Visiting Montreal on Easter weekend - ideas?

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Michelle
Visiting Montreal on Easter weekend - ideas?

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KenS
Michelle

radiorahim and I were successfully tempted by an online coupon deal on a hotel in Montreal, so we're going to go there for a little Easter weekend getaway.  I've only ever been to Montreal once, about 14 years ago on a day trip (which means I was just there for a few hours).  radiorahim hasn't been there for 25 years.  So, needless to say, we don't know a heck of a lot about Montreal!

So, we're wondering whether anyone has ideas for stuff to do and see.  Any interesting sights, places to go, favourite restaurants, etc.?  We're not necessarily looking for tourist traps, but not opposed to them either if it's something interesting.

(I'm looking at you, Unionist and lagatta! But others too if you have suggestions!)  :)

Michelle

Ken, I think the new Pope will be elected by the time we visit Montreal. :)

Unionist

Gahh - we're away that weekend. Cry Let me ponder some ideas and let you know. What kind of food do you / don't you like? And I assume you'll be staying within shouting distance of downtown??

Michelle

Too bad!  Oh well. 

Both of us like all kinds of food - I don't think either of us have any strong dislikes. 

I don't know Montreal at all, but I assume it's downtown - we'll be staying at Rue Ste-Catherine and Rue Jeanne-Mance.  Looking at the map of Montreal, it looks pretty central, and it looks like there's a Metro station right there.  That said, we're willing to go anywhere in the city - doesn't have to be right downtown.

 

Unionist

You're within whispering distance of downtown, the McGill ghetto, the route of the student marches, the "Main" (St-Laurent Blvd), St-Urbain (as in Horseman), shopping, schools, and churches (ok I got carried away)! Perfect.

 

Michelle

Well, I did notice St-Urbain!  I was thrilled to be staying near Duddy Kravitz's stomping grounds. ;)

Unionist

... and walking distance from Old Montreal, the Gay Village, art galleries and museums (musea?) galore, Schwartz's, the Quartier des Spectacles, the Old Port, did I mention fooood and drinnnnk... and 3 major university campuses (UQAM, Concordia, McGill...

jas

It would be hard to go wrong in Montreal. Turn in any direction from where you'll be and there is going to be a cool neighbourhood. McGill U., Blvd St. Laurent, Parc Mont Royal, Outremont, Old Montreal. I also like NDG (a bit further west from downtown), east Montreal/gay village (east Ste. Catherine or east Sherbrooke - can't remember which). Also St. Henri. Take a stroll along Avenue des Pins which runs along the south of Mont Royal. Or just get on the metro and get off at random stops.

Wouldn't know about current eating places, but Blvd St. Laurent or St. Denis (via Duluth) would be good starts.

The only places I wouldn't venture with limited time is north of Jean Talon, or anywhere extreme west or east on the island. 

jas

I lived on St. Urbain. A one-room apartment with galley kitchen, bathroom, and cockroaches. $210/mo.

Michelle

Thanks jas and Unionist!

Mr.Tea

Montreal is one of my favourite cities in the world. It's been a few years since I've been so you're making me jealous, Michelle.

A stop at Schwartz's for a smoked-meat sandwich is mandatory on any visit. I also love Moishe's restaurant and have been to a bunch in the Latin Quarter, whose names I forget. Of course, if you happen to be in town during a Canadiens game, seeing the Habs play at the Bell Centre is an experience you don't want to miss. And walking around the old city is just great, so much amazing architecture.

Okay, this really makes me want to see if my parents can babysit and head on over, myself...

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Gah. It is basically impossible not to erupt with suggestion and advice right now. Montreal is the best.

Bagels: Fairmont (on Fairmont E, Laurier metro), but Maysie will say, foolishly, St. Viateur's. Fortunately, you can try both, since they're a few blocks away from each other.

Beer: Dieu de Ciel (mandatory, at Laurier and St. Laurent, metro Laurier), Cheval Blanc (Ontario and Berri, metro Berri) or L'Amère á boire (St Denis & Sherbrooke, metros Sherbrooke or Berri)

Poutine: La Banquise (mandatory, metro Mont Royal)

Markets: Jean-Talon Market, obviously. It's amazing. Last time I was there it was being gentrified but they still let in regular farmers too. (Metro Jean Talon)

Smoked Meat: Schwartz's, definitely.

Perfect French Bistros: L'éxpress (rue St Denis, metro Laurier/Sherbrooke), Le pied de cochon (more pricey, but superb, rue Duluth, metro Sherbroooke/Mont Royal)

Perfect Italian: Il Piatto della Nonna (rue Amherst, metro Sherbrooke/Beaudry)

You're also very close to one of my favourite terraces (patios) which is Le Ste-Elizabeth (1412 Ste Elizabeth, just off Ste-Catherines near St Denis. If the weather is passable, hit it for a nightcap.

And the first Tam-tams of the season will be on Easter Sunday (I think?). Head to Parc Mont Royal around 11am for good times and all the hacky sack you could ask for.

But whatever. Take any advice or none and you'll ask yourself why you wasted your entire life living anywhere except Montreal. So jealous! Have an awesome time.

lagatta

I tried to comment last night, but my computer froze halfway through my long post. Too bad Unionist will be away. I should be here. Yes, that is fine, are you staying at the hotel in Complexe Desjardins?

The real city centre (as in business district) is not the most interesting place overall, but that is the way it is in Toronto. You are just next to Le Quartier des spectacles, where various festivals take place.

You can buy short-term bus/métro passes for three days. Very much worth it, although you will be walking too. Walk up to Président-Kennedy and you will take the 80 bus up avenue du Parc, or walk over to St-Laurent (a few short blocks east) and take the 55 up St-Laurent (The Main). Our oldest Chinatown is much smaller than yours, but it is near your hotel towards there. You are also on two métro lines. Your closest orange line station is Place d'Armes, southbound (in Chinatown, at the gates of Old Montreal); you can walk through Complexe Desjardins shopping centre and Guy-Favreau Federal office building if the weather is very foul, but it shouldn't be. Orange line will take you up through the Plateau and Jean-Talon market area (I live in that area) and also southwest towards Atwater market and the Lachine Canal. You can reach Jean-Talon market just as easily with the 55 bus, travelling through some interesting areas.

Jean-Talon Market is gentrifying, but there are still farmers and the vegetables, in season, haven't particularly increased in price. There are also not-at-all gentrified Italian cafés nearby, and many Maghrebi and Levantine businesses nearby too. Le Petit Alep is a particularly nice Syrian café/restaurant (fancier Restaurant Alep next door).

A year ago there were huge demos, already by this time of year, but alas things have calmed down a bit. Normal actually; the students are rather exhausted. There will be Idle No More events around the Spring Equinox, but I see you are arriving a week later.

Complexe Desjardins is just an ordinary, not-very-large shopping centre. One point of interest for visitors is that an IGA supermarket opened there a few years ago, and since a good chunk of their customer base consists of civil servants from Quebec and Federal civil servants nearby, there are decent prepared foods.

I'll stop for now and return to answer questions and interact with other posters.

jas

Well, we could have a thread devoted entirely to Montreal...

Jean Talon Market is something I never knew about when I was there. Anything north of St. Joseph to me then felt like alien lands. From the pictures it looks a bit like Granville Island, perhaps more utilitarian, and obviously much older. All of those markets are much older than the public market trend of the '80s and '90s.

Unionist

I'm a longtime Atwater Market devotee, though I certainly acknowledge the superior size and cachet of Jean-Talon.

Mind you, in a more historical and artistic light, we mustn't forget [url=http://www.marchebonsecours.qc.ca/en/index.html]Bonsecours Market[/url], where Michelle can easily pop in when she walks down to Vieux Montréal.

