Archive for January, 2009

Poutine

Poutine at Resto La Banquise

Poutine at Resto La Banquise

In New Orleans we have something called a french fry po’boy. It is not supprisingly similer to Poutine with a few exceptions a french fry po’boy is served on bread and usually has melted cheese on it if it has cheese at all. The New Orleans version originated as far as I know by the need to provide cheap food for those with little cash and it needed to be filling, viola the french fry po’boy was born. I am finding conflicting reports all over the Internets as to where and why Poutine originated but I am going to go out on a limb here and say the heart of the matter was the same especially considering the Arcadian history in both Montreal and New Orleans. There is one very important difference though between the Poutine I ate at Resto La Banquise and what I have eaten back in New Orleans…Poutine is good. There it is I said it, If you take carbs and you put them on top of carb laden bread and then throw some gravy on it that is not good that is just a cheap heart attack. Poutine on the other hand is tasty really really tasty, like if I could I would go back right now and eat some more tasty. I ate the Classic version from the menu which had high quality fries that may have had a little seasoning on them with cheese curd and gravy but it isn’t just brown gravy it is something more that I can’t put my finger on but that Wikipedia calls “Chicken Velouté Sauce” so I will go with that for now. La Banquise was a wonderful local place to sample this local fare as well, not too far from the Orange line of the Metro it was pretty easy to locate and definitely a find.

Regrets…

…so I was invited to a really cool thing here in Montreal. It is a meeting of local bloggers that happens once a month organized by the guys over at Yulblog. In case you have not heard there was a big storm that moved through here on Wednesday it dumped 20 – 25 cm of snow on the city which if my math is correct is between 7 and 8 inches. So, being from the South and not just the Southern area of Canada but the Southern areas of the United States I bailed. I saw the snow and the sun going down and I was not brave enough so I did not go. I heard that it was great, they had a great turnout and everything went swimmingly. Well, I just want to say I should have gone. I mean when am I going to be here again…yeah so. If you are here then you should check out their next meeting with is scheduled for February 4th at la Quincaillerie, 980 rue Rachel E. After we bailed on Wednesday we did go back to the little restaurant right next door for some Poutine but that calls for a whole blog post on it’s own so check back here soon too.

Redpath Museum

The Redpath Museum in Montreal

The Redpath Museum in Montreal

While looking for interesting and inexpensive things to do in fairly close proximity to our hotel I stumbled upon the Redpath Museum. The Redpath Museum is one of the oldest freestanding museums in Canada and is part of the Faculty of Science at McGill University. Research at the museum focus’ on evolution. It has a wonderful collection of fossils. The museum encompasses three floors with shells, dinosaur bones and even mummies, two to be exact. I was highly impressed with the array of items in Redpath’s collection especially considering the fee to get in the door was 0.00$ that’s right it was totally free. You can not beat that price tag and they could easily charge and no one would feel bad about paying it once they explored what Redpath has to offer. The museum is pretty easy to get to as well. You can take the Green line to either McGill or Peel stations then just walk a couple blocks and you are there. One thing I find very helpful on this trip is Google maps, specifically their public transit and walking directions that they now give when you are asking for directions. I don’t know how long they have had those options but this is the first time I have been on vacation in a city where I could use them. They get two thumbs way up, accurate every time, the little metro map was a handy backup but having jotted down directions from Google earlier at the hotel I could pull out my piece of paper discretely to double check I was headed in the right direction instead of whipping out a huge map. That is basically like tattooing “tourist” on your forehead which I try to avoid at all costs
Sara the Triceratops from the RedPath Museum

Sara the Triceratops from the RedPath Museum

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Santa’s

Statue of Black Peter at the Centre de commerce mondial de Montréal

Statue of Black Peter at the Centre de commerce mondial de Montréal

I thought Christmas was over but not anymore. I was wondering around today when I ran into these guys in the Centre de commerce mondial de Montréal. This first one is Black Peter, he helped out Saint Nicolas in dealing with the naughty boys and girls. The sign said he is not well known in America but is in Europe which lead me to wonder two things. 1. is this display on loan from somewhere in the USA or 2. is America used in reference to North America in Canada and I just don’t know that because like a self-centered American I always think it is referring to the country and not the continent when I read it on signs back home. The second picture is actually the first Santa I saw when I walked into the building he was pretty hard to miss. It is 21st Century Santa. He comes equiped with a cell phone (and hands free headset) and a computerized disc listing all the nice and naughty children this year. I am fond of his all over thermal suit, he must have been working out too, there seems to be a little less jelly in his belly.
I had an excellent time walking around today, In addition to the Santas you see here I saw the Notre-Dame Basilica my words nor my pictures could possibly do it justice all I will say is if you live here and have not seen the basilica yet then stop whatever you are doing and go, or at least plan a visit soon. If you are visiting soon then put the basilica on your must see list. There is a 5.00$ recommended donation and it is worth every cent.

Hello Montreal

My name is Rayna and I usually post on the New Orleans metblog. I am in Montreal for the week and thought I would stop by to make a few posts here while I am in town. We flew in to Burlington, VT yesterday, the drive through the coutryside was nice. The GPS device we got with our rental car took us through a lot of back roads to get to the main highway into Montreal. I am pretty sure we did not have to go that way but it worked out because we got to see farm land and little suburbs that we would not have seen otherwise. We could really tell when we were getting close to the city. It is as if the land begins to sprout buildings. First one or two and then ten and then twenty and then you are in the city. I love the view you get of the city when driving in from the South. The city rises up behind the river. During this time of year it is hard to tell which parts of the river are frozen and which are not, it is just a blanket of white leading up to these tall skyscrapers.

We are staying at the Embassy Suites which is right on the cusp of both Old Montreal and the downtown area. It is the perfect location for us. My husband will be working here this week and I will be keeping myself busy with all the wonderful things there are to do in the city. Being in this hotel puts us right on a large road making it easy for my husband to drive to work and it is easy for me to walk around. Also, it is right on the Orange line of the metro so I should be able to get where ever I want/need to go during the day without having to worry about not having a car. I am so excited to be here.

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