Brief Week-end Trip report - Montreal - Nuit Blanche 2013
So I was down this past weekend for Nuit Blanche. It is my 5th year coming to Nuit Blanche in Montreal and I really enjoy the atmosphere compared to the Toronto one. I loved the Toronto one in the early years but it is has become too popular for its own good and they don't have enough big public events like they do in Montreal so big crowds with limited places to go/etc. I also like how Montreal serves booze at various venues (and even free samples at some spots!) yet the drunk people are fairly controlled compared to Toronto.
Anyway, I arrived Friday afternoon and because of a mix up with where I was staying I had some time to kill. I walked along Laurier from Boyer over to Papineau and checked out some of the small shops there. Seems like a neat little area. There is this bakery/deli/cheese type spot in the basement of one of the buildings that looks great. The bread looked really interesting but I didn't buy any as it was just myself travelling. There was also another small corner shop that seemed to have a great selection of ciders. I stopped in the SAQ there and bought some Ungava Gin which I have had a few times since getting home and enjoyed. I also stopped by the health food store there and grabbed a smoothie which was tasty.
For dinner that night I had a reservation at Liverpool House. I was kind of going in not sure what to think because of the mixed reviews here and elsewhere but overall I enjoyed my meal. The bar staff was very pleasant. I found it odd that the chalkboard menu was over a table so it definitely felt weird to be standing there and reading it over top of peoples heads. I imagine eating at that table wouldn't be a super comfortable experience. I sat at the bar and I found it kind of odd that they put me right on the end of the bar for my 6pm reservation even though there were only a few other people eating at the bar. Like, I was on the part of the bar looking out to the door vs. looking towards the bar prep area. In the end, it turned out okay as that stool had a back at least so it was more comfortable than the non-backed stools. I decided to order the Lobster spaghetti since I had seen positive reviews and started out with one each of the oysters they had. I was wondering what a $49 spagetti would be like, probably the most expensive dish I have ever ordered that wasn't a steak. Well, the flavour was awesome and the portion size was HUGE. Definitely could have been a meal for two. I worked it as much as I could but then took the rest home which I ate the next night for dinner and it was still pretty darn good!
Later that night I stopped by an event at the church on the corner of St. Joseph/St. Laurent . It was part of the Nuit Blanche weekend, they had food/beer/etc. The highlight of the beers I tried was The Alchemist beer that was brewed in ice. A strong beer that definitely didn't feel as strong as it was. Food wise, I found the items over priced and not that great but I did enjoy the flavour of the "mortadella dog" at one spot.
Next morning was brunch at Maison Publique thanks to a rec on here. I really enjoyed their version of the "Sausage McMuffin". Great flavour in the sausage patty. I found it worth the $14 (again, was wondering why so pricey before I ordered it!). I also had a breakfast cocktail which had some cider vinegar in it. I am not a big drinker but I enjoyed it!
At some point I went to Cafe Sardine and had one of their donuts and a ginger beer. I enjoyed both (Donut was the "Glog" one). I might have been there on Friday afternoon, I forget now!
I also went to Leche for some doughnuts/donuts. I really enjoyed the ones there. Pistachio and then also grabbed a caramel pecan one that I ate the next day.
I had a "steamie" at Le Belle Provence at 5am after Nuit Blanche wrapped up. Not bad for a hot dog! I have heard mention of these Montreal steamies before.
For brunch on Sunday i went to Le Comptoir (another rec from here) and enjoyed my brunch there as well. Service was very pleasant again (a newer girl had just started but she did a great job). I had the beef tongue sandwich. Unfortunately they didn't have the hot chocolate which people had recommended so I had the lemon "fizz" type drink which was very good too.
I ended up taking a half of the sandwich to eat later in the day.
Lastly, I made a trek up to Dinette Triple Crown. It seemed like a really interesting spot and I really wanted to like it... Unfortunately, the food was not that great. It tasted like it just had been re-heated vs. smoked that day or I was wondering if it had even been smoked at all. I got the brisket because reviews of the brisket were really positive. It was a mix of overcooked parts and what seemed like undercooked spots (i.e. not cooked long enough to really break down the fats/tissues/etc). I did not detect any hint of a smoke ring either. Is it suppose to be BBQ?? The side of sweet potatoes were nice, but, the kale greens were overloaded with their chili vinegar. I did not enjoy that side at all. The biscuit was pretty decent (ate it the next morning for breakfast). I also added a piece of fried chicken, it was dry. I would say KFC is better.
In other food news I picked up a bunch of macaroons at Point G. Really tasty.
Picked up their home made "nutella" and their caramel spread as well.
The weekend seemed to go by so quickly this time around. Will definitely try to come back in the spring again.
General comment, I found the service to be great in Montreal. People were not quick to rush me out to be able to turn over a table. I find that in Toronto they are quick to say "anything else?" and if you say no they are quick to rush and bring you the bill. I found that the places I went to were more pleasant with letting you linger and enjoy your drink or whatever.
I also find it interesting how all of the invoices seem to be standardized. I guess that is some kind of Quebec law? I never noticed it before but it makes it easier to check to make sure the bill ads up correctly.
Thanks for the trip report. I gather Triple Crown has some consistency issues. I've been a few times and enjoyed it but their brisket sandwich was off on my last visit, the first time I had it I had asked them if there was anything that was just made (brisket) and it was phenomenal. I gather my latter visit was a leftover brisket. I don't think they smoke their meats but there doesn't seem to be a conclusive answer in the Triple Crown thread. I'm under the impression they just slow cook in the oven but it was really good that first time.
As for the fried chicken experience, it was the other way around, during the latter visit we had some very juicy chicken, not so the first time around but even then it was enjoyable. I definitely wouldn't compare it to KFC, far from. Moons ago when I had KFC it was pure oil and you felt a brick in your stomach not so with Triple Crown's fried chicken.
As mentioned POS systems are standardized so the provincial government can root out under the table receipts that go undeclared, this practice has been in place for about a year and change.