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Montreal and Quebec City?

Montreal and Quebec City?
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    Post #1 - July 29th, 2005, 1:28 pm
    Post #1 - July 29th, 2005, 1:28 pm Post #1 - July 29th, 2005, 1:28 pm
    Taking the wife and 11year old son to Montreal and Quebec City next week. I have already seen the threads on Montreal, but any ideas on Quebec City? My son can handle anything and we will cover all price ranges, so any ideas at all will be appreciated.
    thanks, Will
  • Post #2 - July 29th, 2005, 1:47 pm
    Post #2 - July 29th, 2005, 1:47 pm Post #2 - July 29th, 2005, 1:47 pm
    Since I took the family to Quebec 5 or 6 years ago, this advice will be very vague, but the good news is we had a blast:
    1. We ended up eating lunch at the nicer places. It seems they all have incredible pre fixe bargains.
    2. Here's the really vague part. You'll probably spend most or all of your time in the Ancient Ville, the old part of town. We, however, read about a two-block strip about a mile outside the old part of town that was loaded with restaurants and bakeries. We went there (a long, but doable walk from the old town, and closer to the Plains of Abraham park) and just picked a place a random. It was completely non-touristy, as all the tourists are packed in the old town. We had a great meal, and one that felt like we were in Paris, surrounded by lots of business types having a bottle of wine and a fine, leisurly European lunch.
    3. One evening (after one of those great lunches), we got some picnic stuff and sat on a bench on the boardwalk in front of the Chateau Frontenac. It's a beautiful place to sit (you overlook the St. Lawrence), and then as evening comes, some excellent street performers come out. You get a whole evening's entertainment.

    Sorry it's so vague, but you'll have fun no matter.

    Jonah
  • Post #3 - July 30th, 2005, 2:18 pm
    Post #3 - July 30th, 2005, 2:18 pm Post #3 - July 30th, 2005, 2:18 pm
    I was just in Montreal last month. Definately go to the legendary "Schwartz's Deli" real good authentic delic with the famous smoked meat sandwitch. Around that area are various other outdoor stores and there is an excellent ice cream shop across from Schwartz's.

    Also be sure to get a bagel in Montreal, the later the better since you can watch them hand make the bagels, etc. There are 2 famous ones but I forgot the names.
  • Post #4 - July 30th, 2005, 6:43 pm
    Post #4 - July 30th, 2005, 6:43 pm Post #4 - July 30th, 2005, 6:43 pm
    I was in Quebec City about three years ago - it's about as close as you can get to Europe without leaving North America.

    A few restaurant notes:

    Outstanding if you like mussels - Moss (255, rue Saint-Paul), right near the Old Port.

    Aux Anciens Canadiens (34 rue St-Louis) is the cuisine of Quebec as it was a century or two ago. Nice ambiance, but a bit touristy, and the food in Quebec a century or two ago was nowhere near as good as it is today.

    Lots of good places on the Grande-Allée - just outside the wall surrounding the old city.

    And, especialy with an 11 year old, be sure to get a tour of the old city's walls and fort.
  • Post #5 - August 2nd, 2005, 12:19 am
    Post #5 - August 2nd, 2005, 12:19 am Post #5 - August 2nd, 2005, 12:19 am
    The bagel places are Fairmount Bagel Bakery and La Maison du Bagel (Saint-Viateur). Saint-Viateur is superior; it's on rue Saint-Viateur just off the corner of avenue du Parc on the border of Mile-End and Outremont, a pleasant, French-speaking and predominantly Hasidic Jewish neighborhood that looks just like Hyde Park, but with more yarmulkes.

    The Première Moisson bakery (Avenue Bernard, near Wiseman in Outremont) makes baguettes and pastries that will make you think you are in France. They have a location on Boulevard Charest in Québec City's new downtown as well.

    Don't forget to sample the local snack food-- poutine -- a heart-stopping mix of fries, cheese curds and gravy. Any Canadian chain (Harvey's or Lafleur) can do this well; the American fast-food joints will screw it up.

