Goosto offers healthy snacks at the foot of Mount Royal
In one of his letters to his son, the fourth Earl of Chesterfield mentioned a "pic-nic" his son had attended, in which cards and drinking took place. This was in 1748, the first time the word made English print. "Pique nique" showed up in French 50 years earlier, referring to what we might call an outdoor potluck (the tradition starting, perhaps, with hunters eating at the site of a kill).
With Mount Royal burgeoning with fresh yellow-green and eating al fresco in my mind, I decided to try my own luck at Goosto, which took over the not-missed McDonald’s on the corner of Parc and Mont-Royal. It’s designed for either eating a modest meal in or taking food out.
Seeing as it’s perfectly situated for buying nibblies for mountain trekking, I was glad to see sensible options. Containers of nuts, tubs of hummus, chocolates. In general, the friendly staff emphasize healthy eating, and much of what’s available is made on the premises (barring sushi, for instance).
There’s an extensive juice fridge that boasts bottles with aloe or dragon fruit, or the lowly apple juice box (in 1 litre sizes too). Looks like Snapple got in on the acai craze when I wasn’t looking. More fun is the fresh juice bar, where I got a refreshing blend of strawberry-mint-basil, but considered the popular mango-passion fruit-guava.
Fare includes the likes of bagel with smoked salmon, fancy pizzas, lasagne, quiche with salad. There are attractive patisseries that aren’t as portable as plainer-looking muffins and croissants.
I sampled widely with my child companions. A broccoli soup was thin but summertime pleasant; a cold cucumber soup was odd. The salads are aspirational, with additions like sundried tomatoes, but one salad’s chicken was dry. A jumbo wrap’s chicken was fine, though, and plump with grilled and other veggies. The salmon brochette went down very well with my small gents, but the kid-intended veggie nuggets were more popular with me.
It would be terrific if they offered more environmentally friendly take-away food (could people bring their own containers to be filled on the spot?) and bumped up the easy snack options (perhaps some cut veg to go with the hummus?)
Only open a month, Goosto is still mountain-leaf green, and some details need finessing (like serving temperature). I suspect staff will be steadier on their feet soon, and I hope Goosto lives up to the potential of such a great locale.
4500 Parc; 514-439-6004
Food for two: $10-$30