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Portuguese Festival

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Sort of off topic here, but does anyone know exact dates of the Portuguese festival that takes place in the parking lot of their church on Rachel street? Does it even take place there anymore? It's been years since I've been and I keep missing it the last few years, I remember it taking place in late June or early July. They'd serve up all types of grilled meats and homemade wine. Any info would be appreciated.

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  1. Couldn't find the answer quickly, but it sounds fab! Here are their coordinates in case you want to inquire directly - they don't seem to have a Web site that I can find:

    Associação Portuguesa do Canadá
    4170 St-Urbain
    Montreal, Quebec H2W 1V3
    Tel: 514.844.2269
    Email: apc50anos@hotmail.com

    1. The woman answering the phone at Mission Santa Cruz says it's the weekend of August 10, 11 and 12. You might want to confirm that before making plans however.

      4 Replies
      1. re: carswell

        Strange, I thought they had a festival every weekend.

        1. re: rillettes

          The August event she called the "Festival de notre dame de la montagne" and before replying to my query she inquired "you mean with the one with the Portuguese food and wine?" That's all I know.

          1. re: carswell

            Does anyone have anymore info on this festival, which according to this thread, is happening this weekend?

            1. re: jellybelly25

              I cycled past there yesterday (Sunday 5 August) and saw people decorating the parking lot- square in front of the church - slowed down to see if there was any foodie activity going on and there wasn't so perhaps they were preparing for this coming weekend. It is at the corner of St-Urbain and Rachel. The name of the church is Mission Santa Cruz, 60, rue Rachel O. Montréal, Qc, H2W 1G3
              Tél: 514 844 1011 The church doesn't seem to have an e-mail or website yet (many parishes do).

      2. Hey I have all the dates of the feasts at that church...

        May 19 - 20 -21: Holy Christ of Miracles Feast
        May 26 - 27: Holy Spirit Feast
        June 24: Saint John the Baptist Feast
        August 10 - 11 - 12: Our Lady of Monte Feast
        September 1 - 2: Sacred Heart of Jesus Feast

        Have Fun! :D

        10 Replies
        1. re: shawnfcm

          Our Lady of Monte sounds like a local festival for a patron saint (like ND della Difesa here), so that is probably the foodie one.

          1. re: shawnfcm

            It seems that the Portuguese have even more festivals in the summer than Montrealers. If you are a Portuguese in Montreal, you'd better be a party animal!

            1. re: Gary Soup

              ya we do have a lot of feasts and yes more than montrealers. I am portuguese and i go to every one of them here in montreal... Each feast is for a Portuguese Saint... but we also have some in Laval as well.

              1. re: shawnfcm

                So, there's food sold at these feasts? (I haven't been to any so far) Let's say, if I go on 1 and/or 2 Sept., can I just buy some lovely Portuguese goodies & eat them there? What kinds of food- meats, pastries, etc? Thanks!

                1. re: morebubbles

                  Food, drink, music and dancing in the street, judging from the one I stumbled across in Providence RI around the first of June one year. The food was heartier stuff than pastries, but I don't know what goes on at other feast days and in other cities.

                  1. re: Gary Soup

                    Thanks Gary Soup! guess just go & find out! I'll be in the area tomorrow at a tiny Portuguese cafe that serves lunch, can easily arrange to be there 1-2Sept. Cheers! May I ask if you're in town?

                    1. re: morebubbles

                      Not in town, sorry. It'll be February at the earliest before I visit my beloved Montreal again.

                      1. re: Gary Soup

                        :) how nicely put! I hope you organize something, I'll definitely attend this time around!

                2. re: shawnfcm

                  Oh yum. Grilled sardines, I bet? And perhaps chicken, or sausages?

              2. re: shawnfcm

                shawnfcm, if you are still around, could you tell us the main (food-related) festivals at the Portuguese Church (or community centre) in Laval?

                Other than foodies living there (I'm thinking of friends, who could certainly eat one of those kebabs each) with the new métro line Laval is far more accessible than before, and just a good work-the-food-and-wine-off cycle ride from JTM area or anywhere else in northerly Montréal.