    In terms of restaurants in Montréal, Au Pied de Cochon (536, Duluth est, French country food), L'Express (3927, Saint-Denis, classic bistro), Laloux (250, des Pins est, another classic bistro), Brunoise (3807, St-André, simple market cuisine; very reasonably priced), and Frite Alors! (5405, 9ème Avenue, Belgian-style friterie) are all outstanding and worth a trip.

    In Québec, I recommend L'Initiale (54, rue St-Pierre) for good, un-touristy French food, Laurie-Raphael (117, rue Dalhousie) for the same, Toast! for interesting fusion food (17, rue Sault-au-Matelot). Mussels and fries are good at Le Cochon Dingue (corner of René-Levesque and Cartier, or rue Maguire outside the tourist circuit).

    Le Germain and Le Meridien Versailles are great hotels in Montréal. In Québec City, the Hôtel Dominion 1812 is cool without being pretentious, and reasonably priced compared to many of the options in this city.[/i]
  • Post #6 - August 14th, 2005, 3:27 pm
    Post #6 - August 14th, 2005, 3:27 pm Post #6 - August 14th, 2005, 3:27 pm
    We returned from our visit yesterday, and here are some notes. First meal in Montreal was at Schwartz's deli. The smoked meat had good peppery flavor (though not much smoke), but it was very dry. You chose among lean, mixed, or fatty, and even the fatty was dry meat interspersed with fat, not good, fat moistened meat. The walk from our hotel (the St. Sulpice, which was great, in the old port area) up Rue St. laurent, was interesting, going through chinatown and some questionable blocks, causing my 11 year old son to question me as to why people would want to go to a strip joint. That night we ate at Ramparts, a fancy place in the old port area, with good atmosphere, but mediocre, overpriced food.
    The highlight of Montreal dining was Le Paris, on Rue St. Catherine, an authentic French bistro. Good value food and wine list. We passed on the veal brains grenoblese, and not only the horse steaks, but also the horsemeat tartar. My wife had a good filet (cow) in bordeaux sauce, and my son had beef bourgnone. I started with a very good brindade moreu and had andoulettes that were as good as any i ever had in france (and leads me to a tripe question in a new thread). The floating islands for dessert were fine, but very sweet. This area of Rue St Catherine has the most diverse selection of ethnic restaurants that I have ever seen so close together.
    I found Quebec City to be a more interesting city in general, if not food wise. We found the 2 block stretch that Jonah mentioned, rue Cartier, and it is definitely less touristy. We ate at Pizzedelic, which had excellent, french style thin crust pizza cooked in a stone oven, though not a wood burning one. We had dinner at L'initiale, which was excellent, but the service was very slow. We also ate at Aux Anciens Canadiens, which I thought was mostly overpriced slop dished out for the tourists, but the meal was worth it for the maple sugar pie, which my son and I will be spending the winter trying to recreate.
    Thanks to all who shared their advise.
    -Will
  • Post #7 - August 15th, 2005, 1:32 pm
    Post #7 - August 15th, 2005, 1:32 pm Post #7 - August 15th, 2005, 1:32 pm
    Glad you enjoyed Quebec. We also ate at Aux Ancien Canadiens, of while I had a slightly higher opinion of it (only slightly), I had forgotten about the Maple pie, which was without question the highlight (and an excellent local beer, if I recall).

    Jonah
  • Post #8 - July 29th, 2015, 4:08 pm
    Post #8 - July 29th, 2015, 4:08 pm Post #8 - July 29th, 2015, 4:08 pm
    Anything fresh? We're heading to both Montreal and QC in a couple of weeks.

    Thanks!
  • Post #9 - July 29th, 2015, 9:00 pm
    Post #9 - July 29th, 2015, 9:00 pm Post #9 - July 29th, 2015, 9:00 pm
    I was in Montreal with the boyfriend -- a native -- a couple weeks ago.

    Smoke meat: We ate at both Lester's and Schwartz's, and were in complete agreement: Lester's blows Schwartz's out of the water. Yes, Schwartz's is the most famous place, but Lester's is much better. (We ordered it medium fatty at both.) He was coming in biased against both -- his preference is another place out of town -- but his dad insisted we try Lester's and he was right. It was great.

