Wandering around Montreal

Today I decided to wander around Montreal in the freezing cold. Because the idiot in my mind thought that the best way to see the city is to wander around for about 5 miles if not more through the slush and ice storm.

At least I set some goals to see all of the major food places. My first stop:

Apparently St. Viateur Bagels is the place to go for bagels.  Canadian bagels are more condensed in flavor than american bagels, and slightly chewier. I was probably very hungry by the time I got my 2 warm bagels, one sesame and one cinnamon raisin. But thinking back, I think I like Canadian bagels more even factoring out the hunger.

I continued on my journey ripping and eating at the bagels with gloveless hands.

Montreal is named after Mount Royal, which is a hill? mountain? in the middle of the city.

I walked along the edge of the mountain where the snow was piled a few feet high until I found an entrance into the woods. People had been snowshoeing and created semi-compact meandering paths into the trees.

I put away my nearly frost-bitten bagel hands and enjoyed the snowy solace. There was nothing but the crunching of the snow beneath my feet for about an hour.

I eventually needed to refuel and I didn’t want to recycle fluids back into the Earth, so I followed the sound of traffic and children sledding back to civilization.

Oh lord. I was on a snowy hill in tennis shoes, and I has hopelessly lost. Why did I have such a long shadow at 1pm,  I don’t know, but the sun’s position does not lie.

After some dangerous slipping and sliding, I decided that refuel at La Banquise, which I heard has some of the best and most famous poutine in the city.

I got Le Jaco, and La Taquise. I preferred Le Jaco. The fries were perfectly cooked on both, but I loved the minced meat with onions and mushrooms, and the peppery gravy. It was lip smacking good.

Even though I got regular sizes for both, the food was much too heavy. I tried my best, packed it and moved on.

The other place I had to try was Schwartz’s. I arrived at 2pm, and the line was out the door.

Schwartz’s is Montreal’s Katz’s or Carnegie deli, and I am a great lover of pastrami, so it didn’t take much to sell me on smoked meat.


When I ordered the smoked meat sandwich, the server asked “fatty or lean?” Fatty of course! I didn’t come all this way to eat the dregs. If only the woman at the airport didn’t assume that I wanted an egg sandwich with no eggs (yolks).

The chefs at Schwartz’s seem to subscribe to the notion that a good deli sandwich should not be served in a way that can be eaten cleanly. I agree.

It was glorious. Even though I was still full from the poutine, I ate half a sandwich, and really wished that I could shove down more. I am actually trying to eat the other half while I am writing this post, but it’s starting to hurt!

I assume that I will have at least some of the delicious food for a late night snack later! I will need it especially if I decide go to out again when the sun’s gone. Can someone please remind me why I decided to go to a colder climate in the middle of the winter? At least the food is worth it!

Leave a Reply