A little bit of Lebanon has been tucked away in the Plateau of Montreal. When you walk by 277 Mont-Royal, you may not notice 'Trip de Bouffe,' the delicious Lebanese bakery that has been delighting customers for the past ten months. A very modest sign is all that points passersby to the Lebanese delicacies served at 'Trip de Bouffe,' and the bakery has been solely advertised by word of mouth. Good food gets around, however, and Trip de Bouffe has thrived by pleasing customers with authentic Lebanese dishes.
Trip de Bouffe has a very interesting vibe that is unseen in many establishments. It is a hybrid bakery/hot-table/grocery/lounge; a jack of all trades kind of place. Over fifty dried fruits and nuts grace the walls of Trip de Bouffe, along with other specialty items, and sometimes you may even find an episode of 'Fresh Prince' projected for customers to appreciate the classic 90's comedy. Trip de Bouffe is a truly unique restaurant with a jovial staff who have a noticeable passion for what they do.
All of Trip de Bouffe's food offerings are made in-house, with plenty of love always thrown in the mix. You can order anything from a Lebanese sandwich for as low as $2.30, a huge meal for $10, or even place an order to feed a crowd. Using a mix of traditional and original Lebanese recipes, Trip de Bouffe boasts fifteen different kinds of Lebanese sandwiches, bouches, a variety of different salads, dips, appetizers, and other delicious offerings on any given day.
The amount of variety available to customers at Trip de Bouffe can be a little daunting, especially if you're unfamiliar with Lebanese cuisine. I found myself awestruck at the wall-to-wall foods and couldn't readily make a decision as to what I should eat. Fortunately, the Trip de Bouffe staff always tries to help customers make the best decisions and guide them in their food choices. Trip de Bouffe wants you to enjoy your experience, so they would never recommend dishes that clash in flavour. And, to be fair, they did make all the food, so I would trust anything they have to recommend.
My personalized Trip de Bouffe food journey included their homemade Kebbe and garlic sauce as an appetizer, a mix of salads, and a classic Lebanese chicken and rice as a main course. Each dish was served in a small wooden bowl that invoked the traditional roots that inspired Trip de Bouffe, a nice touch to the meal.
I have a personal love of Kebbe and I was really eager to taste Trip de Bouffe's style of preparation. Firm and crisp on the outside, and soft and airy on the inside, the kebbe was a great starter. Delicious in itself, the kebbe was accompanied by a light and airy garlic sauce which kicked up the flavour more than a few notches. This isn't your typical garlic-mayo sauce, Trip de Bouffe's garlic sauce solely includes garlic and oil, prepared by literally whipping the two together. The result is a fluffy sauce that packs serious garlic flavour.
Only a fraction of the salads available at Trip de Bouffe were in my bowl and my mix included an eggplant salad, an artichoke salad, fried onions paired with lentils and rice, and a stuffed grape leaf. Both of the vegetable salads were vibrant and tasted very fresh, so I believe it when Trip de Bouffe says they make everything daily. The fried onions were not too oily with good crunch, a nice balance to the soft lentils with rice. Much the same, the stuffed grape leaf was also very fresh tasting and not bogged down by too much oil, an issue I've found in other variations on the dish. One may assume that all of these foods placed in a single bowl would be a disaster in meshing flavours, but that was not the case. None of the flavours conflicted and everything fused nicely, so trust in your Trip de Bouffe recommendations.
As simple as it sounds, the chicken and rice was just as tasty as the other dishes I feasted upon. The chicken was well cooked and quite tender, with a solid portion served atop the rice. While the chicken lacked the intense flavour I was expecting, a healthy addition of garlic sauce fixed that issue entirely. Below the chicken was where I found the main star of this dish, as the rice surprised me in its quality. Aromatic and cooked to perfection, Trip de Bouffe's rice is prepared with ground meat and fragrant spices which make it stand out from the standard white and brown rice offerings found in other restaurants. Chicken and rice is a great choice for anyone looking for something simple and still delicious to break into the Lebanese food scene.
Fairly priced and very tasty, Trip de Bouffe is a cool spot for those who want to try something a little different without breaking the bank. Although I didn't get to try their Lebanese sandwiches, I was informed the chicken-garlic option is utterly delectable and costs an affordable $7.41. Trip de Bouffe celebrates its one year anniversary on September 12th, so be sure to swing by for a tasty celebration. But why wait? A trip to Trip de Bouffe is something you should get done well before.