The people behind Flamos Peri Peri Chicken are betting that a new twist on a classic recipe will help them break into Montreal's crowded chicken market.
The brand-new chain restaurant recently opened its first location at 72, boul. Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Châteauguay with a menu inspired by African, South American and European flavours and headlined with a unique and interesting twist on classic piri piri chicken.
Courtesy of Flamos Peri Peri Chicken
By all accounts, Montrealers love their Portuguese-style chicken, grilled to perfection and bathed in piri piri sauce, but set aside those presuppositions when it comes to the uniquely flavoured bird coming out of Flamos' kitchen.
"We have been in the restaurant business for 32 years and have always been challenging ourselves to open different concepts over these years by always being creative, innovative and developing different and great tasting meals that people love," a spokesperson told MTL Blog. "We have succeeded in creating a very unique taste. Our chicken is unlike anything you have ever tried."
Courtesy of Flamos Peri Peri Chicken
Aside from their signature chicken, they're also offering refreshing salads, bowls, sandwiches, a variety of imaginative poutines, and desserts. There's also a selection of sauces and a vegan burger.
But wait, there's more. Don't even think about walking away without an order of Coq Mac n' Cheese, cooked with karaage popcorn chicken, cavatappi pasta, aged cheddar, mozzarella, Parmigiana Reggiano, Grana Padano, green onions, and finished with a drizzle of chipotle aioli sauce.
Flamos Peri Peri Chicken is opening locations in Lachenaie and Terrebonne in August and September, respectively, while Ontarians will be able to enjoy this unique cuisine in Mississauga and Kitchener in the fall, with more restaurants to open next year.
While there are a million and one spots to enjoy a 5 à 7 in the city, not everywhere does happy hour quite like this Montreal restaurant in the Village.
Resto Keela serves $6 drinks from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., including house draft beer, house red or white wine, and speed rail mixed drinks, which is a choice of vodka, rye, rum, or gin — a pretty hard drink deal to beat.
As for food, you can go every week and try a different $6 dish at happy hour. "The $6 bites change from week to week but we always offer 3-5 options," owners Kristin Murphy and Johnny Hamilton told MTL Blog.
I went on September 10 and got to try green beans with a cashew romesco sauce and feta crumble, chorizo sausage, chicken Kaarage with kimchi cucumbers, and organic cherry tomato salad with blue cheese. And I kid you not when I say these dishes all take your taste buds on a culinary trip to heaven.
Keela's full menu is also filled with tons of unique dishes for you to try. The celery root carpaccio is hands down my favourite.
Every Friday night, you can hear the sweet voice of Bud Rice sing live at the restaurant.
Co-owner Willson Luu told MTL Blog about the reasons for the decision, which, according to the restaurant's social media announcement, "was not an easy decision to make."
Luu started by clarifying that he is fully vaccinated, though he emphasized that he had a choice in the matter.
"Everyone has their right to choose whether they wanted to get vaccinated or not like they have their rights to their own opinion," Luu wrote in an email.
"Our job is feeding people with our delicious food and that makes people happy."
Luu said the onus should not be on business owners to check vaccine passports but rather on the government.
"I believe that the vaccine passport is segregating people. We are not enforcers. We are private citizens just trying to make a living to support ourselves and our families." he said.
"If they want to enforce a rule [...] [or] law then they should hire enforcers to do their job for them instead of making our industry do it for them. Our job as a citizen is to wear a mask, keep our distance from one another and to keep safe."
As Luu explained it, the best way for him to maintain a "safe environment for [...] staff and clients" — continuing to serve food without becoming enforcers of the vaccine passport — is to only offer pickup, takeout and delivery right now.
But he also said he doesn't expect other businesses to follow suit.
"The pandemic is hard enough for all small business owners as it is already. [...] A lot of businesses depend on their clients to walk through their door whether it is to dine in, go to the gym or go see a movie," he said.
In Quebec, a vaccine passport is required to access many businesses and activities deemed non-essential, including restaurants and bars.
In what can only be described as the ultimate fine dining experience, Tampa Bay Lightning player and Montrealer Mathieu Joseph brought the Stanley Cup to Montréal-Nord this weekend and ate a giant poutine out of it.
Hockey's holy chalice has had many things in it from beer to a baptized baby but never poutine — at least as far as we can tell!
Now that’s fine dining. 🏆🤌