Dunn’s Famous

There’s a place in Montreal called Dunn’s Famous that’s been serving authentic Montreal Smoked meat since 1927 and they have recently opened up right here in Vancouver! Poutine, Smoked Meat, Cheese Cake, the holy triumvirate of must have Montreal staples are now made in the true Montreal style at 827 Seymour Street (at Robson) and I was recently invited by Cate Simpson of Simpson Public Relations, who handles Dunn’s PR, to come and sample some menu items.

First up was some beer battered deep fried pickles, deep fried pickles are great. I know what you’re thinking if you’ve never tried them, you’re thinking that they sound gross. Well, you are wrong and the fact that every day there are more and more Vancouver restaurants serving them is proof, quit being a sissy!

Next we tried 5 out of Dunn’s 6 Poutines. The Quebecoise (Cheese curds & Dunn’s special gravy), the Italienne (Cheese curds & meat sauce), the Peppercorn (Cheese curds & peppercorn sauce), The Dunn’s (Cheese curds, Dunn’s special gravy & chopped Montreal smoked meat) and the Vegetarian (Cheese curds, vegetarian gravy). My favorite was the Peppercorn followed closely by the Dunn’s, smoked meat on poutine, so good. The Quebecoise is the most traditional poutine and is a little different than I expected. Dunn’s special gravy has a little BBQ seasoning added to it giving it a distinct taste that’s quite nice but it was actually my least favorite.

The smoked meat comes in 3 different cuts, lean, medium fat and fat. I had the medium fat in a Super Montreal Smoked Meat sandwich which has 6 ounces (!) of meat and comes with a choice of sides. I had Mazoh Ball soup which was great. The medium fat cut was nice and juicy with just the right amount of fat for a sandwich. The meat is steamed fresh daily and sliced to order and is very tasty and authentic. I also tried the fat cut which was delicious but probably life shortening.

For dessert we tried the famous Dunn’s cheesecake which I’m told takes 5 days to prepare and uses a special cottage cheese brought here from Quebec. There’s no picture of this masterpiece because I started eating it before I remembered to take a quick shot of it…oh well you’ll just have to go and see it for yourself. It’s creamy and crumbly at the same time, magic.

Go check it out!!

Scott.

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Abigail’s Party

Have you ever gone somewhere, walked in the door and said to yourself “If I owned a restaurant it would be just like this.”? Abigail’s Party oozes cool, it’s small and intimate and has great atmosphere and the food holds up against its visual appeal. Located at 1685 Yew street in Kits, right across the street from the (in)famous Kingshead Pub this little section of Yew street is as cool a block as you will find anywhere in Vancouver.

Being Jersey Shore fans Lyndsey and I had to try the Deep Fried Pickles served with paprika aioli which were as good as Snooki promised they would be. We also tried the Tuna Tartare which was cured in grapefruit and served with avocado and cucumber with sesame wonton crisps. Very light and fresh, I could have eaten a lot more of this dish. Apologies for the picture quality in this post, it’s time for an iPhone, sorry Blackberry, we had a good run.

For our mains we shared the Aged Cheddar Mac and Cheese which was so good I’ve had dreams about it. The aged cheddar was very sharp and kicked what is normally a sad letdown at restaurants in to a winner. Lyndsey had the Herb Crusted Halibut with asparagus, clams and fingerling potatoes in a curry cream sauce. The fish was great judging from the small bite I had. The herb crust was made up of almond, basil, italian parsley, chervil and tarragon.

I had the Steak Frites, a staple of French Cuisine in North America. It consisted of a medium rare flat iron steak from Pemberton Meadows served sliced over triple fried Kennebec fries with an arugula salad. Everything about this dish was great, the steak, the fries, the peppery arugula salad, everything.

I’ve been told that I can be too positive in my reviews, I will say this once, I give praise where praise is due and I’m not in the business of going to eat at restaurants where I have heard others had poor service or bad food. I will always tell you straight up if I enjoyed my experience or if there were areas that needed improvement. Abigail’s Party is the real deal, go there and find out for yourself. Follow them on twitter too, they’re good times.

Scott.