Saturday, November 20, 2010

Yummy Food Recap - MONTREAL EDITION - Vol. IX

Hi Folks and welcome to the latest recollection of my gastronomical adventures!  Today you are in for a treat, because this is the MONTREAL EDITION of my blog, a special edition if you will.  I will post pictures from each day we had on our vacation, with a caption and summary of our experience at each place.  At the end of the blog I will sum up my favorites.  Be sure to leave a comment and let me know which meals you liked most! 

Executive Summary:
Halloween, Sunday - McDonald's, Airplane Food, La Station Des Sports
November 1, Monday - Cafe Vienne, Les  3 Brasseurs, Pacini
November 2, Tuesday - Cafe Depot, Schwartz's, Second Cup, Kilo
November 3, Wednesday - Eggspectation, O'Burger, The Keg
November 4, Thursday - Eggspectation, Burger King, La Cremiere, Pizzadelic
November 5, Friday - Second Cup, L'Entrecote Saint-Jean, Restaurant Les Infidel
November 6, Saturday - Cafe Depot, Peel Pub, A&W, Bell Centre Food
November 7, Sunday - Burger King, Airplane Food, McDonald's

Holy mole that is a lot of food!  And as there are 54 images here that I am going to share, you better save reading this for when you have some spare time.  


Porter Lunch - Macaroni Salad, 1/2 of a Chicken Wrap, and a Nice Cold Beer

The thing I liked most about this meal was that I did not expect it!  I was aware that Porter served snacks, but apparently on their noon flights they offer a small meal - what a treat!  We also got to choose from a variety of Beverages: White & Red Wine (Jackson Triggs), Beer (Steam Whistle), Juice, Tea, Coffee, Water, etc. etc.  On the second leg of our flight, instead of the meal we got to choose between a Peek Freans snack bar, Blue Diamond Almonds and Terra Chips, as well as another beverage.  We both took the chips and after we had finished our beers the flight attendant even gave Josh a third!  We left our first flight with Porter with a really positive experience, and we will likely use them again.

Josh's Steak Poutine at La Station Des Sports.
This was our first meal on Montreal soil, and we pretty much just walked up the street until we found a place that looked somewhat familiar.  We were in no mood to be adventurous on our first night, as we were exhausted.  La Station Des Sports was a lot like Don Cherry's Sports Bar: Large TVs and about 4 different football games playing at once.  Some of the tables even had their own beer taps where you could buy beer in bulk!  IN BULK!  We opted for the 20oz Stella's but if we are ever in Montreal again with a few other people, I need to investigate this bulk beer phenomenon.  I accidentally ordered two orders of onion rings, instead of one between us, whoops!  After that we had a Poutine each; Josh's had Steak (see image above) and mine had Chicken.  At this point I was drinking beer slowly all day while flying and exhausted, so I barely ate anything.  Sleep that night was great.


Remnants of a croissant from Cafe Vienne
We were not fast enough taking a picture of our first Croissant in Montreal, so all you get here are the crumbs! :)

Brown Ale brewed at Les 3 Brasseurs
Ham & Goat Cheese Open-Faced Sandwich
Smoked Salmon Open-Faced Sandwich
Les 3 Brasseurs was a place that we had decided on trying to eat at before we left on our trip.  There are a lot of locations, 4 I think, in Montreal, and this one was located in Old Montreal.  Inside it reminded me a lot of Yellow Belly Brewery on Water Street here in St. John's.  We were sat at a bar table on chair-stools next to big beer vats behind a glass window.  You could literally see the beer being brewed and the people tending to the vats while you ate, it was really fun!  I had a 1/2 pint of their Blonde Brew (for an economical $1.99) and Josh went for a full pint of their Brown Ale.  Both were delicious!  The menu was good and we both ordered open-faced sandwiches: Josh had the Ham & Cheese and I went for the Smoked Salmon - YUM! 

Minstrone Soup at Pacini Restaurant next to our Hotel

My Pasta at Pacini - La Delicioso Rose!

