Restaurant Day. Montreal. May 2014.

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The smiley face balloons marked the taco spot!

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Maurin dishing up tacos to order…

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Taco toppings included pickled red onion, red chili salsa & green chili salsa.

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Tacos Mamacitas aka Maurin Arellano Frellick & Olga Zurita Menu:

– Cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork) tacos
– Potatoes & Chorizo tacos
– Vegetarian cheese & mushroom quesadillas
– Hibiscus juice

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Host & cook Emily Knox making beautiful beet burgers to order!

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MTL Kitchen Collective aka Emily & Violaine’s Menu:
– Vegetarian beet, feta, basil burgers on toasted portuguese buns
– Toppings included spicy mayo, herb mayo, avocado, bibb lettuce & sprouts
– Hibiscus-ginger-lemon iced tea

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Front-entrance sign to Justin’s pop-up…

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Justin the host/cook!

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Sweet roasted squash straight from the oven!

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Fantastic ‘feel-good’ records played as we ate…

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DJ Warren enjoying the colourful plate of food!

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Justin Doucet’s ‘Delights in the alley’ Menu:
– Roasted Squash with jalapeno
– Riz Collé (Haïtian style rice & beans)
– Seasonal Slaw with fennel & coriander
– Dolin Vermouth

Restaurant Day is a unique ‘culinary carnival’ that takes place 4 times a year, in which people have the opportunity to open their dream pop-up restaurant, cafe, or bar for one day. What began in Helsinki four years ago, has since spread across the globe and become an international food event. I had the pleasure of attending the most recent Restaurant Day last week, on Saturday, May 17th, in Montreal. Fifteen restaurants popped up this time, three of which I visited around my neighbourhood. Not only did I get the chance to try some delicious new dishes, but I also got to meet some amazing new people, all of whom shared a passion for food, cooking, and community.

At each pop-up restaurant, we were invited into a different person’s home environment. Tacos Mamacitas were cooking on their back balcony, perched above a staircase, where we sat to eat. At Justin Doucet’s, we hung out in his backyard open to an ally. The MTL Kitchen Collective were set up in the front yard of their family’s home, with lovely wooden benches to sit and eat at.

Restaurant Day is a brilliant concept that feeds and facilitates a DIY creative food culture that is growing worldwide. This positive event gives everyone the chance to open their dream restaurant, cafe, or bar for a day. The initiative brings communities together, both locally and internationally, around food. Inspired by this fun and filling day, I plan to host my own pop-up restaurant at the next Restaurant Day, taking place on Sunday August 17th 2014, and encourage you to join as well! For more info click HERE.

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