    Montreal bagels: We had bagels from St. Viateur, Real Bagel and Fairmont. Personally, I prefer NY bagels (or as I call them, "bagels"...if you have to qualify your bagels with an adjective, they're not the world's best bagels) over the Montreal version, which I find lacking in salt and a little too sweet. That said, bagels from each of these were fantastic.

    We celebrated my 45th birthday while in town and did it in style at Joe Beef, which was recently named the world's 81st best restaurant and (I believe) the best in Canada. Tony Bourdain also did an episode that revolved around eating and drink with Joe Beef's David McMillan and Frédéric Morin. If I was born a day earlier, our meal would have coincided with Mick Jagger and Charlie Watt's. Dinner was fantastic and relatively inexpensive -- thank you favorable exchange rate! -- by Chicago standards. The famous foie gras double down is no longer on the menu, but we had a delicious cold corn soup with smoked bay scallops, foie gras with radish butter & toasted brioche, salmon with bay scallops in a (if I remember correctly) beurre blanc sauce, lobster spaghetti and marjolaine for dessert. Wine service and selection was excellent! That said, the boyfriend has a lot of friends in the restaurant business (including a Joe Beef owner) and whenever we mentioned that we were heading to Joe Beef, the locals all commented that they eat at Liverpool House, which is apparently the less expensive, easier to get into sister restaurant.

    Steaks: We also had dinner at Gibby's in Old Montreal. The BF's family agrees it's not their favorite (I think they prefer Moishes, though when the BF if cooking steak at home he insists on using Schwartz's Steak Seasoning), but they picked it because it's a charming location in an old stable in Old Montreal near the port. Nothing to write home about, but still a nice dinner with great company.

    Joe Beef
    2491 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest
    Montréal, QC H3J 1N6, Canada
    Phone:+1 514-935-6504

    Schwartz's
    3895 Saint-Laurent Boulevard
    Montreal, QC H2W 1X9, Canada
    Phone:+1 514-842-4813

    Lester's
    1057 Avenue Bernard
    Outremont, QC, Canada
    Phone: +1 514-276-6095

    Gibby's
    298 Place d'Youville
    Montréal, QC H2Y 2B6, Canada
    Phone:+1 514-282-1837
  • Post #10 - July 30th, 2015, 2:12 pm
    Post #10 - July 30th, 2015, 2:12 pm Post #10 - July 30th, 2015, 2:12 pm
    Yes, we do Liverpool House rather than Joe Beef's—we live a 5-minute walk away, so it's one of our "GNRs" as it were. :)

    A recent review of some new hotties in Montréal is
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #11 - July 30th, 2015, 2:17 pm
    Post #11 - July 30th, 2015, 2:17 pm Post #11 - July 30th, 2015, 2:17 pm
    Oooops, wrong button!

    here.

    IMHO, the best foodiest, best people-watchingist, most enjoyablist place in town is Marché Jean-Talon on a Saturday. Absolutely not to be missed.

    Geo
    PS. Opinion is solidifying around town that Schwartz's has slipped. :(
    PPS. Agree re: bagels vs. MTL bagels; however, the matzoh at Fairmount is a life-changer. Do It!
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #12 - July 30th, 2015, 3:26 pm
    Post #12 - July 30th, 2015, 3:26 pm Post #12 - July 30th, 2015, 3:26 pm
    Geo wrote:
    IMHO, the best foodiest, best people-watchingist, most enjoyablist place in town is Marché Jean-Talon on a Saturday. Absolutely not to be missed.



    I couldn't agree more.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #13 - August 1st, 2015, 12:17 pm
    Post #13 - August 1st, 2015, 12:17 pm Post #13 - August 1st, 2015, 12:17 pm
    Geo wrote:PPS. Agree re: bagels vs. MTL bagels; however, the matzoh at Fairmount is a life-changer. Do It!


    Wish I'd known this! The Jewish boyfriend hates matzo and I'm the shiksa who loves it and usually keeps it in the house. Next trip I'll make sure I get some!
  • Post #14 - August 1st, 2015, 2:53 pm
    Post #14 - August 1st, 2015, 2:53 pm Post #14 - August 1st, 2015, 2:53 pm
    We returned from Montreal yesterday after five fabulous days in celebration of our 20th anniversary. I can't say enough good things about our hotel and especially the staff at the Gault. Also loved how user-friendly and efficient the Montreal Metro is. We managed to easily explore several neighborhoods on a 3-day pass.

