Thursday, September 6, 2012

Montreal megapost

This is really a megapost, have you been waiting (Ann...are you out there)? There are 42 pictures. I counted. So it's probably a good idea to grab a snack because this will probably make you hungry. That's me bragging under the disguise of trying to sound caring. Get ready everyone. 

So last week I had a week off of work, woosh.  Colin came to visit me and we took a trip to Montreal by train. There were like 15-20 hormonal high schoolers in our car on the way there, and two very loud, chatty "older ladies" on the train ride back. It was a really long ride both ways, but totally worth it to escape New York for a little bit and not really eat vegetables for a week. Montreal is cool, I kept saying it was the city of the future, and I swear, those French Canadians know what's up with food. I didn't eat anything that I was "supposed to eat" like bagels or smoked meat...I'm actually feeling really guilty and regretful about this, but let's not dwell on that. Anyway, but I think Montreal is like New York in that there is just a huge variety of good food available everywhere, so you're going to eat really well even if you don't eat the "must try" foods. I'm sort of convincing myself that this is true.

So night 1: we got in kind of late, didn't really know what was going on or where we were and just went for this shwarma whatever place near our hostel, and it was a good choice

Hostel breakfast
This seems pretty ok for hostel breakfast, right? Actually it was pretty good. Then every day after that was stale croissants, which was such a bummer but also, not that big of a deal because I wasn't going to waste room in my stomach on crappy hostel food. 

The first place we visited was the Marche Jean Talon, which is the cutest nicest farmer's market ever. Like seriously, it's very aesthetically pleasing. I thought the market at Union Square was beautiful on summer weekends, but not so much any more. It was the BEST part of my trip, I went back like five times, and I wouldn't have known about it if Kathy and Richard hadn't suggested it to me. I definitely freaked out for a good hour and was upset that I couldn't buy any of the meats or cheese to take home with me. But there are also so many good food stands and little restaurants around the edge of it that I didn't feel too bad.

See, CUTE. Just look at those little baskets. 

After remembering that I am really into oysters right now, I decided that I had to have some.

freshly grated horseradish

 I could eat 100

Sausages grillin

This one had jalapenos on the inside

My post-oyster samosa

I don't know what this is, I forget what Colin ordered but I remember that he devoured it

Ok so there is this little Mexican restaurant on the edge of the market and somehow, Colin and I really worked it into our heads that we wanted Mexican food. In Canada? I don't know, but this place looked go so we rushed there in a crazy hunger and it was really delicious. It tastes different from the Mexican food you get here, I can't really describe what it is that makes it different though. You know how a lot of Mexican food both crappy and tasty has like a certain flavor to it (I'm so sorry to all you Mexican food connoisseurs out there, I really don't know anything about Mexican food, I'm just blabbing)? Ok well it didn't have that taste or feel quite as heavy. That's the best description I can give. Sorry.

 Pork and pineapple tacos
I like meat and fruit, it's a good idea. Sweet n salty

Fruit skewers

This day was the most decadent day of the whole trip. We had breakfast at this place called L'avenue, I can't quite remember how I found it...just some searching through the internet food forest, I guess (probably also known as Yelp). It was the best breakfast I've had in a long time, maybe ever. 

I got the smoked salmon eggs benedict and homefries

These were the most perfect eggs benedict I've had. The yolk was just the right amount of runny and it's yolky goodness getting all creamy with the hollandaise sauce meshed really perfectly with the salmon and capers. I'd also like to take this time to point out that I ate more than Colin this entire trip. I'm not exaggerating. There was a significantly sized man at the table next to us and he didn't even finish his eggs.

Colin's had asparagus and mushroom, I believe

Colin's lady drink that tasted like candy

So later in the evening, we went to this restaurant called Les Deux Gamins on this cutesy pedestrian-only street whose name I can't remember. We figured we should probably eat some French food while we were there. This was one of those restaurants that's sort of cheesy on the inside, but in a charming kind of way that makes you think the food is going to be way better than the place looks. Which was true.

