When we planning our trip to Montréal, there was one place I told everyone I absolutely had to visit — Pâtisserie Mahrouse, in the Villeray neighborhood of the city. The area incredibly diverse, and the home of what could possibly be the best Middle Eastern pastries ever.
All right, I’ll admit there’s a chance I’ve got a slight bias; my parents have been getting boxes of pastries from Mahrouse for as long as I can remember. In fact, though we were following the instructions of Joann’s TomTom, I started recognizing streets and landmarks in spite of the fact the I haven’t been to the pâtisserie since grade school.
Mahrouse doesn’t look like much from the outside, but once you walk in the door the first thing you’ll see are cases loaded with pastry-laden trays; then it will be all you can do to prevent yourself from ordering a kilo of each. If you’re in luck, you’ll visit the pâtisserie when one of the owners is behind the counter to answer all of your questions and carefully placing your purchases in a maroon-colored box.
If I were made to choose, I’d say my favorite are the slim rolls like the one pictured above; they’re nutty, and the honeyed syrup with which it is flavored almost always soaks the bottom layers with a fantastic sweetness. If, on the other hand, you were to ask an owner which was his preferred pastry, he would answer, “All of them.” And you know what? He’d be right.
If you can’t get to Pâtisserie Mahrouse but are in the Boston area, Eastern Lamejun in Belmont almost always has a selection in stock.
1010, rue de Liège Ouest
Montréal, QC H3N 1B8
145 Belmont Street
Belmont, Massachusetts 02478