 Josh's Pasta at Pacini - Chicken Alfredo
We did a lot on our first day, so we were quite content to eat close to homebase before we headed out that night for our Black Mountain/The Black Angels concert.  Pacini was right next door to our hotel (Hotel St-Denis) and had a real Pizza Delight feel to it.  They had an all you can eat bread bar and grill, as well as unlimited soup: Josh chose creamed vegetable and I had the minestrone.  Mostly known for it's pasta dishes, and knowing we probably needed a lot of energy for the long night ahead, we both decided pasta was best and we were not disapointed.  See images above for the types we ordered!  Something fun:  instead of a mint with our bill we received a chocolate dipped maraschino cherry on a stem each!

And although I don't have a picture of it, on the way home from our concert that night we were starving so we split a burger and fries from McDonald's on Rue St-Denis.  It was hands down the SEEDIEST McDonald's we have ever seen.  Wow!


Last bite of our Breakfast Bagels at Cafe Depot

Of all the places we ate that you can't find in St. John's, there were only two that we visited twice because they were so good.  Both of them were breakfast places and Cafe Depot was one of them.  We figured it would be mediocre, but when we started to eat our Bacon and Egg sandwiches, on bagels toasted with butter with choice of Swiss or Real Cheddar cheese, we were quite impressed!

Schwartz's World Famous Smoked Meat Sandwich

Our Gigantic Kosher Pickle

Enjoying a Cuppa Java and a Red Velvet cupcake after Schwartz's at Second Cup.
Schwartz's Hebrew Delicatessen was another restaurant that we had on our list of Montreal culinary destinations.  This place was the real deal.  We were nervous because we had read reviews that the service was rude and rushed, so when we walked in and a man shouted "TWO?" at us I just nodded and said "Yes! Two!"  Before I knew it, we were sitting at a table with four other people (the place itself could only host about 30-40 max.  The waiter we had was, contrary to our expectations, very polite and funny, and actually told us to relax, not rush, and take our time.  As you can see in the picture above, the sandwich was gigantic and so was the pickle we ordered on the side.  There were a bunch of businessmen sat behind Josh that looked like they were in for a conference and also visiting Schwartz's for the first time.  They asked the same waiter that we had "What kind of bread do you have?"  to which the man replied "Well, we have two selections here at Schwartz's: White rye, and white rye."  The men laughed and then asked about the mustard choices.  You won't be surprised to hear that the waiter's reply was "Regular mustard, and regular mustard."  This place really was the real deal, we loved the experience and will revisit on our next trip to Montreal for sure!

I wanted a little something sweet to finish off lunch so we stopped into Second Cup for a Red Velvet cupcake - it was sooo goood after all of that smoky meat.

Our beverage choices for the week.

My Lemonade at Kilo.

Josh's Chili Wrap at Kilo.
For supper that night we decided to eat close to homebase again and then spend the evening watching a hockey game (Sens vs. Buffalo I think) with some drinks in our hotel room.  Josh picked up some beers that you can't get in Newfoundland and I bought a box of four little varieties of wine, each in miniaturized wine bottles that I was sad I couldn't take home with me - they were so cute!

Kilo was a place that had a door leading straight to our hotel's lobby.  I read somewhere that it's specialty was in baked goods and cakes, though we decided to order wraps instead.  I had yummy goats cheese and mandarin orange chicken wrap (California Wrap I think on the menu) and Josh had this tasty chili and cheese wrap.  What I liked about this place was the fun sides that came with the meals.  Each meal comes with Nacho Chips and a Green Salad with this very tasty citrus dressing.  I also ordered a lemonade, which was super cute and Josh even got a lollipop with his diet coke!

In all, the first two full days were a great success food wise!  With our drinks that night in the hotel room we also ate some kettle cooked chips and sour cherry candy :)


Eggspectation, at Complexe Desjardins.

Josh's Cappuccino.


