Monday, September 3, 2007

Montreal Part 8: Making the most of our last days

Saturday is usually the beginning of the weekend, but we were feeling the impending end of our time in Montreal. The weather had turned freakishly cold and we had lots of cleaning to do before leaving on Sunday, so we were a little blue.

Dim Sum: Catching the elusive taro puffs

First thing in the morning, we went to dim sum at Restaurant Lotte Furama yet again, but this time we met up with Darcy's former manager and his wife. I hadn't seen them in about 4 years so I talked and talked, especially about the trip to India, which I hadn't spoken about in a long time. I developed this kind of schtick about the trip, so once I start talking, it's hard to shut me up. So, for once, I wasn't very focussed on the food. But, we did well and we were lucky enough to catch the deep-fried taro puffs, which are egg-shaped balls of mashed taro filled with pork and vegetables and deep-fried. We try to stay away from the deep-fried stuff at dim sum, but these are always the exception. It's worth it.

French People Don't Run

We usually have our long run on Sundays, but this Sunday we had a train to catch at noon so we set out to the Old Port to do our 10k. We'd run down there a few times during the week when nothing was going on and it was pretty deserted. This time, it was packed with people enjoying buskers, food, and other exhibitions at the Old Port. We had noticed something earlier in the week, but it came into clear view on Saturday: French people don't run.

We ran through large crowds of people and most of them looked at us with this bemused expression like we were riding unicycles or something. Some mocked us by running alongside. One little boy on his bike said, "Allez! Au courage!" and high-fived Darcy as he went by. We felt like such dorks. Apparently, like in France, Quebecers can stay fit and slim by drinking, smoking, and eating croissants.

Le Menage

We spent the afternoon cleaning my sister's condo from top to bottom. Why is it so much easier to clean someone else's place? It was actually kind of fun. If only I could do that at home.

Mazurka: Perogies that would make a bishop kick a hole through a stained glass window

Feeling very proud of ourselves for all that hard work, we went to Mazurka again for dinner because we couldn't get those perogies out of our minds. We both ordered the potato and cheese perogies and they came with the soup of the day, which was borscht (eeeee!). In addition, we shared a chopped liver appetizer because I saw Ina Garten make it on Barefoot Contessa the other day and it looked so good.

The borscht was just as good as I remembered: sweet and slightly acidic with a dollop of sour cream and lots of fragrant dill. The chopped liver was very much like liverwurst only fluffier and was surrounded by crisp, fresh vegetables. Even Darcy liked it and he usually doesn't like pate-like things (thinks they taste like cat food).

The perogies were phenomenal just like the other night. I really don't know how they do it. If you were wondering, I stole that sub-heading from a 1920's pulp fiction (detective) novel, Farewell My Lovely, by Raymond Chandler. The original line was: "It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window." Even if we didn't do or eat anything else in Montreal, they would have made the trip worthwhile. I can't say enough about them and I'm eternally spoiled perogy-wise. They literally melt in your mouth. Sigh.

Just like the other night, we ate every bit of everything we were served. So much so, that the waitress said, "you guys are good eaters!" Blush.

As we were leaving, we saw two older men outside having dinner on the Mazurka patio in the freezing cold. I think the temperature was around 13C, but felt colder with the windchill. But, if you looked at only them, you'd think it was a balmy night. They were dressed in shortsleeves, eating, smoking, and sharing a bottle of wine in an ice bucket. This is what I love about Montreal.

Poutine at Lafleur: The last thing on the list

There was only one thing left on the list and it was now or never, so we headed straight from Mazurka to Lafleur to pick up a poutine. Now, even we're not so hardcore that we could have poutine for dessert right after dinner. We got one small for the two of us and took it back to my sister's to heat up later once we'd regained some appetite.

Darcy had heard some bad press about Lafleur from his friend Jeff who was there during the August long weekend. He said that they had 'cleaned up' so the poutine wasn't as dirty/tasty as before. When we got there, we saw new signs saying that the fries are now trans fat free. C'est dommage. But, that night at about 1AM after finishing off the cleaning, we tried the poutine (well, I ate most of it) and it still does the trick.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

love the French people don't run entry. thanks for the taro info. =) o...random but I know a few people from Toronto.