Student Life

Fondue…or fun-due?

The love for cheese is something Montreal has happily inherited from its French heritage – and its fondue is a testament to this. Creperie Chez Suzette gives a wondrous array of inventive fondues for both the casual and dedicated cheese lover.

Photo Andrew Sun

Tucked into St-Paul’s St. in the Old Port, Chez Suzette is the very meaning of the word cozy, inside and out. Lace curtains let in lots of light and a peek at the cobblestone street. Furnished with wood in the interior and decorated with potted plants, it feels like somewhere between a stop off at grandma’s and a visit to the turn of the century – especially during the summer with the carriage rides clopping by.

Bringing the eyes back to the menu, it becomes apparent that the decision between fondues is going to be a tough one. Each is served with a cubed but baguette, olive bread, and Italian herb bread, as well as a bowl of diced green apples and sweet red grapes.There is of course the original cheese fondue, but if you’re feeling adventurous, the sundried tomato, pesto and olives, as well as the pepper and three cheeses fondue are good choices.

The former comes bubbling hot with whole chunks of tomato stewing in the molten dairy. While the cheese doesn’t have a particularly exciting flavour, and has at first, a vaguely alcoholic aftertaste, the texture and added spices of the tomatoes and herbs quickly make up for it. Combined with the cool sweetness of the grapes, the fondue is absolutely delicious.

The pepper three cheeses, however, is the best of the bunch. Where the sundried tomato is clearly made-up of just one variety of cheese, the three cheeses in this one are delicately balanced and distinct. The pepper gives a nice kick to it, and between the sweet apples and the baguette, the gustatory experience is one to impress.

Should you run out of dipping materials, the attentive and warm-spirited waiters will happily bring fruit and bread refills free of charge. With that said, this meal is not one for casual second helpings. It is rich and so filling that even room for dessert can easily become a faint, unrealistic desire.

But for the fondue enthusiasts, the fun doesn’t stop at the cheese. The regular chocolate fondue, as well as the deluxe Baileys and Grand Marnier, are there for indulging in a sweet tooth.

While an appreciation for cheese can be an expensive taste, Creperie Chez Suzette offers one of the most affordable dinners of the sort in Montreal. The cheese fondues range from $18.95 to $20.95 per person, while the chocolates go for around $17.95 to $24.95, depending on the type and if you decide to share.

So before finals, start boiling away your time, take a well-earned break in the Old Port for some cheese – you won’t be sorry.


Creperie Chez Suzette is located at 3 St-Paul St. East.

Student Life

Hot Pot hits the spot

Photo by Andrea Sun

Can’t decide between fondue, Chinese food, or a scalding winter soup? It’s time to stop by Chinatown for the all-you-can-eatery Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot.

Never heard of it before?

Here’s the down low: gather two to four friends, order a personal pot of broth, say ‘yes’ when they ask if you want platters of raw lamb and beef, and then load up your plates at the buffet. When you get back to the table, bring your soup to a boil with the magnetized hot plate built into the tabletop and start cooking everything you can get your chopsticks on! It’s an outing of guaranteed amusement.

For anyone less talented in the kitchen, there’s no need to fret. Sure it’s all about timing to get the perfectly tender slice of meat, but no matter how long something soaks in this marvelous broth, it is bound to taste delicious.

The soup bases come in original herbal broth, spicy, half-and-half (with a divider down the middle of the pot to enjoy both original and spicy), and vegetarian mushroom to add a veggie-friendly option. Unless you have a numb tongue or a high tolerance for spicy food, it is highly recommended to get either original or half-and-half. The spicy broth alone has enough ladle-fulls of chili peppers to render your esophagus molten before a single bite reaches your stomach.

There’s a vast array of tastes to be tried at the buffet, such as fresh greens (spinach, bok choy, watercress), mushrooms, root vegetables, tofu, dumplings and noodles. Dinner also includes seafood options like shrimp, fish and calamari.

Two complaints would be that the plastic curtains hanging in front of the food to keep it “fresh” are a little on the sketchy side, and the labels on the containers rarely match what’s inside leaving a lot of mouthfuls up to guesswork.

That aside, the desserts are surprisingly good, so save some room if possible for their mini whipped-cream pies, macaroons and tubs of mysterious ice cream flavours.

In all, the place has a cute semi-formal, semi-kitsch look to it, with tall booths for privacy, and tables for two with a single hot plate in the middle to share. K-Pop’s lively background beat, along with the matching music videos on plasma screens provide entertainment when mouths are too full for conversation.

The ever-polite staff may not be the most talkative, but they are considerate and extremely quick, and will even top-off your broth if they notice your soup level is getting low.

Considering it’s an all-you-can-eat, the price is very reasonable. Lunch is $15, and though dinner is noticeably more expensive at $25, it is because of the seafood that is offered only in the evening. Soft drinks and juices are included in the price.