              3. Was just there tonight.
                Highlights include:
                -Grill your own Meat station ($7.50 for a gaint skewer)
                - Good Portugese wine sold in 1L plastic bottles for $12.50 (The reason I am writing in point form and not full sentences)

                P.S. Wine lovers need not be put off by the plastic bottle as they are filled on site from wooden barrels.

                P.P.S. The only place in the city where you can gamble on the actions of a hamster (If you go you'll figure it out.)

                1 Reply
                1. re: Moosemeat

                  Ya I was also there tonight and don't forget that the feast continues on saturday and sunday at 2:30 is the percession

                2. A bit of advice from the ...an endless banquet folks:
                  "Technically, the celebration lasts through Sunday evening, but the popularity of this particular festa is such that it's not uncommon for them to run out of beef early on Sunday. Our recommendation: get there as soon as you can."

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: carswell

                    Good to know - I cycled by there early this afternoon and there was already a nice little crowd - the skewers of marinated meat (beef, I think) are HUGE. Easily enough for two people, but I saw a lot of people who looked as if they would consume the whole thing. Also bifana sandwiches $3,50 for a generous-looking serving, and some kind of traditional flat bread or hearth cake.

                    As for the wine, they were serving good-sized plastic glasses (not the beer goblet, the next size down) for $2, as well as beer, juice ans soft drinks of course.

                    I didn't partake in anything as I was down there looking for fresh Portuguese goat's cheese in brine - from the Toronto-based "Portuguese Cheese Co.", and found it at Segalls for $4.99.

                    Already a few people dancing as well, and a guy singing - good singer, just looked like a neighbourhood, middle-aged guy.

                  2. Reviving an old post here. Does anyone know the dates for this year?

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Moosemeat

                      I walked by today and saw decorations up and what looked like the big BBQ pit in the parking lot...there was nothing there last weekend so it must be coming up. Yum!

                      1. re: stak

                        I'm guessing it will be next weekend, since Assumption Day is Aug15 (I'm guessing that is what the festival is for). Since the 15th fell on a Wed last year it looks like they did it the week before. This year the 15th is on a friday hence next week would make more sense. But someone should 100% confirm this,

                        1. re: ios94

                          Well, I can confirm that the tents and decorations are up and so is the heat shield thing that goes behind the BBQ.

                          1. re: stak

                            Does anyone know if this happened this past weekend. I didn't have anytime to make it downtown.

                            1. re: ios94

                              I'm afraid it did happen over this past weekend. My heart & liver have yet still to forgive me.

                              1. re: ios94

                                Passed by last weekend, saw the tents, smelled the smoke and looked at the enormous beef skewers...

                                My husband and I really wanted to try it, as we had read this thread, but we couldn't help feeling that this was a religious, somewhat private event (more than a festival). There were absolutely no posts, signs, or invitation, and the small crowd seemed 100% Portuguese. Not that we had a problem with it, au contraire, we would have loved to partake in this gourmet celebration, but we didn't want to be intrusive. We just didn't know how welcome we were to this event...

                                1. re: plumeria

                                  Just so you chowhounders know... it's on -right now- (Aug 9th). The Our Lady of Monte Feast, and they have the huge skewers of meat to be bbq'd, cheap beer, and $3 bifanas (pork cutlet with chili sauce on a bun... simple and tasty!) I didn't brave the lineup for the bbq skewers, but I also would have needed a friend or two to even finish it. The smell was fantastic and smoky. There is music and dancing going on as well.

                                  The crowd did seem 99% portuguese, but I couldn't resist walking in and and buying a sandwich.

                                  1. re: iWoo

                                    I heard about this on the street last night around 10, rushed up & gobbled down a couple bifanas and washed down with a brew. Awesome.

                                    Juicier, tastier sauce (obviously homemade, not tasting like bottled piri), twice as much meat, and cheaper than the stuff on the Main Madness. (Skewers were long gone, though. I gotta remember this in the day next year.)

