Montreal – Friends, food and Jazzzz

I can’t even mention Montreal in a sentence without a smile on my face.  I love that city!  So many great memories from the Absinthe taxi ride of my first trip to my friends kidnapping us from Kingston so we could eat at Wok Cafe and bowl at Sharx.  My most recent visit was an impromptu trip to take in Jazzfest, eat some good food and visit with an old friend.

On the first morning, we went for bagels on St. Vianteur.  Now I’ve been to Montreal on numerous occasions and I’ve never had a Montreal bagel.  How sad was that?  So on this trip, I vowed to try one to see what all the fuss was about.

First off, the bagel oven at St. Vianteur Bagels Shop is amazing!  So old school.  Well, if they tasted this way for hundreds of years, why mess with a good thing.

Now I may be biased because I love bread and all things bread-like but these are worth all the fuss.  My sesame seed bagel was fresh out of the oven, still hot and full of doughy goodness.  It’s cooked perfect.  If undercooked it has that weird uncooked dough taste and pasty texture.  If overcooked it is dry and flaky.  These where moist, hot and had the perfect amount of “meatiness”, not so doughy it was heavy but heavy enough to fill you with soul-satisfying goodness.

I think we walked half a block before stumbling upon the smells of La Crepiere, a small little cafe run by a single chef/server/owner?.

This friendly frenchwomen runs a lovely little shop serving up fresh, delicious coffee and breakfast confections.  We started with ice coffee (it’s was boiling this particular July long weekend).

The coffee is excellent!  Smooth with no hint of bitterness.  The vanilla ice cream adds a cool creaminess while the cocoa power adds a rich chocolaty flavor that isn’t overpoweringly sweet or cocoa-y.  Seeing as we just had bagels a minute ago, we decided to split a apple, ham and cheese crepe.

After ordering, the chef asked what kind of flour I wanted: regular flour, buckwheat, whole grain with oats?  I asked her what she recommended and she said she would mix a few together.  The result was a flavorful, perfectly textured crepe with fresh, sweet apples mixed with chewy salted ham and the gooey goodness of cheese.  A piece of culinary heaven.

Now no trip to Montreal would be complete without some smoked meat washed down with cherry cola. Schwartz’s, your fatty smoked meat will send me to an early grave but it is worth it.

We met up with some friends, both old and new, caught some of the Jazzfest events and sat out in the sun drinking some beers.  This is how man was supposed to enjoy the weekend.  After a few hours, hunger struck again and our local friend took us for a seafood feast at Maestro S.V.P.

The window advertised an oyster special, a dozen for $13.  Sold!  Let’s get two dozen!

We decided to try the Maestro platter…basically a huge platter of seafood.  First they brought out the bruschetta. I’m not sure if they do this to create some sort of shock value by serving a small portion followed by a huge one but it worked.

When the platter came out my jaw dropped to the ground.  This was a LOT of food!

The platter included snow crab, clams, steamed mussels, coconut shrimp, calamari, lobster and chicken and shrimp satays.  Not only was there a huge amount of food, it was all pretty good too. Merci Montreal!  Merci!

~ by jlowjlow on July 26, 2011.

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