Monday, June 22, 2009

Montreal - Memory Meals

My Honey (in white shirt) & cousin Sheldon

Montreal, my real hometown...born, raised and lived until I was 40+, is a fantastic foodie city. The French influence is awesome...from bread to charcuterie to five star restaurants. Greek, Italian, Vietnamese have made their mark over time as well. But I'm not doing THAT kind of trip. This time around (actually, just about everytime we come to town) is about visiting with family and taking a walk down memory lane.

And I'm talking about childhood and teenage memories, before I actually developed a sense of adventure in eating.
So the first stop... (actually the second - first was a breakfast at La Belle Province, the diner that is a close second to Picasso's which closed since our last trip to town)...was the Orange Julep, the giant orange drive in landmark for hot dogs, burgers and, of course, the very frothy orange julep. I'm still not sure about the ingredients, but it's sweet, thick and orangey. (top photo)

The Orange Julep has always been a teen hangout. myself, naturally, when I first started going, the waitresses (yes, that's what they were called and there were only pretty young things, in very short skirts and tight sweaters), who would come to the car, take your order and then bring it back on a tray that was affixed to the driver's window. Rock and roll music blared from the cars and everyone socialized. There was even a period when servers wore roller skates, but these days you go up to the "Orange", order your food and either bring it back to the car or eat at picnic tables. The dogs, fries and Orange Julep were as remembered...the burgers...not so much.

Next food stop...dinner at my uncle's. He's over 90 and can't get out so "the boys", my cousins brought Chinese Take-out.
Yantze Eggrolls - best in the world & BBQ Pork with hot mustard (my dad's favorite dish)

Egg rolls, Cantonese lobster sauce and...
"Ruby Foo's" spareribs from Yangtze (definitely reminded me of my Grandmother's kosher version served at Friday Night dinners) and because my cousin D has very upscale tastes...the rest came from New Dynasty in Chinatown.

Chinese Broccoli in a very tasty garlic sauce, Lemon chicken ( boneless chicken breast, fried in batter and sliced across served with a sweet lemon sauce),
Crispy chicken, some lovely noodley dish, a tofu dish (I left that for the others) and the hands were obviously shaking too much in anticipation....lobster Cantonese...I'm still drooling about that one.

The food was delicious, but what made it all really special was the gathering of the clan. Five kids ranging from 8 months to 21 years old, cousins and wives catching up on "life". The cacophony was beautiful...just like being at my Grandmother's when we were kids...18 grandchildren, their parents (my grandparents had seven kids)...

So full...I couldn't even begin to decide which memory to feed today. I'll keep you posted.


Joanne said...

It's amazing how much memory is linked to food and there's nothing better than sharing good food with family. Sounds like a great start to your vacation.

Melissa said...

Happy vacation! I love this. Steve and I do the same thing when we go home for vacation, visit all the places that are familiar with good old fashioned comfort food. Nothin better. And mmm lobster Cantonese.

Have a wonderful time!

Koekkener said...

Wow, very great recipe. You makes me hungry. Thanks for sharing this excellent article.

giz said...

Thanks for taking me down memory lane too - every single place brought back an "oh yeah" response and I'm so jealous you had an Orange Julep.