What are we doing for lunch today?

"Come on guys, it's Friday. Let's go to Upstairs" - T. Koop

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Montreal Eats

Over the holidays I got a chance to hang out in Montreal and check out all the great eats there.

I was inspired by the Quebec epidsode of No Reservations :

So I knew Au Pied de Cochon would be the highlight and we managed to get a reservation on Dec. 30th (the last day of 2008 they are open) at 10:30 pm.

We started off with a lot of pre-drinking and a cheese plate at Reservoir. APDC was packed (of course) when we showed up. It's not a big place, and a real informal party atmosphere.

We started off with some deep fried head cheese terrine (a special that is often available but not on the menu), a a blue-cheese endive salad and something called cochonailles (which is a selection of terrines). For about $6 the cochonailles was a lot of food.

Below are our mains :

from left to right you have: the pied de cochon (with mash and a biscuit), the duck in a can, foie gras putine and the plogue a champlain.

foie gras poutine :

plogue a champlain (which is a pancake topped with bacon, lard, foie gras and maple syrup) :

this was maybe the most memorable dish and most representative of the restaurant. This is the aftermath, me managed to finish everything except the pied :

Considering the legendary reputation of the place, it is pretty cheap - $200 for three including drinks (before tip).

Even though we were still reeling the next day (New Year's Eve), we hit up Schwartz's for the famous smoked meat. Almost all the time there is a line up outside, so we were in for a 30 min. wait in -20 deg. C weather :

once inside I ordered a smoked meat platter (extra fatty), which for $10 gives you a stack of bread and enough meat for three sandwiches - an insane deal.

It was very good of course, but I honestly can't say it's better than Caplansky in Toronto (I know, I know).

I don't have a lot to say about our New Year's dinner at a place called Raclette, but the next day we made it to La Banquise, which is the sort of potine headquarters and had some real Quebcois food. Below you see a Michigan red hot (a hot dog smothered in tomato meat sauce) and a classic poutine.

Both tasted pretty good at the time. One of our friends ordered a chicken sandwich which comes topped with gravy and canned peas :

this type of food is basically extinct in Toronto, but it would be nice to have once in a while.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cuy (Guinea Pig) in Cusco, Peru

Very popular dish in Peru. They eat it all: including the brain and eyeballs. Not much meat on these guys (not much fat either) - you'd need to eat a whole family to fill up, I think. The brain tasted like brain and the eyeballs a bit like flavourless cheese.

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