Little Sheep closes after lunch at 3 p.m. and then reopens later for dinner. For anyone who doesn’t have cash on them, that’s fine as debit and credit are accepted.

While Little Sheep’s hot pot does deviate from its authentic Mongolian origins, this evolved Chinatown specialty is arguably the best of its kind in Montreal. Perfect for a casual date or a no-occasion outing with friends.


Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot is located on 50 de la Gauchetière St. W.

Student Life

L’Escalier to heaven

Looking to escape off campus for a while for some food, live music, beer, tea, chess and possibly a nap? There’s only one place in Montreal that can fulfill this impossible combination, and that’s L’Escalier.

Named for its characteristic hidden staircase smack in the middle of the Presse International building, L’Escalier can be easy to miss. Those who manage to find its seemingly mythical entrance will be transported into an equally magical cultural corner of Montreal.

Inside is a sprawl of different rooms. To the right is a café area where eclectic tables and chairs are set under dim, low-hanging lights in front of a stage that is rarely empty during the day. Their website has a schedule of the musicians (or slam poets) who will be performing. To the left is a shamble of well-loved couches and long dining tables, which are good for large groups. Beyond that is a room with

Named for its characteristic hidden staircase smack in the middle of the Presse International building, L’Escalier can be easy to miss. Photo by Maddie Hajek

second-hand games, books on a take-one-leave-one basis, hanging ivy and high-backed chairs. By far the best room, though also the most difficult to snag, would be dead centre at the far back, which is strewn with pillows, and wherein shoes are optional.

Orders are made at the bar, which is conveniently at the entrance, and the always-smiling staff will bring your food or drinks to wherever you settle. It’s cash only though and there is no ATM, so take out some green beforehand.

Everything is vegetarian, but do not fret just yet carnivores! L’Escalier does not need meat to satisfy. Prices are very fair for what you get. The sandwich and soup or salad combo is highly recommended, which comes to just under $9, $8 if you show your student card.

There are inventive varieties that range from pesto-feta to veggie pâté, but the best are arguably the goat cheese and apple cheddar. Each has an excellent balance between sweet and salty, and the freshness of cucumber, tomato and alfalfa nicely accompanies the stronger tastes of the cheeses.

It is served on multigrain bread with a tuft of alfalfa, some slices of vegetables drizzled with sticky balsamic vinegar and a choice of soup or salad.

For those looking for a snack there are plenty of options like nachos, salads, samosas, hummus and even some gourmet pizzas for the more hungry. These range between $2.50 and $9, which makes them perfect to share between a couple of friends.

In terms of drinks there is coffee, tea, cocktails, beer, wine and occasionally an interesting homemade juice blend, all ranging between $1.75 to $23.50.

What makes this place special though is the atmosphere itself. There are always travelers and interesting characters waiting to be encountered.


L’Escalier is located on 552 Ste-Catherine St.

Student Life

Food war: hot chocolate challenge

Hot chocolates for every occasion. Graphic by Jennifer Kwan

Warming up the semester with Kafein’s hot chocolate

Original home-style cocoa is the only way to go

Marta Barnes
Staff writer

Kafein is located on 1429 Bishop St. Photo by Marta Barnes

Sure, we’re having a warm spell now, but on these damp and drafty January days, what’s better than curling up with some cocoa? And, more importantly, where’s the best place for a cozy mug or two?
In terms of proximity, Kafein is hard to beat. A mere stone’s throw from the Sir George Williams campus, this favourite student sanctuary is right across from the library building.
Kafein is of course known to Concordians as a place to jack-up on caffeine between classes, but the hot chocolate is worth more than some consideration. It may not come in the gourmet range of flavours offered at other cafés, but its modest choice between hazelnut, caramel and good, old-fashioned is plenty.
After ordering, there’s time to admire the décor. Upstairs is a spread of café tables and chairs, excellent for anything between a quick chat with friends or a study session. The basement is set up as a lounge surrounded by red walls and crushed velvet chairs, creating a more relaxed and intimate place to laze and enjoy the DJ’s house music mix.
The hot chocolate itself is served in a fat glass with cocoa powdered on top. It’s not so much hot as it is warm, and it has a vaguely granular texture, but it sure tastes homemade. The caramel-flavoured hot chocolate sounds promising, but is in fact disappointing and does not taste like what you would expect. The hazelnut is indeed quite nutty. Surprisingly the best is the regular cocoa, which unlike the others, seems to be made with a dark chocolate base. Its thick, soul-warming richness puts it a cut above the rest. For the fair price of $3.75 per glass, there’s no excuse not to go. Winter’s never been more bearable.

Rating: B

Kafein is located on 1429 Bishop St.


