After having moved to Ottawa, Ryan and I have been particularly fond of visiting nearby Montreal .. it’s nearly as convenient as a stay-cation, with all of the additional bonuses (i.e. you aren’t actually at home, near work or your computer, the food and shopping is delightful, your aren’t actually at home near your to-do list of laundry, grocery shopping.. need I say more? You get the picture!)
In any case, each time we’ve been it seems we end up at Reuben’s on St. Catherine’s the “morning after” a night of over-the-top food and drink .. It has never disappointed! And strangely enough, while I very much enjoyed the meat-lovers-extravaganza that was their famous “Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich” I REALLY enjoyed their vegetarian fare (I love vegetables but don’t often go for veggie items in restaurants because they aren’t always very exciting or tasty). The picture here is of their veggie sandwich, which boasted beautifully grilled zucchini, onion, red/yellow pepper and mushrooms + melted cheese and garlic aoli. On sour-dough toasted to perfection. With a side of delightful and perfectly dressed coleslaw and a giant, zesty pickle. And a side salad the size of a helmet.
A vegetarian’s dream — the only thing that could have made this better is grilled or marinated (or both) eggplant or artichoke (or both).
p.s In the background is the Montreal Smoked Meat poutine (Ryan’s meal). Also delicious. That’s a whole new blog post in and of itself ..
On an entirely separate occasion, I brought my Vancouver-residing parents, who were visiting Ottawa over Christmas 2011, to Montreal. We stayed only one night however with hard work, managed to take in more than our fare share of delicious food. We had dinner near Old Montreal, where I devoured the best tuna tartare I’ve ever had, and fries that were out-of-this-world perfection. For brunch on the day we were due to drive “home”, we wandered a few blocks from Le Westin into a foreign land, where cobblestone streets and softly falling snow certainly render a “wandering in a snow-globe” feeling. We ended up at “Marche de la Villette” which is a quaint but very busy traditional Quebecois delicatessen that specializes in traditional terrine (country pate) and local cheese. I’ve never been anywhere in Canada (yet) where I feel like I COULD be in France. It was such a time! And the food was lovely. I ordered the ham and cheese crepe, and was pleasantly surprised when it came with LOTS of quality filling, and a very french server. The crepe was perfectly executed (i.e. delicately thin, sweet, fresh and tender) … I highly recommend this little wonderland. But if you like simplistic ambience I would veer in the opposite direction; it is busily decorated and pleasantly noisy.
Summary: Montreal has really good food. Not that you didn’t already know that, but no harm in reiterating!