If you like restaurants, then Food Network Canada’s Big Food Bucket List now airing on Saturday evenings from 8 pm to 9 pm is a must watch.

Host John Catucci (You Gotta Eat Here!) is back to take viewers on an all-new food adventure across North America as he checks buzz-worthy, crazy, delicious food off his bucket list. In each episode, he visits the restaurants behind these must-eat meals and hits the kitchen to learn how the chefs make their mind-blowing creations. This season has already featured two Montreal restaurants – Tropikàl Restobar in St. Henri, specializing in Caribbean cuisine and owned by Dollard native Jae-Anthony Doughan and trendy Foiegwa in Griffintown.

Catucci records 20 episodes per season, profiling three restaurants in each half hour segment. That is 60 dining experiences across Canada and the United States. The show also airs on Hulu in the United States. It is a busy pace, keeping him on the road two and a half weeks per month. How does he stay in shape? “Because of this show and to keep me honest, I hired a personal trainer a few years ago,” he said.

The format is neat. At each restaurant, he is joined by regulars who sit with him and talk about the dishes.

On Tropikàl Restobar Catucci told me: “I loved the vibe. The food is so special, and Jae-Anthony is an amazing chef. He is one of those guys who really wants to feed you. I especially enjoyed his jerk chicken poutine.”

LITE BITES: I recently sampled Mont Tacos, an innovative concept of fast-food restaurants based on an authentic product, the French-style taco. First you need to pick the size of your taco and choice of sauce, meat, cold cuts, cheese and vegetables. There are also fries or poutines, not to mention a series of signature tacos. I had a combo of the grilled chicken cutlet and marinated chicken, with mayo, fries and a drink. There are now nine locations, with one more to come in Sainte-Thérèse. I went to the LaSalle locale, which has good parking…

BeaverTails, makers of unique and delicious BeaverTails® pastries, recently opened two new locations: one in historic Old Quebec City and the other on Les Avenues Vaudreuil. CEO Pino Di Ioia notes that the menu has been diversified to include BeaverDogs Poutail, BT Sip, ice cream and sharable take-out-friendly items like BeaverBite and BeaverTails Brownie Pie. Today, there are 195 BeaverTails points-of-sale in six countries. More than 20 new locations are expected to open this year – the majority will be community shops across Canada. Info: www.beavertails.com… Pizzéria NO. 900 has opened its 13th location on 27th Avenue in Verdun. Félix Sylvestre has gone from an employee to owner in just two short years…A shout out to the team at Au Vieux Duluth. Their 30 franchises are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the popular Greek restaurant chain. I stopped off for a seamless pickup order recently at the St. Laurent location, with the wonderful Tony Antonopoulos at the helm.

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