This sweet pick-me-up in the winter is all we need
Au Festin de Babette does simplicity right

Au Festin de Babette is located on 4085 St-Denis St. Photo by Maddie Hajek

Caroline Crawford

School has officially begun. We’re all in need of a little mood lifter to get us through the day; a pick-me-up to help us battle through.
One of Montreal’s hot spots to fill your need for a sinfully delicious drink is Au Festin de Babette, a quaint, French country-style café. From the moment you enter, the aroma of chocolate fills your lungs and warms your heart. Blackboard menus and French posters, such as vintage chocolate advertisements, decorate the room, giving it a cozy charm.
Considering they specialize in chocolate, I had no choice but to try at least one of their assorted hot chocolates. After some reflection, I concluded that Le Babette and Le Dalmatien are two of the best hot chocolates I have had. You know a hot chocolate is good when your eyes go wide and your only response is your head nodding as your lips leave the rim of the mug.
Le Dalmatien brings you that very reaction. Made of white chocolate and 55 per cent Belgian chocolate, it was a purely decadent, smooth, velvety drink, which resembled a melted Lindt chocolate bar; a taste that left me with a smile.
Le Babette is a rich combination of 55 per cent Belgian chocolate, ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom. The mix of flavours burst onto your palette, allowing you to taste and enjoy every single spice.
The presentation was simple. There was no whipped cream, just dollops of frothed milk on le Babette, allowing you to indulge in their specialty — chocolate. In my opinion, simplicity is best.
Prices range from $8.50 to $12 for food and $4 to $7 for drinks. A little pricy for the hot chocolate, but the quality is unbeatable.

Rating: A-

Au Festin de Babette is located on 4085 St-Denis St.


Forget Romeo, Juliette’s true love is chocolate

Juliette et Chocolat is located on 1615 St-Denis St., 3600 St-Laurent St. and 377 Laurier Ave. W. Photo by Caroline Crawford

This Montreal chain promises quality…and they deliver

Caroline Crawford

With four different locations, Juliette et Chocolat is one staple in Montreal that people will recommend when you need that chocolate fix. The feel of each location is fast paced and busy.  As you walk in, you hear the buzz of conversations, see the assortments of desserts and chocolates, and most importantly, smell the chocolate. It’s a distinct smell that is hard to ignore and easy to like.
Although a little expensive, with prices ranging from $4.95 to $14.95 for food and $3.50 to $7.95 for drinks, there is no denying the excellent quality.
They have a variety of chocolate drinks, making it very difficult to decide on just one. Although overwhelmed, I finally chose the “Grandma’s style hot chocolate” with dark semi-sweet chocolate, described as “for real chocoholics, extra thick and chocolaty.”
They were not exaggerating. Not knowing what to expect, I was served a small bowl accompanied by a small pourer that would normally be filled with milk. Lucky for me, it was filled with chocolate.
I poured it in my bowl, took a sip and shocked my taste buds. It was pure chocolate; an incredibly thick and indulgent drink that should be had alone and with caution.
The portion size given was a lot for drinking pure chocolate, resulting in leaving half of the pourer full. Although delicious, it definitely could have used more milk, which they do offer in the classic style hot chocolate and the Grandma’s style with extra milk.
Personally, despite the deliciousness and quality of food and chocolate, I find Juliette et Chocolat a little pricey and overrated, but I will leave it up to you decide how much chocolate you can handle.

Rating: B+

Juliette et Chocolat is located on 1615 St-Denis St., 3600 St-Laurent St. and 377 Laurier Ave. W.

Student Life

Stumble your way to Karaoke Box

Karaoke Box is one of those landmarks on Ste-Catherine St. that should be on every student’s nightlife list. It is positively hopping on Friday and Saturday nights, so it’s better to head over on the early side to keep from looking in on the merry crowd from the cold like a character in some Dickens novel.

Located on 2151 de la Montagne St. Photo by writer.

With that said, it’s quiet enough during the week to go after class and relax with a few friends and a beer or two.

The prices are almost foolishly inexpensive. When asking the barista if there were any specials, she shrugged her shoulders and smiled. “Everything’s so cheap already,” she said.

To prove her point, she brought over a couple of menus. Four litre pitchers, with a choice of Alexander Keith’s, Budweiser or Labatt Blue, are $17.50, 23 shots go for $23, pints are $3.25, and most mixed drinks or hard liquor are just four dollars a glass. The beer’s no Guinness, but it most definitely does the job.

Karaoke Box may seem cramped from the outside, but that’s only because this classic is able to cram in a good time. Inside is a jungle of tables and chairs to navigate through which gives it a cozy and intimate vibe. The room is narrow but long, and decked out with rows of television screens. The bar is conveniently placed at the entrance to make sure priorities are set, ensuring no hand is without a drink.

At the far end of the room is the main event: the karaoke stage. It’s open for business as soon as the bar is, but as 10 p.m. rolls around, people begin to stumble their way to the open mic to sing their heart out.

They have a great selection of English pop songs, so get pumped for the fact that this is one of the few times, aside from driving alone and in the shower, that Carly Rae Jepson or Nicki Minaj can be belted out with no shame.

