Montreal recap!

Wow, it’s almost been a month since I went to Montreal! How time flies. Here are a few eyegasms for y’all from my trip:

First evening in Montreal, obviously on a terasse. Yes, terasse, not patio. I never wore makeup after this.
Juan and me in Montreal

Instead spending loads on a hotel, I tried out airBnB instead. Rented an apartment and had the luxury (yes, it’s a luxury) of having some homecooked meals on our trip. Okay, it was only breakfast but still.
Breakfast

Stopped by McGill. Pretty sure everybody has this same picture. Beautiful campus.
McGill

Visited some relatives. How cute are my niece and nephew? Oh, I guess my cousin’s are good-looking too. Runs in the family.
My niece and cousin
My cousin-in-law and nephew

Did some major shopping. Seriously. Who the hell buys earmuffs and Hunter boots in June? A true Vancouverite does. (Those are NOT my Ugg boots. Y’all know how I feel about Uggs. Let’s not get started.).
Shopping

Had a mandatory pit stop at the very top of Mont Royal. Aw.
Mont Royal

Met up with more family. Over dinner. In Old Montreal. Nom.
Juan, me, Colin, and Melissa

Even though we came at a shitty time (I always do that — this time, we just missed F1 and came right before all the jazz festivals), we still managed to check out some street festivals.
St Laurent street festival

Did some clubbing. Bottle service, VIP, the usual.
Muzique

Also got to see my very first Cirque du Soleil! This was Amaluna, the newest one. Beautiful performance.
Cirque du Soleil: Amaluna

Of course, no trip to Montreal is complete without smoked meat, poutine, and Quebecois beer. Decided to hit three birds with one stone. Bad idea. Don’t go to Montreal Poutine (total tourist trap) in Old Montreal. Missed Schwartz and La Banquise this time around…next time!
Smoked meat poutine at Montreal Poutine

Because I heart museums and such, we checked out the Montreal Science Centre. And to my horror, they had a Star Wars exhibit on (I hate the Star Wars series with a passion). And to my greatest horror, I came out of the exhibit actually interested in wanting to watch the whole series! Ha! Can you believe that? The inner nerd in me tends to pop out at random times.
Star Wars exhibit at Montreal Science Centre

…and the best for last, the food. Definitely gained about 2 lbs while I was in Montreal. Foie gras, crepes, beaver tails, maple everything… hells yes.
Rabbit crepe at Jardin Nelson
Seared foie gras atop ginger bread and red wine jus at Holder
Chilled foie gras with caramelized pears at Holder
Beef tartare at Holder
Bouef bourgignon at Holder
Pate chinois at Holder
Calamari
Greek
Rib steak
Dumplings at Xing Hua
Beaver tails

[1] Rabbit crepe [2] Seared foie gras atop ginger bread and red wine jus [3] Chilled foie gras with caramalized pears [4] Beef tartare [5] Bouef bourgignon [6] Pate chinois [7] Calamari, not onion rings [8] Grilled octopus [9] Greek rib steak [10] XLB-style dumplings [11] Beaver tails

Juan and I
All in all, great vacation. So nice to getaway even for just a little bit. It was also my very first trip with my boyfriend and I am so glad to say he’s an easy traveler! Phew. Dodged a bullet. So, since Montreal is over and done with, I guess the next big trip would be Asia in October for my birthday. Crossing my fingers!

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#poutinechallenge

If you keep up with me on my social media streams, you’ve probably noticed the hashtag, #poutinechallenge, popping up quite frequently in the past week. What the hell is poutine challenge, you ask?  Um… well it’s practically a gluttony contest created by the Vancouver Foodster for poutine-obsessed folk such as myself. Basically, he wants to know where the best poutine is in Vancouver and invited all of Vancouver to participate in the hunt during the past week at 29 different restaurants.

So what exactly makes a poutine? Traditionally, french fries, cheese curds, and gravy. Now, if you’ve looked at all the listed flavours on the website, it’s no joke that they strayed far off from the norm. Some didn’t even have cheese curds in it and, well, that just ain’t a poutine in my eyes. And the fries on some were just too thick, too starchy. Yuck. And the gravy? One of them tasted like it came out of a can. Not joking.

And besides finding out which restaurant has the best poutine, there was also a very tempting challenge part to the week-long poutine festivities: winning a prize. Not only was the an excellent opportunity to try as many different poutines as possible, it was now a competition. And you all know how competitive I am. Winning is everything. Here is a picture documentary of my #poutinechallenge — let’s see if you can try to keep up!

Preston’s – traditional poutine
Dine Preston's
The Charlatan – poutine grilled cheese
The Charlatan
Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar – poutine trio
Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar
Coast – dungeness crab poutine
Coast
Hidden Tasting Bar – butter poached lobster poutine
Hidden Tasting Bar
Dunn’s – quebecois poutine
Dunn's
Society – ultimate poutine supreme
Society
Between Two Buns – kennebec kahuna poutine
Between Two Buns
La Belle Patate – traditional poutine
La Belle Patate
Red Card – curry poutine
Red Card
The Five Point – carolina poutine
The Five Point
The Fray – duck poutine
The Fray
Bob Likes Thai Food – thai poutine
Bob Likes Thai Food
Calabash – jerk poutine
Calabash Bistro
The Flying Pig – pulled pork poutine
The Flying Pig

…which brings me to a whopping grand total of 15 out of 29 poutines tried!!! What up. More than halfway down the list! Yay. $100+ later. And possibly gained the 3lbs that I lost in the past 3-4 weeks all right back. And a gut. My favourite(s)? Coast, hands down. Can’t go wrong with hollandaise, crab, and a fried egg on top. The Fray was a close second and would’ve won if their potatoes weren’t cut so thickly. The Charlatan comes third because, um, hello? Poutined grilled cheese? Yes please. And The Flying Pig and The Five Point are tied for pulled pork. Both so damn good. And lastly, La Belle Patate for traditionality. Between Two Buns gets an honourable mention but no cheese curds!!! What a deliciously fattening week.

Hope some of you guys got to try some of the fabulous and creative poutines we have in this city. Can’t wait til the next food challenge!