 

lagatta

Our current markets, except for small markets outside métro stations and markets only open in the summer and early autumn, are SURVIVORS among existing markets that usually date back at least to the 1920s or 30s, and in many cases much longer.

For example, Marché St-Jean-Baptiste, in the Plateau, corner Rachel and St-Laurent. Lots of local residents would love to have that one back!

http://histoireplateau.canalblog.com/archives/2007/02/01/3865559.html

Mayor Jean Drapeau hated public markets and succeeded in getting rid of this one before Expo '67. Supermarkets were "modern", after all.

It is a public park now, but could have been relocated across the street where there is now a particularly ugly block of a building that once housed garment fabrication. I remember it as a parking lot for decades.

The concrete structure of the outdoor part of Jean-Talon Market and the small central building that now houses a bakery, an ATM and public toilets were a public works project in the 1930s. Think the current Atwater structure is of similar vintage.

Jean-Talon survived in large part due to the Italian community established in that neighbourhood. Later other Mediterraneans arrived as well, and it has recently experienced gentrification with a new wing of indoor butchers, cheese and fishmongers and other specialty shops. There are many shops nearby that aren't technically part of the market.

As for Marché Bonsecours, you will find Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours chapel nearby. It is a very old chapel but has been rebuilt following fires, and figures in the lyrics of Leonard Cohen's Suzanne.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Wow, that is so interesting about Drapeau's purging of farmer's markets! Survivors indeed. Thanks lagatta. I always heard about Drapeau's reign of terror but never heard many specifics -- and the ones I did, like the regulation of house numbering, kind of pleased my Stalinist heart.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Great thread!

Despite Cathfire's taste in bagels (shameful) I too, appreciate all the tips and ideas.

My sweetie and I will be heading to Montreal just a few scant days before Michelle and radiorahim. We're there from the 19th to the 21st, mostly for a book launch the afternoon of the 20th for a woman's self defence booklet (my cousin founded a women's self-defence centre years ago and I did some advising and proof-reading for them for the English parts of the booklet).

Since my sweetie hasn't been to Montreal in decades, we're hitting as much of the city as we can in such a short time. Vieux Port, Schwartz's, hope to get up the mountain (is there still a bus that goes up there?) and OF COURSE many dozen bagels to bring home and distribute to fellow lovers of Montreal bagels, and to freeze pour moi. We're staying at a hotel at St Laurent and Sherbrooke. I think we will need to check out the poutine place mentioned upthread. And get one of those 3-day transit passes.

Any tips on a place for Quebecois cuisine? 

lagatta

Yes, Maysie, the number 11 bus goes up one side of Mont-Royal and comes down the other (east to west, that is). http://www.stm.info/bus/plan_lig/plan11.htm You can get it either at or near Mont-Royal métro or at the other side on Côte-des-Neiges near the cemetery. The 124 bus climbs the Westmount slope and goes back down farther west in CDN. http://www.stm.info/bus/plan_lig/plan124.htm 

I presume you don't mean somewhere as expensive and excessive as Au pied du cochon (APDC). Perhaps Maamm Bolduc? http://maammbolduc.com/fr/accueil It is an old-fashioned Québécois greasy spoon, slightly modernised and ever-so-slightly gentrified as in having vegetarian choices, salads, a choice of beers and wines etc, but remains an unpretentious place.

Montréal also features a stretch of small South Asian restaurants up in Park-Ex (a bit west of Jean-Talon Market, métro Parc or take the 80 bus up to Jean-Talon), many of which are both halal and BYOW!

Another BYOB from the Muslim world is the Afghan Khyber Pass on Duluth (near St-Denis, about half way between Sherbrooke and Mt-Royal métros).

