No visits to Montreal would be complete without your trying these famous (speaking for your palate) or infamous (speaking for your calories count) local food.
Do not respond by saying that it is only French fries, because poutine is NOT only French fries, it is French fries at its ultimate. There was a line outside Poutine La Barquise when we arrived.
While in line inside, we studied the ingredients in the over 25 kinds of poutine–all in French–on the menu written on the wall. Now, take a look at what we ordered.
La Classique (top right) is the basic poutine with French fries, cheese curd and gravy. We unanimously said “YUM” the moment we tasted the fries. There was a hint of sweetness in the potatoes. The entire dish was simple but absolutely tasty.
La Petite Vie (bottom right) has beef, onion and corn on top of the Classique. It is the richest dish among the ones we have ordered, but with each mouthful, we all feel the need to take another one. The topping and the gravy blends together well.
La Rachel (bottom left) has onions, green pepper and mushroom for topping. This is a delicious vegetarian poutine, especially for the mushroom lovers.
La Taquise (top left) has guacamole, sour cream and tomatoes. The contrast of the warm poutine and the cool toppings make this special. There is a freshness in this dish, which makes it my favorite.
2. Smoked Meat
Even the rain could not deter the two long lines of customers waiting outside Swartz’s. One line was waiting to go inside for a sit-down meal, while the other for take-out. I was in the take-out line and I estimated that there were about 60 people in front of me and it took half an hour before I came out with my smoked meat sandwiches.
Inside the ordinary sandwich bread with a little mustard spread on it was about two inches thick of smoked meat. The sensation of biting through the meat was a unique experience that must not be missed. It was worth all the wait.
Anything to do with chocolates, you can find it at Juliette et Chocolat. The chocolate bar menu includes chocolate shots made from chocolates from different plantations and different countries, chocolate shoorters, alcoholic chocolates and cold and hot chocolate drinks. The dessert menu inlcudes all kinds of pastries, brownies, ice cream, crepes and fondues.
There is a youthful and cheerful atmosphere inside. The servers wear a black uniform and a red beret.
We ordered a chocolate fondue for two to share. It came with fresh fruits and a bowl each of melted mild chocolate and white chocolate.
How can one resist this colorful presentation?
The choco folie was literally chocolate madness with three toppings consisting of dark chocolate sauce, milk chocolate sauce and white chocolate sauce, and sprinkled with icing sugar. One of my companions also ordered the Petit Pot au Caramel, which was chocolate brownie with caramel topping in a little jar (like a baby food container).It was dainty and delicate in taste and in presentation. My other companion had the Vila Granada 67% from Sao Tome and the drink was served in a small brandy glass. The aroma of the chocolate was intoxicating even in the absence of alcohol.
The food and drinks here are decadent! For chocolate lovers, this place is heaven.
4. Pouding Chumeur
The waitor at Jardin Nelson told me that it was a traditional Quebec dessert and promised that I would like it.
This is a warm dessert served in an iron container. The pound cake is soaked in maple syrup, and the crust is a thin layer of hardened syrup. Spoon some vanilla ice cream from the shot glass and eat it with the pudding. It is sublime, and you will surely like it.
You cannot leave Montreal until you have tasted or bought some Montreal bagels. The Original Fairmount Bagels Bakery boasts itself to be the first bagel factory in town, and their bagels are still rolled by hand and baked in a wood fire oven.
There were 25 flavors to choose from, and the aroma inside the shop was a treat to your olfactory sense even before you get to taste the bagels. Montreal bagels are chewy and crusty. Definitely the must-try flavours: garlic, sesame, flaxseed, pumpernickel, multi-grain, mueslix and the power bagel.
Follow my food guide, and you will not leave Montreal disappointed.