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Archive for July, 2011

Julia and I were over at Jean Talon Market last week when I happened to look up into the office windows above.  What should I see there but a bottle of 10 year old Bushmills by the coffee machine.  Someone likes their morning  Irish Coffee.

My favourite part is the little towel covering it.

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by Matt

I’ve had my eye on this place since we moved to Parc-Ex a year ago.  You never know where you’ll find that little gem that may end up being the best of its kind in all of Montreal.  Is Sicily Pizaa Halal one of these rare gems?  Decidedly no BUT it was better than I thought it would be.  I figured that while I was up on Ogilvy groce-ing at Marche J.P.A., Parc-Ex’s best source for good feta, I should finally do my duty and report back.  Once again Julia was at work and since Ben (Franklin) was nowhere to be found I brought along Edward Montague, Esquire author of Legends of a Nunnery, the Castle of Berry Pomeroy, etc. as well as that all-time classic The Demon of Sicily.  Ed refused to acknowledge whether or not he was any relation to the Earl of Sandwich Edward Montagus.  At any rate, he proved to be curious if excitable companion.

Matt:  Well, this doesn’t look half bad at all.  All of the components of an all dressed slice are there.  Cheese, green peppers and mushroom.  This definitely isn’t one of those places that you take your out of town friends to to impress them.  This is more of an “I don’t feel like cooking dinner, I just want something hot a gooey to put into my face” kind of thing.  Which is fine.  In my wildest dreams I had hoped that it would be better than any New York slice and that Montreal could finally claim a pizza equal to those storied Gotham pies.

Ed: (watching a young woman across the street) His dream too returned to his recollection with the dreadful sensations he had endured, but at the same time it brought to his imagination the visionary charms of the female; passion and curiosity impelled him to advance, while fear kept him back.

Matt: Yeah, it’s definitely better than that new Pizza Pizza that just opened up on Jean Talon.

Ed:  Now, Benardo, I leave you to make your election; you have seen the result of a wicked and of a well-spent life, conduct yourself piously, and I will be your friend; act the reverse/ and I leave you to the common enemy of mankind, who will fawn before you to accomplish his dark designs, and finally rejoice over you when writhing in unutterable agonies such as you have but seen the guilty suffer, you toss on unfathomable boundless oceans of liquid fire.

Matt:  Bernardo?

Ed:  Fiend of Hell!  My eyes have seen thy deed, my ears have heard thy speech, look up, before thee stands Ugo de Tracy!  Thou, then art the husband of that Isabella who lies between us. There lies her head, this sword separated it from her body; it has the like office to perform on thee.

Matt: Fiend?

Ed:  Yes, even if mountains had been piled upon thee, easily could I upraise them.  Bernardo! Expect, me here to-morrow at midnight. Let not these vain fears prevent thee from profiting by my condescension.

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by Matt

I got a chance to hit up Atwater Market recently and since Julia couldn’t make it I brought along my ol’ pal Ben Franklin, polymath.

I’ve been in talks with a travel agent to do a Matt’s Montreal Tour with a large group of German visitors in September so I headed down to the market to do some cost analysis.  Turns out bread, cheese and pate for 20-25 people will cost roughly $120.  That’s the easy part, the hard part is finding a place for 20-25 proper european tourists to eat all of it.  Come Fall I hopefully shouldn’t have too much difficulty.

While I was down there I thought I’d check out some of the new stuff going on outside at the north end.  I was particularly excited to try the Satay Bros. Malaysian stand but it being a Tuesday they were closed so I had to “settle” for a lobster roll from the Homard des Iles kiosk.

Matt: This looks to be a pretty decent Maine-style lobster roll but with real mayo rather than the Miracle Whip Julia and I had at the Two Lights lobster shack in Cape Elizabeth.  Nice garnishes, too.  We’ve got some chive, red onion, celery and even some anise seed.

Ben:  “New England rum,” in the olden time, was as universal an article, from Maine to Georgia, as Monongahela whisky is now, and far more generally used.

Matt:  I hear you, Ben that would be a nice touch.  There’s hardly anything more appetizing than a nice glass of liquor and a good rum would sure enhance the maritime theme.  I really like the celery, it adds a nice, fresh, green aspect that I haven’t had in a lobster roll.

Ben:  I turned and went down Chesnut-street and part of Walnut-street, eating my roll all the way, and, coming round, found myself again at Market-street wharf, near the boat I came in, to which I went for a draught of the river water; and, being filled with one of my rolls, gave the other two to a woman and her child that came down the river in the boat with us, and were waiting to go further.

Matt:  That’s very generous of you.  Well, I’m still hungry.  It’s a good thing we picked up this Si Pousse sausage A la Biere Noire de Montreal and this Marco Birch beer to wash it down with.

Ben: I found at my door in Craven-street, one morning, a poor woman sweeping my pavement with a birch broom; she appeared very pale and feeble, as just come out of a fit of sickness.

Matt:  That’s a pretty good description of this Marco birch beer, Ben.  Pale and feeble.  It’s a lot like their spruce beer, vaguely tasting of birch and too sweet.  I prefer Bertrand’s spruce beer anyday but I at least give Marco marks for making a birch beer at all.  You don’t see that everyday.

Ben:  From my example, a great many  left their muddling breakfast of beer, bread, and cheese, finding they could with me be supplied from a neighboring house with a large porringer of hot water-gruel, sprinkled with pepper, crumbled with bread, and a bit of butter in it, for the price of a pint of beer, viz., three half pence. This was a more comfortable as well as a cheaper breakfast, and kept their heads clearer.

Matt:  Tell me about it, I’m running up quite a bill here.  Lobster roll: $12.50, birch beer: $2.50, sausage: $5.  That’s $20 for breakfast.  Mind you I do have some left-over sausage, which was quite good, to munch on later.  I could have saved some money by not getting a lobster roll, I guess but I really wanted one.

Ben:  If then a way can be proposed, which may tend to efface the memory of injuries, at the same time that it takes away the occasions of fresh quarrels and mischief, will it not be worth considering, especially if it can be done, not only without expense, but be a means of saving?

Matt:  Sure.

Matt: Well, thanks for coming out with me today, Ben.  I had a great time as usual.  You’re always pleasant if occasionally ribald company.

Ben:  I think I never knew a prettier talker.  Many pleasant walks we have had together on Sundays in the woods, on the banks of the Schuylkill, where we read to one another, and conferred on what we had read.

Matt:  And eaten.

All Benjamin Franklin quotes taken from Benjamin Franklin: His Autobiography.

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