    Not every place we went, but a few food highlights for us:

    Had a stellar version of a Salad Niciose w/ sesame tuna here:

    ImageSignage @ Marche de La Villette, Montreal by MsLynnB, on Flickr

    Loved the rosemary sea salt bagel @ St. Viateur.

    We enjoyed a casual lunch at Les Folies. Poor picture of my salad below. Husband liked his West Coast wrap. Funky vibe/good music.

    ImageRocket Salad @ Les Folies Montreal by MsLynnB, on Flickr

    The Burgundy Lion Pub was a friendly place to enjoy a few beers at the bar.

    We had a lovely time at Liverpool House. We were sat at a communal table outdoors. Our tablemate turned out to be on his way to Chicago the following day (performing in Pippin @ the Cadillac Palace.) He was also into food and very easy to converse with. I recommended to him to visit this site so "hey Erik!" if you found your way here. Jonathan & I shared fresh oysters and their signature brussels sprout appetizer. For entrees he went with the grilled swordfish & I chose their popular lobster spaghetti. We were both happy with our choices. Service & overall experience was excellent.

    We spent the better part of a day at Jean-Talon. Started early with some breakfast:

    ImagePastries @ Au Pain Dore, Montreal by MsLynnB, on Flickr

    The "healthy" croissant is mine. I felt much better about the 1/2 stick of butter knowing that I was getting some flax. :)

    We did some snacking at the market but had a relaxing late lunch that day at Vices & Versa. Great place with a cute outdoor patio although we sat inside as it was HOT that day. Wonderful beer selection as well. A few pics to give you the idea:

    ImageVices & Versa, Montreal by MsLynnB, on Flickr

    ImageTacos @ Vices & Versa, Montreal by MsLynnB, on Flickr

    ImageLunch @ Vices & Versa, Montreal by MsLynnB, on Flickr

    We swung through the market again after lunch and enjoyed sorbet from Havre aux Glaces. I loved the Spicy Chai but Jonathan's Raspberry was good too.

    One night for dinner instead of dining at one spot we opted to sit at the bars of two places and graze. We started at Dolcetto & Co:

    ImageTellegio, Speck & Olives @ Dolcetto & Co, Monteal by MsLynnB, on Flickr

    We then took a short walk over to Bocata and shared some mini crabcakes, fried smelt, and a lobster roll.

    ImageIMG_0706 by MsLynnB, on Flickr

    ImageLobster Roll @ Bocata, Montreal by MsLynnB, on Flickr

    The vibe and service was a little more fun at Bocata vs. Dolcetto. Guy sitting next to us at Bocata was from Chicago (in Montreal working on a movie.) Small world...

    We did have breakfast at the ever-popular Olive & Gourmande. If you do this I highly recommend following our lead and going early. There was no wait at 8:30 a.m. but over the course of the week we consistently saw lines from 9:30-close. I thought it was a nice breakfast. I would not wait in line for it though. Maybe the lunch sandwiches are transcendent.

    We had our last breakfast at a spot recommended by our concierge - Cantinho de Lisboa. The owner took our order and was very charming. Food was outstanding - arugula was some of the tastiest I've had and the salmon on the bagel melted like butter on my tongue. It fortified us for the trip home.

    ImageInside looking out @ Cantinho de Lisboa, Montreal by MsLynnB, on Flickr

    ImageStool seating @ Cantinho de Lisboa, Montreal by MsLynnB, on Flickr

    ImageInterior, Cantinho de Lisboa, Montreal by MsLynnB, on Flickr

    ImageSmoked Salmon Bagel @ Cantinho de Lisboa, Montreal by MsLynnB, on Flickr

    ImageHam & Cheese omelet @ Cantinho de Lisboa, Montreal by MsLynnB, on Flickr

    Also want to mention that it was unusually hot & humid during our visit and we probably would have eaten a bit differently if the weather had been less oppressive.

