Since it opened last December, I have been curious to experience the new food court in Pavillion K of the Jewish General Hospital. It replaced the longstanding cafeteria, which was never a spot I particularly went to on purpose. Be it as a patient, visiting someone there or looking to grab a quick bite between appointments, I’d often find myself there by default.

Resto Carrefour HGJ is run by the team at Beso Catering (, created via a merger in 2013 between ETMO and Tradition. The former was run by Harvey Leavitt and Alan Serour, who took over the company completely in 2010. Tradition, of course was the baby of catering legend Giorgi Romano.

Serour runs a boutique operation on Robert Burns Avenue in Côte Saint-Luc, open to the public several days a week. He is of course huge in terms of large-scale events and now comes the food court where there is a head chef overseeing the menus and quality of food. “Fresh ingredients and importance of presentation are hallmarks of the food court,” said General Manager David DiRaddo. “Lines are not an issue as there are enough kiosks to accommodate even the busiest breakfast or lunch-hour.”

Food Court

Chef Jordan displays some dishes.

I was beyond impressed with my recent visit. In fact, if you blindfolded me and brought me inside I could have been convinced this was a high-end shopping mall food court. It is bright and spacious, with plenty of selection and a nice outdoor patio. A temporary entry way has been built from the main entrance directly to the food court. That will become permanent in a few months’ time.

DiRaddo just came on board in January and in a short order has made sure each counter is offering top quality food at affordable prices. There are spots of kabobs, breakfast, Italian dishes, Chinese, burgers smoked meat and a convenient grab and go selection of sandwiches, muffins, cookies and fruits. In July, a sushi counter is expected to open.

DiRaddo was born and raised in Laval, where he still lives with his wife and children. He started off in the restaurant business working for Red Lobster in Quebec as a busboy, bartender and cashier. After 10 years he moved to the Starbucks location at Dorval Trudeau Airport and then the head office for Starbucks in Quebec. In total that association lasted 15 years. Next was a three year stint as a supervisor for the growing BeaverTails pastry operation. Serour soon sought him out for the hospital project.

Food Court

Kebab Shop is very popular.

“We are thrilled with the success of this food court,” DiRaddo told me. “This is the only hospital with a food court like this where everything is 100 percent kosher. We offer great food at reasonable prices. Business is good.”

Here is what you can find at the food court:

Food Court

Café Sofia serves breakfast and Italian cuisine.

The Kebab Shop serves up exactly that: kebabs, shawarma, falafel, salads and many other Israeli and Moroccan dishes. Opening hours are Sunday to Thursday from 11 am to 7 pm and Friday from 11 am to 2:30pm.

Café Sofia is a breakfast place that transforms itself into an Italian food spot towards lunch time. You can get breakfast sandwiches, a sweet breakfast (pancakes, waffles or French toast) and coffee. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 7 am to 10:30 am for breakfast and from 11am to 2 pm for lunch.

Maison Ben’jing is the Chinese food kiosk. You can get anything from General Tao chicken to Sesame Beef, egg rolls, noodles dishes, soups and much more. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 11 am to 3 pm.

Gare 18 has real rotisserie chicken, hamburgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, fries, cole slaw and all the fixings. Opening hours are Monday to Thursday, 11am to 7pm and Friday from 11 am to 3 pm.

Beso Prêt-à-Manger has salads, ready to go sandwiches, yogurts, bagels, homemade bread, baked goods such as muffins, croissant and Danish, fresh fruit cups, lattes and cappuccino or if you’re in a rush you can pick up their “grab and go” option. Fresh baked challah is available for take-out on Fridays as well as whole rotisserie chickens. Opening hours are Monday to Sunday from 7am to 7pm.

Before Shabbat, Beso has ready-to-go sandwiches, salads and other items on Shabbat.

I got to experience a nice tasting with DiRaddo, sampling small portions of the pasta, pizza, smoked meat, hamburger, veggie burger, chicken shawarma, rice, garlic potatoes, pineapple chicken and General Tao. Don’t worry – I shared this with DiRaddo and he packed most of it for me to take home.

Well, I can say with certainty that I will be back to that food court. In fact, it is an incentive to arrive for an appointment early to grab a bite there.

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