Food

Sfingy's kosher donut shop (and much more) opens at Quartier Cavendish; owners dream big

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and I were at the Quartier Cavendish today to formally welcome Sfingy’s to our community. The new kosher donut shop officially opened on July 7, with the husband and wife team of Marvin  Fuks and Maya Lallouz working endless hours and from what we saw a loyal following has already materialized.

This is good news for the Quartier, which already  has the MK certified Café de L’Avenue. The latter has been a success since its launch two years ago.

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Mayor Brownstein and I with Marvin Fuks and Maya Lallouz. (Darryl Levine photo)

 Sfingy’s  is located  in the old mmmuffins spot. It is open Monday to Thursday from 8 am to 8 pm, Fridays from 8 am to 2 pm and Sundays from 10 am to 8 pm. That is quite a challenge for this young couple, who have three year old  Ariel Mordechai  and a nine month old Coby Abner at home. Marvin gets in by 6 am to start making the donuts. They also have, muffins, croissants,  waffles and crepes,  popular  breakfast and lunch options.

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A cookie monster donut.

While I have been on an exercise  kick and watching carefully what I eat the past week, I had no will power to resist one of these donuts. Let me tell you the one I sampled was equal if not better than Krispy Kreme, which is now  opening new stores in Montreal

Sfingy’s  has quickly become  a hit on the special events circuit, with orders coming in for weddings, bar mitzvahs, birthday parties and baby showers. On Fridays, clients pour in to purchase donuts for Shabbat dessert. “We make the donuts with different themes as well,” said Marvin. “The kids love that. We have an edible printer.”

The name “Sfingy’s” derives from the Moroccan donut Sfinge, but with an Ashkenazi twist. Hence, Sfingy’s.  They are also making mini Sfinges in ball form, mini gourmet donuts with out of this world toppings, smoothies, cookies, muffins, coffee, and much more,” Fuks explained.  “I will always be trying to develop new recipes for new products to launch in the store. Our customers will be able to choose from many different toppings and sauces to put on top of the Sfingy’s. In the beginning, we will be offering fried donuts and Sfingy’s, but I am working on a baked version, as well as a gluten free and vegan option.”

As the city councillor for District 2, which encompasses the Quartier Cavendish, I extend a warm welcome  to a new business.

Sfingy’s is on Facebook and Instagram.

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Councillor Mitch Kujavsky enjoys a donut.

 

 


Another successful McHappy Day assists our Pierre Brunet Parks and Recreation Bursary Fund

The City of Côte Saint-Luc and our employees have beeb supporting McHappy Day at McDonald's for many years. But in 2017 I was approached by , Pierre Brunet,  McDonald's franchisee at the Côte Saint-luc Shopping Centre location.  Every year, McDonald’s Canada franchisees and crew across the country celebrate McHappy Day , an annual day of community giving in support of Ronald McDonald Houses and other local children’s charities. On this day, for every Big Mac®, Happy Meal® or hot McCafé® beverage purchased, $1 is  donated to children’s charities across Canada.

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With some city staff and Mitchell Libenstein.

Pierre  asked me if I could come up with a specific fund the profits from his McHappy Day could be directed to. I looked right back  at him and realized what would make a lot of sense. With that the Pierre Brunet Parks and Recreation Bursary Fund was born. Monies raised are being used for assistance to local families who may be experiencing financial difficulties in registering their children in our programs, for families with special needs children requiring additional support at our programs and for parks equipment intended for children with disabilities.  It has been a huge success, with the CSL Men's Club getting involved and other parties. It is also now linked to our CSL Summer Golf Classic.

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Trish McKenzie

I spent some time with our staff who were working  hard at this year’s McHappy Day. Thanks to Parks and Recreation Department Director Cornelia Ziga for staying all day and overseeing the shifts. Some of our staff worked behind the counter serving customers. Others sold small items which also helped the cause. It was also nice to see a restaurant legend of sorts Mitchell Libenstein, former owner of the former Mitchell's at the YM-YWHA who now works in management for McDonald's

Bravo to all!

 


McHappy Day boosts our new fund for kids and gives me an experience to be a McDonald's chef

A year and  a half ago at the Côte Saint-Luc Winter Carnival, Pierre Brunet approached me about McHappy Day.

Pierre, of course, is the franchisee of the McDonald’s restaurants on Côte Saint-Luc Road and at Quartier Cavendish (soon to close). He also runs more than a dozen other locations in the city.

