Day 128 Montreal, Quebec: Last Chance to See and Taste - Grampies on the Go - CycleBlaze

September 5, 2011

Day 128 Montreal, Quebec: Last Chance to See and Taste


The time for striking back out on our bikes is rapidly approaching. Needless to say we have become soft in a number of ways. We are now used to having a shower and our own bed, dozens of top notch restaurants, groceries, and bakeries in walking distance, and not a care as to whether it rains or not. That will all change, and fast. Rain is forecast for Wednesday. Oh, oh.

Today, anyway, we could stroll out again and check out one last bakery. We chose Grain de Olé. As with many bakeries, we don't have a clear idea of where they were going with the name. Is this some sort of Mexican salute to some sort of wheat? Dunno, because the place is a French bakery through and through.

Grain de Olé, today's target bakery
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(**FLASH** Almost a year after we wrote this, we have a message from Claude Doucet, explaining that "Ole" is actually "Ble". Now it all makes sense. Thanks Claude!)

You can tell this because, first of all, here are some classic "French pastries"

Pastries at Grain de Olé
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Plus elegant fruit themed cake:

A big version of the smaller pastries. These types of cakes in all the bakeries probably reflect the berry abundance still in the markets.
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And crossant-like danish:

Danish at Grain de Olé are reasonably priced.
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We dragged what little was left of our daily budget out of Grain de Ole with the idea of finding some meat down the street, at the also puzzlingly named Maison du Roti. I'm sure there is some good stuff in there, and Sabrina wondered why we didn't consult the staff, but the offerings near the door rather scared me off, being various bits of Horse.

Hunks of horse. Too French for me.
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We determined instead to make one last visit to Schwartz's. Toward evening, Josh and I headed over by bike. As expected we found a lineup out the door and down the street, and a separate lineup for take out. The clientele, as usual, was a cross section of the world, with ladies in head coverings, and people who were black, yellow, white, and every other possible shade.

The story of this deli is remarkable, and has been told in a book, a movie, and even a musical. It has had only four owners since 1928, and each has refused any franchising or expansion, even within Montreal. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwartz's

Schwartz's crowded as usual
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The smoked meat attracts people of all cultural backgrounds
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We ordered two pounds of medium, hot, sliced; a jar of Putter's pickles; and a rye bread.

Josh cycles home ahead of me with our haul of hot smoked meat, rye bread, and Kosher pickles.
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Tomorrow will be a day for packing up and plotting route details. Montreal and the family has been really great but now with Fall rains beginning and so many other cyclists finished their tours, we are feeling much overdue for returning home. We still have quite a few km to do. In fact, it's two routes (Adirondacks, and Seattle to Mill Bay) that could quality as short tours on their own. We need to get on with it!

p.s. Brother Harold has offered some insight on the steame vs toaste question (see Day 123). According to Harold, the way the sausage is prepared does not change. However a steame uses a warmed rounded bun while a toaste uses a square shaped toasted bun. Good to know for next time!

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