Posts Tagged ‘Gracia Afrika montreal’

gaGracia Afrika has a lovely Congolese (RDC) Mom at the helm. She cooks some staples of her native RDC (grilled coat?? goat in sauce), digs in other cuisines (The Ndole of Cameroon, the Haitian riz colle), and will feed you with some of the most popular African/Carribean casual food items (fried tilapia, etc). Things went exactly as expected: since I told her that I was African and given that I was alone, she asked me if I would kindly accept to give my seat (ideally positioned by the window) to the group of clients that came right after me. Hospitalité Africaine oblige, I obliged. Then came the food: it is a tuesday evening, quiet evening, so hospitalite Africaine oblige, I was the one who would have to eat the reheated goat en sauce of the day before. The group of clients that came after me,  are, of course, going to be fed on the fresh food of the evening. Frustrating? No, not at all. It is typical, it is cultural. Can the lovely Mom cook? Yes, of course: the dishes at the other tables looked freshly prepared and seemed well done. Furthermore, the chilli condiment and the fried banana served with my goat curry were proof that this lovely (because, truth be told, she is lovely) can do well. Any problem? Well, the lovely Mom and myself agreed on feeding me with charcoal grilled goat. I saw no sign of charcoal in her small kitchen, no sign of a grill neother, so not sure how she can grill on charcoal. Anyways, charcoal grilled goat was never going to make an appearance at my table, it was goat in sauce and goat in sauce that was reheated from the day before was never going to excite, as expected. So, will I go back? Yes, but on a saturday evening when this lovely Mom is so busy that only fresh food can come out from her kitchen. Food rating for what I had on this evening: 4/10 Gracia Afrika 3506 Rue Notre-Dame O, Montréal, QC  Phone:  (514) 713-1061 URL: http://www.graciaafrika.com/ang/accueil.html

 

Quick little tour in Ottawa, with a foodie whose palate I highly regard. Her “not to be missed” suggestion, Host India was  spot on. I did not take any pictures as I was dining with ppl I just met for the first time, and who have nothing to do with the foodie world,  consequently starting shooting pics of my food would have passed as odd.   Their relative weakness at Host India would perhaps be  the chicken kababs (I had more flavorful kabab elsewhere).  Also,  why that confusion between a dal makhni vs a dal tadka..?? …it is not the same dish at all. Anyways,  all things considered, I cared enough for Host India to  look past its minor flaws.  Not to be compared to  any of the best   Indian restaurants of Toronto (Toronto  has the very best Indian food in the nation), but definitely as fine if not better than our best Indian restaurants in Montreal. Some of the finest Indian    flavors (delicious sauces, the beef madras as well as butter chicken particularly well executed) I ever  tasted in Ottawa. Food rating: 7/10 Host India, Addr: 622 Montreal Rd, Ottawa, ON Phone: (613) 746-4678 URL: http://hostindia.ca/

fpAt footprints cafe, clarendon, brooklyn, we sampled    chicken wings (jerk) $8.25,  crab cakes $10.25 (one legit version of the crab cake, though …in a country where crab cakes is all the rage..this felt underwhelming for my taste and to my eye — this  crab cake needed more crab flavor / the the taste of the breadcrumbs was dominating the flavor of the crab ), curried goat $15.95  cooked with ginger and onions, salmon and shrimp combo (grilled) 26.95 (Grilled Salmon was executed properly, but not exciting – I had more flavorful caribbean-inspired grilled salmon dishes elsewhere).  All competent, exactly as the Jamaican friends who recommended me this place did suggest. The goat curry, the highlight of this evening alongside a flawless jerk chicken (both respecting the flavors of the Jamaican traditional recipes of the jerk chicken and goat curry).  FP was fine, the line up of Jamaicans at their door certainly a reminder that this restaurant feeds them with flavors that are as close to home as a Jamaican  chain restaurant can deliver in NY,  my (relative) small quips (??) having nothing to do with the restaurant but with some specific Jamaican dishes: the Jamaican dish of rice and peas  has always tasted bland to my palate (some well travelled foodies came to the same conclusion in this article ) , especially when compared to the far more delicious Haitian riz collé. And that grilled salmon and grilled shrimp is basic food, indeed, but  I swear, it dazzled … elsewhere! Sometimes I wished I had just discovered food just hours ago, lol, as  …the fact that I am  familiar with other types of  ethnic food ..does eventually affect my appreciation of certain dishes as that is exactly what happened with that crab cake and grilled salmon. Even the Jamaican lamb curry, although done the genuine Jamaican way here at FP, is not among my preferred ethnic lamb curries (I just prefer other types of seasonings with my lamb curry…but well, it is the way the Jamaican do, so I have to respect that as I was obviously at a Jamaican restaurant). Personal taste, for sure ..BUT at least..I have the decency of refraining from assessing it with numbers (which would be utterly inaccurate in this case). As for their rasta pasta (their signature dish), no thank you: I’ll fall for it the day you will make your own home made pasta. Or else, what is the point? Footprints Café, Addr: 5814 Clarendon Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11203, USA Phone: +1 718-451-3181 URL: http://footprintscafenyc.com/

fhsFuji Hibachi Steakhouse (NYC)  faces port authority, a few blocks away from Time square. They opened around 3 weeks prior to my meal (I ate there in sunday Oct 30th). Service was good, the small restaurant having a touch of relative elegance to it (its rest room, contemporary). The Miso soup and edamame I had were good,  but they will have to play attention at tiny details such as the proper doneness of their cooked meat (my girlfriend wanted her red meat to a certain doneness, I wanted mine to a different one but we both ended up with meat cooked to the exact same doneness) as well as lifting up the flavors (it was ok, but there are Japanese eateries offering this style of food with much more flavor). Given the not-so-high prices (relatively to NYC, especially in such centrally located spot) that they charge, it is normal that they do not use prime quality ingredients (veggies, for eg), though fine enough (veggies and meat are of the quality  you will find at most supermarkets) but that ultimately  took away from the full enjoyment of my food at FHS:  simple food like sauteed/grilled veggies or meat have always pleased me more than their sophisticated versions  but then you need exceptional produce and great flavors to get away with it. And that is what I was missing during this visit. Food rating: 6/10  Fuji Hibachi Addr: 321 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036 Phone: +1 212-757-1820

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