Exploring Montreal

We woke up on October 10th, 2017 in the parking lot of Walmart Blainville, just North of Montreal. It was a quiet night spent among a few other RV campers. For the next two days, we planned to explore the city of Montreal.

On our way into the city, we stopped by St. Viateur Bagel in Laval to get breakfast and see high volume Montreal styled bagel production. Each baker makes one type of bagel (sesame, poppy seed, everything…etc.) and takes care of the entire process of cutting, shaping, boiling, dipping in seeds, and baked in the wood-fired oven.

In Montreal, we visited many bakeries, pâtisseries, and chocolate shops. It’s common to find an interesting herb or a savoury ingredient in their pastries or chocolate, a reflection of perhaps a more adventurous consumer. Instead of fast food signs on the highway, you’ll see signs for fromageries (cheese shops). I took advantage of the abundance and variety of quality cheeses in Québec and tasted many. But, no matter how many bags you wrap your cheese in, it finds a way to fill your car with its beautiful pungent aromas.

We stored our cheesy treasures outside the car overnight so we don’t infuse all of our belongings with its smell. We placed our perishables in sealed bags and placed it under the car before we went to sleep. On one extra chilly morning, Nelson forgot to bring it back in the car and drove off without the cheese! We rushed back to the parking lot and found the bag untouched by animals or tires.

Some of the more memorable things we ate in Montreal were cheeses from Bleu et Persille Fromagerie, a casual lunch from Satay Brothers, sable cookies from Fous Desserts, chocolates from Les Chocolats de Chloé, and pastries from Patrice Patissier.

Left: Stopped by this beautiful cheese shop called Bleu et Persille Fromagerie. I asked the cheesemonger to recommend 3 local cheeses of different textures, all very good. Right: Salade Gado-gado with tofu. It was a warm salad bowl with a peanuty satay sauce.

In the early evening, we hiked up Mont Royal to see the city lights from the top. We were surprised at how busy it was with runners and a whole variety of fitness groups. We stayed overnight in the parking lot of Walmart Brossard where we found the company of other RVers again. Since it was a little warm and we were well stocked with ripe cheeses, I had to figure out a way to keep them cool (and not so stinky). I hid our ice pack behind some ice cream inside Walmart before closing and retrieved it in the morning. Hehehe.

The next day, we explored Atwater Market and Old Montreal where we ate a delicious slice of flan from Maison Christian Faure.

Dinner at Au Pied du Cochon

Our time in Montreal ended with an epic meal at Au Pied du Cochon, a restaurant that’s been on my list since I watched The Wild Chef more than a decade ago. My diet has since changed to be much less meat-centric so I felt that this was a meal I should’ve enjoyed at a different time in my life.

Duck carpaccio at Au Pied du Cochon
We sat at the bar for our meal and started off with foie gras cromesquis (pictured top) and duck carpaccio.
Cheesy puree, roasted vegetables and meat!
The first of our main was a meat loaf on a bed of cheesy puree, roasted vegetables that tasted like they had been slow cooked in meat fat and stock. If only I had an endless serving of the jus, yum! We could not finish it so we packed it and enjoyed it cold the next day, like a terrine.
Plogue à champlain
And here is the star dish of our dinner, plogue à champlain. It’s a buckwheat pancake with melted cheese, thick bacon, a generous cut of seared foie gras, served in a savoury maple syrup sauce. I think Nelson and I are content with the amount of foie gras (i.e. this meal) that we’ve consumed for the rest of our lives.

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