Okay, last night my husband and I went to St. Hubert for hot chicken sandwiches. St. Hubert is a chain of roast chicken restaurants in Québec, like Swiss Chalet in the rest of Canada. Can't really think of a US equivalent, but it's tasty.
It's all about the coleslaw! Really yummy! Not sugared up and light on the vinegar. Or, you could go for the creamy version that is also all about the delicious.
While it is not all that close to the Palais nor the Delta, the food court in the Eaton Center may be worth the trip, especially if you have to feed a group with diverse tastes and limited budgets. Like most mall food courts, this one features mostly chain restaurants and all have just counter service.
But it has the largest variety of restaurants I've seen at a food court in a long time. Just to mention a few, there is a Crepe place that makes very good fresh crepe dishes, two different Lebanese chains (one of which is also in the Palais), an Indian place, a Korean place and several American places including a Quizno's, a Burger King and a Baskin Doughnuts (or is it a Dunkin' Robins).
To get there, you'll need to walk up to St. Catherine Street (Rue Saint-Catherine) either on the surface or through the Resé, or take the Metro to Beri-UQAM and then back to McGill.
I know some fans are going up there after Worldcon. We were there this Sunday night and all day Monday.
Sunday night, after a bad drive up from Massachusetts (rain about half the way), we decided we wanted a nice, leisurely dinner. We had a little guide book, called something like DK's Eyewitness Travel Top 10 Montreal & Quebec City. It's a handy little book as it hits the hot spots and fits in a purse.
Anyway, we decided to do the nice dinner out Sunday night, and went to Saint-Amour (http://www.saint-amour.com/en/table.html) on Sainte Ursula. We opened with a cheese plate, I had lamb, Jim had venison, I had creme brulee and Jim had a cognac creme (sort of like a tiramisu) and split a French wine. Many dishes had froie gras or pate or caviar, none of which I like, but there were enough choices without those items. The dinner was expensive but very well-prepared, so we recommend it. If you want to have dinner after 7, you'll probably need a reservation.
Monday lunch, I was really hoping for a sidewalk cafe lunch. However, we wound up doing our tour of the Citadel, and it lasted until almost 1. By the time we got back to the old city, the good cafes all had long lines. We wound up at one of the many pizza places and had an adequate pizza. We saw many people eating French fries with pizza and spaghetti.
While DK's Eyewitness Travel Top 10 Montreal & Quebec City suggested Saint-Amour, it was updated long enough ago that both restaurants we walked to Monday night had closed. *sigh* We should have called. However, we found Restaurant Moss Bistro Belge on 225 St. Paul (near the entry to the Cirque du Soliel). No pizza! lots of mussles (which Jim had), veal (which I had) and a lucious chocolate mousse (which we shared).
We found a really nice downstairs Chinese restaurant last night, which is also quite close to the convention centre. The restaurant is called Le Pavillon Nanpic, and the address is 75 de la Gauchetiere West. The food was lovely and the staff were really friendly.
Montreal is a city of awesome croissants and patisserie -- chocolate croissants, various brioches, langdouciennes, and pain au raisin. There are also pallid croissants like the ones you can get anywhere.
The only places in walking distance of the Palais with really excellent croissants is Olive Gourmando, and the Premier Moisson in the railway station. (They open at six on weekdays and on nine at weekends.)
If you want to go out of your way to see how good a croissant can be, you can get really good croissants in Byblos. Also there's a great place right in Sherbrooke metro -- Patisserie St Louis De France, 3575 rue Berri, 514) 849-5058. And some of the best are available at Boulangerie Banette, 5791 rue Sherbrooke Ouest (514) 369-3001, closed Mondays. (Go to metro Vendome and take the 105 bus, get out at Wilson. You're not going to do that just for a croissant. But some people might.)
One of the best things I found ahead of Nippon2007 on their website was a PDF of Japanese translations of various phrases for those with food allergies and/or dietary restrictions, who then could express themselves to their non-English speaking servers. While I know that there is enough English spoken in Montreal that I shouldn't have to worry, I still do. Is there already such a PDF for Anticipation? If not, will there be - either online last minute or at the convention?
Trust me, being able to tell my Japanese server that I was allergic to wasabi was worth the PDF in itself. (I'm allergic to peanuts - along with tree nuts - and by extension to mustard. I found out a few years ago while talking with some people that wasabi and mustard seed have very similar properties, and thus I have to be careful.)
My studies in the French language pretty much ended in jr. high - with a teacher who spent almost as much time berating us as he taught us - so I'm a bit worried. I know that I have enough trouble trying to deal in English here in Toronto with some fast-food servers who's grasp on the language is tenuous at best - as in, they might know what's on the menu, and that is it. I'd be worried of something happening if I tried to do so at a fast-food outlet with a recent immigrant behind the counter who's French is good, but their English isn't.
(Please don't jump down my throat, as I'm not trying to be racist here. However, I feel that tolerance can only go so far, especially when safety is concerned.)
I was convinced at the weekend by some of the Brits attending that I should do a repeat of what I did at the Worldcon in Yokohama, and that is organise a pub crawl round some of Montreal's microbreweries for the night before the convention starts. I will be there a few days early, so I should be able to plan a suitable route.
The pub crawl will be on Wednesday 5 August. Can people please meet at 7.30pm in the foyer of Days Inn (one of the convention hotels) at 215 Boulevard Rene-Levesque East.
I've already identified on the web some possible venues quite close to that hotel, so they should get us started, but as I said I will check them out in advance.
Let me know if you are definitely coming, but feel free just to turn up at 7.30pm. If you think you are going to be later than that, let me know your email address and I'll email you my mobile number so you can find out where we are at any time during the evening.
RestaurantGuide_booklet.pdf (3.0MB) Black&white. Print this double-sided, fold, and bind. (If I still had access to a saddle stapler, this is the file I'd use.) Make your own official book before they're available to the public.
It includes everything up through foms's Laundry list of June 24, but nothing since (for space reasons).
Unlike the other Anticipation publications, it's only in English. This is not Jo's fault; she got her text into shape well in advance. It's not anyone's fault, really. There were just too many higher-priority jobs for the volunteer translators.
Enjoy. With any luck, this will be going to press on Monday.
July 27 EDIT: Nothing is ever truly done until it's over. I just updated the PDFs. There are a bunch of small edits, but the really big change is one you won't see unless you're looking for it - I embedded hyperlinks to all the restaurants that I could find websites for. Nothing looks different, but if you mouse over a restaurant name, you might see a URL; click on it to open the link in a browser.
Also, our crack translation team is at work on the text. We're not going to let it delay production of the book we've got, so we're going to produce a separate French-only version. I'll let you know when that's done.