MONTREAL FRIDAY: Innovative Retail Tech at Just For Laughs

By Maxime Frechette 

Welcome to Montreal Friday. Every Friday this summer, I will show you what’s new in Montreal, because Montreal is a fun and wonderful city to discover. Here are my two discoveries of the week. (Follow me on Twitter and Instagram for previews and as well, lets engage on Twitter with hashtag: #FRIDAYMTL).

Discovery of the Week: 

Juste Pour Rire/Just For Laughs is not really a new discovery, though it is for me as this is the first year that I've lived in Montreal. Founded in 1983, Just For Laughs is now the biggest comedy festival in the world. Much like Cirque du Soleil, Juste pour Rire/Just for Laughs has expanded around the world to cities including Toronto, Vancouver, Sydney Australia, London UK, and Lyon in France.
 
Outside of the festival itself, Juste pour Rire/Just for Laughs is a positive experience for both family and friends, and its site at the Quartier des Spectacle is open to all. Most of all the activities on the site are free, including the kid zone Le Lait, and Le Mondial des Jeux Loto-Quebec.

Photo: Maxime Frechette

Photo: Maxime Frechette

This year, the retail side of the festival is particularly innovative. In partnership with Tangerine Bank, visitors may pay for anything on the site with a free RFID bracelet (provided by Tangerine) called Delirius. Just add cash or register a credit card amount on the RFID bracelet, and you’re ready to spend. The partnership is particularly visible in the Kia/Juste pour Rire store, where you get a discount if you pay with Delirius. You also have discount at most of Bouffons MTL on site, as well. 
 
If you don’t use all the money on the bracelet, Tangerine will refund you on August 1 -- but Tangerine will keep a $2 fee for use.

Food of the Week : Bouffons MTL

Looking for the best, but on a small budget? If you're in Montreal, I invite you to Bouffons MTL. This is the culinary side of Juste Pour Rire/Just for Laughs Festival, and I’ll show you why Bouffons is the best place for food in Montreal right now. 

Photo: Maxime Frechette

Photo: Maxime Frechette

Whatever you want food-wise, it's there. At the corner of Clark Street and Sainte Catherine Street West (called 'Sainte Poutine' Street during the event). In an undeveloped corner of the Quartier des Spectacle, you will find the 'biggest food village' in North America. I’ll share with you my 4 recommendations for a real taste of Quebec: 

Photo: Maxime Frechette

Photo: Maxime Frechette

1) Mandy’s Salads: Normally if I have the choice between meat or salad, I’d certainly choose something with meat. I don't know why but when I see the colour and freshness of the salads from Mandy, I could not resist, and I have no regrets. It's really a must-try! Adress : 5033 Sherbrooke West - 201 Laurier West - 2067 Crescent. Web site: mandys.ca

Photo: Maxime Frechette

Photo: Maxime Frechette

2) Lacrem Maîtres Glaciers: Do you find commercial ice cream boring? I may have found you your new favourite ice cream. Lacrem is the new ice cream, and it's 100% vegan. I was hesitant at first, because I expected vegan products to taste different from common commercial varieties, including less flavour and possibly lacking sugar. But not Lacrem -- it tastes the same and even better then commercial ice cream, and is worth a try. Various restaurants feature Lacreme, including L’Gros Luxe (article soon). Visit the web site and enjoy: lacrem.ca

Photo: Maxime Frechette

Photo: Maxime Frechette

3) Route 27 par Marché 27 (bar a Tartare) Food Truck: If you look at my Instagram, you know that steak tartare is my weakness -- and a great one at that. Route 27 has the best tartare when you are pressed for time -- fast and delicious. The food truck is open for the season on Montreal Island. Address: 27 Prince Arthur West, Montreal. Web site: marche27.com

Photo: Maxime Frechette

Photo: Maxime Frechette

4) Au Pied de Cochon Food Truck: Quebec is recognized for it’s Poutine, but Au Pied de Cochon is recognized for elevating Poutine -- particularly its Fois Gras Poutine. Au pied de Cochon is also known for many other specialities, but if I have one choice in all the menu, it is assuredly the Fois Gras Poutine! Adress: 536 Duluth Est, Montréal, H2L 1A9. The food truck is open for the season on Montreal Island. Web site: aupieddecochon.ca.

There are many more choices as well. Bouffon MTL runs until July 30 but if you can't make it by then, keep your eyes open for some of my favourites on the streets of Montreal.