September 4, 2008

Memories from France III: Hello Poppy

Hey guys! Sorry for the lack of updates lately, uni started last week and I've been lazying off these days. Here's the next installment of my gastronomic adventures in France!

One of the highlights of my trip was claiming some restaurants as "ours" by making a habit of always taking a certain meal at a certain establishment. Coquelicot was one such place. Sleeping in late and then enjoying a satisfying brunch there was always a sure-fire way to begin a beautiful day in Paris!


Address: 24 rue des Abbesses (Metro Abbesses, 18e arr. Paris)
Phone: 01 46 06 18 77
Style: bakery, breakfast&brunch, French traiteur (deli)
Hours: Tue-Sun 7:30 AM to 8PM
(Breakfast starts at 8AM; Brunch is served the whole day on weekends)

(Coquelicot means "poppy" in French. Did you know that the pretty red flower only grows in non-chemically treated fields?)

Coquelicot is first and foremost a bakery offering both breads (boulangerie) and pastries (pâtisserie) made in-store. Located in Montmartre on the picturesque rue des Abbesses, it follows the age-old French tradition of freshly baked goodness and wholesome ingredients. The popular establishment also does breakfasts, brunches, catering and home delivery. A true neighborhood landmark of delicious food and wonderful atmosphere.

Let's start with the bread. Bought over-the-counter or enjoyed on the cutesy little terrasse, the breads at Coquelicot are truly remarkable. Incredibly fresh, perfectly moist yet crusty and oh-so flavourful, they are all baked on location by three expert bakers. The store offers a seasonal menu of breads, including the Pain au Coquelicot (made with whole grains and shaped like a flower), the Pain aux marrons (the French love their chestnuts!) and of course, the incontournable French baguette. The latter is by far one of the best I tasted in Paris, and ah the freshness! Right out of the oven and into your plate...such freshness simply cannot be beaten!

(Bread being baked right in front of your eyes!)

And now the pastries. Mmmm. Coquelicot doesn't do anything terribly fancy, but it offers a very wide and absolutely yummy range of baked goods and fresh fruit pies. You'll find all the French classics such as éclairs, macarons, Paris-brest, crème brûlée and mille-feuilles. I personally love anything involving baked crusts and chocolate, so little desserts such as the tigré (a round little soft sponge cake with strands of chocolate and a soft chocolate center) and the confidence (a fluffy macaron biscuit spread with chocolate ganache) particularly appeal to me. Also not to be missed are of course the croissants: plain (aka butter), chocolate or almond, they are all crispy sweet delights straight from the Heavens above!

(The pastries counter. Hours and hours of perusing and tasting to be spent here!)

Their freshly baked fruit pies are also to die for. (Basically, all of their food is DROP DEAD DELICIOUS, if you haven't gotten the gist of it yet.) They have unusual but utterly toothsome fillings such as grapefruit-pear-blueberry, banana-chocolate-coconut, and even pineapples and prunes. Lovely, fresh, juicy, ridiculously tasty, never-can-get-enough-of. You can taste each and every ingredient and it's just a veritable explosion of flavours in your mouth. As some online might say: OM NOM NOM NOM.

(The grapefruit-pear-blueberry pie. So good. SO SO GOOD.)

A brunch wouldn't be complete without some kind of substantial, non-bread-based food. My choice of predilection? Salads. The French, I've observed, take their salad business seriously. They bestow upon them such care and details, and I'm happy to report that the results are positively delicious. Oh, and quite large too. Coquelicot doesn't have an overly long list of salads available, but the quality more than makes up for the little quantity. Standouts were the Coquelicot Salad, made with fresh greens, tomatoes, olives, cat ears pasta and smoked salmon; as well as the Salade de Chèvre, which has lettuce, tomatoes, lardons, baked potato nibs and a beautiful slice of goat cheese sitting a top a thin piece of baguette. Oh the loveliness, how I already miss thee.

