My annual trips back to Montreal are an opportunity to catch up with friends and family.  Usually, these are planned events – lunches, dinners, or occasions to get-together for drinks and/or desserts. Sometimes, they are unplanned encounters in which I’ll run into an old friend simply going about my daily activities (ie. running errands for mom, killing time while I’m waiting for mom to run errands, etc). And, strangely enough, when that happens, it’s usually my old buddy Bertram I’ll run into.  Last year, for instance, I ran into him at a grocery store.  This year, I happened upon him at the Fairview Mall where I found him, standing alone amid the surrounding hubbub, texting his family who had apparently abandoned him in their shopping frenzy.

Bertram. Claim to fame: beating to death an octopus that attacked his sister while they were in St. Lucia visiting relatives.

Bertram was part of the original Movie Nite Crew (made up of the likes of Supa Nige, Sushi Man, Champion, Flipski, Big Daddy and, of course, your truly – Movie Man) that would gather one night once weekly to watch testosterone-fueled films (at the time, Hong Kong movies were the rage).  The tradition has apparently fallen off since I left town, but the gang still gets together every once in a while.  Like, say, this Friday night when Supa Nige hosts a little soiree complete with Caribbean cuisine and an action-themed double feature.  Last time he threw one of these, we screened some Jamaican gangster movie that prompted our excitable host to leap out of his seat at one point – knocking a speaker off the ceiling and bringing it crashing down to the floor. Here’s hoping he had the couches outfitted with seat belts for Friday night’s screening.

Speaking of catching up with friends, today I had the opportunity to lunch with my good buddy, Lawrence, and his wife (budette) Mel.

Mel and Lawrence. Just moved back to Montreal after three years in London. They claim there's no internet in England and, as a result, haven't been able to follow my blog.
My buddy presented me with this gift - but forgot to include a a handy hiding, I mean carry bag. And it proved too big to hide, I mean "fit" in my pocket so I had to carry it around with me while we went shopping.

Last night, Akemi, Sis and I hit my favorite restaurant in Montreal: Au Pied de Cochon.  We split a half dozen appetizers, two mains, and a couple of desserts – all fantastic.  Rustic Quebec comfort food at its finest.

The guinea hen liver mousse with maple syrup.
The tarragon bison tongue.
Beef tartare temaki with quail egg.
The foie gras stuffed pig's trotters.
The lemon meringue tart.
The pecan pie with vanilla ice cream (not pictured but you'll have to trust me - it was there).

A terrific meal.  My only complaint was that my favorite dessert, the blistering Pouding de Chomeur, wasn’t on the menu.  And it was missing the last time I visited as well.  The waiter informs us that the owner only wants to use the restaurant’s own maple syrup in the dish but, apparently, needed all the available maple syrup for some cabane a sucre even they were hosting.  Really?  Come on!  You can’t have it both ways.  If you only want to use your own maple syrup, then make enough!

Making my port-braised meatacular for dinner tonight (short ribs, ox-tail, beef cheek, and pork cheek) – and two kinds of chocolate truffles for dessert (milk chocolate nutella truffles with gianduja liqueur and sliced almonds, and dark chocolate maple syrup with grand marnier and crushed cashews).  Will report back tomorrow on the results.

12 thoughts on “December 29, 2011: Buddy time! Au Pied de Cochon! Assuming the cooking duties!

  1. Awww. Best buddies 4ever! That’s so sweet.

    Normally I would say that food looks great, but I’ve been home with a pretty aggressive stomach bug all day, so the very thought of food makes me want to be (more) ill. I felt bad enough earlier that I thought surely I would never feel well again!

    That lemon meringue does look rather well prepared though, I must say.

  2. Lemon meringue tart—I am all kinds of envious. Lemon meringue pie is my most favorite dessert. I’ll have to talk hubby into getting me some tonight. 🙂 Oh and that thing with the Internet?? Some people just don’t use it—like certain family members of mine who shall remain nameless. Anyway, sounds like you’re having a great time. Let us know how the dinner goes.

    Have a great night!!!

  3. since u arrived back to B.C. have you been hitting the treadmill as much as those awsome food place”s???…:)

  4. Your blog needs to be scratch and sniff. As it is, if you post pics of your truffles, I will be licking the screen.

    And here I’m feeling well enough to make cabbage soup and contemplating brown sugar fudge. I did take a crack at muhamarra dip, came out alright, very tasty, but the texture is off, dry and thick rather than a smooth paste. I’ll get it down pat. I have to, I have four bottles of pomegranate molasses to use up.

  5. Hey Joe, thought you’d find this interesting (from the Guatemalan restaurant on Wednesday):

    The thing with the fronds is called “pacaya”, and is the flower of a species of palm. It’s blanched and then fried in fluffy egg whites, usually with a tomato sauce on top. It can be bitter! The rest of the stuff is black beans and cream, the little tamale on the top of the page is called a “chuchito” (little dog), a couple of taquitos and on the bottom of the photo is a Guatemalan enchilada. It’s made by starting out with a tostada (fried tortilla) topped with a romaine lettuce leaf, pickled beets and vegetables, minced carrots and other veggies, shredded beef, tomato sauce, white Guatemalan cheese and a slice of hard boiled egg. It sounds a bit convoluted, but it’s delicious.

    I’m finally done, and after all that, managed to cook a decent dinner. I’m pooped, going to bed! 🙂

  6. you’re like a pal magnet or something. Not a bad thing to be. Glad you continue to enjoy your culinary excursions. And what do we have to do to renew a campaign to get you on as a judge on Iron Chef America? They could seriously use your talents on inventively describing the combatants’ dishes. Thanks for the early post and have a great time tomorrow night.

  7. Sounds like you’re having a great Christmas vacation. I am too, a fairly calm and noneventful time with family with lots of good food.

  8. Okay I have to ask— does Alexander and Sarah leaving Paris mean they are leaving Transporters also?
    The food, as usual, looks fantastic.

  9. Glad to see the frame is multi-functional…what nice friends.
    The lemon looks great, like meringue and tarts. How soon are you planning the Tokyo trip?, hope its warmer there. Heck I hope it warms up here too. Oh boy chocolate truffles, Is Akemi cooking also? Have a terrific day! Hugs to Maximus.

  10. Always great running into friends. As far as that pecan pie, it looks pretty runny. Come down here for a *real* pecan pie.

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