Mostly Fine Dining
I ate some good food in Montreal.
Tay Do on Duluth: Bring your own wine Vietnamese. Fantastic value, cool decor, huge but not heavy portions. Highly recommended.
Cafe Republique on St. Laurent: piss-poor breakfast place. The food here is above average but not only is the service disgustingly poor, management's effort to make things right was non-existent. After waiting over an hour between ordering and receiving our food (while watching four tables come after us, order, eat, and leave or linger), I mentioned our dissatisfaction to the manager. His reply was to cut me off, tell me that they were "out of control" (whatever that means) and that they were doing their best, and to come back to the restaurant if I wanted to. He would not provide an explanation for the seemingly out of the ordinary poor service and told me that I could help him by not complaining. It's a shame, too, because he lost four customers today that all enjoyed eating at his establishment prior to today. There's not a chance I'm going back to a place that has such an unapologetically poor approach to customer service.
Chao Phraya on Laurier. This Thai place is possibly the best I've been to in Montreal (it is certainly superior to its highly-touted neighbor down the street, Thai Grill). Its interior is more subdued that Thai Grill, but the food is far lighter and tastier. I left feeling perfectly full, but without the greasy feeling that often accompanies cheap thai food. It's pricey by Montreal standards, but Montreal is an inexpensive town, and the US exchange doesn't hurt, either. A nice stroll down Parc past Mont-Royal capped off the evening.
It had been a long time since I had been to Schwartz's (on St. Laurent), and after eating there this trip, I vowed that the next time I returned would not take so long. Perhaps it is because I have become accustomed to American Portions, but the classic Schwartz's meal of a smoked meat sandwich (lean), fries, a pickle, and a Cott Black Cherry Cola went down easy. There was no line either (there are usually lines out the door at most hours of the day and night) and it provided a nice pre-game meal for me, Ribs, and Rowat.
Pagliacci's on Prince Arthur proved to be a steady provider of quality gelato in a great location for people watching. Can't find a website, but it's two or three blocks off St. Laurent on the Prince Arthur cobblestones.
When I was at school in Montreal, L'Avenue on Mont Royal was the place to go for a "upscale" breakfast. Ribs and I hit it up one late mid-week morning only to find a ten to fifteen minute wait. We ended up enjoying our huge, delicious breakfasts at the window table, munching bacon and eggs and idly watching the pedestrian traffic on Mont Royal. Good times.
Rowat and I had breakfast with my buddy Matt and his girlfriend Emily at the old standby, Place Milton. They were on their way to Ireland that night--Matt was to meet Emily's dad and brothers for the first time--and "Place" served as a cheap, quick place to grab a bite before they went on their way. Nothing spectacular, and their prices have gone up since the last time I was there, but it's hard to beat $4 Canadian for a tasty breakfast and jokes about Irish arse kickings.