(Salade Coquelicot (top) and Salade au Chèvre (bottom): salads that everyone should try in their lifetimes.)

As an end note, I'd also like to mention that the coffee there is excellent, the croque-monsieurs are by far the BEST I had on the trip, and the service can be a little slow at times (but hey, it is Paris after all). Also, places on the terrasse are limited and highly in demand, so if you see a free spot just grab it!

Hope you all like this little review about a place that stole my heart while I was in Paris. Next up: Au pied de la montagne, il y a un bon p'tit resto pas cher...

August 18, 2008

Memories from France II: l'embarras du choix

Picture this:
You've been strolling 'round Paris and taking in the sights all day long. Tired and hungry, you decide to grab a meal on your way back to the hotel. You look around and the first thing that catches your eye is... Italian pizzeria? A Greek deli? An Asian restaurant?

If you guessed any of the above, then you're right. Despite being this Paris-we're-the-center-of-the-world-and-French-food-is-the-best-Paris, the city abounds with foreign eateries. And boy are those places TEMPTING. But, remember, you're in France. Therefore the only places you should be eating at are sidewalk-lining cafés and neighbourhood bistro(t)s. Nothing else will do---unless you can afford lobster bisque soufflé and foie gras terrine at some haute cuisine restaurant. Only then it is acceptable.

(The Jules Verne restaurant at the Eiffel Tower: more than we can afford. Pic from here.)

I personally found that cafés in Paris came in clumps---you walk pass a few dozens of them when you're not hungry, whereas not a single comfy-looking one can be found when your stomach starts growling. But finding THE right place to eat---somewhere with the right kind of food, setting and service, can be tricky in such a big city. Those in search of great brunching (bah, who wants to get up for breakfast when on vacation?), lunching and dining experiences would do well to heed these following tips:

1. As a general rule of thumb, the closest a café is to a famous attraction, the blander and more overpriced is the food. I only had two truly unremarkable meals during my stay in Paris, and both were in places right next to the Eiffel Tower. I would have loved to take the metro back to Montmartre and go our usual eatery there, but hey, you can't always know when the hunger attacks and your legs collapse.

(Bland chicken salad from Le Champs-de-Mars. Sure it looks great, but taste-wise, it greatly disappoints.)

The other one was Café Le Castel, which had exorbitantly priced Americanized croque-monsieur's and really yucky bathrooms.

2. Here are some well-known Parisien fares that you should try when in town, because they don't make 'em like this anywhere else: French onion soup, croque-monsieur (add a poached egg on top and you have croque-madame), fois gras and escargots. Also make sure to taste the many meat-based main dishes available, such as blanquette de veau and coq au vin. Try all of their salads, particularly salade niçoise and something with goat cheese. Finally, for dessert---everything! But especially macarons, crêpes, pain au chocolat (chocolatine) and croissant aux amandes (almond croissants). And of course, the infamous French baguette!

(My jumbo-sized chocolate coffee macaron from Fauchon. It was so good!)

3. Be patient with the service. Oh, the horror stories you hear about the customer service in Paris: short-tempered waiters who never smile, abrupt and uncaring service, which sometimes includes being abandoned for dozens of minutes without seeing trace of your food or your waiter. Personally though, while I certainly ran into some very blunt service, the majority of times I was served by a cordial and capable waitress (sorry men, but the ladies are nicer!).There was even a waitress at Coquelicot who deducted a few dollars from our bill because we waited unusually long, even by Parisian standeards, for our food to come. But certainly, it can help to: be a girl, speak French with a mock-Parisian accent, and smile a lot at the male waiters.

Also, remember that the prices listed on menus already include taxes and a 15% tip for the waiter/waitress. So while it's not necessary to leave any tip, you can add an Euro or two for waiters that you especially liked.

