ROSEMONT — Barbecue is easily one of the most unwelcoming food groups for vegans and vegetarians, but one Montreal smokehouse is making some concessions to those who don’t eat flesh. Le Boucan has introduced a vegetarian barbecue menu — the restaurant is using the same wood and the same smoking techniques to replicate the flavours of the meat dishes, but instead of pork, chicken, or beef, glutenous meat substitute seitan appears to be the star — or in the case of the pulled pork option, jackfruit. (And for the record, Mile Ex’s Dépanneur Le Pick Up was the first to take on vegan pulled pork, but it hasn’t done all-out barbecue.)
The restaurant is offering faux-wings, faux pulled pork, and other meaty-but-not-meaty sandwiches. Such approaches have met with success in other cities — for example (and totally unsurprisingly), Portland, Oregon; turns out that making your restaurant open to all sorts of diners is a solid business move. It’s available now at the Masson restaurant, and will be available in June at Le Boucan’s Griffintown location — the wings are vegan, everything else is vegetarian.
ALL OVER — Not-for-profit organization Mealshare has arrived in Montreal, working with local restaurants with the goal of reducing youth hunger and malnourishment. The idea is that restaurants that partner with Mealshare donate a dollar for every order of a specific item, and Mealshare directs the money to organizations in Canada and abroad — participating restaurants at present include sushi spot Ryu, Candide, Arthurs, and Restaurant Su.
TMR — The Town of Mount Royal’s go-to mall, the Rockland Centre, is substantially renovating its food court, with the apparent aim of stripping away the cookie-cutter mall food court vibe (the one that plagues every dingy food court in Montreal’s underground city downtown). It will have a space for food trucks (the Mandy’s Salads food truck has already been stationed in the mall for a few months), and generally seems geared towards getting some higher-quality dining options into the mall in place of the usual Subways and C-list chains. For example, wood-fired local favourite Pizzeria No 900 is also setting up at Rockland, albeit at the other end of the complex.
NDG — The Monkland Street Festival has been resurrected under the name Imagine Monkland for 2018, and a host of excellent NDG restaurants and cafés will be involved — Porco, Frisette salads, Monkland Tavern, and Melk, to name a few. It runs on the Jean-Baptiste weekend, June 22 to 24.
- Imagine Monkland [ArtsNDG]