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Councillors David Tordjman (with baby), Oren Sebag, Recreation chief Cornelia Ziga and Trish McKenzie.

Every year, McDonald’s Canada franchisees and crew across the country celebrate McHappy Day , an annual day of community giving in support of Ronald McDonald Houses and other local children’s charities. On Wednesday May 2, for every Big Mac®, Happy Meal® or hot McCafé® beverage purchased, $1 will be donated to RMHC® and children’s charities across Canada

Pierre always adds a local twist for his restaurants and he wanted my advice for any program that might benefit children. I immediately scheduled a meeting with Harold Cammy from our Parks and Recreation Department and we began to brainstorm. What we came up with was the Pierre Brunet Parks and Recreation Bursary Fund. Monies raised would be used for assistance to local families who may be experiencing financial difficulties in registering their children in our programs, for families with special needs children requiring additional support at our programs and for parks equipment intended for children with disabilities.  From last year’s McHappy Day and other funds raised from donors and most notably our CSL Men’s Club, $8,549 has already been raised.

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That is me and Tanya. The hair net is mandatory. Just ask Gilles Duceppe.

I took part in this year’s McHappy Day. We await totals, but we will clearly surpass  the $10,000 mark. Some bursaries have already been handed out and we will have more to announce at our CSL Golf Classic July 5.

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, members of council and many of our dedicated staff were at McDonald’s to support the cause. Parks and Recreation Director Cornelia Ziga and her team were selling McDonald’s sock for $5, with proceeds going to the Fund.


As for me, I went into the kitchen and helped prepare orders with City Manager Tanya Abramovitch. Wow, Tanya was a real pro while I found the entire process very challenging. I gained a whole new appreciation for what these employees do and how fast they must work behind the scenes. Tanya then confided in me that she had worked at McDonald’s in her late teens. Thanks to John and some of the other staffers who guided us. We saw the orders on the big screen. Buns had to be toasted, the different toppings applied and then the main item - be it a burger, chicken or filet of fish-  put on. This is hard work and after an hour I was completely beat. Tanya did a three hour shift and the energetic mom of two year old twins probably could have kept on going if she did not have a meeting to attend.

 Thanks to everyone who made this day a success. We will have printed material regarding the scholarship fund available online soon.


Montreal's plastic bag ban does not apply in Côte Saint-Luc

On August 23, 2016, the city of Montreal adopted By-law 16-051,  prohibiting the distribution of certain types of shopping bags in retail stores.  

Reusable bags

The ban for merchants offering light plastic bags to consumers took effect on January 1, 2018. It applies to all establishments whose main activity is the sale of merchandise at the retail level. A grace period for compliance will be granted through June 5, 2018. Banned are: conventional plastic shopping bags (a thickness of less than 50 microns) and Oxo-degradable, oxo-fragmentable, biodegradable shopping bags, whatever their thickness.

Now let me advise you that this ban does not apply in Côte Saint-Luc. While I always have reusable bags in my trunk, be it for the grocery store or the pharmacy, I do not believe we should adopt a similar by-law.  Is it fair for someone who makes an unplanned trip to a store or for a senior or an individual using public transit who does not have any reusable bags handy? Yes, I suppose you can buy a new reusable bag at a number of stores. But should we force that on anybody?

I will be the first person to urge people to bring their own bag. I have more than a dozen in my trunk and the collection keeps growing. When I went on holiday to Tampa, I made sure to pack a few reusable bags and I used them for all of my grocery store visits.

Just understand your geography. In Montreal,  not covered by the by-law  are plastic bags used exclusively to transport foodstuffs to the cash counter of a retail store or to protect them, for hygiene purposes, from direct contact with other items (fruits, vegetables, nuts, bulk confectionery, prepared foods, meat, fish, bread, dairy products, etc.).

Côte Saint-Luc City Council will be addressing this with some kind of policy in the not too distant future.


McHappy Day had extra meeting this year in Côte Saint-Luc

The new Pierre Brunet McDonald’s Parks and Recreation Bursary Program was given some high profile visibility on May 3  as McHappy Day was celebrated at the two McDonald’s locations  in Côte Saint-Luc and across the country.

I am proud to have initiated this new fund to help families who cannot afford to register their child in a program and taking into account requests from children with special needs. Proceeds from McHappy Day in CSL will kick start the fund and collections will continue at our annual Golf Classic in July.

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That is me at the left with Laura Trihas, Sarah Houle, Trish McKenzie and Ray Valiquette.

