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La Belle et La Bœuf, the celebrated Canadian restaurant chain known for its top-tier burgers and inventive cocktail creations, has introduced an unprecedented marketing campaign that has propelled one of its iconic burgers, the Captain Flam, into the depths of outer space.

In a groundbreaking collaboration with the renowned UK-based celestial exploration outfit, Sent into Space, and with enthusiastic sponsorship from the legendary brand Coors Light, La Belle et La Bœuf has unequivocally demonstrated that when it comes to marketing, there are no boundaries, not even the sky.

Marking a historic milestone, they’re now the first restaurant from Canada to launch a burger into space, soaring high, close to 120,000 feet, and landing safely back on the ground. As the burger floated in the cosmos, so did the essence of exploration and daring marketing tactics. La Belle et La Bœuf’s choice to send their celestial emissary, Captain Flam Burger, is nothing short of genius.

Known for their audacious marketing escapades that defy norms, La Belle et La Bœuf has outdone themselves this time by going beyond our planet’s boundaries. To celebrate this awe-inspiring milestone, La Belle et La Bœuf introduces the “Space Combo” – an exquisite duo of the scrumptious Captain Flam burger and the refreshing Coors Light Beer. Starting August 28th, 2023, burger aficionados can indulge in the cosmic delight that includes a combination of grilled beef patty, melted cheese, crispy bacon and special sauce that commemorates this historic achievement at all of their restaurants. Proceeds from the “Space Combo” throughout the month of September (purchased in the restaurant) will be contributed to Les Banques alimentaire du Québec.

“We’re very grateful to La Belle et La Bœuf for approaching us with this collaboration. The company’s generosity comes at a time when our provincial food aid network must respond to a record 2.2 million requests each month. I encourage restaurant customers to take advantage of this attractive offer, which will also help us support those in need.” Martin Munger, General Manager, Les Banques alimentaires du Québec.

“We are excited to take our burgers to new heights!” said Marketing Director Shabbir Chowdhury. “It is a great way for us to showcase our signature Captain Flam burger and demonstrate our commitment to creating unique and out-of-this-world campaigns”.

“This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will be documented through photos and videos taken from the weather balloon during its flight up into the sky. The video footage will also feature interviews and explain the six months of preparation it took our team” continues Chowdhury. 

The Journey: How, How Long, and Why?

Ever wondered how they did it? The burger journeyed to space through the expertise of the UK’s Sent Into Space – employing a weather balloon to defy gravity itself. The campaign took over six months of preparation, the setup took a month in the UK and 3 hours in Montreal, followed by additional time for the space journey.

In order to make this happen, La Belle et La Boeuf teamed up with experts in aerospace technology and design who helped La Belle et La Boeuf get their mouthwatering burger safely off the ground. This ambitious mission was made possible by partnering with Sent Into Space, a private space company based in England that specializes in launching payloads into near space. After extensive preparation and testing, the team at Sent Into Space successfully launched the Captain Flam burger to its destination on Tuesday, August 15, 2023.

It took approximately 2-3 hours to inflate. Following that, the balloon ascended for about 1 hour and 40 minutes at 9:30 AM on Tuesday, August 15, 2023, and lingered in the stratosphere for a few minutes before bursting. Slowly, it began its descent back to Earth, marking the completion of an epic journey.

La Belle et La Boeuf is no stranger to creative marketing campaigns; from their FU** Cancer campaign to viral contests to the nuclear burgers, the burger bar chain sure knows how to create a reaction.

“At La Belle et La Boeuf, we believe that there are no boundaries when it comes to innovation and creativity. This project is a testament to our commitment to pushing the envelope and providing our customers with the ultimate burger experience,” says Marketing Vice-President Vlad Ciobanu.

By Tony Medeiros

Billy Berenholc, the previous proprietor, has successfully transferred ownership of Lester’s to the accomplished Montreal-based chef and restaurateur, Kevin Fung. Under this new leadership, the establishment is poised for remarkable growth and expansion not only within the country but also on an international scale.

Having completed the acquisition, Kevin Fung is brimming with ambitious ideas to propel Lester’s to new heights. With his exceptional culinary expertise and proven track record in the restaurant industry, he envisions a bright future for the beloved eatery. By infusing his unique vision and flair into the brand, Fung is determined to take Lester’s to new culinary frontiers, delighting patrons with innovative dishes and unmatched dining experiences.

One of the focal points of Kevin Fung’s expansion plan is to solidify Lester’s presence across the nation. He aims to open new branches in strategic locations, tapping into various markets and sharing the restaurant’s delectable offerings with a wider audience. This move is expected to bolster Lester’s reputation as a culinary hotspot and contribute to the brand’s long-standing legacy.

