As I said, food in Montreal was marvelous. We did not have a bad meal–and by and large, it was quite affordable (bonus!).
Montreal has this lovely little specialty–smoked meat. I’m sorry if you’re a vegetarian. It’s beef that has been heavily spiced and smoked until it’s somewhere between really fatty pastrami and Texas-style brisket. This might be a totally wrong description, but that’s the one that makes the most sense to me. It completely melts on your first bite; at once you are struck by how on earth something can be so scandalously juicy and savory when it’s only adorned with yellow mustard and rye bread. After losing our luggage and spending a day muddling around feeling dirty, this sandwich started to make things better (sorry about the picture–the lighting in there was less than optimal, and I didn’t want to get thrown out for taking a picture–I’m not sure why I was worried about that, but I was–there’s a better picture of smoked meat at Wikipedia).
We ate many many more delicious places, but of course my camera was not with me. I did manage to remember to take the camera the night that we ate at a little Pho place in Chinatown.
Pho is the one really good ethnic food we can get in Denver that’s pretty authentic, although I haven’t gone taco-trucking in this town yet… There’s a pho place that we go to probably once a month. Everyone’s a regular there, and there’s as many Vietnamese people who eat there as there are people of every other race and station in life. When the weather is cold, we go eat pho. When we’re tired of eating really heavy food, we go eat pho. When I’m depressed and the notion of cooking anything makes my head want to explode, we go eat pho. For someone who really doesn’t like or eat a lot of red meat, I really love pho. Lucky for us, there was a place around the corner from our hotel that was recommended in our guidebook. We ordered some spring rolls before the pho that were packed with fresh mint–a refreshing change from the cilantro that I’m used to in spring rolls. Then the beauty came:
We went here the same night that I went to have tea at Camellia Sinensis, which was the kind of cooler, rainy sort of day perfect for pho (but I need little reason to go eat it). I tore up a mess of basil leaves into my soup and put some oyster sauce and what appeared to be homemade chile-garlic sauce into my soup and commenced to thoroughly enjoy my rice noodles.
Many more tasty things happened in Montreal, but without photos to help me describe what was going on, I will save them for my food journal.