Monday, May 18, 2009

Last Day in Montreal and the Journey Home

Yesterday was our opportunity to take advantage of a dry day in Montreal. Unfortunately the rain was replaced with a ten-degree drop in temperature and gale-force winds.

That wasn't enough to keep us from our first stop of the day which was, for some reason, to visit Rue Beaudry. Rue Beaudry is named after my great-great-great-great (give or take up to five greats) grandfather Jean-Louis Beaudry. Actually, I'm not 100% sure that's true but my father will likely comment to confirm or deny that fact, as well as the number of greats I used.

Any way you slice it, Greatn Grandpa Beaudry would be pleased to know that his street is now home to what would most accurately be called the red light district. The subway station is also home to a guy who talked Jen's ear off for about twenty minutes in great detail about how hard his life has been and how he needs as much money as you can spare, or $2.00. At first I was glad I didn't understand French so I didn't have to deal with it. That was before I became bored by watching Jen nod politely to his sob story.

After walking around Vieux Port for a while we got some crepes. I got bacon, avocado, and sour cream; Jen had an asparagus, ham, and bechamel. After that we walked around for a great deal, freezing in the wind, and doing touristy things. We bought maple syrup. We saw a street performer. We watched a guy power wash a dock and pretend the power washer was a machine guy. Standard touristy stuff.

For dinner we met all of Jen's family at Il Centro which was a fantastic Italian restaurant in Village Pointe Claire. It's the first Italian restaurant I've ever been two which had the menu written in two language that weren't Italian.

I had the Gnocchi Rosé (homemade gnocchi in a rosé sauce) and Jen had the Bocconcini “il Centro” (veal with prosciutto, bocconcini cheese and mushrooms, brandy sauce).

The conversation at dinner was dominated mostly by Jen's cousins talking about this great Canadian show called Mantracker. Apparently this show is incredible. They drop off some random people from an airplane then the Mantracker needs to hunt them down like animals. We cannot wait to watch this show.

This morning we hit the road rather late thanks to our own tardiness and a bad motorcycle accident on the road. We did not leave too late to take a trip to Real Bagel to pick up some Montreal bagels. We only had two and a half days in Montreal and this was one of the last must-have food items we needed to cross off our list. I was saving the bagels until we made it through customs. For some reason we made it through the border in under twenty seconds, far faster than our trip in to Canada. The border agent going into Canada was an eighteen-year-old girl who was not at all impressed with our ability to decide if we did or did not have gifts with us. The guy on the way back in to America was only concerned with whether I sponsored Jen for her green card or not. Under pressure I misunderstood him and was about to answer yes. I was thinking the question was more like, "Do you vouch for her?" So I was going to answer, "Her? Oh, you don't need to worry about her. She's cool. She's one of the good ones."

On the way home we stopped by Otto's Market in Germantown, NY. Otto, my former boss, has this incredible market where we were able to procure a large number of items for a quick dinner when we got back to the city.

Otto's makes this great pimento cheese spread which we served with one of his fresh baked baguettes. The spread was great. For some reason it reminded us of Christmas which was fitting given the temperature today. Otto doesn't label his cheese spread with any calorie or nutritional information. I think this is a wise move.

We got these smoked bratwurst by Oscar's Smoke House, cooked them in some Saranac Beer, and tossed in some sauerkraut for a quick and easy dinner.

Wow, this blog entry has more product placement than a James Bond film.

For dessert, some maple butter spread on baguette slices. Now we're only left to decide what would me the more Canadian conclusion to the evening: continuing to watch the NHL playoffs or firing up an episode or Mantracker.

It's times like this I'd kill for a second television.

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