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Almost There: Armenian Pizzas @ Cafe Monaco

Posted by Kim / July 29, 2008

20080729_monaco7.jpgEver since devouring the delicious Armenian meat pies from Arouch, I've been looking around for a place closer to home that can deliver the same goods. When Cafe Monaco opened not too long ago on Ste-Croix in Ville St-Laurent, proudly advertising Armenian pizzas, I thought I had it made. Sadly, this place is not of the same caliber, though in a meat-pie-pinch, I think it almost does the job. Almost.

20080729_monaco6.jpgFirst off, this is one weird place. I was sure I had walked into a business building slash mansion. The entire front area of the "cafe" isvery open and bright, and filled with big leather couches, armchairs and tastefully placed plants and cloth-covered Kleenex boxes. Waaaay down, I spotted the cafe counter, and made my way to the narrow hallway in the back.

The food offerings are slim, or at least, appear to be. A few pastries in one display case, an ice cream counter, and another display of savory selections. I asked the cashier for the cafe's best offering, and she suggests the lahmajoun - perfect! Just what I came for! Since I had a whole $5 to spend there, I also got a spinach and cheese pastry that tempted me with the liberal sprinkling of sesame seeds on top. Once she heats the food up, I pay my $4.50 and decide to skip eating it out of the lavish armchair and head outside.
20080729_monaco4.jpgThe Armenian pizza is not quite what I was hoping for. The dough is not as thin or crunchy, and the spiced meat on top, while tasty, is just too thickly spread on and slightly pasty. The taste is fine, perhaps sweeter than what I've enjoyed, but the texture is not. However, for $2.25, it is a good deal, and I would get it again if I needed a quick snack and was passing by.

20080729_monaco1.jpgThe spinach and cheese pastry was much more enjoyable (hence two photos!), and would make a great lunch with a side of salad. The sesame seeds add a great dimension of flavour, and the filling has a lot of lemon splashed in it.
20080729_monaco9.jpgThis is not the kind of place I would make a trip out for, but when I'm in the area, it's a definite go-to spot for a cheap lunch. I'll be back to try out some of their other offerings, though I will be skipping the meat pie next time.

Cafe Monaco
612 Ste-Croix (Ville St-Laurent)



S. / July 30, 2008 at 12:10 am
also, check out the north west corner of Parc and Milton... the Armenian pizza is quite good...
djou / July 30, 2008 at 07:06 am
sometimes, you can get the arouch ones in bags at supermarché PA. i usually nuke them in the morning for a quick breakfast. if you stick them in the oven, it's like getting them from arouch in park-ex.

now that i've written this, i realise that i have no idea if PA is any closer to you than pak-ex... maybe they're available in other supermarkets...
kim / July 30, 2008 at 09:08 am
djou - I pick them up the bags of them often too (they're also available at Segal's on St-Laurent) and stick them in the toaster oven. But something's missing! I don't know, guess I like them right from the place.

S - Thanks for the tip, I'll be sure to check it out soon!
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