Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My favourite little Mexican Kitchen: Amaranto

Restaurant Amaranto
5974 De Monkland Av. MontrealQC H4A 1G8
(514) 510-1225
Tacos al Pastor
It is time for a long overdue mention of one of my favourite restaurants ever. EVER. 

Restaurant Amaranto is a lovely Mexican restaurant just down the street from where I live. It is a small, cute restaurant with five tables, an open kitchen and a friendly, lovely couple that run the whole show. 

They have a small, simple menu featuring an array of delicious tacos: Al Pastor, Chorizo and Cactus being three amazing tacos. There are also, quesadillas, sopes, queso fundido (a fondue of delicious Mexican cheese), a couple enchilada dishes and an amazing cactus salad. They also usually have a couple specials, an  appetizer and a one or two mains.
A winner, when it is there, is always the Avocado soup which is an incredible soup of a guacamole in a chicken broth, sprinkled with home made tortilla bits, cilantro and pomegranate seeds. They will use diced tomatoes during the pomegranate off-season but it's still so yum.
Notice that the ingredient list is quite small and simple. They let the food speak for itself through their fresh ingredients. Oh, and they give you home made tortilla chips with red and green salsas to dip them in. Why am I writing this now? I am oh so hungry for Amaranto now...
Avocado soup
Chile Rellenos
This restaurant was actually one of the first places I walked into when we first moved near the Monkland area. After a long day of moving large boxes into our new apartment, we were hungry for supper and I was nominated to go find some take out. Strange, considering that the votes were even. 

So I wandered down our street, past 'The Monkland Grill' and 'Le Gout d'Inde (Taste of India)'. I peered at the menu to 'Le Caveau Szechwan' and finally opened a door that lead down little Amaranto. I was smitten by the cuteness of the restaurant and asked if they did take out to which they reply 'Yes'.  Now, I had just spent the entire day moving things here, so I had no idea what I was thinking. I looked around the restaurant again and I said 'Actually I just moved here today so I really want to come back with my wife and eat in your restaurant!' I dashed out, order some not-so-great take out beef and broccoli from 'Le Caveau Szechwan' (to which I have never returned). What a terrible mistake!

Fast forward to about a year and half later in December. I have been back to Amaranto many times but this time while I'm paying for my meal, I was talking to the owners, they asked me how I liked living in the neighbourhood.

 I looked slightly confused and said 'Yeah, it's great!'

 They must have must have noticed my confused look because they then said 'Because you have lived here for a year now, so what do you think?'

At the time, I was touched that they remembered that I moved there a year ago, but let's think for a second. Who is going to forget the weird Asian guy that walks into your restaurant, asks if you do take out then proceeds to walk out saying he really wants to eat there but doesn't. Yeah, I'd hate me too.

However, I bring everyone I know and their dog to the restaurant when I can because A) I think everyone should experience it and B) I can always use more excuses to go.