11.04.10: canada, part III {consumption}

while joe and i have a fairly jules-in-pulp-fiction, walk-the-earth approach to vacationing in new cities - we try to do one culturiffic thing a day, and to eat at least one significant meal, and otherwise we trail like ivy - i research ahead of time, a bit. for montreal i printed out two new york times "36 hours in..." articles, a guide to local brewpubs, and the design*sponge city guide, and i dug around the apartment until i turned up the little michelin guide i bought back in 2006. (you've been a long time coming, montreal.) all of that went into a big folder we named christina, which must have been confusing to any nefarious québecois operatives rolling with us. "where is dieu du ciel again?" "i don't know, check with christina!" "oh, fine!" [subject rummages in bag.]

poutine rachel

poutine (shocker) was our first priority, and la banquise had vegetarian gravy; alors. (full disclosure: we went back for seconds a few days later when schwartz's deli was slammed like katz's here in new york. it was even better revisited.)

barmacie coaster

we wandered from la banquise to baldwin barmacie, a cocktail place which also serves grilled cheese sandwiches. something about our off-menu request for dark and stormies with cuban rum* must have pleased our server, for he materialized with three shots of tequila as we were leaving. we said the right thing at that point as well, i suppose, as he then ran away and came back with...three more? montreal: friendly like chicago. the only irritable person we encountered up there, in fact, was the poor guy at the other end of the number my out-of-date michelin guide told me to call to buy tickets for a show.

1: hello, do you still have tickets for the monster spectacular at the stade olympique tonight?
2: non!
1: you mean you had them and now they're sold out?
2: non!

we were watching canadian tv before bed on friday night, you see, and were informed that crushstation, the lobster monster truck, would be in montreal the following night. i didn't think much of it at the time, but i woke up on saturday morning convinced that fate was guiding us to a monster truck show in canada. i mean, i'd brought my grave digger shirt and everything. samedi, samedi, samedi! nous pouvons vous vendre toute la chaise, mais vous ayez besoin seulement du bord!**


brutus and the avenger

monster truck enthusiast

i mean, people brought vuvuzelas. it was amazing.

the pumpkins of atwater market

table-gherkins, l'express

l'express, filmy

we spent our last afternoon buying provisions for the train at atwater market, where i had the french conversation my high school language teacher always hoped i would have ("which maple syrup is your favorite?" "it depends: are you traveling by plane or by train?" "by train! how much is this pretty one on the left?"), and we had our last dinner at l'express, where they give each table a huge jar of cornichons just because they can. i didn't even mind that the blue moon caused a bridge fire at spuyten duyvil, a tunnel fire near penn station, and a derailment, all of which meant that we had to take a bus home in place of our lovely wine train. we mightn't be back to montreal for a while - we've got a lot of places to visit for the first time - but we'll be back.

{additional excellent places: mckiernan for lunch (note the bowie bathroom), dieu du ciel for beer and, yes, nachos, boris bistro for an unrushed, seasonal dinner, hotel st. paul for lovely rooms and a superlative lobby-lounge (and ginger chocolates on our pillow each night with a handwritten card predicting the next day's weather), the mmfa for maybe-preferable-to-moma contemporary art.}

{full set here.}

imaginary reading group discussion questions

01 have you ever had poutine? would you have it again?

02 does telling your spouse they can't buy a vuvuzela mean you don't really love them?

03 would you have gone to the monster spectacular?

04 how's your french?

05 have you ever been to montreal? what did you do there?

*i made an effort to find a smugglable bottle of havana club for the train ride home, but alas. they were all gigantic.

**my french has deteriorated since college. hush.


rachel (heart of light) said...

01. Last week! But it was here in SoCal, randomly, and I'm not totally sure that it counts. We were a little bewildered by finding it on the menu and I'm pretty sure it wasn't exactly what it was supposed to be. (meat + french fries + cheese, no gravy).
02. Not going to touch that.
03. YES. Would not do it at home, but in Canada it sounds intriguing.
04. I can pronounce my last name more or less correctly and that is my limit.
05. No.

g said...

01 yes.  YES.

02 bbbzzzzzzzzzzzzzZ*what?*ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

03 absolutely! however, i would like to reiterate that i am EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED in "crushtation."  as i mentioned on flickr, your description made me picture fully functional car-crushing claws.  that would have been truly awesome.

04 jerome?  he's fine.  i wouldn't really call him "mine," though.  he's just a coworker.

05 not yet.  i will have wandered around much like you did, with the addition of watching hockey.

Amanda said...

01 Non
02 A solid display of "tough love," says me.
03 Monster spectaculars lie outside the scope of my general thought process, but I wouldn't have opposed going with someone who would have thought to attend.
05 Non
06 CORNICHONS. I have been preparing a blog post about them all week.

LPC said...

01 no
02 not applicable
03 no. re: noise
04 old
05 went to a strip club with a guy i sort of dated

Plus my name, pronounced by the French, sounds a lot like cornichons.

Celia said...

01 sadly, no
02 apparently, telling your spouse they can't have TWO fucking wine fridges in the house means you don't really love them, so i'm not sure i'm qualified to answer this question.
03 sadly, no
04 comme ci, comme ca
05 sadly, no... but i have been to victoria, b.c.  totally similar, right? 

Trisha Lynn said...

01 Oui! J'ai mange le poutine au Toronto en Aout au Swiss Chalet. D'accord, d'accord, ce n'est pas le meilleur restaurant, mais c'etais aussi pres du chez cousins, alors...

02 Mais non! Les "vuvuzelas" sont tres mauvais! Donc, peut-etre comme un souvenir, les devices sont d'accord.

03 Absolument!

04 (Until this point, I only had to look up how to spell "August" in writing these comments.  And then I got stuck on how to write this comment, so... next time, Gadget!)

05 Non, mais voyez-vous le "comment" de Toronto.

Adventures Along the Way said...

Wandered over here from LPC's Privilege. :)

01- Yes, regularly since 2008, when I first started dating my Québécois (now) husband.
02- I am guessing my spouse would hate those, so I guess I am off the hook anyways.
03- Nope. But I find the idea funny.
04- Très bien because of my answer to 01. And the fact that I live in Québec. This post made me miss Montréal, where I lived last year.
05- Oh, guess I just answered that in the last question. :)