Fung’s ambitions do not end within the borders of the country. He has his sights set on establishing Lester’s as a recognizable international brand, making it a global ambassador of exceptional cuisine and dining excellence. By setting up branches in key international cities and tourist destinations, Fung intends to attract a diverse clientele and introduce Lester’s mouthwatering creations to culinary enthusiasts worldwide.

With over three decades of experience in the food & beverage industry, Kevin Fung possesses a remarkable track record of delivering outstanding customer service and ensuring satisfaction. As a seasoned expert in this field, Kevin’s versatility shines through, showcasing his extensive knowledge across all aspects of the restaurant industry and franchising. His continuous pursuit of innovation drives him to explore new avenues and expand into diverse markets. Thriving on challenges, trend-setting, and embracing cutting-edge projects, Kevin approaches his work with independence, self-motivation, and a keen eye for detail. He holds a strong commitment to incorporating social and environmental responsibilities into his work, demonstrating genuine care for the planet and his valued customers.

With the seamless transition of ownership and Fung’s unwavering dedication, patrons can expect the same warm and inviting atmosphere that made Lester’s a beloved institution while experiencing fresh and exciting culinary offerings. Under Kevin Fung’s innovative stewardship, the future of Lester’s is undoubtedly promising, and food enthusiasts both within the country and beyond eagerly await the unfolding of this exciting new chapter in the restaurant’s history.

Finally some good news for Montrealers on the smoked meat front via Dizz’s Bagel and Deli

    Dizz’s (originally a REAL Bagel) was a client of Quebec Smoked Meat. Steve Dizgun came up with an idea and he got on the phone with Billy Berenholc, owner of the nearly seven-decade-old Lesters Deli on Bernard Street in Outremont, as well as Mr. Smoked Meat, a purveyor of upscale smoked meat in the wholesale sector. Dizz’s offers you a smoked hot smoked meat sandwich between two slices of rye bread, with mustard, and a soft drink for $13.99.

    Sure you can get flowers, greeting cards and reservations at a fancy restaurant for Mother’s Day to celebrate the most important women in your life. Ever think of getting a bottle of fancy champagne to commemorate Mother’s Day? Exclusively at SAQ Sélection Pierrefonds 4777 Boulevard Saint-Jean, Pierrefonds, you can get a personalized Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut, Rosé, or ICE for your mom. Raise a toast to the most important woman in your life, your mom. You can have a personalized message inscribed on the bottle on site.

    For more than 275 years, Moët & Chandon has been the champagne of choice for commemorating intimate moments and the grandest of events. Celebrating this heritage and the House’s legacy of generosity, this Mother’s Day discerning Quebeckers will have an opportunity to create uniquely thoughtful gifts to convey heartfelt emotions that only truly personalized gifting can express. 

    Discover the exquisite Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut, Rosé, or ICE at SAQ Sélection Pierrefonds 4777 Boulevard Saint-Jean, Pierrefonds where you can celebrate the joy of champagne with personalized gifting and the timeless art of calligraphy. You have the chance to personalize your champagne bottle with a unique message etched by a robot, making it the perfect gift for your loved ones, whether it’s your mother, grandmother, spouse, aunt, or cherished friend. Visit the store and enjoy this amazing experience!

    From Friday, May 12 to Sunday, May 14, 2023, customers can enjoy a unique personalization experience. Moët & Chandon ambassadors will be on hand to assist with the customization of their champagne bottle. Customers simply need to decide on the message they want to be printed on their bottle, using either two lines of up to seven characters for a horizontal inscription (on the front of the bottle) or two lines of 16 characters for a vertical inscription (on the side of the bottle).

    Impérial Brut – details and price here   

    Impérial Brut Rosé – details and price here  

    ICE Impérial – details and price here  

    ICE Rosé – details and price here  

    When

    • Friday, May 12, 2023, 10 am to 9 pm  
    • Saturday, May 13, 2023, 10 am to 5:30 pm (There will be a Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut animated tasting on Saturday, May 13.) 
    • Sunday, May 14, 2023, 11 am to 5 pm  

    Where: 

    SAQ Sélection Pierrefonds 4777 Boulevard Saint-Jean, Pierrefonds, Qc. H9H 2A9

    By Tony Medeiros

    There is a new kid on the block in the burger business. Billy K‘s has now opened three locations in Montreal and is doing quite well. Their extensive menu goes beyond burgers. Mtlrestorap enjoyed having an early taste of their food a day before their grand opening. My diet throughout the years has been burgers. I had them all over North America. I can honestly say that I was quite surprised by the Billy Burger. It knocked my socks off! Billy K’s Pointe-Claire is the family’s newest addition.

