MY (FOOD-FILLED) TRIP TO MONTREAL

Food

 

 

Where do I begin… Montreal, your food never fails to amaze me. I took a quick 1-night trip to Montreal last week for a little getaway before university started kicking my butt again. Every time I visit Montreal I make sure to carefully select NEW restaurants that I haven’t been to before (while still visiting old favourites). On this visit I’m happy to say I visited two old favourites and discovered two new favourites!

First things first:

Mandy’s Salads

Mandy’s Salads are a staple to Montreal. Or at least in my eyes. I’ve been going to Mandy’s ever since I was in high school and it’s almost become mandatory to grab a salad anytime I’m in the city. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Mandy’s it’s exclusively a salad bar with over 10 different options of unique and creative salads (or of course you can build your own). I try to try a new salad each time I’m here and this time I got the Asian salad! The Asian salad is made up of mixed greens, sesame seeds, mandarin oranges, crunchy noodles, cherry tomatoes and avocado – it definitely takes the cake as being one of my fav salads I’ve had yet.

Tommy

Tommy is also a famous name in Montreal that I somehow only discovered now *cries*. It is the cutest, quaintest, picture-esque little café I ever did see. Whoever designed the interior deserves an Oscar or something because this place is beautiful. Not to mention the food is incredible! We went for brunch and had the vegetarian omelette as well as the waffle french toast. I don’t even need to say how good the waffle french toast was, I think you can just imagine it yourself… ridiculousness. I’m obsessed with plants and there’s greenery hanging from the ceiling, on the walls and across the floor so I was just loving everything about this place!

Moleskine

It’s my understanding that this is a fairly new restaurant to Montreal but don’t let that hinder your view of it – their pizza is PHENOMENAL. We had the Margherita pizza and …. wow. I didn’t even know a plain Margherita pizza could taste that good! They toss the pizza dough infront of your eyes and it is ART. For some reason I can’t upload videos onto here but if you check the post on Instagram there’s a video attached with one of the pizza makers “throwing dough”! We also got the gnocchi, and I’m not kidding it was also probably the best I’ve ever had (sorry Nonna). The gnocchi was doused in a ricotta lemon cream sauce with ground almonds and LITERALLY took my breath away. I would drive back to Montreal tomorrow JUST to re-live the food at Moleskine again.

Frites Alors

And last but not least, Frites Alors. Frites Alors is a french fry shop and let me tell you their french fries are CRAZYYYYY. Like fully crazy. They have like a hundred different dipping sauces to pair with their perfectly crispy french fries. I honestly devoured my entire tray of fries before taking a photo of it which, if you know me you KNOW that’s not normal. [I promise the next time I go I’ll get a photo!!!!]

CONSTANTLY Consumed by Carlo: Datsun

Food

Elgin Street is packed with great restaurants, cafes, shops and local businesses. If you know me, you know I’m CONSTANTLY on Elgin. From Italian to Mexican, to gelato, and everything in between – Elgin Street has it. The strip is also home to one of my all-time favourite restaurants, Datsun. If you’ve been following the page for a while, you KNOW how frequently I visit there. Datsun offers Asian fusion plates and their entire menu is to-die-for. Their steamed buns are some of the best you can find in the city, not to mention their tasty ramen bowls and fried cauliflower *wipes drool*. It’s open late and also has a walk-in take out window – making it the perfect spot for those late night cravings!

P.S. just a reminder that Elgin Street is now CLOSED to vehicle traffic, but remains completely open to pedestrians. As I mentioned above there are SO many delicious restaurants on Elgin that will need our community’s help in keeping busy over this difficult time. The street will reopen in 2020 with a MASSIVE face lift, but until then let’s support our local businesses as much as we can! A community campaign and Instagram page has been launched that is ALL THINGS ELGIN -> @idigelgin for more!!

My first post!

Uncategorized

WOW! Here we go… my first EVER blog post! I’ve always wanted to launch an actual blog-site for the page but wasn’t sure if there was a large enough amount of interest for it. But after getting tons of suggestions to start one… I think it’s finally ready. I’ll start things off with a bit of a back story as to why I started @consumedbycarlo… which is the most common question I get.

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I’ve always been a huge foodie. I come from an Italian family, which means LOTS of eating. I first started the page as an Ottawa based food blog, posting my own food experiences and that of others. I was obsessed with the pages @tastetoronto and @tastemontreal and wondered, why doesn’t Ottawa have anything like this?

So alas, I started “Ate In Ottawa”. I used my own food photos to give the page some roots and then began using other people’s photos. I eat out constantly so it wasn’t very difficult to get content for the page on my own. But then it dawned on me – why not just keep it focused on my OWN food experiences… ones I could vouch for and actually PERSONALLY review because it was my own experience.That leads us to what it is now today… Consumed by Carlo!

