Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Montréal, October 22 - 26, 2014

Laurie and I had been looking at trips to Montreal for a long time.  But it is expensive to fly there, so we never made it.  This spring I was checking flights and saw they were at around $400/ea. That was as low as I had ever seen them, so we decided to go.  It was a good decision.

Two things struck us about Montreal: the food and the people.

The food was outstanding.  We had four evening meals at four excellent restaurant.  Two were Quebecois fare, one was Portuguese, one was Catalan, and all were pretty close to our hotel in Old Montreal.  Joe Beef was the only one that was more than a few blocks away and it was only about a mile and a half.

The people in Montreal also fed perfectly into the Canadian stereotype:  friendly, polite, helpful, and a good sense of humor.  Ever drivers were very polite.  We never saw anyone go through a yellow light.

Our hotel manager, Paul (photo below), at the Hotel Epik, was great.  He had excellent recommendations for us & made us reservations at a couple restaurants, had a great tip on Mont Royal (approach from Rue Mont Royal, not Rue Peel!) and directed us to a cool little Chinese dumpling place.  We had a lot of fun chatting with him over a bottle of wine (we had the wine, he was working).

It was fascinating to hear people seamlessly transition between English and French, even within the same conversation.  Wish I could do that.

Below are the details of our trip.  You can see all of our photos here.
Laurie, Paul, & Matthew

Wednesday 10/22/14
  • 7:20AM      departure from MKE
  • 10:37 departure from ORD
  • 1:42PM      arrival in Montréal
  • Hotel Epik Montréal, 171 St Paul Ouest, Old Montréal
  • Walk along the La Chine canal to Little Burgundy
  • Dinner at Joe Beef 6:30PM
    • Paté with cherry sauce & tripe with chorizo in tomato sauce as appetizers
    • Horse fillet wrapped in bacon w/ fried egg and sausage & roast Guinea fowl as mains
Joe Beef in Little Burgundy.  Make your reservation well in advance!

Thursday 10/23/14
  • Redpath Natural History museum at McGill University
  • Cemetery Notre Dame des Neiges
Entrance to the Cemetery

  • Beer at a brew pub on St. Denis L’amere a Boire
  • Wine and cheese pizza at Resto Apropos
  • Dinner at Porto Mar
    • Moulles a la Portugal & grilled squid appetizers
    • Clams and pork & grilled sardines and mains
Grilled sardines at Porto Mar

Friday 10/24/14
  • Walk up Mont Royal – good advice!  Approach from Rue Mont Royal, not Rue Peel
Stairs on the way up to Mont Royal

  • Marche Jean-Tallon & Little Italy
  • Wine at Bily Kun bar – about 20 stuffed ostrich heads on the wall
  • La Banquise for a small poutine with hotdogs.  Small diner, very busy.  Poutinbe is ok, tasted a lot like what we get at the Red Dot
  • Dinner at L’Original in Old Montréal
    • ½ dozen oysters
    • Brussels sprouts with pasta, bacon, and fried egg & Minestrone soup with oysters
    • Crusted cod with Puy lentils, kale, clams, and bacon & Mustard glazed rabbit, polenta, and cabbage
Brussels sprouts, bacon, pasta, and a fried egg at L'Original

Saturday 10/25/14
  • Notre Dame basillica
  • Museum of Fine Arts
Napoleon's hat at the Museum of Fine Arts

  • Beer at Le 3 Brasseurs
  • Dumplings in Chinatown at Ming Xiang Hua
  • Archeology museum with multi-media show
  • Beer at a different 3 Brasseurs
  • Dinner at Les Pyrenees Catalan restaurant
    • Chorizo & anchovy salad
    • Chorizo with potatoes & beef cheeks with potatoes
Beef cheeks and mashed potatoes at Les Pyrenees

Sunday 10/26/14

  • Leave Montréal 2:05PM
  • Arrive ORD 3:39
  • 5:20 flight to Milwaukee
  • Arrive Milwaukee 6:08PM