By Alex Hutchins and Jacob Carey
Tasty food reccs for broke students
1923 Ste-Catherine St. W.
Falafel wrap, Moroccan chickpea soup, and lemonade trio ($4): 8/10
The warped floors, low ceiling, and limited space really add to the dive-resto vibe at Nilufar, but do not let it’s slightly-lacking aesthetic fool you. The falafel balls themselves have just the right amount of crisp before they give way to a warm explosion of flavour, and the cool veggies add the perfect crunch to every bite. The soup’s soft chickpeas, lentils, celery and onions all blend together beautifully, with just the right amount of cilantro. This was particularly impressive, since I’m not one to enjoy cilantro (it tastes like soap). Moroccan soup was my choice of the day, however there are four other options: lentil, barley, vegetable, and spicy Tunisian soup. The lemonade is the standard drink of choice, while the staff cycle out alternative juice options from day to day, such as peach, lime and pink lemonade, all of which pair beautifully with the meal.
6995 Monkland Ave.
Poutine ($9.20): 6.5/10
A few weeks ago, we recommended Souvlaki George as one of the few spots around Loyola to grab some grub. While poutine is by no means their specialty, being a Greek restaurant and all, it was still surprisingly unimpressive. The first major flaw: no napkins or takeout utensils to eat the poutine with, and trying to eat greasy fries with two plastic knives chopstick-style seriously hindered my ability to enjoy the meal. Secondly, the fries were very soggy. While this may not have occurred had I eaten at the resto, the short walk back to campus should not have brought about that much sogginess. Honestly, the best part of the whole dish was the gravy; its savouriness cannot be disputed. While the gyros, pitas and plates are probably delicious, if you’re looking for some poutine, I’d suggest going elsewhere.
Café Bistro Bano
6929 Sherbrooke St. W.
All-dressed chicken schnitzel sandwich ($6.29): 7.5/10
Café Bistro Bano may be easy to miss as one walks down Sherbrooke St. W., but its quality of food should not be overlooked. Just a three minute walk from Loyola campus, the Persian restaurant provides a cozy eating space that feels like home with its unique wall decor. The chicken schnitzel is the most popular and recommended dish, and provides clientele—mostly Loyola High School and Concordia University students—with a satisfying bite at a low cost. The crispy chicken breast in ciabatta bread makes for a nice crunch that is complemented by the lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and spicy sauce. The fries are mediocre, although soup or salad can replace them as a side dish. However, the dessert is shouldn’t be skipped. The homemade cheesecakes are fantastic and the truffles are a must-try.
1202 Bishop St.
Chicken cutlet panini ($10.25): 7.5/10
Located two streets over from Concordia’s downtown campus, Parma Café is an Italian bistro with a wide selection of food options. The modern set-up with soothing decorations and a friendly staff makes for an enjoyable dining experience. The deep-fried chicken cutlet panini comes with grilled eggplant, lettuce and homemade mayonnaise—all flavours that enhance each other beautifully. For an extra dose of flavour, don’t be afraid to add another layer of cheese. The restaurant offers several variations of paninis, salads, pizzas and pastas, as well as the specials of the day. Their desserts range from cannolis and brownies, to cookies and nutella horns, all with a home-style touch. These are best alongside one of Parma’s espresso-based beverages.
Feature photo by Alex Hutchins