To accompany the music, an eclectic collection of music videos that range from the artist’s official releases to what looks like a montage of all the oddest videos the Internet has ever birthed. It’s almost more entertaining to watch the television screens than the person singing onstage. If singing isn’t your scene, there are also lotto machines where you can try your luck.

A night at good old K-Box is a great way to unwind from holiday family reunions or even just to congratulate yourself for going to your first week of classes. There’s no better place to kick off the semester – particularly from your wallet’s perspective.

Located on 2151 de la Montagne St.

Student Life

Warning! Viewer discretion is advised

Graphic by Phil Waheed

Anxiety over the effects of extensive porn-watching is not something altogether new, but it does beg the question, what are the negative effects?

Men’s Health’s article “Is Porn Bumming You Out?” by reporter Kiera Aaron explores the link between viewing porn and depression. The article highlights the results of a recent study that included 500 subjects who were asked to complete a survey on the importance of pornography in their lives, their thoughts on personal health and feelings of depression. The study concluded that those who watched porn on a regular basis took more days off from work and admitted to feelings of depression compared to those who watched porn very rarely, if at all.

Co-author of the study Dr. Duane McBride, professor at Andrews University, told Men’s Health that porn may be a cause of mental health problems because of the isolation it involves, but admits that there isn’t necessarily a correlation between the two. Rather, as the article’s writer puts it, “porn might not cause isolation but rather be a symptom of isolation—meaning those who are already antisocial tend to rely more on pornography.”

To find out how Concordia’s students feel, The Concordian spoke with students Chris Herbert and Melissa Park.

Herbert agreed that sometimes porn made him feel depressed and admitted to only watching it in a positive state of mind. “Masturbation is not a substitute for actual sex,” he said. “It will often make me feel lonelier afterwards.”

Both students agreed that porn served as a good educator and felt it never diminished their sex lives. If anything, Herbert said he believes porn has helped him appreciate his partners more. “I’ve learned a lot about how much better real-life sex with a real person can be,” he added.

So let us look at the effects of porn if we were to remove the isolation factor.

A Norwegian study observed relations between couples and porn habits. Hands down, the most dysfunctional relationships were the ones where only one member used it. Surprisingly, the most satisfied couples were the ones who both incorporated it into their sex lives and shared the experience with one another. Researchers found these couples were more capable of communicating their fantasies to one another, experimenting and being open minded when romping around between the sheets.

A study done in the University of Denver also concluded that couples who are open about, and even join their partner in their x-rated movie nights, are more likely to keep relationships going strong.

McBride agreed, saying that “experts believe that face-to-face social interactions improve mood and perceptions of physical health while social isolation has the opposite effect.”

The application of the open-porn relationship expressed in the Norwegian survey, however, seems easier said than done.

“I’ve never watched porn on a regular basis with a partner,” said Herbert, adding that this was because his partners were not interested in watching it. Park, however, said her experiences have been mixed among partners.

“One boyfriend was really not cool with [porn],” she said. “Others were a lot more receptive and adventuresome.” She also echoed the importance of a partner’s personal preference on the topic.

“I’ve talked about it pretty openly with past partners,” she said, “but it really depends on how they feel about it.”

According to the studies, the bottom line seems to be intimacy and connection, something Herbert and Park both feel is most important.

“My relationship with porn definitely affected myself personally, but never my relationships in a direct way,” said Herbert.

In moderation, and with the right partner, porn can be just thing to strengthen your relationship and get a little kinky. On the other hand, it is advisable to watch porn only in a positive emotional state, because if not you might risk feeling lonely and depressed afterwards.


Names of the students interviewed have been changed to protect privacy. 



Student Life

La guerra del taco

Though Montreal isn’t exactly a capital for the spicy food of our southern friends, there are a few hotspots around to satiate cravings for a more authentic Mexican food experience. The faceoff: Tequila Taco House versus La Matraca.

Round 1: Tequila Taco House

Tequila Taco House. Photo by writer

Their interior may be small, but the high ceilings with tall shelves supporting earthenware pottery and desert plants gives it a comfortable and open feel. A waitress arrives instantly with water, menus, and preemptive bowls of hot sauces. You know you’re in for a fun night when every table is filled with margaritas and festive salsa music is playing in the background.

Before sinking your teeth into a main course, try the guacamole nachos as an appetizer. The guac is homemade with the summery tang of lime that goes great with the oily bitterness of the thick cut corn nachos. For colder weather, there’s the Aztec soup. Though salty, the taco shells lining the bottom do well to offset this, and the cheese and sour cream swirled on top are irresistible.

For the indecisive, the waitress enthusiastically recommends the Tequila Taco special. It has a little of everything, and is perfect for sharing. It comes with four soft tacos with two shrimp balls each that are fried in cornbread. Served with spicy mayo, a corn-herb-rice medley, chunky tomato salsa, and a side of nachos speared into a dollop of refried beans and cheese, it is positively filling. As a side comment, their food presentation gets a top grade.