It was wonderful to see our CSL staff members, as well as Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and council, rally around the event. We all took different shifts, selling merchandise such as sock and notepads. Some like Trish McKenzie, Sarah Houle, Harold Cammy, Jordy Reichson, Ryan Nemeroff, Alvin Fishman and Mayor Brownstein went behind the counter and the drive thru to serve customers.

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Harold Cammy serves it up.

This marked the first time a McHappy Day focused on a Côte Saint-Luc charity – a brand new one at that. Pierre Brunet asked Harold and I for ideas. I shared this one with council and it was a hit

McHappy Day is a national fundraiser when McDonald's restaurants across Canada and their communities, employees, customers and special guests raise money together to help children in need. At the heart of McDonald’s community commitment is RMHC Canada, which is dedicated to giving sick children the one thing they need most: their families by supporting Ronald McDonald Houses and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms across the country. RMHC provides families of sick children with a home-away-from-home or a place of peace and calm within a hospital.  

Anyone who wishes to donate to the fund can e-mail me at mcohen@cotesaintluc.org.

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Mayor Brownstein and Pierre Brunet.

 


Proud to have been part of McHappy Day

It was a pleasure for me once again to participate in the annual McHappy Day festivities at our local McDonald's at the Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre.

Approximately 80 percent  of McDonald's restaurants in Canada are independently owned and operated by a local McDonald's franchisee. In the case of the  Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre locale, the Quartier Cavendish and at least another dozen spots, Pierre Brunet is the man at the helm. 

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With Allan J. Levine, Jacques Châles and Officer Pierre Blais.

McHappy Day is a national fundraiser. It’s when McDonald's restaurants across Canada and their communities, employees, customers and special guests raise money together to help children in need across Canada. Members of city council, staff and local police officers pitched in, working behind the counter and assisting with fundraising items.

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Suzanne Beaudry, Julie Bessette and Jean O'Malley.

 

I was pleased to chat with Jacques Châles, manager of customer relations. Officer Pierre Blais, whom only a few days earlier I saw trying to catch motorists running through stop signs, was soliciting donations. Commander Jean O'Malley, who is in fantastic physical condition, said he was having a "rare" Big Mac to support the cause along with Lieutenant Julie Bessette and ever so valuable secretary Suzanne Beaudry. Councillor Allan J. Levine was busy engaging in banter with a customer who had just turned 100 years old. Our Director of Public Safety Jordy Reichson had a hairnet on and was helping on the production line.

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Jordy Reichson

We are only too happy to pitch in, especially if Pierre Brunet is involved. Stay tuned to an exciting announcement where Pierre is concerned. Profits from McHappy Day support Manoire Ronald McDonald and charities like the MAB-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre.  We, of course, have been connected to to Le Manoire for many years. This is a place (located in Côte des Neiges) where families from out of town with ill children can stay while their little ones are hospitalized.

Several of our staff from Parks and Recreation spent part of the day at the McDonald's franchise on Côte des Neiges Road.

 

 

 


New ownership at Nosherz Bakery-Deli-Catering as pro chef steps in

There is a new chef in town.

Jimmy Constantopoulos purchased Nosherz Bakery-Deli-Catering on Westminster Avenue in Côte Saint-Luc from Robert  J. Vineberg last fall and customers can already see the culinary talents of the  new owner.

Nosherz, originally known as Solly ,has all of the food you can count on from bakery: breads, bagels, rolls, cheese bagels,  prepared sandwiches, knishes, latkes, chopped liver, doughnuts. There is also chicken schnitzel, burgers, salads and some pretty impressive grilled vegetables.

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Jimmy Constantopoulos


“The food industry has always been a part of me to which, I have a great passion for,” says Jimmy. “I am a restaurateur by trade.  I have owned and operated four of my own restaurants, from fine dining to family style  to deli and even reception halls. Nosherz is a smaller scale operation from what I am accustomed to and the less hours of operations compared to the restaurant business. This allows me to spend more time with my family.”

Jimmy says that in addition to all of what Nosherz offers, he wants to introduce some of his Mediterranean influences.  “I would like to expand the catering and prepared meals,” he said, no doubt good news for folks who would like some healthy options to pick up after work and warmup for the family.

As for Robert, he is now in the puzzle business.

