Maison Onyx is an initiative by DESTA Food, a Black youth network and non-profit business incubator for Black businesses.
According to a DESTA Food statement, La Maison Onyx will feature street food-style menus using local Quebec products, chef-led market tours at Jean-Talon Market, and on-site food demonstrations.
More chefs and Montreal restaurants will be announced in the coming weeks and months.
This article's cover photo was used for illustrative purposes only.
Though you don't need to be a professional actor, the company is looking for outgoing Montrealers who are regulars at a sandwich restaurant in Montreal. Only Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada can apply.
Auditions for "Project Sandwich Montreal" will be held online on July 16 and the shoot will take place on a day between July 23 and 27.
If selected, sandwich-lovers have to take a COVID-19 test on July 20 or 21, so you'd need to keep both dates open until the test is booked.
Those who get hired will make $75 for a wardrobe appointment, $75 for a COVID-19 test, and $750 for one day of filming. If your footage is used in the final commercial, you'd receive an additional $1,500 to $2,000.
Sandwich Commercial Actor
Salary: $750.00 to $2,250.00
Company: Groundglass Casting
Who Should Apply: Montreal-area sandwich lovers aged 18 to 75 years old. No acting experience is required, and this job posting specifically asks for Anglophones.
MTLàTABLE is back with set menus at your favourite eateries!
MTLàTABLE is back this year, and around 100 Montreal restaurants are participating in the city-wide food festival between June and October. You can get three-course meals at some of the city's best eateries starting at $20.
MTLàTABLE has revamped its format for 2021 complete with table d'hôte menus, fresh local produce and prizes you can win for simply dining out.
You can filter your preferences by neighbourhood, price, cuisine and more.
Contests & weekly draws
Each meal you buy at the festival's participating restaurants makes you eligible to win one of five weekly draw prizes like a $50 SAQ gift card and a $75 pre-paid VISA card to spend at the participating restaurants.
There are also eight 'Food & Fun Packages' to be won throughout the event, which include two nights in a Montreal hotel.
All you have to do is scan a restaurant's QR code every time you visit to earn a 'fork' and participate in the weekly draw.
Quebec-grown produce & food products
This year's edition of the festival will also focus on fresh seasonal harvests in Quebec, with recipes tailored to in-season produce.
In June and July, restaurants will serve dishes with beets from the Montérégie region, strawberries from Île d’Orléans and raspberries from the Eastern Townships, as well as broccoli from the Capitale-Nationale region, zucchini from the Laurentians and other green vegetables from Quebec.
In August, field tomatoes, leeks, blueberries, and green beans from across the province — from Bas-Saint-Laurent to Lanaudière — will adorn restaurant plates across Montreal.
In September and October, the fall harvest begins, and restaurants will serve soups and stews that include Quebec carrots, morels, oyster mushrooms, eggplants and acorn squash.
Autumn brings the return of apples to Quebec orchards, and restaurants will make use of locally-grown apples on their dishes toward the end of the festival.