The Classic
Eggspectation was so good in terms of taste, price and location we ended up going there twice.  It is located on the corner of Complexe Desjardins that which is directly across from Montreal's Museum of Fine Arts, about a 10-15 minute walk from Hotel St-Denis.  We found this restaurant online before we left for Montreal and it was one of the few places that I in particular really wanted to go.  I ordered the Eggstravaganza (French toast, breakfast meat, fruit, 2 eggs and grilled potatos) and Josh ordered the Classic eggs benedict. The service was fast, friendly and we paid or bill at less than $30, with nice tip included. 

An O'Burger and Sweet Potato Fries for lunch.
O'Burger was another place we scoped in advance.  We both ordered their classic "O'Burger Burger" - a 4oz burger with Swiss cheese, crisp bacon, balsamic glazed onions, sauteed mushrooms and O'sauce.  Sides were extra, so we each had a diet pepsi (which came in a cute glass with a slice of lemon) and sweet potato fries to share.  It was great, but we were at a table near the door (which they kept open to cool off the kitchen workers) so I was a bit chilly and had to keep my coat on.  I'd go back though!

Kiwitini and Mojito @ the Old Montreal Keg!

My Potato Springrolls w/ Sweet Thai Chili and BBQ Ranch Dipping Sauces.

Josh's Sweet Chili Calamari.

My Steak & Crab Legs.

Josh's Steak and Lobster Tail.

I was very confused about how to eat the crab...

Butterscotch-Caramel, Brownie-Mousse, and Lemon-Blueberry Dessert Shots!
We decided to go to the Keg while on our trip for one reason, and one reason only - to save some money.  Strange as that sounds, it's true!  We had $125.00 in gift cards and figured that we could use the money we would save to do more fun things while we were on holiday.  I will leave the description of the meal to the captions on the pictures above.


We enjoyed Eggspectation so much that we went back two mornings in a row.  I ordered a meal similar to the one I had the day before, only this time in place of French toast were two pancakes - it was called Eggsuberant!  Josh had an internal dilemma the day previous when it came down to deciding between the Benedict and a western-style omelet that had red, green and jalapeno peppers, three cheeses and salsa.  Going back another time meant he could have both!

Me being a pig in the Eaton Centre.

BK Whopper & Fries.

La Cremiere!

Frozen Yogurt - Blueberry, Blackberry and Pineapple.

There were so many things to choose from in the Eaton Centre cafeteria that we were very overwhelmed.  The least threatening lineup was at BK, so this meal was more out of a process of elimination than pure choice.  Still, it fueled me adequately for my designated shopping day :)  On the way home from shopping we dropped into Complexe Desjardins for a frosty treat!

Santa Fe Pizza at Pizzadelic.
On our way to our second concert of the trip (Junip) we stopped into a pizza shack on Rue St-Denis called Pizzadelic.  The pizza we shared was on flatbread, with fresh coriander, cheese, olives (which I picked off), onion, peppers, and chicken.  There was a weird smell in that place and I'm not sure if I'd go back or not.  I think they have multiple locations, maybe an above-ground one would be better for next time.


Crab-shaped croissant at Second Cup on Rue St-Denis.

Our second breakfast!  Pain au chocolat at Complexe Desjardins.
Breakfast on Friday was two-part.  We wanted a coffee ASAP, and also another croissant each so we found both readily available at Second Cup on the street our hotel was on.  We had plans to go to the Museum of Fine Arts that day and it was raining so we walked part of the way through Complexe Desjardins to dry off.  That's when we decided to have a second breakfast of pain au chocolat <3  Mmmm!

Walnut Salad at L'entrecote Saint-Jean.

Steak Frites with Hot Mustard Sauce!
I think this was the first restaurant that Josh picked out when we started researching for our holiday.  The restaurant was really neat and at first we felt a bit under dressed.  We were a little surprised by this because they only really have Steak and Fries on their menu.  When we walked in there were these red velvet drapes we had to walk through and almost everyone in the restaurant (which almost didn't have room for us) was in a full suit.  The service was nice, they took our coats and gave us some bread and a walnut salad to start, and we got the special Steak Frites with hot mustard sauce.  Not your average thick steak, but a nicely sliced lunch-sized steak and crispy fries on the side to sop up the yummy sauce over the steak.  VERY satisfying meal!