    GEO, I am sure you already know this, but you are one lucky guy!
  • Post #15 - August 6th, 2015, 7:13 pm
    Post #15 - August 6th, 2015, 7:13 pm Post #15 - August 6th, 2015, 7:13 pm
    LynnB, sounds like you had a *great* time in MTL, doing all the right things! Bien fait!

    And yes, I *DO* know I'm one lucky guy! :)

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #16 - June 15th, 2017, 8:25 pm
    Post #16 - June 15th, 2017, 8:25 pm Post #16 - June 15th, 2017, 8:25 pm
    Spent five days in Quebec last week. Random thoughts:
    My favorite restaurant was Cafe du Monde in Quebec City. Not easy to find among government port offices, but worth seeking out. Nice views of the St. Lawrence River, moderate prices, friendly service, and good food. My wife loved her salmon pave with quinoa and herbs. My son was enthusiastic about his table d'hote: tomato soup, fish and chips, and creme brulee. I had a tasty roasted-veggie open-face sandwich that had bechamel and melted cheese; it also included an excellent salad.
    Wandered into a place near the Old Port in Montreal for ice cream and it turned out to be a real find: Cafe-Terrasse Chez Catherine. Both the rum raisin and maple toffee flavors were extraordinary.
    Less happy with a bistro in Montreal's Old Town called Marche de la Villette. Good food but disappointing service: employees were very aggressive about trying to rope in passersby, the head waiter tried to hustle people out as soon as they received their bill (plus I heard him urging several tables to add foie gras for a $10 upcharge), and a food runner spilled my wife's gazpacho. I had tried to get us to the place kitty-corner to the bistro, which is very popular with the locals. But the rest of the family was not willing to wait 20 minutes to get into Olive et Gourmando (mentioned in another post).
    Enjoyed a couple of hours at Jean Talon market, a great place to buy gifts for foodie friends. (Or anybody, for that matter.) The creperie near the elevators got a thumbs-up from the kid.
    My wife is a coffee fiend and was very pleased with two places in Montreal: Tommy's, near the Notre Dame Basilica, and Cafe 1880 near the University of Quebec. A few doors down from Cafe 1880 is a good Vietnamese place.
    We made most of our own meals to save money; I found even the lower-priced pates and terrines at supermarkets to be quite decent. Also, roadside fruit stands are a must; some strawberries from a place near the Ontario border may have been the best I have ever eaten. Just on the other side of the border in Lancaster, ON, is Bourdeau's, which does a fine version of the famous Lancaster perch sandwich--fresh perch on grilled white bread with a mustard/mayo sauce and onions. Their poutine is also respectable.
    There is little need for a car in either Quebec City or Montreal. I found the Montreal subway to be excellent, with multiday passes that are good values.
  • Post #17 - August 8th, 2017, 7:06 pm
    Post #17 - August 8th, 2017, 7:06 pm Post #17 - August 8th, 2017, 7:06 pm
    I spent 2 days in Montréal on July 5th and 6th. It was a fantastic trip before Toronto, and a great change of pace.

    There was a huge jazz festival going on downtown.. and the line up was including everything from polka to Joey bad@$$.

    Food! This is a food forum right?
    Ketchup chips are found around Canada. Grab em.

    Jardin Nelson - one of the most unique restaurants I've been to. The outdoor section is almost as if they kept the extiorior walls of the building and cleared out everything inside. Live jazz all day. Great beer specials. Lush green flowers all around. Fresh crepes. Magic.

    Helm Brasserie - friendly bartenders, fresh beer, great snacks.

    Alexandraplatz - Again, fresh beer. Best IPA I've ever had? Right by the Jean Taillon Market.

    Of course Jean Taillon Market was great. Not as big as I was expecting, but I can't judge sincewe went on a Weds afternoon. I had some delicious samoas.

    The speakeasy scene is king, and there are plenty of options for no-menu-what-do-you-like drinks.

    Poutine was never something that tickled my mind, having gravy on anything missing in my life. That said, the poutine at La Banquise was fantastic.

    Having an issue uploading photos but workingon it!

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