Go pick up some griot, patties, and pikliz
St-Henri has a new Haitian restaurant serving up griot, barbecue chicken, patties, and more out of a St-Jacques Street café.
Pikliz, which is operating out of Zec Café (near Place-St-Henri) quietly opened in recent days. It hasn’t been promoted beyond a few social media posts, yet St-Henri-ites seem to already be taking to the restaurant with fervour; one community Facebook group has had numerous posts praising Pikliz’s affordable Caribbean food.
The restaurant is billed as a pop-up, although no end date has been set — the official opening is scheduled for Wednesday, November 6, and Pikliz’s owners have said they plan to stay open as long as possible.
On the menu are plenty of staples from Haiti — griot (spiced, fried pork shoulder), kalalou (an okra stew), and spicy cod chiquetaille (a shredded, salted cod dish). Several varieties of Haitian patty also feature prominently — not to be confused with Jamaican patties, these are made with puff pastry, and come with fillings like spiced ground beef or pulled griot.
Bigger plates come in around $12 to $16, and are served with two sides — those include classic riz collé with red beans, fried plantains, and, in a moment of fusion, guacamole. True to the pop-up’s name, the spicy pickled cabbage accompaniment pikliz is also for sale, in cheap single-serve portions, or you can grab a half-litre jar for $10.
Pikliz is the brainchild of two Haitian-Quebecer brothers, Akim and Abdel Acacia — Abdel brings culinary skills, having run his own catering business in Montreal and on the South Shore. Meanwhile, Akim is on the entrepreneurial side — he founded a guesthouse, La Terrasse Blanche, in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, encouraging tourists from Montreal and beyond to visit the country.
Tim Foster via Eater Montreal