                      2. I've read that the 2010 edition of the Nossa Senhora do Monte festival - the one with all the food and wine (they also serve beer and soft drinks) is this upcoming weekend 6-7-8 August, but we should try to confirm.

                        Once again, info on the festival in Laval would also be welcome.

                        A guidebook I borrowed at the library, "Guide du Montréal multiple" also adds the potentially helpful advice that at L'Association portugaise de Montréal, just across the street from Mission Santa Cruz Church there is also a $10 supper every Friday evening, cooked and served by the ladies of the association.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: lagatta

                          huh really? I've passed that place many times and on the banner, it says that they are also a cafe, internet place and restaurant. Except the banner was on top of a closed metal doors with no windows, and I never felt like enterting

                          1. re: Ghostquatre

                            I phoned the association, and nobody answered the phone. Eventualy there was a blank answering machine - just the beep, no message in Portuguese, French or English. The building is rather bunkerish - interestingly, it is a former synagogue (with those high steps typical of synagogues of the era, and Torah-slab shaped doors). In itself this attests to the immigration history of the neighbourhood, and thus the culinary history, which is what interests us on this site. http://www.imtl.org/edifices/Associat...

                            I'll try to find out more about both the festival and the association suppers. We have a wealth of such venues in Montréal and the area. Obviously the food quality varies.

                          2. re: lagatta

                            I can report that part of the BBQ apparatus and the structure where they bake the loaves of bread have been set up for over a week. I thought it was going to be this past weekend but it must be the upcoming one, as you said.

                            1. re: stak

                              Stopped by the church parking lot last night for bifana pork sandwiches and cheap sharp wine. The best was "grill-yourself" giant meat sticks (beef brochettes). The music and vibe was also fun.

                              1. re: Daiya

                                Had a bifana and a glass of homemade red this afternoon. Continues tomorrow. I also managed to speak with people at the Association portugaise accross the street, on St-Urbain. They are renovating the kitchen now but will be starting up the weekend suppers soon. I'll report back when I have further info.

                          3. We were having a coupla glasses of wine last night when our bartender was getting off work.
                            "I'm going to church around corner and maybe have skewer...you want come?" Mario says. A man of few words, English is his 3rd language.
                            Mrs Porker and I exchange looks and say sure - we were trying to dedide what to eat anyway.
                            We were not prepared for this great, Portuguese Nossa Senhora do Monte festival. Totally non-commercial and non-pretentious, its simply lotsa folks, families, and smiles all around, everyone drinking and eating.

                            "I get skewer", says Mario. "I get drinks" I reply.
                            They had beer, madeira wine, and plastic bottles of Portuguese red. Mario later tells me its from the SAQ, simply put into plastic liter bottles. They *used* to serve home-made, but the city (in their great wisdom) put a stop to that.

                            One whole side of the lot is dedicated to food&drink. When Mario said "skewer", I assumed some kind of pre-cooked, souvlaki sized stick of meat. Grabbing the drinks, I see him leaving the skewer tent, a gleam in his eye, carrying a 3 foot skewer (about a pound of beef cubes) of raw meat to another area. We catch up to him and find a grilling station - two tubs of glowing charcoal surrounded by 20 or so men grilling their own skewers!

                            I want in on this, so leave our little party to get my own skewer. While in line, I see great looking bifana sandwiches and buy a plate of lupini beans. The skewer is $9 plus a $5 deposit.
                            Back at the grill, Mario is turning the skewer. Its his turn to leave for a few mintues "Keep eye on skewer, anyone touch, cut off hands" he laughs.

                            Each table has a rack above it. You up-end the skewer and hang it on the rack, either pulling all meat off onto the plastic plate or individually, pulling off each piece with bread.

                            Mario thinks its only a matter of time before the city bans the charcoal. "Too much pollution, they say", rolling his eyes.