Try the Tequila Taco Special for a bit of everything. Photo by writer.


As for drinks, the margaritas are where it’s at. The lime was maybe a bit salty, but the fabulous Jamaican margarita is reminiscent of an amaretto sour with tequila.

In all, it’s not exactly cheap, averaging at $12 a dish, but the food is quality enough to make it worthwhile.

Rating: A+



Round 2: La Matraca

Visit Matraca for a wide array of tacos, sandwiches, and burritos. Photo by writer.

Anyone looking for the Mexican equivalent of a Belle Province, look no farther! La Matraca is a diner with quirk, from its signs about la etiqueta del taco, to its corkboards crammed with photos of satisfied customers, to the “I <3 Tacos” t-shirts for sale.

The menu is a DIY checklist allowing for a mix-and-match of different dishes. While there isn’t any guacamole, they do have a savoury bean and Mexican sausage entrée soup, that I highly recommend. The flautas, taco-cheese rolls with a bean dip, are great for a group of friends to split.

The main dishes are a wide array of tacos, sandwiches, and burritos. The guera is the highlight of the menu, a flour tortilla with seasoned beef and cheese improved only by copious amounts of the three types of spicy sauces provided. For dragon-people who like to feast on fire, La Matraca’s hot scale for these sauces starts at around a 6 and hovers comfortably at a 9.

Their unique beverage selection includes milky sweet agua de Horchata, agua de Jamaica (a homemade ice tea), and fizzy apple soda.

Prices range from $5-8, but the portions are small and the prices reflect this.

Rating: A



The quality of Tequila Taco House gives it first place, but both are worth checking out. I suggest taking a date to Tequila Taco House, and friends to La Matraca!


Tequila Taco House is located on 2 Sherbrooke East St.

La Matraca is located on 4607 St-Denis St.


Student Life

CEO KTV Lounge: a hidden karaoke gem

CEO Karaoke Lounge – By Andrea Sun

If you love to karaoke your heart out but haven’t consumed enough alcohol to keep your knees from knocking on stage, have no fear! CEO KTV Lounge offers a fine selection of private party rooms for groups of any size.

Located in one of the more well-hidden nooks of Chinatown, CEO is below the famous Ruby Rouge restaurant, in a basement veritably riddled with karaoke caves. It might be easy to miss, but if you’re in the know of where to look, then you’re in for a treat.

Descending into the open lounge, a fine selection of liquor catches the eye, as do the multiple wall-sized projections of karaoke videos to get newcomers in the singing mood. The couches are arranged in a square, intimate and comfortable, and are excellent for those who just want to drop in spontaneously when out with a couple of friends.

Where CEO KTV really hits their stride, however, is with their private rooms. While the small ones are cozy and can squeeze in six to ten people, the largest can easily accommodate more than thirty, if not forty.

After talking to the staff about what makes a night here particularly memorable, they answered that hands down, it’s the friendly atmosphere.

“Customers always come here and feel they know the rest of the rooms by the night,” said one employee with enthusiasm, explaining how the parties seem to always end up merging together. So for those who are social butterflies, this is the place to meet strangers and enjoy a quality glass of wine, whisky, or sake!

Except for soft drinks and beer, which are fairly standard prices, drinks are sold by the bottle. Wine ranges from $45 to $65, while hard liquor can range between $120 to $180. Renting rooms goes according to how much the final tab comes to. The small rooms are free if over $100 is spent on alcohol. The bigger rooms can go as high as $500. Although, keep in mind this is the total cost divided among possibly over thirty people.

Hope is not lost though. Students get a happy hour discount between 6 p.m. and midnight on weekdays and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends, which is the very decent cover charge of $10 including a drink. The staff advises big groups to make reservations on weekends, but welcomes spur-of-the-moment drop-ins during the week.

The kitchen offers a very basic selection of instant noodles, pork dumplings, dried squid, and chips. It’s recommended to eat beforehand, particularly if over $100 will be spent on drinks that night. With that said, Chinatown is literally on the doorstep, so it’s easy to run out for a midnight snack.

The song listings themselves are displayed on impressively new touch screen computers and are easiest to search through by artists. There are selections in English, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Vietnamese.

Check out their Halloween spirit this week for their seasonal decorations and costumes!


CEO KTV Lounge is located on 1008 Clark St.


Give yourself over to absolute pleasure

Even without seeing the movie, almost everyone knows how to dance to the time warp.

If you’re unfamiliar, however, there’s still time to watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show, brush up on your dance skills and buy tickets for the much-anticipated annual Halloween Ball.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show has become a cult classic since its initial release in 1975.

In honour of this cult classic, hundreds of people will strut to the Imperial theatre on Oct. 26, 27 and 31 to flaunt what they’ve got while worshipping pure decadence.

