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Travel - Sub Categories

  • Buenos Aires (56)

    The home page for Buenos Aires travel tips at this site is: [l:travel/buenos-aires].

  • Mexico City (5)
  • Montreal (130)

    What a city!

    • Québec Cheeses (15)

      Local cheeses, all purchased from Montréal. Related: the [l:albums/travel/montreal/poutine Poutine!] pages contain information about fresh cheese curds. Cheese Shops

      • [l:node/1154 Fromagerie Atwater]
      • [l:node/144 Fromagerie Hamel]
      • [l:node/1162 La Maison du cheddar]
      • In a pinch and after-hours - grocery stores such as IGA, Provigo, Metro, Super C, etc. There is bound to be a good place to buy cheese from where ever you stay in Montreal.
      Note that the US has some very strange, bizarre, and restrictive food import policies - see [l:travel/montreal/schwartzs-jewish-deli#comment-5229 Meat, Cheese and US Border Crossings comment] for details.

    • Jazz Fest (29)

      Summer Jazz Festival. More than just jazz. More details at: [l:travel/montreal/montreal-jazz-festival]

    • Poutine! (10)

      A dish unique to Quebec. [l:http://www.bbc.com/travel/feature/20130531-how-the-quebecois-came-to-love-poutine BBC article: How the Quebecois came to love poutine]. Fries, Gravy, and fresh Cheddar Cheese Curds (fromage en grains) make poutine! An exclamation point seems necessary for this dish. The process of making cheese from milk goes through a step that results in curds. These are small chunks of solid cheese that are not yet pressed into molds for the final aging process. Fresh cheese curds only last a day or two, therefore are only available in places where a lot of cheese is manufactured. Cheddar cheese curds are available widely in Montreal, and it is the key ingredient of poutine. Fresh cheese curds are easy to recognize - they will make a squeaking sound when you eat them. From fast food joints to celebrated chefs, there is no shortage of places to get poutine in Montreal. [l:http://www.montrealpoutine.com/ Montreal Poutine] has good information on all poutine places in that city. Poutine fries should at least start crispy, and have sufficient amount of gravy to smother the fries. The run-down looking Poutine Lafleur has pretty good poutine. This is the standalone place on Rue Wellington and not the chain of the same name. Maamm Bolduc was not as good - not enough gravy or cheese - but many consider it one of the best, so worth checking out. Many places that claim to be famous, or are very old diners that should probably have good poutine, do not. French fries may be limp and not crisp, sauce may be tasteless, and they dish may not be warm enough. So for a short visit, just try the known-to-be-good places, do not experiment. La Cantine, closed in 2012. This bistro on Mont Royal had excellent poutine, in very nice surroundings. The fries stay nice and crispy to the last bite. There is a photo provided below, which now serves as a memory only! Surprisingly, some fast food joints have good poutine too - such as La Belle Province. And Frite Alors! has amazing fries, and good poutine too. 2013: Schwartz's has gotten onto the poutine act: [l:albums/travel/montreal/schwartzs-hebrew-delicatessen/schwartzs-poutine]. It is essentially fine as a novelty item, but the basic poutine elsewhere, and the smoked-meat sandwiches at Schwartz's, are both best eaten without anything else added to either dish.

    • Le Petit Alep (10)

      Great good, awesome ambiance. Near Jean Talon metro station.

    • Marché Adonis (4)

      Excellent middle-eastern grocery store - large selection of fruits, ready-made food, feta cheeses, tzatziki, and sweets. They now have a home page: [l:http://www.adonisproducts.com/pages/accueil_en.asp adonisproducts.com] DISCLAIMER: please note that this web page has no association with the Marché Adonis business. And this site is not in Quebec, so English readers are the majority here, and French may not be understood by most. Thank you!

    • Marché Jean-Talon (8)

      The Jean-Talon market is a couple of blocks east of the intersection of Jean-Talon and St-Laurent, near the the Jean-Talon metro station. Newly refurbished in 2005, visit this place for fresh fruit, groceries, cheeses, bread, fish, desserts. Great food available in the market itself, additionally, surrounding area is Little Italy, which has many good restaurants.

    • Schwartz's - Hebrew Delicatessen (12)

      Absolutely the most addictive food in the world, the best smoked-meat in the world.