    I travel to Cornwall quite often. It is about 30 minutes from my house. So I was aware of Billy K‘s when I shopped at some of Ontario’s finer grocery stores in Cornwall. I was surprised to learn that Mike CohenMtlResoRap’s premier reviewer, hooked up with Tom Bountis, the founder and creator of the Allô! Mon Coco chain. Tom Bountis came to love Billy K‘s and learned that the owner was going to sell. Tom, his sister Fotini, and partners Melih Batri and John Sanoudakis decided to purchase the brand and expand it to Montreal and beyond.

    I ordered the Billy Burger with regular poutine. I can tell you that this was the freshest burger I have had in a long time. It looks like a Big Mac but uses Triple-A Angus beef with an amazing sauce. The Billy Burger was authentic, unlike other burgers out there. The Billy Burger literally melted in my mouth; it was so soft and enjoyable to eat. Their signature sauce is a must! The poutine was out of this world. Lately, hamburgers from some fast-food restaurants just taste bland and are not cutting it for me. My experience was very enjoyable. My poutine was made with fresh-cut fries, gooey sauce, and cheese curds.

    My wife had the Chicken Club BLT with onion rings. She really enjoyed her meal. The fresh chicken and bun were very scrumptious.

    Billy K‘s has an extensive menu for all appetites. Let’s begin with the hamburgers. Billy K’s has ten different hamburgers to pick from. Hot dogs are plentiful, with eight different varieties. They have 11 poutine offerings and fries with different toppings, such as cajun, parmesan, and sauce. You can pick seven different options in both submarine and wrap form. You’ve got a family to feed, and you can choose a family size from three options. There is a hot dog family box, a hamburger box, and a submarine box. If these portions are too big for the little ones, Billy K’s has kid-friendly sizes.

    Billy K’s Pointe-Claire is at 46 Brunswick Blvd., #46-C, Pointe-Claire, Quebec. Service options include dine-in and curbside pickup. Orderubereats.comskipthedishes.com.

    Little Caesars Pretzel Crust Pizza

    After several years, the beloved pretzel crust is returning to headline the Little Caesars menu across Canada 

    There was a time when I had to cross the border to eat Little Ceasars Pizza in New York state. While I was there I grabbed a few cans of Dr Pepper because the groceries stores did not carry them. Today we have plenty of Dr Pepper and Little Ceasars Pizza has finally set up shop in Canada. Little Ceasars Pizza just brought back the Pretzel Crust Pizza and the new Pull-A-Part bread at participating locations across Canada. 

    My family and I sometimes get very busy and need a quick pizza to bring home. Little Ceasars Pizza is always there to accommodate our needs. Their popular HOT-N-READY pizza is always guaranteed to fit our needs.

    The good folks of Little Ceasars Pizza contacted me to try the newly returned Pretzel Crust Pizza and the new Pretzel Pull-A-Part Bread. I was happy to accommodate them as was my stomach.

    Little Caesars Pretzel Crust Pizza

    Since this is a Montreal review site, unfortunately, we have only one Little Ceasars Pizza on the whole island. If you are taking a trek to Ontario or coming back on Autoroute 40, please drop by 3066 Saint-Charles Blvd, Kirkland. The owners of the fine establishment are hard-working and make sure your pizza is ready for you as fast as possible. They have never disappointed me, I always get my pizza fast.

    According to legend, The pretzel was created in 1861 by a 26-year-old entrepreneur  Julius Sturgis opened a pretzel bakery in Lititz, Pennsylvania. He left a batch in the oven for too long one day, but instead of throwing them out, he gave the well-done morsels a taste. And the rest is history.

    My wife and I enjoy salty treats. The Pretzel Crust Pizza and Pull-A-Part bread are right up our alley. We wolfed down this savory pizza. We were both pleasantly surprised by the soft pretzel crust. It tasted like a buttery, grilled cheese sandwich with the taste of a pretzel. Pizza dough can make or break a pizza. You will have to pardon my pun when I say this, once you try a Little Ceasars Pretzel Crust Pizza slice, you will knead another slice. We enjoyed dipping the bread and pizza into the tasty Cheezy dip. There is always excitement when we get Little Ceasars Pizza. My wife and I will be buying more Pretzel Crust Pizza.

    Little Ceasars Pizza caters to our busy schedules, they have a whole gamut of other pizzas and treats to satisfy your specific needs. They are great for parties. I always used them when I had birthday parties for my kids. Seems they are always coming up with innovative pizza offerings every other day. I have never had a Little Ceasars pizza that disappointed me.