4. When ordering coffee, always specify that you want café au lait or café crème, or else they will bring you espresso. Just don't try ordering any coffee after 7pm, because the waiter will then glance at you suspiciously and try to give you wine instead. And in terms of price, remember that wine is cheaper then coffee which is cheaper than Coke. A little glass bottle of imported coke can easily set you back four Euros, while a nice bottle of rosé can go as low as two Euros.

(Espresso...not the coffee I had in mind!)

5. The anatomy of menu vocabularies: Even French-speakers might have trouble getting understood in Paris. To assist, here are some terms the French seem oh-so-fond of using:
- A Coke is not a Coke; it is a COCA (no doubt short for Coca-Cola).
- When ordering ice cream, do not say "crème glacée"; the French say GLACE. And there are not "saveurs" (flavours), but rather PARFUMS.
- If you want water, specify if you want EAU PLATE (uncarbonated mineral water) or the kind of sparkling water you desire (Perrier, Pellegrino...the list goes on).
- They are not breadsticks "bâtonnets", but STICKS (said with a heavy Parisian accent).

Other useful terms for non-French speakers: l'addition (the bill), les salles de bain (the French are not so fond of saying les toilettes), ticket instead of billet for...well, a ticket. If they don't understand you, try another variation of the word, such as croissant aux amandes and amandine. Or you could just speak English.

6. Finally, some money-saving tips:
- I repeat myself, but eat far, far away from famous attactions and particularly the Eiffel Tower (unless the place is on the Tower itself...then it's another story).
- Table d'hôte's are a great way of saving money. You will most likely get to choose une entrée, un plat principal and un dessert for around 15 Euros. (The café/bistrot/restaurant Au Pied de Montmartre where we often ate supper had a great one starting at 11.90 Euros.)
- If you're not too hungry, skip the main dish and order two entrées instead, like a soup and a salad. Actually, even if you're hungry, with those two dishes and the free refillable basket of baguette, you will probably be full afterwards.
- Skip the café altogether for meals and go buy your own food at the nearest supermarket (G20 and Carrefour are good, cheap ones). Just be careful, most usually close at 6pm and sometimes aren't even open on Sundays at all.

Basically, food and other living amenities are very, very expensive in France, particularly in Paris. There is not really many ways of getting around that, especially when you set out to get a taste of its infamous eating experience. Quite often though, it is not only the highly flavourful food that makes the meal worthwhile, but the setting as well. Sitting in a little café in Montmartre having croissant and café au lait by the sidewalk, listening to children play on the nearby merry-go-round while an old man plays acordeon in the background and tasting the warm, buttery texture of the pastry melt in your mouth as the sent of bread fills up the air...truly no price can be put on that.

Up next: Un joli coquelicot mesdames...

August 14, 2008

Memories from France

I am back! And what a trip!
(Actually I came back a week ago...there's just been so much to do that I haven't had time to properly write an entry for this. Sorry?)

Paris wasn't exactly what I had expected. I was thinking of a big city full of lights, sweep-you-off-your-feet romance and genteel, well-dressed people. Instead, I got a sweeping metropolis with no grass, square trees and hordes of tourists. The Seine is probably a romantic destination for couples; just not when it's raining and 18 degrees Celsius outside. I had seen so many pictures of infamous Parisian buildings and monuments: the Louvre, Versailles, Notre-Dame, the Eiffel Tower. In real life, they look smaller and somewhat less imposing, but they certainly don't disappoint!

(This is Notre-Dame de Paris...but where is Quasimodo?)

(Look, it's the Mona Lisa!)

(The ubiquitous Eiffel Tower, lit up as an European Union flag.)

