An avocado-everything pop-up has touched down on a Village strip of Ste-Catherine Street.
Avo Montreal opened February 16 with a menu of avocado toasts, wraps, and desserts, and creator Salvatore Armonia tells MTL Blog the goal was to supposedly “bring culinary novelties to Montreal.”
If Armonia’s name sounds familiar, that’s because it’s also been linked to headline-grabbing phallic waffle shop Zizipop, which debuted in April 2021 and now has two outposts. Avo Montreal is operating out of one of them.
Though the avocado theme echoes a page from the 2017 restaurant playbook, Avo Montreal does seem to be the only place in the city with a menu dedicated entirely to the fruit. And its toasts sound creatively gussied up: One features ricotta and truffle honey, and another beet hummus, eggplant, and feta. There are also wraps, grilled cheeses filled with avocado, and desserts made with a cream from the butter-textured fruit.
But avocado toast certainly doesn’t qualify as a novelty at this point. From La Finca downtown to Hello 123 on Monkland Avenue, there are any number of coffee shops and brunch spots to procure a slice of bread painted in glorious, green mush — other than, of course, the home kitchen.
Meanwhile, a number of chefs elsewhere in Canada and beyond have publicly broken up with avocado, citing sustainability concerns. The avocado trade has an outsized carbon footprint, the fruit’s cultivation has been linked to deforestation, and global demand for avocado is so high that it’s become less accessible to local communities who’ve depended on it for ages. (In the US, restaurants are scrambling to prepare for a possible avocado shortage after a suspension of the import from Mexico went into effect on February 11.)
An Eater piece from November posits that chefs turning away from avocado may have as much to do with the ingredient’s ubiquity as its environmental repercussions. “Avocado toast is not a dish worthy of destination dining anymore, because by the time it shows up on the menu at Dunkin’, the trend is over,” Jaya Saxena writes. Of course, Dunkin’ Donuts is a thing of the past in Montreal, but you get the point.
But the ingredient clearly still has some devoted fans, and avocado consumption in Canada shows no sign of slowing. So even if a project like Avo Montreal reads as slightly anachronistic given recent headlines, it won’t be a shock if appetite for the occasional $12 toast here remains.
Avo Montreal is open Wednesday to Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1471 rue Sainte-Catherine Est.