    Pretzel Crust Pizza and new, 10 pieces of Pretzel Pull-A-Part Bread paired with Cheezy dip

    Little Caesars’ much-loved Pretzel Crust Pizza to its Canadian restaurants, marking its limited-time return. This relaunch answers requests by enthusiastic customers and social media fans for its return, giving guests one more chance to experience the Pretzel Crust Pizza and Pull-A-Part bread at participating locations across Canada.  

    Last celebrated in 2018, the Pretzel Crust Pizza is a medium specialty pizza with a flavourful, soft pretzel outer edge crust. Topped with creamy cheddar cheese sauce, a blend of 100% fresh shredded cheese. Finished with a 2-cheese gourmet blend of Asiago and Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of pretzel salt.

    This salty, savory treat can also be amped up should customers wish to choose to stuff their crust or customize it with the traditional Little Caesars pizza sauce made from vine-ripened tomatoes upon request. Plus, this year Little Caesars is introducing a 10-piece new Pretzel Pull-A-Part Bread for those enthusiasts who can’t get enough of that pretzel flavour. “What’s better than Pretzel Crust Pizza?  More Pretzel Crust options to enjoy!” said Jessica Foust, Director of Global R&D, at Little Caesars. “Celebrating the return of one of our most iconic menu items, we now proudly feature multiple ways to personalize your pretzel experience and a Little Caesars pizza party.”

    By Tony Medeiros

    Maker’s Mark bourbon
    Maker’s Mark bourbon

    By Mike Cohen

    The Burgundy Lion, a traditional British pub with a modern lounge bar that offers a unique twist on British pub cuisine, is located in Little Burgundy. Since its debut 15 years ago, it has developed one of the most complete and enviable whisky programs in the country; perhaps the world.  Along with accumulating the largest collection of whisky in the province and serving more single malt than anyone else in the nation, the locale has gained notice for its public and private tasting program that focuses on introducing whisky to the uninitiated and offers folks an opportunity to sample rare and unique whiskies.

    I interviewed owner Toby Lyle recently. Besides the Burgundy Lion, his group of restaurants also includes Pub Wolf & Workman, Brit & Chips in Old Montreal, Bishop and Bagg on St. Viateur,  Cartier Arms at the Hyatt Centric Hotel on Notre Dame Street East as well as RBHC Catering.

    Maker’s Mark bourbon
    Toby Lyle pours his own Maker’s Mark bourbon

    One of Lyle’s bucket list items has been to visit the Makers Mark Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky to create his own bourbon. With the help of Maker’s Mark Brand Diplomat Lindsay Wood, that dream finally came true last May. Starting with a six-year-old barrel, the whiskey was blended and then aged for a further nine weeks in Maker’s Mark’s purpose-built cellar.

    “I was originally offered to do this virtually in 2020 during the pandemic,” says Lyle. “I decided to place that offer on hold and I am glad I waited.”

    The Maker’s Mark wood-finish series was created to explore new, unique expressions of the already popular signature whisky. Beginning as a fully matured Maker’s Mark at cask strength, Private Selection is created by adding 10 custom wood finishing staves to each barrel. It’s then aged in a limestone cellar to extract a unique, flavorful taste profile. Participants in this special barrel program get their say in the selection of these wooden staves. The finishing staves can be any combination of five flavor profiles chosen especially for this program. With 1,001 possible stave combinations, each expression of Private Selection has a customized finish and taste profile that is unique, yet undeniably Maker’s. 

    Maker’s Mark and Burgundy Lion recently invited media to The Cartier Arms Restaurant at the Hyatt Centric for an exclusive tasting of Burgundy Lion’s Maker’s Mark Private Select, Adrianna BL Bourbon.

    Maker’s Mark bourbon
    Maker’s Mark Brand Diplomat Lindsay Wood.

    Adrianna is the middle name of Lyle’s seven-year-old daughter.  He has been able to make 240 bottles of this whiskey available in Quebec, with each bottle numbered. And yes, he made sure to secure number one which now rests at his Westmount home. “It will be opened when my daughter turns 18,” he says.

    Some of the bottles are at Burgundy Lion Pub, Pub Wolf & Workman, Bishop and Bagg  and the  Cartier Arms. Quebec does not allow customers to buy actual bottles, so it needs to be ordered by the glass. That being said, Lyle’s asked his mixologists to work their magic and he is very pleased with the cocktail they came up with. It has also been made available in limited quantities through the SAQ.

