Tag Archives: Montreal

Guess who had the last laugh?

20 Mar

Happy Spring, loosers!

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Your friend,

 

Canadian Winter

Food, glorious food!

2 Aug

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Living in the city with the most restaurants per capita in North America, no, it is not New York dudes, but Montreal itself, there is an amazing cosmopolitan window of opportunities and choices, and I have to say I am really short on my list on the “must” restaurants to visit. 

And since at some point, I have to get started…

Yesterday one of my best friends treated me for dinner as a birthday gift, and the choice was “Le Smoking Vallée” just around my neighborhood in the “wanna be” trendy St-Henri Burrough.

It is a cute “bring your own wine” bistro almost hidden in between Notre Dame Ave and Beaudoin street. At first sight you would think it is just a newly renovated triplex, but alas, inside it is far from it.

It takes the place of the old “Aux Trouvailles” and there is no sign outside that shows the location of the restaurant so do not confuse it with the John 2.0 dinner in the corner (another “newbie” in the neighborhood). Make sure you are at the right place.

The menu consists of a 4 meal course, but you can choose à la carte if you do not want to pay $50 +tax or eat the whole course. But believe me the food is worth every cent.

My personal favorites were the Gazpacho with almonds and spicy pasted cheese, simply EXCELLENT and the salmon salad with beats (though I hate em, they were incredibly good), goat cheese,and pear.

The soup however changes periodically.

The white tuna tartar with caviar over a curry paste bed and tempura is really refreshing, healthy, and the portion is perfect. You will feel perfectly filled, no more no less and even have space for dessert. Try the glaced Scottish caramel parfait with québécoise strawberries and caramelized almonds. Really good.

“Is there a fly in the Metamucil?” – you might ask

Yes.

Surprisingly on a Wednesday evening, the restaurant was PACKED, not a single table available, which is good for business but bad for casual conversation. It is very, very loud and the staff, though extremely friendly take some time to offer you water or a refill of it. Also you might want to consider taking the subway instead of your car as there is no easy space for parking.

The owner must be a communist who believes in the equality of bowel movement as there is only one, I repeat, ONE single bathroom for the whole restaurant so prepare for a line up and be careful not to get stuck inside as the door is badly leveled and if you lock the door you might get trapped for quite a while without being heard. (It happened to a friend…)

Aside from these little skirmishes the place is GREAT and really brings and revamps the area that St-Henri is slowly trying to become “the new Plateau” of Southwest Montreal.

Check it out! 

This humble nobody rates it with 4.5 out of 5 stars!

http://smoking-vallee.com/ 

 

 

Brunch Tales

3 Jun

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Saturday morning was the perfect excuse to meet my friend “Bradshaw” for a monthly brunch “rendez-vous” and try to break up the habit of “Oh, we should get together, soon!”

So we did.

This time as part of my quest of discovery throughout south west Montreal, we decided to finally visit the famed “Griffintown Café.” 

Against us Mother Nature, whose been having a blast kicking our Montrealer nuts for the past week with non-stop rain, decided that a downpour would be on schedule right to screw us over and simultaneously bring the whole south west burroughs inside the café. 

Line up was somewhat long, eased by the strongest americano served. After a few minutes of waiting we finally got our table and things started rolling a little bit… slower than expected. Yes the place was full but our server decided to attend three tables whose customers sat after us.

It’s ok, I can be patient, ok not when I’m hungry, cuz I really can turn into one nasty $#*@!

Menu finally arrives and I surprisingly see the light before the tunnel.

Though I expected crêpes and pancakes, a craving I seldom have, I did not find them in the menu.

But surprise, surprise, they serve “Huevos Divorciados,” one delicous specialty from my motherland. Two poached eggs on top of a tortilla each, bathed in green and red “salsa,” a delicous avocado on the side with black beans.

I have to say the wait was worth its while. 

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My only no,no. There are no coffee refills, which during brunch, its unacceptable.

But thanks to the waitress efforts, despite the fact that she forgot our cutlery, and the seating host, who as soon as we finished eating, kicked us out of the table thanks to the line up, gave us the deepest and most honest apology I have ever seen in a 21 year old, I will go back.

It’s a cool mixture of New York’s soho, a crazy Parisian bistro blended, and a zist of Montreal’s “savoir vivre” and though “you never have a second chance to make a good first impression,” Griffintown Café shall be spared, just this once. 