In Paris, everything is small and narrow. The streets, the cars, the buildings. The notable exception is the food. The plates are positively huge! Their salads are the biggest that I've seen anywhere--and those are only appetizers! They also aren't a big fan of chopping their lettuce, something I found quite amusing. We ate mostly at cafés for brunch (breakfast? No one gets up that early!) and dinner, as well as grabbing the occasional late-night snack from a food stand. I found the food stands to be quite interesting. Their usual fare consists of crepes, paninis, hot dogs, waffles and ice cream (glaces, in France). Their lines move at the speed of a snail---because they make everything fresh right in front of your eyes, from the crepe to the toppings. Ah, the French idea of fast food! Oh, and their hot dogs use baguettes as buns, which you then slather in dijon mustard. Weak stomachs need no apply.

Flavours certainly run strong in that part of the world. Whether it's a slice of grapefruit-pear-blueberry pie or a hot escalope milanaise right out the oven, the foods taste like they should. In other words, you can smell each of the fruits in the pie, and the escalope's sauce tastes like every single one of its ingredients. The bread, of course, is sans reproche here. Who knew that I could eat so much baguette in one day? And if you're in France, then certainly you must try their famous onion soup! Made with chunks of bread and grated cheese heated in a flavourful onion broth, it's a wonderful way to warm up a chilly afternoon.

(French onion soup. It smells so inviting, mmmm.)

(This pictures was taken inside a McCafé. Even McDonalds in France sell macarons and tiramisu, how amazing!)

In the upcoming days, I'll do a few posts of specific eateries that stood out for me, and to which I repeatedly went back. After all, why mess around with a good thing? The one big drawback of eating out in Paris is that it is exceedingly expensive. An onion soup will usually set you back about 7 Euros (or 11 Canadian dollars), whereas a slice of cake will at least be 3.50 Euros (5.50 CAD). The good thing is that tip and taxes are already included in the listed prices, so you don't get any extra surprises when the bill comes. You can still tip them one or two extra Euros, but it's really not necessary.

Next post: Finding somewhere to eat in Paris...decisions, decisions, decisions!

July 31, 2008

Foie-gras this!

This food blog means a lot to me, so it pains me to leave it lifeless and hanging there for a week+ while I am soaking up the sights and scents of Paris, the city of lights.

I don't expect to be able to afford haute cuisine while in France, but whatever I eat, I shall do my best to take pics, jot down notes and post about once I come back home.


I shall miss you, oh laptop... (I could technically bring Nicco the Laptop with me since I get free wi-fi at the hotel, but it's really more of a luggage issue.)

A plus tard, mes chéris!

July 28, 2008

Been dazed and confused

There are good food experiences and good atmosphere experiences. Then there are GREAT dining experiences, where the decor, the service and the flavours all come together to create a memorable evening out.

Such was my experience at Confusion, where the only thing remotely confusing was the lengthy menu. The food was an exquisite novelty to my palate. Our waiter was amiable and very helpful. Oh, and we sat on swings to eat at the smallest two-people table ever. Yes you read that right. SWINGS. (And I can personally guarantee that they do indeed swing very well back and forth, though you might hit either the waiters or the patrons eating right behind you. I'm sorry?)

CONFUSION Tapas du Monde

Address: 1639 St-Denis (Metro Berri-UQAM)
Phone: (514) 288-2225
Style: tapa bar, French bistro
Hours: Tue - Sat 5:30 PM to Midnight
Sun - Mon 5:30 PM to 10 PM

(A picture taken from Tourisme Montreal. The swings would be on the right side of the room. I was so taken with the place and the food that I forgot to take pictures...)

Confusion has a great decor. It's all red and dimly lit, with mirrors and white booths. Very chic, yet cosy. The tables are also rather tiny, hence the intimate setting that's perfect for a little dinner romance or for a good family meal out. Just like the menu, the setting is a mix of casual (the terrasse right on St-Denis), the fancy (the lounge upstairs) and the unexpected (SWINGS!!!). To get a really good feel of the place, I ask, nay *demand* that you go onto their website and click on "The place" to see the Flash animation.

