Like many people who grew up in Côte Saint-Luc, I enjoyed many great pizza lunches and dinners from the Cattleman’s Restaurant at the Cavendish Mall (now Quartier Cavendish).
The food court favorite was owned by Aaron Blutman. His two sons, Mark and Kenny, were always involved in the business and played key roles in driving the younger generation over there. As a teenager, Dan Vigderhaus worked at Cattleman’s, doing everything from making the food to organizing birthday parties and doing deliveries.
Last year Dan called me to say that he was going to build a ghost kitchen. – a food preparation and cooking facility devoted to preparing delivery-only meals. They have no dining rooms, no counters, no tables, and no drive-thru. Customers place their orders online and the dishes are delivered using Uber Eats, DoorDash, and other third-party delivery platforms.
Q-ZN, as it is cleverly called, recently opened in the industrial sector of St. Laurent. When Dan and his partners, Jason Nishmas, Jason Martin and Steve Merling, were putting the concept together and approaching restaurants he began waxing nostalgic about Cattlemans. Before you could say “pepperoni,” a plan was in place. He approached the owners of Quebec Pizzeria in Laval (order.quebecpizzeria.ca) and with the blessing of the Blutman family, he gave them the Cattleman’s (now reborn without the apostrophe to please the language police and known as Cattemans Retro) pizza recipe. The Papa family from Quebec Pizzeria nailed it.
Your dedicated MtlRestoRap team of Mike and Tony recently dropped by to support Q-ZN, one of our sponsors, and personal taste the pizza. For Mike it was a medium “Special Cattleman” all dressed with bacon and onions, and crispy fries; Tony sampled an all-dressed medium with Italian poutine. I saved half of mine for lunch the next day at the office and it kept very well.
Well, folks, it may have been many decades since I (Mike) last had a Cattleman’s pizza but the memories came back as I sunk my teeth into this piping hot and delicious creation.
Here is what Tony had to say:
“I am very picky when it comes to my pizza crust. My pizza was the right thickness with a generous amount of toppings. The crunchy taste of the fluffy crust was out of this world. On good authority, there is a secret ingredient in the dough that gives its unique taste. I was sworn to secrecy. Anybody can mix ingredients onto a round slab of dough and stick it into an oven. Pizza making is like a science; the interaction of heat and timing what makes or breaks a pizza. Cattlemans Retro pizza has tapped into nostalgia with its unique tasty pizza.
“My wife had the Italian poutine and when it comes to this delicacy she and I are true connoisseurs. We both have tasted some of the best poutines from a long list of the best restaurants in Montreal. A wrong type of tomato paste and hard French fries can kill Italian poutine. It was a full sumptuous meal, there was a generous heaping amount of French fries. My wife noticed that her fries were very tender. Cheese curds also play a significant role in the final taste. Her cheese pulled on her fork like cheesy strings of delight. She downed her meal with a Coke-Zero. Poutine always tastes good with cola.”
Q-ZN will have more than a dozen ghost kitchens under its roof and we hope to bring your more reviews from some of them down the line. The team is already looking at opening a second location in the Griffintown area. “We originally rented this location for a big party room,” said Dan. “But when the pandemic hit, my partners and I changed gears.”
Q-ZN is indeed for delivery only. But they have set things up for delivery drivers to feel welcomed, take a rest at a picnic table and use the washrooms if they wish. “These guys work so hard,” said Dan. “They deserve all of the gratitude in the world from restaurateurs and clients.”
You can order from Cattlemans Retro via Uber Eats, Skip the Dishes, DoorDash and at www.quebecpizzeria.ca A minimum order of $10 before taxes is required. If you want to have your restaurant under the Q-ZN roof, go to www.q-zn.com for more details or e-mail email@example.com