Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's Raining - A Good Day to Sleep In and Blog

It's Wednesday and we've been having so much fun that I haven't had a chance to blog about Montreal since our arrival on Saturday. So here goes:

Steak Frites and Pyrotechnics
Our first night (Saturday) we walked just a short block from the apartment and ate at "Steak Frites". The Rue St. Paul restaurant is one of several locations in the small restaurant chain. The food was good. Service was a little slow...but it was a kitchen thing not a waiter thing. They have several types of steaks in several sizes, a salmon dish, and a few others. It is "apportez votre vin" or a BYOB. Salads (salade maison and the salade au chevre chaud (a green salad with goat cheese melted on top of small pieces of toast) were excellent and refreshing. The Onion soup was REALLY good. Our steak frites (which we shared) was cooked exactly as we asked. Jerry thought the frites could be a little better, I thought they were very good. It was a nice start to our week here in Montreal. They are first come first we had to wait in a line for was worth it.
Later in the evening (as I worked on my photos) we heard the pop pop boom of fireworks. Throwing open our double windows and hanging out just a bit we could see China's entry into this year's International Fireworks Competition that runs here from June to the first week of August. The finale is tonight, so I'm hoping the rain lets up, we want to go up on the roof to watch them.
March Jean Talon - Farmer's Market
Sunday morning dawned lovely and we were off to pick up my old bike (now refurbished with a basket and new tires) and stop by our favorite Farmer's Market - Marche Jean Talon. The market is located in the middle of LIttle Italy and this time of year is overflowing with the bounty of Quebec and Canada. Everything we bought came from Quebec (except the cherries which were from BRitish Columbis): cantaloup, tomatos, dill, basil, sausage, baby carrots, raspberries and teeny weenie bluets (blueberries).

Fresh Blueberries

Costco in Quebec

For any of you who knows of my husband's fascination with Costco you'll know just how special the following statement is: There are 18 Costcos in Quebec and 11 within 6.5 miles of our apartment!!!! When we starting coming up here 5 years ago there were 5 in the region. 11..think of that...there are only 2 in the entire Philadelphia area (3 if you count the 45 minute trek to the one in Christiana Delaware!). We usually hit the one closest to us in the Old Port area but also we usually make one trek out to the one off the 40 at the St Jean Blvd off is the one that usually has more books in English! So that was our Sunday midday outing.

Rue Bernard
The last night we were in Montreal we walked along a few blocks of Rue Bernard Ouest (just west of Park Avenue) while we waited for our dinner reservations at Milos. We made a mental note to return this visit for a closer look. Located in the Outremont/Miles end areas...rue Bernard is a great street for walking, eating, and shopping (and a few errands as well).
Sunday we ate at La Moulerie...a restaurant specializing in mussels (one of Jerry's favorite things). On the corner of Rue Bernard and Champagneur and across from the artdeco Outremont Theatre, the restaurant has a lovely terrace. We ate early so it wasn't very full and we enjoyed sharing the terrasse with a man and his "little white dog"...she was adorable. Although after the rotweiller being walked down the street lunged under the table to sniff at her (we hope that is all it had in mind) she wanted to be NOWHERE ELSE other than on her owners lap...who could blame her. The mussesl were great as were the salads. I had a fish soup filled with little bits of all sorts of good fish and crustaceans...delicious! La Moulerie 1249 Bernard O., 514-273-8132

Needing to walk off some of those splendid mussels we wandered up and down both sides of the streets. At 211 Bernard West (on the east side of Park) we came across an oddly but creatively titled bookstore: Drawn and Quarterly. What a find!!!!! One of my favorite places now in Montreal. Drawn and Quarterly, the company, is a Canadian comic book publishing company based in Montreal and focussing on graphic novels and underground/alternative comics. The store offers Drawn and Quarterly publications and a lot more. Art books, "regular" novels...a small but discerning selection of current bestsellers and classics, wonderful illustrated childern's books. There website is

Inside Drawn and Quarterly at 211 Rue Bernard West

A couple of days later we returned for more exploring, starting off with..yes, Had an early lunch at Lester's (Mr. Smoked Meat) famous for its smoked meat (Pastrami to those in the US). Great sandwich, good slaw, divine pickle, and a great table outside on the sidewalk on a warm sunny day.

Once filled with delicious smoked meat and a diet coke, we were off for a bit of shopping and errands. KoKoon is located right next door to Lester's and is a fun off -beat gift store. Everything from kitchen gadgets to jewelry to wonderful one tell her...but I bought Laurel a green lily pad umbrella for Christmas (she need it moving to Seattle).

But the REAL find of the day was a place called Territoire where a man named Louis-Phillippe Lamarre makes the most beautiful purses and backpack purses. We had seen them in the window on Sunday when it was closed and his purses were the REAL reason (not Lester's meats) that we came back the next day). He is moving soon so he was having a sale and I got TWO wonderful purses..that are one of a kinds too...not that it matters...I love them so much I wouldn't care if everyone I know had the same purse (although it would look strange on Jerry).

There is a great gourmet market, the Outremont Theatre, a key maker (that was our errand), Printemps (another interesting gift store), many other restaurants, etc on Rue St. Bernard. It is also in an area that appears to have a very large population of Hassidic Jews as we see lots of children, mothers with children, and fathers (in their long black coast and tall hats) with children. There are a number of good kosher bakeries as a result.

No comments: