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 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.
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.
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.