The restaurant bills itself as a tapas bar, meaning that it served a multitude of dishes from all over the world (but mostly in the French bistro style) in portions too small to be an individul main dish, but too heavy to serve as mere appetizers. The philosophy here is to SHARE everything (food, space, conversation), a concept I happily agree with. After much deliberation, my dinner companion (okay, my boyfriend) and I finally decided to order, all in tapa servings:
- Lamb kefta meatballs, which came with a wonderfully savoury and garlic-y hummus sauce;
- Salmon tartar with shallots and truffle oil (served with Belgian fries);
- Creamy parmesan risotto with garden veggies;
- A grilled leg of octopus, a dish the establishment is famous for;
- And two desserts, blue cheese crème brûlée (trust me, it's much better than it sounds!) and a chocolate souffle.

The bill came to about 100 dollars for both of us, without anything to drink, but oh my, it was SO WORTH IT. The lamb was so tender and well-seasoned, and that salmon! Oh salmon tartar, how I have dreamt long and hard about you! It did not disappoint, though the accompagnying fries were much too salty. The octopus was...interesting. It had the texture of fish, but the taste of chicken. Or at least, it did to me. I don't think that I'd order that dish again, but I defintively appreciated the chewy suction cups on the leg and the tenderness of the flesh. And the risotto! Oh that rich, creamy and toothsome risotto! I am a huge fan of risotto, and that one was by far the best that I've ever tasted (bear in mind that I have yet to cook up my own, or muster the funds to go try Le Club Chasse et Pêche). Another highlight was the blue cheese crème brûlée. On paper, the concept sounds silly and potential disastrous, but the execution was so smooth that the end product was sleek, sweet and distinctly cheesy.

I did not expect four tapas and two desserts to fill up two hungry people, but I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I was so full after the meal that I couldn't even make space for a hot chocolate next door at Juliette et ses Chocolats! Instead, we walked out onto St-Denis and mingled with the Just for Laughs Festival crowds. A great meal followed by a stroll through a beautiful city in the throes of summer festival season...what more could one want?

In a nutshell: Confusion is rather expensive for students on a budget, but the food there is defintively worth your money! Great atmosphere for dates, birthday parties or family meals. So many flavours and textures to explore...I know that I'm defintively going back there. I even already started planning what I'll take next time. Israeli couscous, creamy garden risotto as a main, crispy duck rolls....I'm salivating already!

July 25, 2008

Ode to a Bagel (or Two)

'Tis true:
Montreal bagels are the best in the whole friggin' world.

As a Montrealer, I'd dare anyone to prove me wrong. Where else on Earth can you find such chewy, fresh and savoury deliciousness? Nowhere, that's where. Even astronauts agree that our bagels are out of this world.

It all starts with natural ingredients and an old-fashioned wooden oven. Throw in lots of skillz (have you ever seen bakers make bagels? They've got mad hands yo!), much love and dedication, sprinkle with downright deliciousness (usually sesame or poppy) and ta-daa! You are now about to taste the most delicious bagel of your life. And none of that perfect roundedness,s'il-vous-plaît!

(Picture snagged from Wikipedia. Poppy seeds (top) and sesame (bottom) toppings. I think these are from Fairmount?)

The eternal bagel-related debate in Montreal is not "Poppy or sesame?", but rather Fairmount vs St-Viateur. Fairmount's bagels are prettier, St-Viateur supposedly has better flavours. I say supposedly, because I have yet to taste both bagels side-by-side (something I hope to remedy very, very soon). If you want an interesting article comparing and contrasting both, I recommend this article on the ever-awesome Midnight Poutine. Be sure to read the comments, they are always the most insightful part!

Personally, I find that both bakeries producing some pretty amazing bagels, so to me, it's all good. The raisin-cinnamon one I had today (courtesy of my boss and her husband) was a warm, chewy, fragant and oh-so-delicious. I ate the whole thing in a few bites and relished its mix of sweet, sour and spicy. Fairmount or St-Viateur? Who cares, it's YUMMY!

