Subject: Montreal area casual eating
Hi Ziners

Happy New Year!

Over the holidays and in October I ate in a couple of Montreal area restaurants. Since I was accompanied by my year-old grandson, they were all "family friendly" places. Montreal is known for its fine food but its local chains offer good value, tasty alternatives for "the rest of the time"!

First a couple of chains that specialize in breakfast. Breakfast is a big deal in Montreal and many feature the works including baked beans. Here are 2 that feature lots of fruit with crepes and other breakfast goodies:

Trutti Frutti Dejeuners None right downtown but there is one in Westmount and a handy one just off the Trans-Canada at Sources in the West Island. The fruit was inventively presented as well as exotic on the smoked salmon plate - star fruit, fresh lichi and more. My blueberry crepe was just average though with table syrup rather than maple. Open between 6:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sundays.

Chez Cora Similar format - lots of fruit garnishing crepes and all the usual breakfasty items. This chain has locations in downtown Montreal (Peel Street and more). Tasty, calorific food! We tried the branch in downtown Toronto and it wasn't quite as good.

Pasta Tutti Giorni Several locations around the city. No downtown locations. The DDO (Dollard Des Ormeaux) location is just a few minutes from the Trans-Canada on Sources Road. The daily specials are particularly good value and tasty. Under $10Cdn per person.

Restaurant Di Sera Tel. 514-426-0700 (Italian) 985, Boul St-Jean, Pointe Claire (West Island of Montreal) Contrary to reviews on one website, our service was good and friendly if a little informal. My risotto with porcini mushrooms was delicious. This is a bring-your-own wine restaurant. Sorry, not sure whether there was a corkage fee or not.

Scores BBQ and Ribs Another casual resto chain. Has a salad bar. Our quick lunch was tasty and good value. My son enjoyed his lentil soup and sandwich. Quite a few around town but none downtown.

If you are looking for a more upscale meal in Old Montreal, I recommend Bonaparte. I ate there in October and it was fabulous. Good value table d'hote too. A couple of years ago Richard and I treated ourselves to an overnight in the hotel and enjoyed it as well.

Frances Toronto, Canada