Name: Adnan & Nizar
Blog name: 514eats
Where were you born? Paris, France and Damascus, Syria, respectively
Where are you living now? Montreal, QC
Why did you start your blog?
We thought most blogs out there suffer from one or more of the following: over-praising, bad pictures, lengthy reviews. We set out to do better. Whether we succeeded or not is a different story…
How did you decide on your blog name?
We wanted something short, easy to remember and very “Montreal”. Let’s just hope the new 438 area code doesn’t surpass 514 in popularity anytime soon…
What do you blog about?
We do pure restaurant (and bar) reviews, nothing else. Occasionally we’ll cover a food-related event. Our goal is to be anonymous, unannounced and above all honest.
What post are you most proud of and why?
In July of 2012 (a few months after launching our blog) we discovered and reviewed Damas, a unique and authentic Syrian restaurant on Parc Avenue. It was probably the best meal we’ve had up to that point and we really enjoyed writing about it. It also holds a special place in our hearts since we’re both originally Syrian…
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
Back in 2013, we were approached to cover Table of Hope, Montreal’s premiere gastronomic charity event. All the pieces fell into place for one amazing evening: great cause, crowd, food and booze… Too bad our article didn’t get the exposure we were hoping for.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
Our less-than-enthusiastic review of Blackstrap BBQ, Verdun’s wildly popular BBQ joint, in February of 2013 drew an unprecedented response. We were not prepared for the onslaught of comments, be it from loyal followers commending us for our honesty, or angry fans defending the beloved eatery. Either way, that review is one of our top performers to date.
What is one (non-kitchen) gadget you can’t live without?
It’s a cliché answer, but an LTE-connected smartphone is something we depend on more than we care to admit. Having a phone, planner, camera, navigation, email, social media… all in one place makes these devices indispensable!
What is one kitchen gadget you can’t live without?
The one kitchen tool we can’t live without is a really sharp chef’s knife. If we’re talking machines and gizmos, it’ll have to be the stick blender. This thing can do anything from shakes and smoothies to soups and sauces.
Favourite food, care to share a recipe or restaurant choice?
This is a tough one! If you’re asking what food would we get stuck with forever on a deserted island, it’ll have to be a simple roasted leg of lamb. There’s something about the dripping fat and the gaminess that we just cannot resist. Oh, and a side of arugula salad with that 😉
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
One of us is a self-proclaimed awesome cook and can prove it, while the other couldn’t whip out a decent dinner if his life depended on it.
Also, we hand-coded every single line of html/ASP on our blog. No WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr… We’re anal like that.
What makes your blog unique?
The structure of our blog. Clearly labeling sections about food, service, mood, and most importantly an overall clear verdict makes it easy to follow and read our reviews. Their layout and brevity keeps page scrolling to a minimum.
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