    So, what comes next for Lyle, who already offers 750 different expressions of whiskey at his establishments?

    “Toby can refill the same brand and do the same recipe,” offers Wood.

    Piped in Lyle: “If I do this again, I think I’d like to blend a different whiskey.”

    Learn more: https://www.makersmark.com/ca/makers-mark-private-selection

    Amer Wahab and Craig Buckley

    For family reasons, I have been going back and forth to Ottawa on a regular basis for the past year and a half. I absolutely love the nation’s capital, notably its restaurant scene. My discovery of Kettlemans Bagel last year and meeting the founder Craig Buckley was indeed a highlight, especially when he revealed to me that not only was he a native of Montreal – but more than 30 years after establishing his first location in Ottawa, expansion was coming to our fair city.

    On January 10, Kettlemans Bagel officially opened its first location in Quebec steps from the Bell Centre on Avenue des Canadiens.

    A big thanks to Buckley, President Amer Wahab and Communications Manager Emma Latreille for the VIP tour. I also got to meet lead staff people Ziad Zeidov and Azahara Munoz.

    Open 24/7, 365 days a year, Kettlemans offers delicious sandwiches on hand-rolled Montreal bagels which are hand rolled, kettled, and baked in a specially-designed oven.

    Buckley opened the first Kettlemans Bagel in Ottawa in 1993. Today, Kettlemans operates seven other locations in Ottawa, Toronto, and Whitby. By rolling, kettling, and baking traditional Montréal bagels, Kettlemans upholds an unwavering commitment to the traditional quality of our food and strives to persuade every guest to come back again and again.

    Buckley with Ziad Zeidan and Azahara Munoz

    The kitchen staff has been boosted by 10 experienced staffers from Ottawa and Toronto the first week to help get things rolling.  As you make your way through the queue line the fridges have an endless array of homemade cream cheese, banana and lemon bread, pizza bagels, knishes, latkes, smoked salmon, Chicago-style pickles and a whole lot more. When you get to the counter, besides the different flavored bagels, you can choose from some delicious danishes and sweets. There are places to sit. You will be given a pager and called when your order is ready. This place will indeed be rock and rolling before and after any large-scale Bell Centre events!

    And here is some fresh news I can share with you. Kettlemans plans to open a  second Quebec location in 2023 in Dollard des Ormeaux!

    For more details log on to  www.kettlemansbagels.ca

    Here is my video chat with Buckley.

    As first reported here last year,  with the holiday season fast approaching,  Kettlemans Bagel has officially announced it is opening its first location in Quebec at the beginning of January steps from the Bell Centre in downtown Montreal.

    Craig Buckley

    “Bringing Kettlemans home to Montreal, where I grew up in a moment I have looked forward to for a long, long time,” says Founder Craig Buckley. “It is incredibly exciting to be joining Montreal’s world-class food scene and sharing our unique menu of delicious house-made cream cheeses and deli selections built around our Montréal bagels that honour a 400-year-old tradition.”

    Personally, I could not be more excited. As a regular visitor to Ottawa, I stop by Kettlemans often and what a treat that is!

    Guests who visit Kettlemans Bagel at 1285 ave. des Canadiens-de-Montréal will be treated to more than just delicious sandwiches on hand-rolled Montreal bagels. Kettlemans’ signature No Wall Experience invites everyone who comes in, 24/7, 365 days a year, to watch as fresh bagels are hand-rolled, kettled, and baked in a specially-designed oven.

    Kettlemans strives to ensure each guest’s experience is memorable, beginning with perfect-tasting food. The service will always be fast and friendly in a fresh space that provides an authentic, modern vibe. Kettlemans Bagel is anything but your traditional Montréal bagel shop.

    Doing Things Right

    Kettlemans is about awesome food and good times, but the story doesn’t end there. Using the latest technology ensures that while centuries-old traditions behind the best bagels around are honoured, Kettlemans is also taking action to help the environment, including more eco-friendly packaging and innovations that dramatically reduce its carbon footprint.

    Join the Kettlemans Team!

    Kettlemans is seeking new team members at the new downtown Montréal location who are passionate about making and serving amazing food and ensuring guests are happy from the second they step in the front door. Visit www.kettlemansbagels.ca/careers/ to find out more.

    A Growing Brand

    Buckley opened the first Kettlemans Bagel in Ottawa in 1993. Today, Kettlemans operates seven locations in Ottawa, Toronto, and Whitby. By rolling, kettling, and baking traditional Montréal bagels, Kettlemans upholds an unwavering commitment to the traditional quality of our food and strives to persuade every guest to come back again and again.