Last Sunday we checked out the Winter Festival that is currently going on in Montreal. But before heading to the festival in downtown, we ate lunch at La Panthere Verte (The Green Panther). An all organic and vegan restaurant, this little joint has several cafes around the city. And it is the place to get hummus and falafel sandwiches.
We’ve visited the place twice, and on our first visit it was at the Mont-Royal location one evening for a second dinner. Being that they are famous for their falafel sandwiches, I had to give it a try. Ordering a half pita sandwich, I have to agree with the consensus that their falafels are the best in town. They are scrumptious and have a strong flavor. Although the best I’ve had, as a whole for a (falafel) sandwich, it tops the best list but isn’t quite the best. I do like that the sandwich is different, though. Besides the traditional tahini for sauce, the makeup consists of sauerkraut, relish, sprouts, carrots and cabbage. It’s a little healthier than most falafel sandwiches I’ve had. Now, if they would only bake the falafels, then they probably would have the healthiest version out there.
Nick ordered a plate of hummus and pita bread. The hummus is amazing! It’s simply the best we’ve had out, and we love the fact that we can go in and just order a plate for a meal.
Afterwards, I couldn’t resist their desserts. Tempted by their tiramisu and carrot cake, I went for the carrot cake, vowing I’ll be back for the tiramisu once during our time here. Though the carrot cake was delicious, it wasn’t the best I’ve had; however, I have to say the icing was super yummy. I’m not much of an icing person, but this maple-cashew cream icing had me hooked. I was too full to finish the whole cake, but it was for the best in terms of health!
On our second visit before attending the festival, we visited the one in downtown. Nick went with the plate of hummus and pita again, but I went for something different: their soup of the day, which was a chickpea and veggie soup topped over brown rice. It was so satisfying and tasty. Delicious wellness.
And then we ended our feast by sharing a Halva, our first time trying the Middle Eastern cookie. The Green Panther’s version on it was very good, made from almond flour and topped with sesame seeds.
Now on to the festival…
MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE is one of the largest winter festivals in the world, an annual celebration, making this year their 17th edition. The program consists of live music, artist performances, gastronomy, and outdoor activities. Out of curiosity, we wanted to see what it’s all about. Although we went on the most uneventful day, Sunday, where it also closes early, it was enough for us to give us an idea of the festivities. On February 27th, there will be an all-night party happening called Nuit Blanche, but we’ll be passing on that.
I visited and said “Hello” to “Kongzi,” practicing my “meditation” by his side.
The air was redolent with the smell of BBQ and campfire, because people were roasting marshmallows, hotdogs, and sausages. Besides standing around eating, or eating inside igloo tents, others zip-lined, or did some sledding.
Overall, it was nice to check it out, but there wasn’t really much there for us. But I have to hand it to Montrealers, they are big on festivals, and whether there’s snow or sub-zero temperatures with wind chill, they are out there. It seems, nothing stops them from having a blast — even if it’s winter.