Not to be confused with the stage play, The Rocky Horror Show, the Halloween Ball projects the feature film The Rocky Horror Picture Show onto a screen while actors simultaneously mimic the action in the movie. Audience participation isn’t just encouraged, it’s expected. That means singing along, shouting out callbacks and throwing props around at the appropriate moments. If you forget your props at home, then $5 bags of newspaper, toilet paper, playing cards, and toast are offered in the lineup. This also helps fund the otherwise unpaid cast and crew.

But before the big event, there is a costume contest like no other where winners are primarily determined by who has the most catcalls by the end. Appreciation for creative costumes is extended not only to contest participants, but to all who dress up.

When asked for advice on what to wear, first-year cast member Robyn Barnes said, “While it’s entirely up to you how to dress, we love to see you all decked out in lingerie – especially the guys. Go all out,” she added, “because we definitely will.”

Indeed, it seems most people follow this same advice because never at one time will you see so many people dressed in drag while braving bitter October weather. Keep your eye out for the fire juggler in the thong unitard though, because he’ll warm you up if you start to shiver in your fishnets.

Even if you’ve been before, there’s always something new to see.

“I think we’ve got a really strong cast this year,” said Concordia’s Davina Guttman of the classics department, and second-time cast member. “Every year we try and make it better than the last.”

For those who haven’t experienced the sensual spectacle of unbridled hedonism, it’s an essential part of the Halloween experience.

As Barnes puts it, “It’s more than a show, it’s a party that everyone gets to be a part of.”

So give yourself over to absolute pleasure, as Rocky’s Dr. Frank-N-Furter puts it, and we’ll see you there.

Tickets for both the 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. shows are on sale at Cruella, 63 Mont Royal E. and Boutique le Quizz, 1500 Atwater, for $17.95 in advance or $19.95 at the door. Halloween-dedicated students get a $5 discount on the 31. But be warned they go fast!

Student Life

Smoke, drink, and journey to Morocco

It can be hard finding a place to escape from the bustle and stress of university life, but luckily there are places like Orienthé for just that. This Moroccan-style tea and shisha lounge will instantly bring down the midterm blood pressure.

The décor is surely the first thing that will strike newcomers (after the sign saying shoes must be swapped for their pointed slippers, of

Tea Room Orienthé. Photo by Marta Barnes

course). Decorated all in warm reds and golds with Oriental statues and paraphernalia on the walls, it feels like a sunny, exotic escape.

There are cushions and low couches lining the walls and a quaint collection of books leaning on the shelf by the window for clients to peruse. In the back is a luxurious alcove with pillows on the ground and sheer curtains, a space ideal for private get-togethers.

The menu offers a wide range of teas, from black to green to red. It’s perhaps not the best place for someone living on a budget, the average price being $4.50 for a personal pot, or $8 for a large pot for two. The combos, however, are where the savings kick in. For two friends wanting a nice place to chill for the evening, it’s possible to get a hookah, four pieces of baklava, and either two personal teas or a large pot for two for $24. To contrast, the hookah alone would cost $13. Light meals of homemade quiches, soups, and sandwiches are also offered.

The service was quick, and while maybe not overtly friendly, not notably dismissive either. They do not hover, which adds to the feeling that this is a place to stay and relax rather than be rushed out of. That being said, because they aren’t waiting on you, you’ll have to go to the counter if you want to order anything else.

The tea was quite good. Perhaps it’s not as fancy as a traditional teahouse with pouring rituals, but to an average tea appreciator, it satisfies the need for steeped, comforting goodness.

The baklava was fresh, flakey, crispy and sticky with honey. It’s not the kind of baklava you’d find in plastic grocery store boxes or in take-out restaurants where it’s been left to grow stale and chewy.

As for the shisha, it was excellent and perhaps the best part. It turns Orienthé from an average tea lounge into a place worth remembering. Compared to other shisha lounges the price is quite comparable, and might even be less expensive. Personal mouthpieces are provided to each customer, keeping things germ-free.

Over the course of a three-hour afternoon stay, there were only about ten clients who stopped by. Rather than feeling empty it felt comfortably quiet; it wouldn’t be nearly so enjoyable if it were hopping with business. As such it becomes the perfect place to chat with friends, bring homework, catch up on some reading or write an article.


Orienthé is located on 4511 St-Denis St.

Student Life

Give your canine teeth a rest and feast like a herbivore

Editor’s Intro

Whether it’s a food trend, a generational thing, or the number of studies we are bombarded with on the health risks of red meat, there is no denying that vegetarianism is spreading across Canada. According to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s “Canadian Food Trends to 2020,” citizens have become more cautious as to what they are eating, continually increasing their consumption of meatless meals. Restaurant owners and media outlets, like the Food Network, are paying attention to this shift in healthy living, incorporating vegetarian options on their menu and teaching viewers how they can prepare a healthy, meatless meal in under 20 minutes. Even Mario Batali, a well-know American-Italian chef who is no stranger to a great piece of prosciutto, has integrated Meatless Monday options to 14 of his restaurants. While we’re not expecting everyone to take on a vegetarian lifestyle, there are delicious ways to incorporate some meatless meals in your omnivorous diet; here are few of our favourite choices around Montreal!