Time to patch it up guys!

18 May

Aisilin’s Cartoon from “The Gazette” could not be any more assertive.

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Frankly my dear, “I don’t give a damn!”

 

Metro Jeopardy

11 May

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You really do not know what you have until you loose it.

Believe it or not, yes, this is my opinion of yesterday’s incident at the Montreal Metro where we were held hostages at the mercy of “fucking punks”, yes, I said it, which caused the disruption of the subway system in the island at morning rush hour.

How much is the subway missed when we don’t have it. Specially during a chaotic Thursday rainy morning where it looks like the end of the world is coming:

“I ll take crappy, smelly, dirty, and overpriced underground public transportation system for $200dls, Alex!”

Anytime.

Yes the disruption of the metro system last morning made me realize how very little we take for granted the things we somewhat criticize the most specially on month’s end when we have to renew our monthly OPUS pass which bleds our wallet of $75dls.

But what hurt me the most was the fact that I had found FREE parking next to the Metro Station, FREE PARKING on a Thursday rainy morning! You don’t get to see that in Montreal very often.

For a moment I had the sudden stupid idea of driving downtown with hopes of saving myself the chaotic trouble of taking the alternative buses and leaving my blessed parking spot.

“I will take gullible ideas for $300 dls, Alex!”

But then again, though buses might be a little cleaner, safer, and the odds of sitting in front of a man jerking off are much less than in the metro…

“I will finish the category of crappy, smelly, dirty, and overpriced underground public transportation system for $800 dls, Alex”!

…I decided to keep my free parking space and jumped into the adventure of taking an STM bus. Nothing has changed in years, same smell, same old crowd, like a comradeship of users who will never move on to the world of $1.45 a liter.

Among the huge crowd inside the bus, my newly found compadres, North, South, West, and East of my axis were: a nurse, the kind which talks ’till she puts you to sleep no matter what; the student  with the most pimples and ugliest teeth in the world; the talented chubby girl with amazing fingers who texted and twitted with one hand as she held herself to the pole with the other and the cutie right next to me who kept smiling and smiling *sigh*

“I’ll take cruising during the apocalypses for $1000, Alex!”

The most amazing thing I learned of this experience is that people really don’t give a rat’s ass if a meteor collides with Earth, or that they might never ride the subway again, it is imperative that their twitter and facebook statuses are updated by the second, just like the chubby girl proved it.

“The end of the world is coming and I’m stuck in a bus with strangers, by the way, OMG 🙂 hot guy at ten ‘o clock, I think he’s a blogger cuz he doesn’t stop staring!!” #FREAK

(That would have been me)

Seriously?

The girl and the cutie must have completely brought down my defenses, I even think that I actually blew some air at the back of his neck without even realizing it, because I completely missed my stop without realizing it.

DING, DING!

“Sorry Alex, what is I am fed up with this frigging student unrest?”

Montreal gets a make over

23 Mar

Thank you M. Bachand for the $125million make over gift for Montreal. It will definetly revamp our biggest white elephant in the city. However I have to agree with Aislin’s proposal…

 

 

Courtesy of The Gazette, Aislin.

Urbania

4 Feb

One of the most enjoyable things I try to appreciate the most, weather permitting in Montreal, is walking. Exploring the city, getting lost in its corners, its historical areas so overlooked sometimes by the rush of the everyday bustle of chaos.

A few months back I decided to walk home from work and purposely get lost in the ancient streets of Griffintown, the polemic old Irish neighbourhood which like the phoenix, is rising from the ashes of a once prosperous past.

Yes, the huge investments and development in the area, have created tons of public consultations (surprise, surprise!) but despite its controversies, it has finally insert some memento to the stagnant Montreal economy.

Aside from politics…again, it was wonderful to get lost and rediscover this area who in the long run could become a fascinating place to get lost.

It is said that secrets should be best kept. But, I can’t keep secrets. One of my great discoveries was La Galerie de René Blouin, it is an old bunker transformed into a fantastic photo gallery that should not be missed.

As I approached the entrance one of the managers, I assumed, came to me with a huge smile on her face and said:

“Sorry, we are closed for the day, but you can come tomorrow…”

“Thank you, I live around the area and I am walking around, discovering things with my camera,” I replied full of pride.

“Fantastic,” she replied. “Come visit us and you will be amazed by your discoveries.”

I can’t hardly wait.

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