                            Great little festival. It was fun to have Mario as a guide and show us around. We ended the night at a Portuguese cafe on Duluth "Come, we have coffee with brandy now."

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: porker

                              This is a great description of the so-called "Portuguese Fest", although you forgot to mention the hamster roulette!
                              We've done this party for half a decade, and it's always one of the best days of the year. Its been sad to see all the changes (especially the switch to SAQ boxed wine, which dramatically increased the prices), and to hear of the potential changes to come. This is an event that is basically identical year in and year out and only serves to support the church. Making it more difficult to organize will only be of detriment to the community as a whole. I'm clearly not Portuguese and (thanks to the cheap wine) have not always been on my best behaviour, but I've never been made to feel unwelcome.

                              1. re: Fintastic

                                Its on our permanent to-do list.

                                I did not see the hamster roulette (read about it only this morning up-thread) but will look for it next time.

                                I'm not Portuguese either, but the vibe is friendly all the way - seems everyone *wants* you to have a good time.

                                Finally figured out the i-phone picture thing...

                                One shot of the grilling station and another of the table top skewer rack (and plastic bottles of vinho).

                                1. re: porker

                                  This sounds YUMMY!, do you happen to know when the next one is please?

                                  1. re: manuela

                                    It is always the same weekend each year, though I don't know how this is official defined. Typically this seems to be the second weekend in August, so I'd guess the next one will be Aug. 10-11 2013.

                                    1. re: Fintastic

                                      Always the weekend of or before the Catholic holiday on Aug 15th (same way to know when it's Italian week, which I sadly missed this year. But tam tams was incredible today & I hit TA, mmm).

                              2. re: porker

                                The Portuguese feast weekend is one of the highlights of my summer. If the city did away with the grilling stations, they'd be hell to pay.

                                1. re: Shattered

                                  Shattered, I live in Little Italy, and found Italian Week very disappointing from a foodie perspective. I'll try to follow upcoming events at the newly-renovated Casa d'Italia - I seem to recall a homemade wine competition - but alas their website is not up yet.

                              3. Apparenlty the 2013 date is the 9, 10 and 11 of august

                                Festas de Nossa Senhora do Monte
                                LusoPresse – As festas de Nossa Senhora do Monte, em Montreal, estarão de volta este ano nos dias 9, 10 e 11 de agosto. As festividades, como sempre, terão lugar no parque e Igreja Santa Cruz. Espera-se, como em todos os anos, isto sobretudo se a temperatura ajudar, que a participação da comunidade seja numerosa, porque só assim vale a pena aos organizadores terem tanto trabalho. Além disso, são as nossas tradições e costumes que estão em jogo, neste mar adverso às nossas coisas...

                                E como é hábito nestas celebrações, que têm a Madeira como ponto de referência, haverá procissão de fé, eucaristias, presididas pelo padre Luís Miguel, e muita animação cultural, com artistas locais e do exterior, sem esquecer a parte folclórica.

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: jococo21

                                  Does it normally start on the Friday? One more day of Portuguese Fest is one more day of awesome.

                                  1. re: jococo21

                                    what's the exact address? can't seem to find the park or the church

                                    1. re: twinkie83

                                      Its usually in the church parking lot at Rachel and St. Urbain.

                                      1. re: Fintastic

                                        thanks! i went through the link and it said sainte-croix church which i can't find at all so i was wondering

                                        1. re: twinkie83

                                          There's a big difference between Sainte-Croix and Santa Cruz...

                                          1. re: EaterBob

                                            Just the language. They mean exactly the same thing. Holy Cross in English. But they refer to different parishes. The exact name of this one is Mission Santa Cruz: (Portugais)
                                            60 rue Rachel O, Montréal, Qc, H2W 1G3
                                            Tél: 514 844 1011 Téléc: 514 844 7685

                                            This is from www.missa.org, a Church site that lists all the parishes in Mtl.