Chow down at ChuChai

Andrew Guilbert
Staff Writer

ChuChai is back in business after a long reconstruction period that started way back in February, and Montreal vegetarians are grateful for its return.

Vegetarian Thai restaurant ChuChai makes for a calm and modern dining experience. Photo by Marilla Steuter-Martin

This restaurant sells itself as Thai vegetarian food with an upscale feel and a wine list to match. Though the menu can seem pricey to the uninitiated (meals run from 12$ to 20$), the unique presentation and intimate atmosphere make for a dining experience that accentuates the calm, modern vibe that goes hand in hand with chef Lily Sirikittikul’s creations.

The main attraction here is the series of “fake meat” dishes you can order; fish, duck, beef, chicken and shrimp are all reproduced in both taste and texture through the magic of soy, seitan and various vegetables coming together.

The simulacrum is so uncanny that a vegetarian friend of mine recounted how he once shocked an acquaintance of his by inviting him out to ChuChai and chowing down on the fake meat in front of his incredulous dinner guest. A personal favorite is the duck in red curry with pineapple, tomato and basil, which comes drizzled and stepped with a liberal amount of sweet, tangy sauce that demand you order an extra rice bowl just to finish it off.

The main courses aren’t the only draw to this modern St-Denis eatery; the appetizers are a brilliant amalgamation of oriental tastes, vibrant colors and simple, delicate presentation. Warranting particular note is the award winning Miam Kram, a unique combination of tastes like ginger, lemon and peanuts is served on a leaf you fold around the piled ingredients and pop into your mouth. It makes for a fresh, crisp morsel you won’t find the likes of anywhere else on the island.


ChuChai is located on 4088 Saint Denis St.


Aux Vivres deceives the palate

Andrew Guilbert
Staff writer

Aux Vivres was my go-to place during my lean, vegan years and despite my relapse into the world of carnivorism, it remains a mainstay

of my restaurant rotation. Why, you ask? Because it’s not a good vegan restaurant; it’s a good restaurant that just so happens to be vegan.

Vegan restaurant Aux Vivres serves veggie bowls, burgers, salads and soul food. Photo by Madelayne Hajek

The menu features a wide selection under different sections; veggie bowls, burgers, salads, soul food, sandwiches and smoothies, ranging between $10 and $20. Whatever piques your fancy, you can find something to your liking.

There’s also a detailed tea list with a dozen different brews to choose from, as well as a dessert menu that features a fantastic “uncheescake” that will make you wonder how they can make this stuff without cream.

If you’re curious about their vegan cuisine, I recommend the BLT on chapati bread. The ‘B’ in this case is a coconut confection made to resemble, but not reproduce, the texture of bacon. What makes this sandwich truly remarkable, however, is the faux mayonnaise they use to lend it a nice, moist counterpoint to the hard crunch of fresh lettuce and coconut bacon. It’s enough to warrant suggesting they enter the commercial market with an “I can’t believe it’s not mayo!” product of some sort.

If Asian cuisine is more your thing, give the Macro bowl a try. A generous serving of steamed spinach, sauerkraut, bok choy, wakame, sprouts, miso-tahini sauce and grilled tofu or tempeh makes for an impressive amount of food that will leave you satisfied, but won’t leave you feeling bloated.

Aux Vivres is located on 4631 Saint Laurent Boulevard.



Lola Rosa gets creative with veggies

Marta Barnes

Lola Rosa café is one of those places for vegetarians and carnivores alike. it’s not just that their food is amazing for veggie monsters, it’s

Photo from Flickr.

that this food is just plain amazing and should be added as a point of pilgrimage for all Montrealers.

Their menu is a long list of imaginative dishes like tomato pie, hempburger, and the Rosa salad with chickpeas, oranges, feta cheese and hot peppers. With that said, their most popular choices are quesadillas, three cheese and spinach lasagna, and the quiche of the day which is always a fail-safe for the indecisive.

The quiche, served with a side of rice and salads, is wholesome with a crust that would give your French-Canadian grandmother envie. They have an excellent take on quesadillas as well, which taste more like they’re folded with a crepe rather than your run-of-the-mill corn tortilla.

If put to a vote though, the best has to be the lasagna, a generous portion of baked cheese melting in and over creamy layers of spinach and pasta. All is mid-priced, averaging around $12 a dish.

For dessert, the absolute standout is the seasonal pumpkin pie. The filling is velvety, halfway between a pie and a cheesecake, but it is the pressed sesame seed crust that makes it a superstar among pumpkin pastries. Dusted with cinnamon and served à la mode, the pie absorbs the senses so thoroughly, even the rowdiest table crowd will fall silent for the first few bites.

