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Fortune Dumpling and Bubble Tea

Having eaten over a million dumplings to date, you’d think I’d be sick of them…but I’m not. Forever and always, I’ll be head-over-heels crazy and recklessly in love with those plump curves that fit so perfectly and explode in my mouth. Not to mention the fact that my very existence depends on them the same way other humans need air. Dumplings aren’t my addiction – they’re my life.

While I’m strongly devoted to Mai Xiang Yuan in Chinatown, I dig Fortune Dumpling and Bubble Tea – the new dumpling shop with a terrible name on Qing Hua Dumpling’s original downtown turf.

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Word on the Sweet: Green Tea Cookies at Harmonie

If you’re dead set on coming out with just one item from Harmonie Bakery (or its sister stores Cocobun), you might be there for a while. This Hong Kong-style bakery carries a large enough assortment of sweet and savory buns, breads, cakes, cookies, tarts and bubble teas to make you pace back and forth, eyes darting in every possible direction before finally finding the one.

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Word on the Sweet: Zeppole Season at La Cornetteria

While La Cornetteria’s cornetti are celebrated all year round, the spotlight shifts to their awaited zeppole come March. They’re traditionally consumed on Saint Joseph’s Day, but this Little Italy bakery extends tradition by hooking us up with these Italian pastries all month long. That’s what’s up.

Piped in rounds and fried fresh every morning, each golden wonder is coated in white sugar before getting sliced in half to make room for lavish cream filling.

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Allô! Mon Coco

There’s only so much restaurants can make for breakfast. Eggs, meat, potatoes – typical. Benedicts – fancy. Pancakes, waffles, crepes – OK. But I’m not complaining. I love all that stuff. Some chefs get creative, building on the fundamentals, but that often comes at a price hike and portion reduction I’d rather save for an occasion when I can order as much as I want and have someone else take care of the bill. Most of the time, I want simple and honest food to start my day. Just season it well and cook it properly. That’s it. That’s all.

Apparently that’s a lot to ask for at Allô! Mon Coco, a cherished breakfast spot in Laval I can’t endorse.

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Ramen Misoya

In the last week of 2012, an international ramen chain called Ramen Misoya touched down in Montreal to the delight of ramen enthusiasts such as myself. Despite not knowing a thing about the brand, I was excited by its potential to help redeem Montreal’s poor ramen reputation because, let’s face it – if you’ve been around town, you know nothing could possibly make it worse. 

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Word on the street is: Maïs is the sh*t. Fueled by my body’s unfulfilled desire for legit tacos, I dropped by the new Mile End taqueria for lunch to get in on the action. I wasn’t surprised to see it poppin’ with people scoffing down soft-shell tacos like it’s been a success for ages – not only has Maïs been the subject of good press, it’s also run by a group of guys who know a thing or two about the restaurant business. With Dave Schmidt and Peter Popovic (co-owner of Magpie and The Sparrow) taking care of the business angle while juggling Café Sardine (their first venture together) at the same time, chefs William Cody and Gilbert Macnutt are busy in the kitchen making tacos people can’t seem to get enough of.

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