Last winter I visited Canada… I know that it seems odd to be writing and posting about this when the weather is hot outside, but I just been so busy working and traveling that I have not had the time to share this part of my crazy vegetarian life with all of you.
This was my 3rd trip to Canada… I had visited both Quebec City and Montreal back in 1984 and Vancouver in 1986. So it had been a while (yep, 25+ years) since I had stepped onto such wonderful country. We always said you must have good karma to be born Canadian… it’s a peaceful, organized and very civilized country. Everyone is very polite, friendly and welcoming to visitors, even those who speak just a little bit of French, like me. My first 2 times in Canada was in the summertime, when we always had our family vacations. Then, I was not into food or a vegetarian, but I always had very good memories of Canada.
When I travel with my non-vegetarian friends I can’t expect to scout the vegetarian places, no matter how good they might be. It’s very different than when I travel with my yoga friends. So this time, I have to influence at least into visiting places that have alternatives for them and for me.
When we arrived into Montreal, we went to the old part of the city, Vieux Montreal, to have a late lunch and to walk around the streets a bit. To me, the best way to get to know a city is walking it. We were told that on Rue St, Paul we would find lots of restaurant options and it was certainly true. We decided for L’Usine du Spaghetti that translates to The Spaghetti Factory. It seemed cute enough and with options, even for the picky kids.
Something that got my attention is that every entrée comes with access to the all-you-can eat salad bar. It’s not super huge, but they have a nice selection of greens and fresh salad ingredients as well as some prepared salads like potato salad, pasta salad, couscous, etc. I never have those prepared salads because of the traditional mayo used. But they looked pretty…
The breads and garlic butter they serve at the table are just mouth-watering. They don’t have whole grain versions but you need to make exception sometimes when you travel. And you should not; I repeat… you should not miss this garlic butter!!!!
We also ordered some grilled mushrooms as a starter for the whole table. I was pleasantly surprised they came in a bed of lettuce salad. The mushrooms were exquisite… warm on top of the cool crisp lettuce. Nice contrast and hearty flavors. So I got to eat two salads that day!!!!!
We all ordered pastas… and I was super happy that most people ordered vegetarian pastas, so I could have a little taste of their plates too. Natalia ordered the cheese tortellini –OMG, these were DIVINE!!! It had a cheese gratin on top, but the pink sauce underneath was incredible. Because this was a kid’s dish they served it to her first. And we were all picking at her plate… it was that good… or maybe it was we were that hungry??? No, it was really delicious.
I ordered the penne with porcini mushrooms. I was in the mood for something lighter than the creamy heavy sauces that I usually go for.
Ana and Angie, both, they ordered the sun-dried tomato ravioli.
Alejandro had the cheese cannelloni, which were my second option.
Rafa’s and Mariana’s plates were off limits to us…
To give you an idea of how good these pasta dishes were, just take a look at these empty plates.
See why I couldn’t wait any longer to tell you about this awesome place??? Oh, and the desserts are sooooo worth it. But they are not karma-free (hint – we ordered something with chocolate). That’s the only reason why I will not share pictures of them. But if you don’t avoid chocolate, like I should… by all means go for it.
So please… if you live in Montreal or are planning to visit this wonderful Canadian city this summer, stop by L’Usine du Spaghetti. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did.
Have you eaten in L’Usine du Spaghetti??? What’s your favorite dish there?? Any other recomemndations for my next visit??