A couple of inexpensive byows we like:

C-Thai (Thai and neighbouring cuisines)

7112 St-Laurent (Little Italy, near Jean-Talon Market). 55 bus north or either de Castelnau (closest) or Jean-Talon métros (Jean-Talon has two lines, usually more convenient). Can get noisy though, because it is a bit of an echo chamber. 514-508-3792

Nhu Y. We really like this tiny, plain restaurant with authentic dishes, not just the usual brochettes and soups. Unlike C-Thai, it doesn't get very noisy.

134 Jean-Talon O., just a couple of short blocks west of the market and the main strip of Little Italy along St-Laurent.

Téléphone:  514-948-8884

All the restaurants I've posted here are doable for vegetarians. Of course Afghan cuisine is meat-heavy,  but at least the last time I went, Khyber Pass had a good vegetarian plate and some other veg options.

lagatta

I agree about both the Parthenon and Snowdon Deli  - the latter is MUCH better than Schwartz. We never go to Schwartz (very limited menu, heroic levels of rudeness) instead choosing The Main across the street, but I think the actual smoked meat is superior at Schwartz. Snowdon neighbourhood, since the 2nd world war a prominent Ashkenazi Jewish area, now has both many non-Jewish-Russian people and businesses, and non-Eastern-European Jewish ones, with Sephardi and mixed "Israeli" cuisine. The Parthenon is a good Greek byow, not targeting tourists. There is also an excellent new South Indian byow in the same area as Parthenon, Thanjai. http://www.shutupandeat.ca/2013/01/16/montreals-first-authentic-southern... http://www.thanjairestaurant.com/ I can actually take the 160 bus directly there from my house, though it is a way and requires some reading material, there is also a métro station very close by.

Along the same lines as the Norman Bethune memorial, there is also La Maison Parent-Roback, named for two veteran feminists and social campaigners, Madeleine Parent and Léa Roback. Both are dead now, but both were still alive when the building in Old Montreal, which houses several feminist groups, and meetings, was opened. They even have a choir! http://www.la-mpr.qc.ca/

An exhibition on Les Carrés rouges and the student spring has just opened at the Maison de la culture Côte-des-Neiges.

http://www.lalignebleue.ca/sorties-culturelles/details/927/carre-rouge-d...

It is running until 14 April, so both pairs of visitors can view it!

Maison de la culture Côte-des-Neiges

514 872-6889

Unionist

A few places we love (more in CDN-NDG land, but accessible):

Soba Sushi, we're no experts, but we love the sushi, lots of variety, also some Chinese meals (why not? - General Tao etc.), very plain décor, reasonable prices, they also deliver, close to Vendôme metro or take the 24 bus west on Sherbrooke and enjoy the ride.

The Parthenon, decent Greek food, affordable, BYOW, about 3 blocks from Plamondon metro, or enjoy a bus ride up Côte-des-Neiges from Sherbrooke, winding along the eponymously snowier/rainier west slope of Mount Royal, past the biggest and oldest non-Indigenous cemetery in Canada, where the workers were locked out for months a few years ago while cadavers were kept cool...).

Oh, and please find time for Snowdon Deli (renamed Deli Snowdon!), on Décarie. Don't tell me about Schwartz's - the smoked meat here is just as good if not (IMHO) better! And just check out the online menu and explain to me, in credible terms, how exactly you will resist the gefilte fish, potato latkes, cheese blintzes, lox, chopped liver, karnatzel... and all the other stuff that Schwartz's can only dream about! When you're done, cross over to the takeout counter and stock up.

As for Catchfire's preference for Fairmount bagels - I have no problem with that (he's wrong), but go to St-Viateur, not just for the superior fare, but to watch the boiling, glazing, and baking process in living sesame-colour. Ouvert 24h for your capricious pleasure!

Pay homage to Norman Bethune right beside the main Concordia building on Guy and de Maisonneuve. And speaking of heroes, maybe check out the Pied-du-Courant prison (a little farther east, on de Lorimier), a museum on the site where hundreds of Patriotes (1837) were imprisoned and 12 hanged.

