Dine in Europe – on the West Island
We don’t usually think of the West Island as an area where you can find ethnic food; however there has been a slow creep westward of international tastes.
There’s been a growth of central and eastern European markets—for German, Swiss, Russian, Polish and Bulgarian yummies. In the dead of winter, we can use some of this hearty food to stoke up.
At Marché Euro Mix, the mix is Russian, Polish, Rumanian and Bulgarian. Lots of homemade offerings are cooked here, like vereniki (potato and fried onion or cheddar, sauerkraut, sweet cherry) and pelmenis (chicken, pork, veal, turkey, beef, chicken). Head for the takeout counter for soup, fresh herring salad, stuffed grape leaves, tongue with mushroom sauce, ham with potatoes, carrots, peas and cuke salad, walnuts with onions and kidney beans or beets and walnuts with garlic and mushrooms, red peppers, egg and onion.
Of course, there’s sturgeon, caviar and eel or cabanos, Estonian salami and double smoked bacon. Take a knish ($1.99) to go. They stock jarred herring, cod liver oil, zacusca (red pepper spreads), Polish Family’s wafers, Sandora cherry juice, plum jam, kefir, marinated apples, sour pickles or lotus leaves and rows of Russian candies and cookies. Brew Japanese and Chinese tea and have cheesecake, walnut cake or halvah for dessert. 15718 Pierrefonds. 514-620-6000.
With their own smoker, La Bernoise offers German and Swiss specialty sausages, smoked pork chops and veal roast, smoked ham, bacon and smoked pork hocks. At the butcher counter you’ll find meatloaf, air-dried sausages, knockwurst, lamb sausage, schublig and air-dried beef, which you can eat with sauerkraut and squeeze-tube mustard with rye bread made with muesli.
Homemade bread is available, as well as groceries: dumpling mixes, Kuchen Meister cakes, Knacke brot plum butter, Lindt chocolates and even German crossword puzzle books. 3988 St. Charles, Pierrefonds. 514-620-6914.
Swiss Vienna Bakery is a 50-year-old third-generation bakery that sells the best millefeuilles in the city (save one for me!). Remember to check out their triple chocolate mousse cake, hazelnut cake, butter danish, apple strudel and 24 daily breads.
Their new cake boss can create theme cakes (Chanel purse, soccer shirt, makeup kit)—you choose the flavour: red velvet, black forest, chocolate ganache, praline crunch, etc.
The store also has a selection of international groceries (Hungarian paprika, Marmite, Werner’s potato dumplings), imported chocolate bars, sausages (debreciner, kielbasa) and a hot and cold salad bar with ethnic snacks (Caribbean patties, samosa, calzones, chicken pot pie, potato knishes, cabbage rolls, panini). You can have a bite on the premises and wash it down with an espresso. 297 St. Jean, Plaza Pointe Claire. 514-697-2280.