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Food

Hiding Out at Farrouj Express

Posted by Emily / August 5, 2007

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I love Montreal’s underground shopping centers. In the winter, they’re a warm haven from the frigid air. In the summer, they’re a cool escape from the heat. And as I discovered yesterday, they provide the perfect hiding place from certain people you want to avoid above-ground.

After being chatted up by a persistent but rather creepy older man on Parc yesterday, I decided to lay low in Galerie du Parc until the coast was clear. While I was hiding, I grabbed a bite to eat at a small Lebanese restaurant called Farrouj Express.

With all the foot traffic from the grocery store and the Dollarama, the ambiance at Farrouj isn’t ideal. But the quality of the food far exceeds anything you’d expect to find in a mall.

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On my second trip to Farrouj, I got enough food to bring home and share. The man at the counter was clearly delighted and amazed that I was buying so much, and when he handed me the heavy bag of food and asked for only $11, I felt the same way.

The first appetizer I tried was a falafel. I’ve never had a falafel I didn’t like, and this one sure didn’t let me down. It was moist and nicely spiced, and the tangy sauce that had been poured on it gave it an extra kick. The other appetizer was a baked pastry with spinach filling. Its mild flavor didn’t strike me as characteristically Lebanese, but it was satisfying all the same.

Next, I tried what the guy at the counter described as a “wheat salad”, with small soft grains mixed with vegetables and a vinegary dressing. It was surprisingly hearty and filling for a salad and had a refreshing, slightly sour taste.

The most delicious item by far was a kind of curry with chickpeas and eggplant that had been soaking in a tomato-based sauce. The sauce was simply spiced but amazingly flavorful. It was great on its own but it would have been fantastic in a pita or over some couscous to soak up the extra sauce and oil.

My favorite dessert item was a date cookie with a soft crust. I also loved a small pastry with buttery filo dough wrapped around chopped nuts that had been soaked in syrup. It was extremely sticky, but deliciously sweet and crunchy.

I hope I don’t see that creepy guy on Parc again. On the other hand, if it weren’t for him I’d have missed out on some great Lebanese food.

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Farrouj Express; 3575 Avenue du Parc; (514)285-8729

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