    • STM - Métro and Bus (8)

      Montreal subway and bus system. External link: [l:http://metro.jaygees.net/english/index.html Pictures of the Stations of the Montreal Subway] by Julien Rosselet, 2005.

  • New York (19)
    • Flushing's Chinatown (9)

      Discover a variety of Chinese (and Korean, etc) food on Main St, Flushing - last stop on the #7 Subway line. This is the second Chinatown in NYC, probably because downtown NYC was not big enough to hold all these new restaurants. Good references: [l:http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/07/29/dining/20080730_FLUSHING_INTERACTIVE.html NYTimes Flushing Interactive] graphic which also has a nice printout to take when visiting, and which links to the [l:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/30/dining/30flushing.html main article], which also has more tips from the readers in the article's comments section. A later article describes [l:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/10/dining/10chine.html Dongbei cai, or the food of the Northeast], the area was known earlier as Manchuria. The absolutely great things in this area: Sichuan food - spicy-hot with tongue-numbing Sichuan pepper ma-la experience, awesome lamb burgers with cumin and green chilies (in the Golden Mall, a collection of fast food restaurants in the basement off Main St - details in the NYT article), peking duck in snack form on a small pancake (fantastic Peking Duck, and sold at a window in a restaurant on the street), all sorts of dumplings, and the street stalls with $1 skewers of grilled spiced-meat ("Mongolian Barbecue?"). Finish off with bubble tea. And if you want to avoid eating out on the street, visit the Food Court in the Flushing Mall which has most of the similar foods. Best items here? 1. [l:http://xianfoods.com/ Xi'an Famous Foods] at 41-28 Main St Golden Mall Booth #36. It is confusing to find, enter the basement mall, take the left, cross two/three food booths, take a right, and this place on the left, probably the second/third store on the left. Just follow your nose and look for the sandwiches - their web site has pictures of their food. [Sep 2009] They are now in multiple places in Downtown Manhattan too! Those are easier to get to, still, worth visiting the original location to get a true Chinatown experience and better food (I think). NYT says: "His lamb stew is infused with fresh green chilies and cumin: stuffed into hot, griddled bread rolls, it makes the best sandwich in Flushing." ... "In the food court of the Golden Mall — a grand-sounding name for a basement warren of folding tables — is a man who goes by the name Shi Liangpi". Also good here: "his signature dish - liangpi, a dish of cold noodles in a sauce that hits every possible flavor category (sweet, tangy, savory, herbal, nutty and dozens of others)... in addition to four different sauces, and mountains of bean sprouts, slivered cucumbers and sprigs of cilantro. " My best choices: "N1" - Spicy Cumin Lamb Hand-Ripped Noodles (around $6), and "B2" Spicy Cumin Lamb Burger (around $3). [Prices as of Nov 2011, Flushing location.] Pictures: [l:albums/travel/new-york/flushings-chinatown/xian-famous-foods-41-28-main-st] and the new sit-down restaurant [l:albums/travel/new-york/flushings-chinatown/biang-restaurant-41-10-main-st]. 2. The Peking Duck from the street window at the Corner 28 restaurant, picture present below. 3. The unassuming Spicy & Tasty restaurant at 39 07 Prince Street, just a block or two up from the Main St Subway station. Good Sichuan food - nice and spicy. 4. New World Mall at 40-21 Main St, and another entrance next to Macy's on Roosevelt Ave, right outside one of the subway entrances. This is all brand-spanking new , as of 2011. The mall has a enormous food court at the basement, with a huge variety of Chinese/Korean/Japanese/Taiwanese etc food. If you like hot-pot - there are multiple restaurants selling hot-pots! This Mall also has the excellent and huge grocery store J-Mart which is also worth a visit. 5. The Flushing Mall at 13331 39th Ave, Queens, NY. Three blocks from the Main St station. The lower level has the food courts - again, here too some menus are in Chinese only but there are pictures to order by. And you can eat in the mall which is good in summer, avoid the street heat and smell!. The food in this mall's food court is certainly unlike any other shopping mall in the US. And of course, it is a mall so has restrooms - certainly one thing that cannot be found on the street or in the Golden Mall. [Nov 2011] Still worth a visit, though I heard this place might be going away? The only problem - many places in this are of Flushing have menus in Chinese only.

Québec Cheeses

Local cheeses, all purchased from Montréal.

