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Montreal recommendations for visiting hound [moved from Pennsylvania]

I just got back from Montreal and ate like a king! Enjoy!

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  1. Good to hear it! I know this is a bit off-topic, but do you have any recommendations? We are going in about 10 days, for the film festival. I am already setting up reservations for Au Pied de Cochon and Brunoise, two old favorites. (I love Brunoise so much I would eat there twice if we had more time.) We still have two other dinner slots to fill, and are looking for somewhat less pricey, more casual, possibly ethnic places to go w/ friends – but of course all of that can go out the window if you have a really good suggestion that doesn’t fit that profile. We also need lunch suggestions somewhat in the center city film fest area (central parts of St. Laurent, St. Denis, St. Catherine, Rene Levesque, etc.) or for our last day, when we’ll be out at Jean Talon for the market. We have had some pretty good dim sum there before (Ruby Rouge, I think, and another place I don’t recall off-hand) and, some decent Mexican in the Old City (at the place across from Bonaparte,)but nothing we're eager to repeat.

    1. Absolutely. I am working on a report today and tomorrow, and when I finish it I will make sure to post it here as well!

      1. HERE YOU GO:

        First off, thanks to everyone who helped me make this trip such a treat. My only regret is that I was so focused on food, I didn't get to do a lot of other things.

        So here we go:

        Friday late afternoon at Marche Jean Talon:
        A lot of the stands were closed, but the ones that were open had beautiful offerings of fruit, vegetables, cheeses, etc at very reasonable prices. $3 for a basket of tomatoes - amazing! In general every tomato I had in Montreal was of excellent quality.

        Quick stop at Havre au Glaces:
        We shared a small cup of framboise sorbet. Very sweet and tarte. Yummy but not mindblowing.

        Friday night dinner at Petit Alep:
        I immedietly preffered Petit Alep because it seemed more energetic. My favorite dish: mouhamara - tart, nutty, unlike anything I have ever had before. Also enjoyed a dish of labneh - an old favorite I haven't had in a while. We shared a reasonably priced caraffe of white wine. For my entree I had the pressed pita with epinards and cheese. The flavor of the spinach was excellent! Not sure what spices they used, but it was very flavorful but didn't linger.

        Friday night drinks at Dieu du Ciel:
        I ordered the Rigor Mortis Blonde, which I enjoyed but wasn't head over heels for (I've had better). SO ordered the McAuslan Stout and loved it. Great service, wonderful atmosphere. Large beers.

        Saturday Brunch:
        Went to Byblos. What interesting food! The owner immedietly reccomended the omlette with feta - excellent choice. SO decided to be creative and ordered some type of cream of wheat with turkey - he immedietly regretted not going with what I ordered. How do they make the eggs to soft? I already missed eating there the next day. I want to find eggs like that again! We also enjoyed our sweet bread with the pinapple giner and rosewater jams and my hot chocolate.

        Saturday lunch at Olive et Gourmando:
        After a few hours of wandering around Mont Royal Park and visitng Old Montreal (which was way too touristy - never again) we stopped in here. Expensive. I would say the only meal I found to be a bit overpriced. Yummy nonetheless. SO ordered the cuban sandwhich, which he noted had a delicious homemade mayo relish. I ordered the special soup - corn and potato, which was earthy and fresh. We left with a brownie in hand that we enjoyed later.

        Saturday night dinner at ChuChai:
        Very good meal and I wish I could go again. The tofu/cucumber/corrainder app that was reccomended was the star of the show. I enjoyed my mock shrimp with cashews and pinapple, although I wish I was less adventurous and ordered with tofu, as I rarely like mock meat. I REALLY enjoyed a glass of blanche de chamblis (sp?) with my meal. I'm sure it's comperable to coors light, but who cares? I have never had it before and enjoyed it's floral taste and tarte bite.

        And that's it!
        Thank you all so much!

        1 Reply
        1. re: saturninus

          Thanks for your tips! They should be especially useful as we are considering several places you mentioned (Petit Alep, Olve et Gourmando) and we will now consider some of the others based on your recommendation.

          If I recall correctly, Blanche de Chambly is a great summer wheat beer - reminds me a bit of Hoegaarden. Definitely not like Coors!

        2. Good to hear about the beer. I wasn't sure and didn't want to sound foolish. Do you think we can get it in Philly? Perhaps at the Foodery?

          It was amazing.

          If you are going to Marche Jean Talon (which you mentioned) you MUST go to Petit Alep.
          O&G is good, but I spent $30 for a cafeteria style lunch.

          1. Petit Alep is definitely on the list and now we are thinking about Dieu de Ciel and Byblos. We are staying at your hotel, too – yay Priceline! Your comment on O&G did give me pause. I am not sure if/when we will be down in the Old City and we definitely have to fit in at least one dim sum brunch while there so we’ll see how it goes.

            The Foodery has great selection, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they carry it or can get it. We do like to make the road trip out to Shangy’s when it’s feasible – you definitely save $ (though we only buy the stuff we can’t get here, like Clos Normand, a cider from Normandy.) When we were down last I called up FD and spoke to Dan about what we were looking for, and he was a HUGE help – great service.

            1. Someone mentioned L'Express as well when we originally covering Old Montreal. Check out the original post as well as there was a lot covered.

              1. If you're going to Marche Jean-Talon, you should go to the Hamel Fromagerie which is one of the shops on the outside ring. Also, the market is best visited on Saturday or Sunday morning when all stalls will be filled. I recommend the sausages at William J. Walters for a snack. Simple, but delicious.

                1 Reply
                1. re: eoj

                  Oh, and another recommendation is to go to Juliette et Chocolat on St-Denis. They have both savoury and sweet crepes, so pick one of those that you like, then order the "Grandma-style" ("a L'ancienne" if you get a French menu) hot chocolate. It's super thick and delicious.

                2. Oh, a trip to Montreal is not complete unless we spend way too much money at Fromagerie Hamel! That was our original reason for going to Jean Talon, though of course the market itself is worth a visit. I mention it in my original post: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/... (this post came about because I did not follow board etiquette and quizzed Saturninus on her Montreal trip while we were on the PA board discussing my recent trip to Philly.)

                  And Juliette et Chocolat is a really fortuitous recommendation! I know at least one of our companions really wanted to go out for crepes one day, and I was unable to find any worthwhile suggestions. This sounds great, and I think we will definitely try it out one day while we’re up. From what I have read, the chocolates are wonderful as well.