Nosherz is located at 5800 Westminster Avenue North. For more information call 514-484-0445, fax 514-489-8955 or email info@nosherz.com


Participating in McHappy Day

When McDonald's opened up a new location at the Côte Saint-Luc Shopping Centre,  I knew owner  Pierre Brunet would continue his good work in the community. Pierre owns 15 franchises, including the food court kiosk at Cavendish Mall.

May 7 was McHappy day at 1,400 McDonald`s locations in Canada.  A dollar from every Big Mac, Happy Meal and hot drink sold is donated to Ronald McDonald Houses and other local children’s charities. Over $42 million has been raised  to help thousands of Canadian families and their sick kids since 1977.

In 1982, Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada was founded to be the everlasting organization that would support Ronald McDonald Houses and their programs in Canada. Ronald McDonald Houses provide a home away from home for out of town families with sick children being treated at a nearby hospital.  We have supported the location next to Ste. Justine`s Hospital for many years.

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Councillor Dida Berku, Tracyan Williams, Ruth Kovac, Jeffrey Ferreira, Don Martin and myself.

 

I joined Councillors Ruth Kovac and Dida Berku at the Côte Saint-Luc Shopping Centre location. Upon my arrival they were busy selling special merchandise such as caps and aprons to add to the fundraising opportunities. Managers Don Martin and Jeffrey Ferreira were happily greeting customers,  who were being very generous.

Bravo McDonald`s!

 


Côte St. Luc Kosher moving storefronts, but business as usual leading up to Passover

For decades,  the team at Côte St. Luc Kosher  has been proud to provide customers with the finest in  kosher cuisine, fully prepared meals and the best selection of kosher meats anywhere. "Our customers are loyal to us and we appreciate this immensely," says Avi Brook, who runs the operation with his mother-in-law Marianna Roth.

On Thursday, May 1,  Côte St. Luc Kosher will be moving to a new storefront which better suits their needs in the same strip shopping centre at 5521 Westminster Avenue. Their phone numbers of 514-481-4094 and 514-747-6531 will remain the same. The same goes for their reliable staff members: Billy, Claudia, Joseph, Wing Wah and their supporting cast.

 

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The team at CSL Kosher will be switching storefronts in May.

Due to this imminent move, they will not be able to provide any prepared Passover meals for this season as they intend to  close for 17 days beginning April 14. You will, however, be able to order regular kosher cuisine up until April 11 and fresh meat for Passover up until April 13. "It is business as usual until then," says Brook. "We will only be closed during the actual holiday period."

Brook is the butcher and Roth the cook. Together with their staff they prepare some of the best food in the city. This includes prepared meals, from Chinese cuisine to spectacular chicken schnitzel, chicken burgers and by special request - salmon patties. You can see the menu here.

 

 

 

 


CSL Kosher gets "Chanukah" coverage in prestigious magazine

Avi Brook, Marianna Roth and their team from Côte St. Luc Kosher (www.cslkosher.com)  are featured on the front page of this edition of the December Chanukah edition of The Jewish Standard Magazine, the prestigious and glossy 84 year old quarterly which also has editions across Ontario.

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Côte Saint-Luc Kosher has been cooking up a storm once again for Chanukah. Prior to the holiday, Mrs. Roth baked her famous Chanukah latkes and sugar donuts and handed them out to the many regular customers who come through the door six days a week at 5533 Westminster at the corner of Côte Saint-Luc Road.

Côte Saint-Luc Kosher Meat Market has been servicing the palates of Jewish Montrealers for decades. Here you will find a wonderful array of kosher meat and ready to serve healthy meals made the day you pick them up.  You can choose from items such as chicken schnitzel, Chinese dishes, chicken burgers, roasted chicken, brisket, salads, soups and much more.   Avi the butcher is the son-in-law of Mrs. Roth, a legend of 50 plus years in the business. The supporting cast includes people like Billy Gerontakos, Claudia Levine and Wing Wah Li.  These days Côte Saint-Luc Kosher cannot only pride itself on having quality meat, but also the  premier kosher cuisine in the city. Their store is spacious and whether you are a longtime customer or someone dropping by for the first time, the team will always make you feel at home. Just call 514-481-4094 and look for them on Facebook.

If you are coming home from work and do not have time to cook dinner, head over  to Côte Saint-Luc Kosher where home cooked meals are waiting for you. Check their website for the menu.

The Jewish Standard Magazine (www.thejewishstandardmag.com) is available at many locations, including the Quartier Cavendish IGA, the Eleanor London CSL Library, the Jewish General Hospital, synagogues and other Jewish points of interest.