Recently, after leaving Toronto, we found ourselves in beautiful Montreal for a night. (Other Chicago ladies we like have written about Montreal lately as well.)
Quebec was delicious. Oh, and beautiful, too. The morning croissants and brioche the big boys and I found foraging at Olive et Gourmondo were delectable. The guys got to giggle as I struggled through my French. We loved sitting on the bench outside, quietly listening to everyone’s Quebequois around us.
We shared our deep bag of chausson pomme and chocolatine (AKA apple puffs and chocolate croissants). Then we took a ride on the cobble streets of the old city along the harbor, up over the hill and back through the old quarter.
Pressed for time, we tried to think what we most wanted to see. Markets, museums and bakeries are our favorite things in new cities so we hit the historical museum and then headed to a covered market. Montreal is a lucky city to have several covered city markets year round.
The Marche Jean Talon was the favorite of the lady who recommended the good morning bakery. We promised ourselves we would only stay a little while. Hah!
Luckily, the route there passed Schwarz’s deli, one of a few great places in town for Montreal smoked meat. It’s brisket marinated like a peppery corned beef with less salt, then smoked, and it’s at least as wonderful as any pastrami or corned beef we’ve found in New York. It’s served with yellow mustard and pretty plain bread, and calls not for a Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray, but for a Cott’s Black Cherry. But yum. The smoked turkey is also wonderful, but why waste your time when there’s smoked meat? We'd have a picture of our own but what we bought got eaten too fast.
Jean Talon turned out to be a huge covered market with stalls throughout and other smaller shops outside the building along the small streets. We found a cookbook store, Breton-style buckwheat crepes with ham, cheese, and egg, delicious cider of all kinds, fine local cheeses, fresh herbs and exotic spices, cured meats from small farmers and rich Prince Edward Island butter. It was magnifique even in late winter, and the crepes came as a lunch special with sweet maple syrup dessert crepes afterward - we were like totally creped out. We have a hunch that Jean Talon might be out of this world on a summer or fall weekend.
We stayed way too long at the market before hitting the highway. We were sad to leave our new friend Canada but our solace was a long, quiet night ride south under an inky starlit Vermont sky.
|we are hoping Toronto will still take our calls after we put Montreal in our blog|