The Souk at the Just for Laughs Festival

August 6, 2012 · 0 comments

in Food Trucks

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Festival season is upon us. As food lovers, the best thing about this time of year is the copious amounts of street food. At this year’s Just for Laughs Festival, Grumman ’78 took charge and delivered the most diverse selection of street food this city has ever seen. St. Catherine street in the Quartier des Spectacles was packed with some of the most unique and surprising food trucks and food stands. Flocks of people visited this area every day from July 12th to the 28th to eat, drink, enjoy the festival atmosphere, and  simply have fun. I went twice (not to make excuses, but I was out of town on a VIA Rail trip, and could only go that many times), and both were amazing. This event was a clear celebration of street food. If this Souk is any indication of how badly Montrealers need and want street food, I don’t know what is. It was a clear snapshot of what this city’s street food scene will look like in the near future. Instead of writing about every little thing I ate, here are some of my favorite eats.

Takoyaki Balls from Takoyaki Montreal

Takoyaki balls were the biggest surprise for me, since I’ve never had them before. They are made with a think wheat flour based batter, fried/cooked in a special pan with individual compartments to form them into balls. They are turned a couple times to allow even cooking, and they are also stuffed with mushroom, or octopus. When they’re ready, they are drizzled with a Japanese mayo, ponzu sauce, then sprinkled with nori flakes (seaweed used for sushi) and bonito flakes (dried tuna). As one of the cooks explained to me, “In New York, they have hot dogs. In Japan, they have takoyaki balls”. So, this street food by nature fit perfectly in this setting. And for only $4 for 4 balls, this was a great treat.

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Lobster Roll from Lucille’s Oyster Dive and Marché 27

Every component of a lobster roll must work in harmony. For Lucille’s Oyster Dive and Marché 27′s seafood focused menu, a lobster roll at the Souk just couldn’t be bad; in fact, it was pretty darn good. The bread was nice and light, and since it was toasted, the fillings were held up nicely. The lobster was tender, sweet, and delicious. With a little crunch coming from tiny bits of celery, a light and not too fatty and overpowering dressing, this lobster roll was the textbook version of it.

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Sweet Corn on the Cob from Grumman ’78

I love corn on the cob. It’s the perfect outdoor side-dish that goes great with any summer meal. Sometimes I like to rub some butter on the corn while it’s hot just to make it that much tastier. Grumman ’78 is clearly known for their tacos, but now they should be known for their corn on the cob. Seriously. This corn was rubbed with chipotle mayo, generously sprinkled with their home-made cheese curds, and garnished with a few leaves of fresh cilantro. There’s only one thing I regret bringing after I ate this: floss.

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Le Decadent from La Mangeoire

La Mangeoire prides itself on gourmet sandwiches. After a little break from everything I ate, I wanted to taste a little dessert. I heard whispers of a crazy sandwich called Le Decadent. So at around 10:00pm, when this food truck sold out of pretty much everything, this sandwich was the only not not crossed out on their chalkboard menu. And oh so decadent it was. It was oozing with Nutella, peanut butter, and bacon. Need I say more?

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