Thursday, August 02, 2012

Coq-la-la!, rev. ed.

What is up, Montreal?  Baby's on fire.

The momentum's been building for a few years now, but, rather suddenly, after years and years of outright persecution, street food is cropping up all over the place.  You could find it along Ste-Catherine, in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles, during the Festival Juste Pour Rire, where it was getting star billing.  You can find it in Place de la Paix, where it's been accompanying a series of films and DJs (and will be until the end of August).  You've been able to find it at Parc Olympique where the Association de Restaurateurs de Rue du Québec have been holding street food shindigs on the first Friday of every month all summer long (check out the August edition, the last one of the summer, tomorrow).  You can find it in our food courts and at our outdoor markets.  And now you can get one of the classics of the global street food phenomenon, Vietnamese bánh mì, delivered right to your doorstep.

In all of these cases, we're not talking about third-rate carny dreck (as much as I like a good batch of funnel cake)--we're talking about street food staples, both North American and international, that have been carefully sourced and prepared.  And the same holds true for this latest venture, the cheekily named Coq Asian, which pools the talents of a couple of local line cooks and one of our favourite local coffee gurus, to bring you the bánh mì you've been dreaming of all these years (you know, the one with the quality bread, the top-notch ingredients, and the ultra-fresh preparation) plus some pretty amazing iced Vietnamese coffee (made with locally roasted beans!).

coq asian delivery fig. a:  nice package!

We were pretty psyched by just the look of our duo of grilled beef, green peppercorn, and chilli bánh mìs with "white" cold-brewed Vietnamese coffees (which came in mason jars!).

coq asian banh mi fig. b:  bánh me!

We were way more psyched when we actually bit into that bánh mì--the beef was plentiful, rosy, perfectly grilled, and spicy-tangy, the condiments were fresh.  And we were even more psyched when the jolt of that Vietnamese coffee kicked in.

Coq Asian is only in operation Fridays through Sundays.  You can get in touch by following them on Facebook and/or Twitter.  Place your orders early.  They sold out on weekend #1.  And keep in mind that their range is limited--we were able to get our order delivered downtown, but, for the moment, their focus is on the Plateau/Mile End.

Like the proverbial crooning rooster, we're proud to sing the praises of Coq Asian.

And keep the street food coming!  Who knows, maybe we'll soon have Tamale Ladies strolling through our late-night establishments and wood-burning pizza trucks popping up on our rues, avenues, and boulevards.  Maybe we'll start hosting full-on street food festivals!


p.s.  Update:  you'll be happy to know that Coq Asian's quality control is excellent--we've only missed one week since they started up, and we haven't been disappointed yet.  Not even close.  And the next time they do their Vietnamese meatball sandwich, like they did this past weekend (Aug. 17-9), do not miss it!  That was by far and away the best meatball bánh mì I've had in a very long time.

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