Fairmount Bakery
74 avenue Fairmount Ouest
(514) 272-0667

St-Viateur Bagel
263 avenue St-Viateur Ouest
(514) 276-8044

OPENING HOURS: What opening hours? Both places serve up fresh bagels 24/7!

July 23, 2008

Out on the Town

For my second review, I've chosen to talk about my favorite smoked meat/downtown joint, which also happens to have consistently good food and service. Ladies and gents, I present to you:

Reuben's Deli~Steaks~Desserts
[Not to be confused with Reuben's Restaurant Delicatessen, which is located a few streets East!]

Address: 1116 Ste-Catherine West (between Peel & Stanley)
Phone: (514) 866-1029
Style: smoked meat, delicatessen
Hours: Mon-Tue-Wed 6:30 AM to midnight
Th-Fri 6:30 AM to 1:30 AM
Saturday 8 AM to 1:30 AM
Sunday 8 AM to midnight

The first great thing one notices about Reuben's is its decor. Sleek black-and-red leather booths, dark wood pannelings and old-fashioned twirling fans give the place a jazzy 30's feel. Me likey. Me likey even more because it's smack in the middle of downtown, so I can go and have a great meal after a shopping spree (har har) or a reading session at the nearby Indigo or Chapter's.

(Smoked meat: this ain't Schwartz's, but it's pretty good too!)

The menu is glammed up delicatessen, but you'd do well to stay clear of anything that sounds too fancy; You go to Reuben's for the smoked meat, not for filet mignon. Their sandwiches however, served cold or grilled with a towering heap of meat, are another story. You can't go wrong with their classic Reuben's sandwich (pictured above): accompagnied by fries, coleslaw and a pickle, it's a generous portion of sizzling smoked meat (1/2 lb, according to their menu) served with Swiss cheese, sauerkrat and a tangy sauce on an absolutely delicious pumpernicket bread. The plate is more than enough to feed the hungriest of young men, or, as it is usually my case, to be split between two people.

(Who doesn't love onion rings? That's the baby house salad you see in the upper left corner.)

Their burgers are just as hearty and meaty, my favorite being the Berghoff burger (hmmm, mushrooms!) topped with a special beer-based ketchup. Their pizzas are just a-okay, but the pepperoni one I once had so much oil that the dish dotted with little pools of oil. Not appealing. For the healthier crowd, there's always their so-called Epic Salads, which are truly epic in both width and height. I have never tried them, prefering to go with their "baby" house salad (red and iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, shredded carrots and bread crumbs served with one of the most delicious balsamic dressings ever), which actually makes a sufficient entrée for two people, once again.

(The strawberry cheesecake: Heavy and decadent!)

As you've probably figured out, given the large portion at Reuben's, the best way to enjoy a meal there is to go in a group and order a variety of dishes to share. Even their appetizers and desserts work best like this. Apart from the baby house salad (which you can also get as a baby Ceasar), I also like to get their steak-cut onion rings. Impossibly thick and crispy and served with a Jack Daniels BBQ sauce, it's a gourmet way to enjoy greasy food. For dessert, I suggest that you stick with their selection of cheesecakes; you can never go wrong with strawberry. Served in an artfully and edibly decorated curved plate, this towering column of soft, creamy cheese is topped with a strawberries (frozen) and surrounded by a very thin layer of Graham cracker crust.

Bottom line: The food is delicious, albeit in a greasy, heavy and carnivorous kind of way. Stick with the deli classics and you'll be rewarded. And hey, since you're downtown anyway, why not go enjoy a meal there in a beautiful decor instead of slummin' it at the closest food court?

July 4, 2008

Oh gelato!

My very first review, yay!

Fusion Montréal Crèmerie artisanale

Address: 1000, de la Gauchetière West (RC-28)
Phone: (514) 759-0608
Style: gourmet ice cream parlour, frozen desserts eatery
Hours: Mon - Fri 7 AM to 7 PM
Saturday 11 AM to 6 PM
Sundays closed

Fusion is my new favorite hang-out spot. It's practical (just a stone's throw away from the South Shore bus terminal at Bonaventure), delish and air-conditioned. Air conditioning is crucial for me in summer---I cannot properly enjoy my eating experience if I'm sweating and wiping my face every two seconds!