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I was still adamant on hiding my identity with the page. I mean, even though it still had my name in the title, only my friends and family knew which Ottawa boy named Carlo the page was really being run by. Fast forward to the beginning of this year when I decided to make the next leap, and post a face photo. I gotta admit, for some reason I was super nervous revealing my identity… but of course I was proved wrong. People LOVED learning more about me and loved finally putting a face to the name.

Now, that’s enough of a novel for this first post – I won’t bore you right from the get-go. But I will however, give you a warm welcome to my blog and THANK YOU for checking it out! If you have any questions about absolutely anything, don’t be shy to send me an email!

– Carlo 🙂

Books, Brownies & Brainpower

brunch, Food

IMG_4461I had heard SO many good things about this little coffee shop on Bank Street that’s half a used book store, and half a cafe. It’s called Black Squirrel Books & Espresso Bar, and it is one of those special hidden gem spots in the city! To add to the hipster-ness of this place, there isn’t even a sign on the outside of it! Instead of the title “Black Squirrel Books & Espresso Bar”, it just has their logo which features a circle with a squirrel in the middle of it. I’ve also heard that at night it turns into a bar-like environment serving alcohol with live music!

I went during the day for a quick bite before class and boy was I impressed! I got the breakfast sandwich which is layered with; kale, tomato jam, cheddar, dill, and a fried egg all served on a house-made scone!!! I’m always on the hunt for a great breakfast sandwich, and this one goes to the top of my list of favourites.

Whether you’re a book worm, live music fan, or breakfast lover (like ME) Black Squirrel should be on your next-to-visit list!

Ottawa’s FIRST EVER Food Hall

Events, Food

IMG_4491As you probably already know (because I’ve posted about it a million times) Ottawa has officially opened its own food hall! The concept comes from major cities like NYC and Boston but is the first of its kind. It’s called Queen Street Fare and its the second food hall in Canada, the first being in Toronto. Queen Street Fare is special however because it’s the first food hall to offer live music every. single. day.IMG_6115 That’s right, no matter what day of the week, there will be live music playing at some point in the day. This is HUGE. There’s no other food hall doing this, we are the first. I worked closely with QSF during their launch phase. I was one of the only people that got to see the space grow, visiting regularly and giving my followers exclusive sneak peeks on the space. I also was the first to try Capitol Burger Counter and attend the VIP Launch Party!

Now for the food, and oh my GOODNESS where do I start?

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Capitol Burger Counter is changing the burger game here in Ottawa. Their standard burger is inspired by that of Shake Shack (a famous burger chain in the U.S.) and is like nothing Ottawa has seen before. They feature a double patty, cheddar cheese, special sauce, pickles, lettuce, tomato, all served on a POTATO bun! I also tried their chicken burger which is Nashville inspired and, I honestly was left speechless.

Bar Robo is open for coffee, tea, donuts and everything in between. They also serve cocktails in the evening. I have yet to try their donuts but at the launch party I saw them and- they look God-sent.

Green Rebel is pretty self-explanatory, Everything GREEN. From salads to fresh juices, they have everything to keep your body happy and healthy. At the VIP party one of the dishes they made were AVOCADO BROWNIE CAKE POPS… need I say more?

Fiazza is already Ottawa famous. They make thin-crust oven fired pizzas that are ready in 3 MINUTES! Not to mention they taste phenomenal and have some pretty unique flavours (my favourite is the prosciutto & arugula).

Mercadito offers Mexican street-style food crafted by the one and only Top Chef Winner, René Rodriguez. I missed my opportunity to try Mercadito at the launch party (and I’m still mad at myself for it) but I can’t wait to try it ASAP!

Sen Kitchen offers traditional Vietnamese cuisine, like bao buns, banh mi etc. Their first location can be found at Lansdowne Park in the Glebe!

And last but not least, Q-Bar. Q-Bar offers a long list of speciality cocktails with expert mixologists. They also have a killer happy hour with $1/oz of wine from 4-7PM during the week!

I had SO much fun and was honoured to play such a big part in the launch of QSF. I can’t wait to make a return! *wipes drool*

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Umber Winter Gala

Events, Food

I was thrilled and honoured to EMCEE (or MC) [whichever way you spell it :/] the first annual Umber Winter Gala. The event was held at the beautiful, new OAG(Ottawa Art Gallery), on the third floor. The views from the location are spectacular and the venue itself is sooooooo incredible.

I had only ever MCed one other event before (and it was my cousin’s wedding) so I think it was safe to say I was BEYOND nervous. I had a number of jokes in the speech that I was obviously hoping went over well, but I determined it was more important to direct my prayers at NOT stumbling or screwing-up while speaking. To my surprise I got BOTH. The audience LOLed at every single one of my jokes, and even a lot harder than I could’ve expected… maybe I have a new career choice???? Hahaha no just kidding (I think).

Now for the FOOD. The food was catered by e18hteen and was a-m-a-z-i-n-g. The charcuterie boards were the highlight and there were also baby cupcakes made by Thimblecakes alongside a delicious vanilla fondant poundcake!

All in all a perfect night – thanks Umber for believing (and trusting) in me!