As for a quick appreciation of the décor, the wood paneling, chalkboards, cushions, and worn wood furniture packed close together give it an easy-going, yet carefully styled bohemian vibe. Don’t forget to leave a note behind in one of the hidden drawers!


Lola Rosa is located on 545 Milton St.


Bonnys is a humble, earthly, hidden gem

Nicole Yeba

When I stepped inside Bonnys, I noticed a wall that consisted of long branches of wood and speakers inside a small log near the ceiling.

The boca burger at Bonnys restaurant. Photo by Nicole Yeba.

With only 12 tables, the restaurant has a very intimate atmosphere. The wood, plants, and shades of green and yellow give the room an earthy feel. They have reusable tablecloths rather than paper napkins which are only used once, perfectly suitable for such a restaurant.

I ordered a platter of the boca burger, which consists of a homemade chickpea flour and black bean burger. It’s served with an avalanche of fresh salsa, cheddar cheese, organic sour cream and sliced avocado. The platter comes with a large chef’s salad and nachos. The burger is covered with salsa, making it almost impossible to eat without utensils.

I had never tried a vegetarian burger before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was very good and extremely filling. With taxes, it was roughly $16, so not cheap, but worth it if you’re willing to splurge a little.

Owner Bonnie Tees wasn’t at the restaurant so I chatted with one of her employees, Jazmine Johansson. She has been working at Bonnys for three years now, and is a fellow Concordia student. When I asked her about the clientele, she informed me that they are mostly regulars. Some customers even go daily to buy their lunch. Johansson mentioned that the crowd is older, with few students and she said she doesn’t understand why.

In my opinion, the lack of young clients might be due to the fact that Bonnys is located in an uncommon area for students. Overall, we could both agree that the restaurant is a hidden gem for veggie lovers!


Bonnys is located on 1748 Notre-Dame West St.



Student Life

Food wars: Romados vs. Coco Rico

We’ve all been hungry enough to eat a whole chicken, but where, as students, can we afford to actually satiate our budgeted stomachs in such a way? Turns out the golden light of deliverance shines brightest on Romados and Coco Rico, two venerable Portuguese roast chicken delis.

Photo by writer.

So what better way to kick off the midterm season than with another round of food wars to settle which of these Portuguese pleasers are the most palatable. Let the chicken fight begin!


Round one: Romados, a deli whose mouth-watering reputation precedes it among Montreal foodies – and one who lives up to the talk (or rather drool). Upon arrival and without delay, an entire half a chicken was ordered with combo. And by combo, think full course meal.

After carving the half chicken, they pile a Styrofoam takeout box with a decadent display of rice, crisp tossed salad and enough fries to make your heart want to book an appointment with a cardiologist post-consumption. While drinks are not included (although highly recommended!), the happy surprise of a complimentary fresh-baked sourdough bun and custard fruit tart awaits you at the counter. If you aren’t beside yourself with an over encompassing level of joy at how amazing this place is, you may still be able to note with flabbergastation how this all comes out to less than $10.

Romados makes your taste buds love you; the chicken is tender and satisfying in a way only a home-cooked meal feels. The rice is savoury and flavoured with subtle herbs. The bun and the salad do well to cut the grease of the chicken, which is buried under all the sides, marinating in its own juices. And the fries. What can even be said? Thick-cut, piquant, and abundant, they complete the banquet in the best way. There’s enough food to last for two if not three meals, so it’s good to stop the main course about halfway through to sample the custard tart, a creamy and decadent finale.

Coco Rico

Next stop, Coco Rico. After ordering half a chicken with a combo, it is already evident that there is no comparison with Romados in terms of bang for your buck. Not to say there isn’t ample food – it can be stretched to two meals comfortably, but definitely not three. That said, there is a generous halved chicken with roast whole potatoes, a side of salad of your choosing (coleslaws or noodle salads similar to what you’d find at a Metro or IGA), and the option to add on an egg tart (at additional cost). The price is not bad coming out to a bit over $11.

In terms of taste, Coco Rico is definitely up there. If you’re one to enjoy the devil on your tongue, say yes when they offer the spicy gravy and liberal powdering of seasoned paprika over the chicken and potatoes. Perhaps it is this added help, but the food seems only to increase in tastiness throughout the meal. You’re guaranteed to be picking the bones in no time. For dessert, it’s worth un-notching the belt to sample the egg tart; indisputably better than at Romados, both pastry and filling melt on your tongue. The one complaint on leaving is that the chicken is a bit dry.


Both these delis will leave you haunted by gustatory cravings, but a winner must be declared, and that winner is Romados. The food, the price, and the eatery setup itself (cozy, bright, and warm yet well ventilated) were all just unbeatable. If you haven’t been and you’re craving roast chicken, you’re craving Romados – you just don’t know it yet.


Rotisserie Romados is located on 115 Rachel East St.

Coco Rico is located on 3907 Saint Laurent Boulevard.

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