To start: french onion soup
I only had a little bit of this, but it was the best! Onion-y sweet and a little salty from all of that cheese. Oh god. 

I got foie gras
This is definitely something you should share with someone but Colin didn't really want it so I had to eat it myself mostly. I've had to do worse things. It was so rich in the best way possible. I mean how could it not be, it's fattened duck liver!! Animal butter, yum.

Then of course, because the french onion soup just wasn't indulgent enough, Colin got the risotto. He didn't finish this by the way. And I ate a lot of it too. 

I got the duck confit
It was heavenly. I love duck. And the potatoes were so good, just like the duck, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. I'm pretty sure they were cooked in some sort of animal fat. I would have cleared my plate completely, but I left behind a few potatoes because I had already eaten so much more than Colin at this point, I was worried for my cardiac health.

Then we thought, "Oh let's just look at the dessert." Then "Oh let's just share the creme brulee. It's going to be small, like one of those custard cups." Then "Oh god, it's huge. We don't have to finish it...we definitely can't finish this." We ended the meal by me losing in a fight with Colin over the last bite. 

We went back to the market the next morning

I wanted to come back to this pulled pork stand I had passed the day before

And I ate it for breakfast
I think I've been saying that I didn't eat the whole day after that French meal, but that was a lie. I confused Colin with myself. 

Drippy sandwich
It was a great sandwich, not sweet like most pulled pork sandwiches I've had, which all seem to be a part of the BBQ family.  It was spicy though! The pickled red onions helped with the porkiness and the black beans helped with the spicyness.

Then we went to Quebec City. And according to the guide book and Internet, this diner-y place was supposed to be really good Quebec-ian (um...not the right word) food, which I'm pretty sure was just a fancy way of saying "this place serves trashy comfort food that all kind of tastes the same in the way that Betty Crocker recipes from the 70s probably do, and you may or may not pay a lot of money for because you're a tourist." It was alright. Minus the poutine, that was great.

Right? I mean, look at those peas. Also those are bacon bits. Like the kind out of a plastic shaker. I can identify that taste because I used to sneak those as a snack when my mom wouldn't buy bacon.

My first real poutine 
We had some again at this bar when we went back to Montreal, and I liked those better, but I can't imagine you can really do poutine wrong. Unless it's that bad version that Stanleys (Providence anybody?) would serve with like..power gravy mix and cheddar?

We did have a GREAT breakfast at this restaurant in Quebec City, I forget the name though. It was cold-ish so we had Belgian hot chocolate, but I don't know who they're kidding. It's just straight up melted chocolate. Not that that's bad. I loved it.

My breakfast was pretty standard, but you know a restaurant is good when they can make the most basic breakfast taste so delicious. Perfect eggs, perfect bacon, and apple butter y'all

Been writing this post for a while, I'm getting tired


We had 2 more crepes later on. They were great, but I didn't think they were mind-blowing. Maybe we were going to the wrong places. 
Montreal from their "mountain" 
Sorry guys, that's definitely a hill. That's not to say that walking up it wasn't the hardest part of my day. Oof

Had to go back for another sausage after that hill climb
I got the one with cheese on the inside, a little mayo, ketchup, sauerkraut, pickles, green olives, and peppers. I like sour and salty things, in case you hadn't guessed. 

Then we got popsicles. Colin had mango strawberry (?) and I had a basil pineapple one. It was interesting. Not really what I was looking for when I wanted a popsicle, but the basil did add a really nice fresh herb-y flavor to the sweet pineapple. It was definitely refreshing. Like you know how lemonade is refreshing if it's not too sweet? Yeah, like that. 



Anonymous said...

I'm here, I'm here! This is the moment I've been waiting for! So excited. -Ann

Rachel said...

I've been to L'Avenue, so good! Next time you must, must eat their bagels and go to Au Pied de Cochon.

Dining Alone said...

WOW, I am beyond jealous. I am glad to see the poutine in there but holy cow so many things I have never had but want to try like oysters and duck confit.

Jeremy Dine said...