On the artistic side, I've always preferred sound to sight, and especially have trouble wandering around looking at paintings or things on shelves, unless there's a very integrated and informative and maybe interactive experience built around them. So when I tell you I've always been a sucker for the Canadian Centre for Architecture (on René-Lévesque a couple blocks west of Guy), you'll understand my perspective. Not sure what's showing now.

Oh, and whatever lagatta says.

 

 

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

Thanks so much, lagatta!

Yes, Maamm Bolduc is what we were thinking of, nothing très cher for us.

Unionist, I will take the Snowdon advice under advisement. I should tell you that the servers at Schwartz's must sense my Toronto-vibe and I'm always treated as a tourist when I go there, ie, not rudely at all. Plus, who cares? I dream of their smoked meat, that I can only have once a year. (cue violins)

When I go get my bagels at Parc and St Viateur, I always watch the process and inhale for about 10 minutes before ordering. Also, I once wrote a lovely ode to the St V bagel. Yes, I'm obsessed.

Oh, and resisting gefilte fish is like not voting Conservative. Effortless.

lagatta

Maysie, in Paris during Rosh Hashanah, we were served a gefilte fisch made from a WHOLE carp, boned, all the fish flesh stuffed back under the skin. After all, gefilte means "stuffed" in Yiddish. (gefüllte in German). Friend (hostess) of Polish-Jewish origin. Dinner was lovely.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I used to live a block away from Mme Bolduc's! It's pret-ty bon. Let me know how my ol' flat is doing, will you Maysie? It's the one with the sunny balcony and the colour of my heart.

You don't have to respond here, since I'm banning you and Unionist for your silly taste in bagels.

6079_Smith_W

If I were to go there again (last time was in '87) I'd go back to the Expo site. Last time it was like some apocalyptic wasteland. I remember walking right up into the dark shell of what had been the Iranian pavilion. Quite a contrast from 20 years before (come to think of it, that may have been in '83).

Also an instrument shop I remember visiting downtown where they had a bunch of pocket fiddles

Oh, and Dorval, where I spent most of my summers. Saw the first moon landing from there, and my first lobster, down at the Steinbergs.

Maysie Maysie's picture

lagatta, my grandma used to serve gefilte fish served from the lovely jars of Manishewitz. Euwwwww.

Catchfire:

St Viateur, patron saint of YUMMY.

lagatta

I don't blame you, Maysie. That jarred gefilte fisch is beyond dreadful. I think my Parisian friend would be horrified.

Catchfire, once upon a time I lived not far from there, in a flat facing Parc de Lorimier, a lovely little park with large old trees, between Bordeaux and Chabot north of Laurier. Since I worked at the CSN, I often walked down from Laurier to boulevard de Maisonneuve, on de Lorimier. But Maamm Bolduc was just a classic patates place; I never ate there back then.

Michelle

Thank you everyone for so many posts!  Sorry I posted the thread and haven't been back until now...didn't have a chance to get back until now.  I really appreciate all your suggestions!  We'll be poring over your posts for the next couple of weeks in detail (maybe even printing some out to take with us).

And ooooh - is jarred gefilte fish anything like jarred fried herring?  Because the German side of my family LOVES jarred fried herring!  Doesn't look very appetizing, but I tried some once and it was darn good.  Probably not overly healthy, but then, so much German and eastern European food isn't... :)

(Edited because I spelled "gefilte" wrong...)

Maysie Maysie's picture

Michelle wrote:
 And ooooh - is jarred gefilte fish anything like jarred fried herring?  

No.

Herring is fish.

Gefilte fish isn't technically fish, it's ground up fish meat, fish bones and other "ingredients" that are then moulded into patty shapes. And then boiled. (Euwwwww)

Maybe if they are homemade then they are yummy or at least edible, but sadly that's not been my experience.