                                            1. re: EaterBob

                                              what can i say. that's what you get when you have to use google translate because they didn't put an address :P

                                    2. so i just got back. the only thing i have to say is bring some tupperware or a bunch of friends. lotsa food. have to say the malasada (portuguese donuts) are a nice little treat tuck away from all the food tents. a big thank to whoever that guy was to tip non-portuguese about the dessert tent

                                      1. I go to this most years, and I have to share some tips, since I was initiated by a friend of a friend who married into the community.

                                        I don't think anyone has mentioned the bread. They're beautiful dense, fresh bread rounds cooked on the spot, and can be used as a plate to support the meat.

                                        The tip is to go with a bunch of people, and get in the bread line first. One person goes to get drinks, and you sip & socialize in the line. There's a limit of 2 breads per person, so you need enough people in line to cover your needs. As a woman with an average appetite, I usually go through half or 3/4 of a loaf by myself. When you're about 15-20 mins away from getting your bread, 2 people go buy and cook the meat. Everything should then be ready at the same time :)

                                        1. Anyone who's been wanting to check out the food at the Portuguese Association on St-Urbain at Rachel (facing the church), this weekend is your chance. Santo Cristo festival is on, they will be open Fri-Sun.

                                          No menu or hours details, just "Menu de Santo Cristo". I'd hazard a guess there will be pork and chicken ;)

                                          Probably open from 6 or 7pm Friday, and from early afternoon Sat & Sun. Kitchen is usually open pretty late, til at least 9-9:30, and place should be open til 10:30-11 every night (if not later; the latest I've been is 10:30ish and there were still people drinking without any rush, and that was a regular Friday, and once was there almost til 10pm on a festival Sunday, again with lots of ppl lingering).

                                          9 Replies
                                          1. re: Shattered

                                            p.s. Forgot to mention, they have a bar! So you can pop in for a cheap drink and snacks too if you're in the 'hood.

                                            1. re: Shattered

                                              I can't seem to find their facebook page or website, but perhaps it isn't even posted there...

                                              Would the snacks include petiscos, or fishy things?


                                              1. re: lagatta

                                                Yep, petiscos. They usually are just olives and lupini beans, nothing fancy. Should have bifanas for a more substantial 'snack'.

                                              2. re: Shattered

                                                We've been wanting to eat at the Portuguese Association for quite some time and this seemed like the perfect occasion.
                                                Passed by at about 6:00pm on Saturday but all they had was bifana.
                                                I like bifana, but wanted to try the PA for something more substantial.
                                                Ate bitoque at La Cabane instead.

                                                If any festivals come up (besides the Aug 9/10 blowout) or highlight meals at the PA, please let us know.

                                                1. re: porker

                                                  Yeah, it was a letdown. I passed by on Saturday around 4 and all they had were bifanas, but they said the menu posted outside would be available around 6 or 7 that night, and all Sunday. So I passed by Sunday again around 4, and had a quarter chicken with potatoes and rice. It was tasty and great value at $7, but it was roasted or rotisserie, with seasoning salt not piri. Didn't seem especially Portuguese. It was like Coco Rico, but better value.

                                                  It was the only thing on the menu that appealed to me - wasn't gonna have bifana again, and wasn't gonna have the soup (caldo verde) or a heavy pork dish on a nice sunny day (feijoada, a bean and pork stew).

                                                  Like I said, it was great value and tasty, as were bifanas at $3 each, but not worth a detour. Fortunately, it wasn't for me since I was hanging out in the park anyway.

                                                  Oh well, we have the huge bbq'ed meat skewers to look forward to in August... I'll keep my eye on their page in the meantime and let you know if anything interesting comes up.

                                                  1. re: Shattered

                                                    Mrs porker doesn't eat fish (read seafood) or much in the way of non-pork/chick/beef, so when theres a choice between say, country style rabbit and cod or somesuch, we gotta pass...
                                                    We'll hit it up sooner or later.

                                                    1. re: porker

                                                      This Friday's menu has what you were hankerin' fer last Saturday... grilled rib steak!

                                              3. Portuguese Association will open June 23 & 24 from early afternoon, but it looks like snacks only. Maybe light food like bifanas?