(Sorry for the crappy pictures---these were taken with my webcam before I got my camera!)

The menu here is gourmet dessert eatery. Emphasis is being put on local products, good old-fashioned homemade foods and overall yumminess. The star is by far the freshly-spun gelato, but the store also sells crêpes, gourmet cupcakes, chocolates by local artisan Marie Pommette and a slew of other fair-trade products (coffee, jams, etc.) Perfect for gift-baskets or a late-afternoon snack stop! Customers can also mix and match various fresh fruits, candies and toppings to a gelato base in order to create a one-of-a-kind, personalized "fusion" frozen treat (hence the name of the store).

Owners Hazem and Mona (picture above) are super-nice and always willing to let give you a sample, whether it's taste of their latest gelato infusion (like baked apple pie, mmmm) or a shot of their old-fashioned hot chocolate. In fact, they're so nice that they even let me: a) write my English class watering hole review on them, b) interview and take photos of them, and c) plaster them all over Internet. Really, customer service doesn't get much better than this.

( many flavours, so little time!)

Prices are a little steeper than at your average shopping-mall ice-cream stand, but it's worth it for the extra flavour and love put into the gelato. A one-scoop construction nicknamed "J'aime" ("I love") sells for 4.25$ taxes included, whereas the two-scoop "J'adore" ("I adore") is 6.00$ and the three-scoop "J'en ai de besoin" ("I need it")is 7.74$. A real treat for the tired soul is a mango-truffle-daquiri "J'ai en de besoin" in a waffle bowl drizzled with hot chocolate. Mmmmmm. And since gelato, especially homemade ones like Fusion's, contains skimmed milk and less air than regular ice-cream, it's healthier (not to mention yummier) too! A win-win situation for waistlines AND taste buds everywhere.

Another favorite frozen treat of mine is their absolutely sensational milkshakes. Made with two scoops of gelato and milk, it's yumminess on the go for 6.00$. Pistachio, coffee and neige (white chocolate, coconut and truffle) are all amazing.

In fact, they're so amazing that I'll think I'll go grab one tomorrow, hmm....

In a nutshell:
If you live in or around Montreal, be sure to check out Fusion! Get a scoop of gelato to take outdoors on a hot summer day, or go enjoy their old-fashioned hot chocolate after a turn at the Atrium indoors skating rink. It'll be a ~gelatastic~ experience that you won't regret!

July 3, 2008

Intro post

Name: Betsy
Age: 19
Location: Montreal suburbs, Canada

Why the gluttony?
Because I am unable to resist temptation in the form of food and drinks. I plan my schedule around food-related outings and think of money in terms of how many meals I can have at "X" eatery.

Aficionado, oh really?
I consider myself passionate and semi-knowledgeable. Thankyou, Ms. Musgrave and Chestermann from the Montreal Gazette!

Foodie...or just yuppie?
Foodie-in-training, absolutely. Though the "training" has been limited to working in a French bakery and restaurant-hopping across town.

So can you cook?
Sadly, no. I hang my head in shame here---but I am learning! I can bake decent desserts (from scratch, always) and prepare salads and cook noodles. The proper usages of a stove and pan are sadly still beyond me. FOR NOW.

Ah, okay. So you just like to eat? Do you get very fat?
Not if I eat healthy, varied and well-prepared food that actually contains and tastes like the ingredients. I also like to follow my meals with long walks throughout Montreal. Helps me digest and explore the city!

Last and possibly most important one: Favorite cuisines?
For the time being, it's Italian, Japanese and Chinese. French and Greek are close to giving them a run for their money though.

Hee, I'm a food blogger now!