Unionist

I'm pleased to say I have never tasted the jarred gefilte fish - only homemade (mine or others) or deli-made. I've had good and bad. It's not haute cuisine. Maybe that explains the mandatory heart-stopping horseradish that always accompanies it in my experience.

 

lagatta

Maysie, that is what fishcakes are!

I love herring. Everywhere in the Netherlands. But then, Dutch food is very similar to North German food. Though in general, Germans have better bread.

Michelle and Maysie, you have plenty of time to ask more questions.

Another interesting place, or rather set of places, are Casa del Popolo, La Sala Rossa and La Sala Rosa. Casa del Popolo is a tiny bar/café/club with different groups and events in the evenings, especially weekends. You can also have a drink and some simple vegetarian food there: sandwiches and salads, perhaps soups.

Across the street are La Sala Rossa, an old concert hall, and La Sala Rosa, a Spanish restaurant. This building used to be the lefty Jewish Workman's Circle, and later became the Centro social español. The restaurant is NOT vegetarian - lots of fishy things - but they do have far more vegetarian tapas and other dishes than the average overseas Iberian emigrant place. It is charming and decent, but can become horrifically noisy if there is a concert above, so check schedules! www.casadelpopolo.com/

They even have a "pensione" now, though I imagine it gets noisy when there is a concert downstairs! Cheap and well-located though.

 

Unionist

Lagatta, what do you think of Santropol? I don't go often, but have never been disappointed (sandwiches, soups, salads, coffee). Plus, it's not that far north on St-Urbain. Or does it qualify as "gentrified"?

Catchfire mentioned the Tams, on the east slope of the mountain (I still laugh that we call it a "mountain"). They usually start up about St. Patrick's Day, depending on weather. I'm a bit old for that scene, although contrary to Bill Clinton, spectators can go there and just inhale.

 

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

 I've had good and bad.

Likewise. I'd compare them to fish balls. Again, restaurant or home made,  not the rubbery commercial ones.

And you never need to have an excuse for horseradish.

(edit)

And I hope it won't be heretical to say I find the montreal bagels too sweet and bland. And I actually had them fresh there, though there's a place here where you can buy them flown in.

 

 

Michelle

Maysie wrote:

Gefilte fish isn't technically fish, it's ground up fish meat, fish bones and other "ingredients" that are then moulded into patty shapes. And then boiled. (Euwwwww)

Michelle

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And I hope it won't be heretical to say I find the montreal bagels too sweet and bland. And I actually had them fresh there, though there's a place here where you can buy them flown in.

Is this where the Montreal vs. New York bagel argument starts? :)

Michelle

lagatta and Unionist, how am I ever going to remember all these fabulous tips?  And you too, Catchfire.  So great - thank-you!

lagatta

I still enjoy the Tam Tams, not all day, and certainly not pretending to be young. But it can be great catching the beat on a lovely day.

Assume Smith is a New Yorker?

I also confess I'd prefer bagels, yes small and hard, but not at all sweet. I don't find them cloying though. Don't eat them frequently. Prefer very good bread.

Michelle, you can just go back and check them on your computer, or whatever device you have. And it is obvious that you won't see or do everything.

No bixis yet. It is much more wintry than last year. I ==I have been out cycling recently, but only during the day and nearby.

6079_Smith_W

Nah, Winnipegger.

I DID enjoy watching Montreal bagels get cooked when I bought them, and to each their own; it's fine.

nicky

I have always found the NYT "36 Hours In ..." series to be very reliable:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/travel/15hours.html?_r=0

 

I particulalry like Le Cartet for brunch It is one of the NYT recommendtions:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/travel/15hours.html?_r=0

lagatta

There is an egregious error about the Underground City, which is just a bunch of interconnected shopping areas and business offices in the city centre. Tourists are always disappointed by it. It does not include all the métro! And whether this is "beautiful", depends on one's political outlook: "FRENCH or English? One of the beautiful things about Montreal is that you never know in what language you will be greeted".