Related: the Poutine! pages contain information about fresh cheese curds.

Cheese Shops

Note that the US has some very strange, bizarre, and restrictive food import policies - see Meat, Cheese and US Border Crossings comment for details.

Chocolats Privilège

Chocolats Privilège

In the Jean Talon Market, at 7070 Henri-Julien Street in Montréal.

Chocolats Privilège has great chocolates and chocolate spreads. And the hot chocolate drink is just $1.50 and unlike most other hot chocolates, it is very good!

Chiche Kebab Terbialy

Chiche Kebab Terbialy

Filet-mignon with a special spicy sauce - Chiche Kebab Terbialy (this is how they spell it). Shish Kebab is a more common spelling.

This is one of the best foods available in Montreal. The pita bread with the fantastic spicy sauce, goes very well with the beef kebabs. The salad is somewhat bitter - not sure if I like it - but it is certainly a good contrast to the beef and the spicy bread. Rice and vermicelli mixture on the side helps balance the spiciness. All-in-all, a perfect dish. Correctly portioned too, just the right size for lunch.

Soupe Harrira (with water bottle)

Soupe Harrira (with water bottle)

Some days this soup is available, soupe harrira. Rice, chick-peas, beef. I think the taste varies - it was quite spicy once, and then it was more lemony another time.

The water in the green wine-bottle is a nice touch at Le Petit Alep. Get one as soon as you sit down, and it is such a nice thing - especially today when many restaurants seem to be getting away from serving plain water.

Moti Mehal - Beef Nihari

Moti Mehal - Beef Nihari

Moti Mehal Pakistani and Indian Restaurant, near metro Acadie.
Beef Nihari with vegetable naan.
The naan looks good, but it was even better at a previous visit - looks like they have multiple cooks, and one of them makes excellent naan, while it just good with the others. The excellent vegetable naan is crusty and spongy at different times, and you can see the vegetables in it.
This is overall a very good restaurant to visit in this area, which has numerous good Indian restaurants.

Casserole Beef and Spinash

Casserole Beef and Spinash

One of the weekday lunch specials, available once in a while at Le Petit Alep.
Beef and Spinach Casserole, with nuts, ground beef, rice, vermicelli.

Arouch - Armenian Pizza

Arouch - Armenian Pizza

Boulangerie Arouch , 1600 boul. de Maisonneuve West, near Guy metro.

Flatbread, pita, pizza - Armenian Pizza.

Two of the varieties are outstanding: Lahmajoun (beef, garlic, tomato), and Aleppo (cheese and hot pepper pizza. These are on a thin crust pita-like bread, and are a great snack or have two to three and make it a full dinner.

This is next to Guy-Concordia John Molson School of Business, which is convenient because it has tables where one can watch the stock ticker and it also has restroom facilities - very important to know for tourists.

Arouch home page and a Gazette review.

Bolduc Poutine Poivre

Bolduc Poutine Poivre

The Maamm Bolduc poutine, with sauce au poivre. Good - but could be better - needs far more sauce as well as cheese.

Le Cendrillon - St-Raymond-de-Portneuf

Le Cendrillon - St-Raymond-de-Portneuf

Le Cendrillon is described by the producer as a "vegetable ash-covered, soft surface-ripened soft goat cheese with a semi-strong, slightly sour taste that becomes stronger with age."

This Quebec goat cheese named Cinderella was voted the best cheese in the world at the World Cheese Awards 2009, beating out 2,440 entries from 34 countries. It won in all categories. It is made by La Maison Alexis de Portneuf in St. Raymond de Portneuf which is located about 50 kilometres northwest of Quebec City on the north shore of the St. Lawrence river.

Since winning this award, the cheese has been very hard to find in Montreal! Many shops that stock a lot of cheeses - all were always out. Then I visited Ottawa, there, the shop in Byward Market had this cheese easily available. Looks like Quebecers are far more interested in this cheese than people in other provinces. One Saturday morning, finally found the cheese at La Fromagerie Atwater. Continued checking for one more week - did not find it anywhere except Atwater.

Supposedly, the same cheese maker makes an even better goat's cheese - Barre a Boulard!

Patati Patata Poutine

Patati Patata Poutine

Poutine is quite good, thin fries, and small enough portion to not fill you up. Get the small hamburger, if needed. The poutine is $4, and as is the burger with cheese, etc.