Over the last few months we have highlighted cafes and bakeries in the area. This month we are sharing a few spots where you can get a great bite to eat in Cornwall’s East End.
Cold Platter Catering
If you’re willing to branch out from the East Court Mall area, Cold Platter Catering is a versatile hidden gem in the East End. Many people know of their catering, but what some don’t know is that owner Brenda Lee Legault makes amazing soups and sandwiches with homemade bread from Monday to Friday (take out only).
Cold Platter Catering started as a hobby six years ago after Brenda was asked to cater her children’s weddings. She and husband Gilles had driven trucks as a team for a decade and at the time she was ready for a change.
“I wanted to get out of trucking, so I decided to do some catering part time and see how it goes,” she explained, “I was doing it on the weekend on my time off at home for family and friends and it just started growing from there.”
After Brenda’s catering company grew, they had to find a commercial space. They moved into a place in St. Andrews for about 8 months before finding current location on Campbell Street just over three years ago.
“The plan is to continue to grow. We don’t necessarily have to be the biggest, but we want to be the best in terms of what we have to offer,” said Gilles, who eventually left trucking to help Brenda run Cold Platter Catering.
Gilles now manages the company logistics like ordering and inventory, as well as a branch of Cold Platter Catering called Reliable Tent Rentals, where tents can be set up for events up to 200 people. Brenda does most of the cooking with help from her brother Richard Lanois and sister Darlene Guindon.
A few of their specialties are weddings, funerals, and corporate events. Cold Platter Catering also prepares meals for seniors on Fridays for delivery or pick up. They make everything homemade and pride themselves on using high quality ingredients like St. Alberts cheese.
Different kinds of catering they offer include hot buffet, exquisite plate, cold platters, and charcuterie (mini for individuals and trays for groups). They also offer a hot buffet restaurant style that can be dropped off in big pans. Brenda enjoys adding unique details, i.e., turning cucumber slices into little flowers for her charcuterie boards.
When asked about her recipes and how she got into cooking, Brenda shared, “Well, my mother was a soup lady. She made soup every day for us, and we were five in the family. It’s just out of my head, I say, “What am I going to make today?’ and I throw it all together, from scratch with the spices and everything. Some people come here just for my soups.”
“In the new year I’m going to be hiring a chef to help because me doing all the cooking. Alone I can only do so much, and it keeps growing. We want cold platter catering to be top notch so we’re going to get some help in here so we can serve the community,” she added.
The Legault family also likes giving back to the community. Once a year the couple picks a non-profit or charity in the city and does a fundraising BBQ with DJ entertainment. This year their BBQ benefited the Agape Centre, in 2020 it was the Boys and Girls Club.
Fat Bastard Burrito
If you’re a burrito fan, I suggest you run – not walk – to Fat Bastard Burrito! After some anticipation and delays due to COVID, co-owner Hemal Patel was finally able to open in May of this year. Patel has been in Cornwall for over a year and knows the surrounding area well from when he used to work for Bell door-to-door.
“With things getting expensive I thought Cornwall was a great opportunity,” he said, “I feel like this is going to be the new Hamilton. Hamilton is in the GTA, it’s close to Toronto and everything is right there. We have Ottawa which is the capital of the country just one hour away and Montreal is 50 minutes. Looking to the future and considering current circumstances I think this is the best spot.”
Patel told Seaway News that his partners own multiple locations of the Fat Bastard franchise in Ottawa and Kingston. They are now part-owners of the Cornwall location.
When asked why he chose to open this franchise in Cornwall, Patel explained, “The food itself. There are plenty of Mexican based franchises out there in the market but here we cook everything in house.”
He shared that he first tried Fat Bastard Burrito Co. in Kingston and Toronto.
“I don’t want to use any names of the big guys, but other franchises have the food premade or precooked. It’s just warmed up and served to the customers whereas here we cook everything in house – we’re just about to cook the ground beef as you see,” he said, pointing out the kitchen.
Boustan has served authentic Lebanese food in downtown Montreal since 1986. Now they have over 50 locations in Quebec and are expanding into other areas, like Cornwall!
Customer favorites include their chicken pita, deliciously seasoned beef shawarma, and kebabs. Boustan also offer a wide array of vegetarian specials and offer catering specials.
Owner Rahman Khalilur and his partners (including family) also run three Boustan restaurants in Montreal. Khalilur, who has been in Cornwall for three years, and moved here from his hometown of Montreal for his children’s education.
“People are very happy, and I am happy. So, far the response is good,” he told Seaway News.
Although he is busy with the store now, Rahman shared that since moving to Cornwall he has enjoyed the waterfront and fishing.