Thursday, April 19, 2007

Dinner in Montreal

Traveling from Texas to Quebec as I sometimes do spans perhaps the greatest culture gap in North America.

Texas Texes with ease and confidence, if perhaps you can't call it grace.

Non-French Quebec flounders helplessly. Consider the dinner buffet at the Airport Holiday Inn in Montreal. (Ville St Laurent for the fussy; it's on Cote de Liesse.)

Excellent sopressata and cheap cheddar. Melba toast, crackers and buns. Salade Nicoise and olives. Lettuce. Some shredded root vegetable in a sour dressing that looks very much like fettucini alfredo, in order to cruelly disappoint you. Egg rolls with optional chinese mustard and a sweet sauce that seems to be stretched with gravy. Chicken and vegetable stir fry (tolerable). Steamed bok choy. Tortellini in tomato sauce (I don't know what the filling was; I didn't try them.) No rice for the Chinese dishes, but ample supply of coarse cut french fries. Apple strudel (not oversweet like American desserts and much better than the rest of it).

That wasn't a sampling, that was the whole buffet. And there is Canadian food and Canadian culture in a nutshell. My home and native land!

The rates are good and the rooms are clean, but I do not recommend this hotel for the cuisine.

2 comments:

Dan'l said...

I loved your description of canadian food. How I long to sample your culture! Were all of the descriptions and food titles bilingual?

Jace said...

I had a cancelled flight rebooked with an 8 hour layover at Heathrow in London. SAS put me up for the night and paid for the, uhhhh, I guess it was a "buffet" at the Hotel Ibis about 10 minutes from the airport.
- Chipped beef in sauce
- Spanish rice
- Small loaves of French bread (or giant breadsticks, I don't know)
- Grey colored sausages
- Grey colored salad

There were various pasta salads in runny white sauce, too. I can't remember much besides thinking "I'm sure this is better than airplane food." But then on the LHR->ORD leg I was treated to a proper English breakfast of airplane food: Grey overcooked sausages (how they stay grey even after burning I don't know) and a soft yellowish rubber mat filling in for eggies.

If you want a good buffet, you go to Las Vegas! SUNDAE BAR!