More seriously, there are usually good points in those 36-hours in articles, whether by the NYT, Guardian or other media. But they are skewed to business travellers, or at least travellers with budgets most of us could only dream of, and corresponding tastes.

Claire was a friend: "Or pedal along Boulevard de Maisonneuve, which cuts through downtown Montreal, where a 2.1-mile path was recently named after the late Claire Morissette, a cycling activist".

Hour and Mirror have both folded.

I was just thinking, on the same street as Fairmount Bagel (duh, Fairmount), there is an excellent tiny boulangerie, Guillaume. Not just baguettes - many types of bread, flatbreads and bread rolls. http://boulangerieguillaume.com/ It is just EAST of St-Laurent (the bagels and most other businesses on that street are west of "The Main", between St-Laurent and avenue du Parc). The long announcement indicated that they will only be open from Wednesday to Sunday for the foreseeable future: http://boulangerieguillaume.com/

Mr.Tea

Maysie wrote:

Michelle wrote:
 And ooooh - is jarred gefilte fish anything like jarred fried herring?  

No.

Herring is fish.

Gefilte fish isn't technically fish, it's ground up fish meat, fish bones and other "ingredients" that are then moulded into patty shapes. And then boiled. (Euwwwww)

Maybe if they are homemade then they are yummy or at least edible, but sadly that's not been my experience.

That's one of those Ashkenazi Jewish foods I've never been able to wrap my head around.  Creamed herring is another one. You can always spot the Sephardim at a Shabbat dinner cause they're the ones gagging on the gefilte fish.

Mr.Tea

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And I hope it won't be heretical to say I find the montreal bagels too sweet and bland. And I actually had them fresh there, though there's a place here where you can buy them flown in.

I'll add to the heresy and say that I actually prefer New York bagels to Montreal bagels. And Toronto bagels are vastly underrated. 

lagatta

Mr Tea, I attended a lovely Jewish wedding in Paris: husband a Canadian (originally from Toronto, but moved to MTL before Paris) of Polish descent, wife of Moroccan descent. There were lovely foods from both traditions, but as I recall no gefilte fish.

There was also GOOD Kosher wine...

Mr.Tea

lagatta wrote:

Mr Tea, I attended a lovely Jewish wedding in Paris: husband a Canadian (originally from Toronto, but moved to MTL before Paris) of Polish descent, wife of Moroccan descent. There were lovely foods from both traditions, but as I recall no gefilte fish.

There was also GOOD Kosher wine...

My family may disown me saying this but Moroccans have the best food of all.

Unionist

Having attended both Moroccan and Chabad seders - as well as secularist and feminist and vegetarians and others - and the Galitsianer ones (eastern Europe, not Spain!) I grew up with - I will probably rate Moroccan first and Chabad dead last in pure culinary terms.

But here's a dumb question: Is there actually a restaurant in Montréal that specializes in Jewish North African cuisine?

 

 

Mr.Tea

Not sure about that, not being from Montreal. I believe the city has a pretty large Moroccan Jewish community, no? There was a GREAT Moroccan Jewish restaurant in Toronto (it was even kosher) but clsoed down several years ago. It's closure did, however, inspire me to take up Moroccan cooking for myself.

lagatta

There used to be one downtown - El Morocco, which was also kosher. It closed a few years ago. There are some food shops with lovely savoury pastries, I believe, on Westminster in Côte-Saint-Luc or Mtl-West.

Unionist

Mr.Tea wrote:

I believe the city has a pretty large Moroccan Jewish community, no?

A decade ago, almost a quarter of Montréal's Jewish population (then about 95,000 total) was "Sephardic" in origin, meaning mostly Moroccan and originally francophone.

These folks don't eat out enough, I guess.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Or maybe when they do they want to eat something different than what they make at home.

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