Category Archives: Montreal

A little cheese, a little coffee

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I went to Saint-Lambert, on the south shore of Montreal, for lunch with a friend at a cheese shop. It’s called l’échoppe des fromages, and is similar to the cheese shops you’d find in Europe, but minus the stink. If you’ve been to France, you know what I mean.

I used to eat lunch here often when I lived on the South Shore. If you haven’t been, it’s worth it. It’s located on a trendy street and many Quebec celebrities live nearby, so you might catch a glimpse of one.

20130617-232741.jpg We ordered a large cheese platter to share. It came with 3 cheese choices and one charcuterie choice. We got an aged cheddar, a goat cheese, and another local hard cheese, with a duck terrine, which stole the show. The platter came with fruit and endless baguette toast. The price is by weight, so the platter can vary a lot in price depending on the cheeses you are given.

I want to rave about the café au lait served in a bowl. It was an actual, ceramic bowl. My pet hate is clear glass mugs, I simply refuse to drink hot beverages out of them. I just don’t enjoy them if they’re in glass! Last time I went out for breakfast with the boyfriend, he ordered a café au lait in a mug. I wanted mine in a bowl, as it was indicated on the menu. As it turns out, his came in a proper ceramic cup, mine came in a larger glass mug. How that is a bowl, I don’t know. Anyways, the coffee at l’Échoppe was amazing.

The service wasn’t great, but all the other times I had great service, so we might have hit a bad waitress.

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If you want to downshift, sip coffee and eat delicious cheese, take a trip to the South side. Student alternative? Go to Provigo, buy 2-3 cheeses that are on sale, 1 charcuterie, some fruit and some baguette. Lots of money saved. I’m actually going to do this, but as a picnic.

Dreary Weather, Wet Peasant

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It’s F1Grand Prix weekend here in Montreal, but with the worst possible weather. I love rain, I love the romance of it. I love sitting on my balcony when it rain, cup of tea in hand. My love affair with rain goes way back, yet, this is NOT the weather I want for pretending to be a baller. This is not weather for imaginary joy riding in a Porsche. Or imaginary bottle poppin at the club. Or hobnobbing with hot european men at swanky bars. I can’t even go anywhere respectable like this because my hair has been rained on all day.

To make things more enjoyable, Montreal had this NYC thing going on last night. Apparently everyone saw the rain and went “urgh ill take a cab”. So I stood in the rain, waiting for a bus, further reinforcing the fact that I am not a baller, but a mere peasant.

Montreal Mayor Resigns

Gerald Tremblay has resigned. It was about time. I love you Montreal, but I just don’t know if you can dig yourself out of the corruption.

I hope this is a step in the right direction, but until some concrete changes are made, I remain unimpressed.

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That’s me in May, not impressed, near one of many sinkholes in the downtown core. That thing could have swallowed a car.

Corrupt engineers especially don’t impress me.

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Sandy

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Sandy the hurricane reminded me of one of my favorite tv shows, Rookie Blue. The main couple on the show is Sam and Andy, or Sandy (in the picture of my tv screen).

This morning I’m taking it easy, starting the day with coffee and some Rookie Blue. I’ll tackle my to-do list a little later. I’m not going to complain about a hurricane when it gives me an excuse to hibernate a little, and do my assignments from under a cozy blanket.

My thoughts go out to anyone affected by the hurricane. I was in Florida earlier this year for a hurricane of barely level 1, and I was scared shitless. We just don’t get winds like that in Montreal.

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6 Beautiful Things about Montreal

From what’s in the news lately, Montreal is one f***ed up city. People are fighting about language (French vs English), the roads are falling to pieces, people are protesting tuition fees, the city is heavily corrupt and winter is right around the corner. Lately, when I say the name Montreal, it is usually followed by a complaint. It’s just so easy, there are so many things wrong with this city, so many things to hate. Yet when I least expect it, the city sneaks up on me and I notice how beautiful it is.

Reasons Montreal is beautiful:
1) Sunsets. I know, the sun sets everywhere but I love urban sunsets and ours don’t disappoint.

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2) Quirky Art The city commissions the weirdest projects. This summer artists transformed a drab alleyway into a purple paradise. Last summer, they made architectural trees. Yeah, it kind of looks like they hung elephant condoms on a wire, but it adds to the quirkiness of the city. Montreal isn’t the model with the perfect face. It’s the model with two different eye colors and a crooked nose, but it works.

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3) European feel I love walking around the plateau and looking at the architecture.

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4) Nature A 20 min drive gets you to breathtaking scenery

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5) Food is a beautiful thing. A short metro ride to little Italy gets you the most delicious pizza you’ll find outside of Italy. A short walk from there gets you all kinds of international foods. Montreal is food obsessed.

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6) Culture Montrealers have “joie de vivre”, which means the enjoyment of life, that translates to everything we do. Friends get together, talk and drink wine until the wee hours of the morning…on a Thursday night! That is maybe the most beautiful of all.

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Please forgive my crappy photos, they were all snapped with my iPhone

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5 Fave Coffee Shops in Montreal

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5)Le Pikolo This place is tiny, so the name suits it perfectly. The decor is adorable. It’s a great place to mingle with other college students.
4)La Petite Cuillère This place has a relaxed, classically Montreal feel. The coffee is great and the food is even better. They serve classics like croque-monsieurs and I have never been disappointed. They also have amazing lunch deals.
3)Café Pi Though the outside is dull, the inside is strikingly cool. Regulars come to this cafe to play chess or backgammon, which is something to see. I think this is one of the best date ideas, getting coffee and playing chess, but I’m an engineer, what do I know.
2) Le Myriade it’s known as the best coffee in town. The coffee is great, the only thing I don’t dig is the tiny shop with all the hype. There are lineups for a seat! But, if you’re either patient or don’t want to sit, this place rocks and deserves its title of Montreal coffee standard.
1) Le Castel
This is my favorite. The coffee is delicious, the baristas are talented artists that draw faces in your latte, and the decor is seriously cool. It’s located on busy Sherbrooke street, right beside the university. In the summer, 2 walls of windows open up for an almost terrace feel. All year round, it’s the cutest spot to people watch. If you dream about having coffee in Paris but are in Montreal instead, definitely check out this place. The food is subpar, but the croissants are very good.

Please, send me your suggestions if your favorite place didn’t make my list!

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5 Favorite Affordable Restaurants in Montreal

TGIF! I still have one midterm left but this weekend should be pretty relaxing. I have a few dinners to plan and I’m probably going to go to one of my favorite budget-friendly places.

Top 5 in Montreal :
Lola Rosa – vegetarian friendly!

Amelios – warm atmosphere and comforting pizza

Chalet BBQ – best rotisserie

La Paryse – best hamburger in Montreal

McKibbins – best pub food, ambiance, price combo

A friend of mine told me that La Paryse is closing at the end of the month. I think I’m going to wear black and mourn for the rest of my days, like a Portuguese widow. I don’t even know where I will go for hamburgers as of November. I need another restaurant to put on the list! Help me out if you have a recommendation 🙂

Happy Friday

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