Mmm!  Wine after a long day of walking in the rain!

Complimentary Mushroom, Duck and Chorizo tartar.

Squash soup on the house!

A shot of our Table at Les Infidels.

My Warm Goat Cheese salad.

Josh's Scallops in Coconut and Mint with a Mango Salad

My Venison with Wine Poached Pears.

Josh's Veal Fillet Mignon.
Friday night we had reservations at Les Infidels, a small French restaurant on Rue Rachel where you can bring your own alcohol :)  Josh's cousin Angie recommended it to us.  We had to translate the menu in Google Translate before we went because they don't have English menus there.  It was cute and small and the service was great!  We picked up a Pinot Noir - Syrah blend wine and it was tasty - C'est la Vie was the name.  After we ordered our choices the chef sent out some duck tartar and a soup with baguette.  It was a nice treat but we had ordered some pretty heavy dishes so we tried to not get too full before they came out of the kitchen.  See images above for our meals.  The pictures are a bit dark/blurred because we didn't want to use the flash in the restaurant.  I would definitely like to go back again. 

Josh was shocked at the economical beer prices.

On the way home we stopped into IGA for some snacks for the night (it was still only like 7:30pm) and were shocked by how cheap a dozen of Rickard's beer was - $15.99!  Josh literally moaned and we were sad that we couldn't smuggle a dozen back home with us.


Josh's well-centered cheese.

Amazing breakfast sandwich on an delicious bagel
On our last full day in the city we decided to go to Mont Royal for a second time, and to Cafe Depot for a second time, too!  The bagels remind me of the kind you get from Georgetown Bakery - not too big, but really chewy and delicious. 

Josh's Philly Cheese-steak Sub at Peel Pub.

My Grilled Chicken Wrap at Peel Pub.
Two good friends of ours suggested that we hit up Peel Pub for some good eats while we were in Montreal so we put it on our *must go* list.  Our last full day snuck up fast on us so we made a point to definitely go there on Saturday.  We got there at 11:00 I guess and saw that on the menu they had specials for each day of the week.  Saturday was Philly Cheese-steak Sub day and we both kindof wanted it, but it would be a very heavy lunch so we ordered a Chicken Wrap too and had half of each with some fries.  I ordered a Heineken and Josh had a Sleemans Cream Ale.  Nothing like pub food and beer pre-noon to put you in a good mood :)

The Hotdog that Saved my Life.

$10 Beers Y'all!
The highlight of our trip was the NHL game we saw on our last night in Montreal at the Bell Centre.  The Ottawa Senators were playing the Canadiens - Josh is a Sens fan so I wore his old Senators pj t-shirt for support!  We were also pretty excited about drinking Molson Export, which you can't get here in Newfoundland.  They were very expensive, $10 each, but we saved money by getting cheap seats for the game so we didn't feel too bad about spending a bit more on the beer - it really added to the experience for us.  Top it off with a yummy mustard and relish hotdog, and the Sens winning 3-2, and our night was great!


P.E. Trudeau Airport for Breakfast on our Last Morning, November 7th.
The last meal we ate in Montreal was a BK Croissantwich meal each.  It didn't quite taste croissanty, but it served its purpose well.  We departed Montreal at noon again with Porter, so we got their lunch again.  This time it was a chicken sandwich on flat-bread with a potato salad and a little square of Lindt chocolate - yum!  We got the Terra chips again as our snack on the second leg from Halifax to St. John's and, of course, more beer.  By the time we got in St. John's we were in no mood to cook, so we finished off the day with McDonald's before collapsing to bed. 


So that's it!  I think this is my longest blog to date, and certainly the one with the most images.  I really wasn't disappointed by much food the entire trip, which was great.  I would say that my favorite meals were definitely the Eggstravaganza at Eggspectation, Venison at Les Infidels, Smoked Salmon Sandwich at Les 3 Brasseurs, and my Crab/Steak combo at The Keg.  Shout outs go to Sour Cherry Candy, Molson Export, Mars Bars and Croissants.