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: Shattered

                                                  Also open June 7th. Looks like no great shakes foodwise, but free music

                                                  1. re: Shattered

                                                    Well, I love grilled sardines, and caldo verde couldn't be more typical. This event has no cover charge: I suppose each dish is charged individually?

                                                2. Heads up! The Portuguese festival at the church on Rachel and St-Urbain is on this weekend. Mmmmmm meat!

                                                  8 Replies
                                                  1. re: Shattered

                                                    the wine comes either in a glass or you can get a 1L bottle. is it homemade? its like $20 if i remember correctly.

                                                    and there was a lot of people this evening. bread station took 30 minutes and the lineup wasn't big at all. imagine tomorrow and sunday. lots of people were getting the skewers on the other hand. they actually ran out by 730pm

                                                    1. re: twinkie83

                                                      The wine used to be homemade and much cheaper, but the SAQ et al cracked down on that a few years ago.

                                                      1. re: twinkie83

                                                        No, they didn't run out of meat; it must've been temporary and the teens working the stand didn't explain properly. I got mine around 8, and I saw them they bring out several more batches while I ate. But yeah, the bread line was easily 30-40 mins, and wasn't even that long.

                                                        Yes, wine is $4 is a glass, or $20 a litre. Domestic beer is $3.50 a bottle. It's boxed wine.

                                                        1. re: Shattered

                                                          that must be why because it was weird seeing them be out when they only started around 4pm

                                                          today around 1pm, it was pretty much dead. tomorrow is going to be crazy though

                                                          1. re: twinkie83

                                                            What do you mean by dead? I was planning to go NOW.

                                                            1. re: ohyouneverknow

                                                              Any time I've been, it was very busy in the evening.

                                                              I love the food, but I don't feel like queueing for so long. And I very much miss the homemade wine - they sold litres of it, in plastic bottles!

                                                              1. re: ohyouneverknow

                                                                dead as in not a lot of people so no lineups. well, that was at 1pm today. i know that tomorrow will be crowded pretty much all day because of mass

                                                                1. re: twinkie83

                                                                  Today's "mass" (or whatever it was) got out at close to 8 and it was essentially as busy as any other year, though it did seem a bit quiet at 6 or so.

                                                      2. Hi! FESTA DA MADEIRA August 08/09/10 every year.

                                                        2014 clip

                                                        1. Btw there's a Polish Festival this weekend, too, down by the base of Jacques-Cartier bridge, above Papineau metro.

                                                          Alot of meat eating on my agenda today!

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: Shattered

                                                            i passed by earlier today and nothing stood out. there's pierogi, sauerkraut, sausage on a stick and some smoked meat. price wise, i prefer the church sale on st-viateur as its cheaper and homemade

                                                            1. re: twinkie83

                                                              I'm glad I didn't go outta my way then. I was having too much fun at tams to bother (and didn't have much room left in my tummy after a trip to the Portuguese fest for lunch, natch). That food is nothing I can't get within 10 mins walk from my place.

                                                              @oh: There was also the Japanese 'Matsuri' yesterday (which looked awesome, but it's pretty far for me). Too many fests in this town to track 'em all.

                                                              Italy Week's final wkend is next wk (zeppole contest at 2pm Sunday), and the Greek fest is next wkend too.

                                                              1. re: Shattered

                                                                matsuri is the same event every year. nothing special when it comes to food besides saka-ba being there doing cold ramen or should i say just noodles? price is still cheap but its the exact same. found the dog to be quite salty but they were quite salty in the past. they did toast the buns though

                                                                1. re: twinkie83

                                                                  Matsuri might not be much food-wise, but the activities look interesting, and were last time I went a couple years ago: traditional dancing, drumming, and a martial arts stage.

                                                                  The entertainment at the Polish Festival looked pretty lame. Only 2 hours of traditional dance/music over 2 days, the rest was rock or blues.

                                                            2. re: Shattered

                                                              There was a Dominican Festival today as well.