Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Montreal Restaurant: Joe Beef

This famous restaurant was a suggestion from my sister-in-law. She and her new husband (woohoo! Congrats, guys!!) were meeting up with us for a few days in Montreal so we decided to meet for dinner on 2 of the nights. Joe Beef was on night numero un.

As the name states, steaks are the specialty here, but there were several other surf or turf items like lamb, duck, pork, scallops, trout, and lobster just to name a few. Their entire menu is actually written on one of the walls, so if the place is packed, you might feel a bit awkward standing at the board (where several tables are lined up) reading off of the wall. Alternatively, if you are seated at the wall, you might have a bunch of open-mouthed diners staring over your head. Oh, and the menu is in French, but our server didn't seem to mind translating each item to us.

Our table had crispy pig's ear salad, beer cheese dip, and stuffed squid to start. Mains were, trout topped with crab cake mixture, seared scallops topped with pulled pork, gnocci, ribs, and a raw choux pastry, baked with lobster meat. I had the baked choux pastry. It was really, really salty. Tasty, but I could barely finish half of it because of the saltiness.

My favourite part of the meal was this drink! It's a just Caesar but look at all the goodies it comes with! It's pretty much an appetizer in itself!

I don't think I'd go to Joe Beef again. I loved the Caesar and some of the appetizers were delicious, but the mains all seemed too salty. The ribs were apparently delicious but since we don't eat beef, that's doesn't help us much. If you are a steak lover though, I think this could be the place for you!

Also, I don't want to ruin the experience so I won't post a picture of "it" but promise me if you go here, that you'll visit the bathroom?

Affordable Accomodation in Montreal

It sure didn't surprise me to see a 2-star hotel on Hotwire to be priced at over $100 a night, in high season as Montreal is one of the most exciting places to visit in Canada. Whether you're a fashionista, history buff, foodie, or whatever else piques your interest, this is a city that has something for everyone. The only thing that might turn you away, might be the extreme cold in wintertime.

What did surprise me, was seeing these apartments for rent! We stayed here twice during our trip (we went to Quebec City in between). We stayed here and here. We stayed on the 16th floor the first time, and on the 3rd floor the second time. The studio on the 16th floor obviously had a better view, but also had a kettle, and a lot of random cooking supplies and stuff like spices, S&P, etc. On the 3rd floor, our window looked onto the back of another apartment, so if you had to close the blinds or the curtains any time you wanted to change. Both units were equipped with (noisy) AC and a fan.

We also chose to rent an apartment rather than stay at a hotel, so that we could cook some of our own meals. We decided to try and have at least 1 or 2 meals a day at the apartment both to save money and to be healthy. Breakfast was usually the meal we chose to have at the apartment. We usually had oatmeal and fruit to start the day. We were planning to have some very rich meals during our stay, so we planned out a few "clean" meals of fresh veggies. Marché Jean-Talon was a great place to buy all kinds of produce and cheeses. It's worth it to do a bit of research beforehand to see which shops carry things like locally made cheeses, meats, etc.

The location of the Ste. Famille Street apartments were great, as they were just minutes from Boulevard Saint Laurent, Saint Catherine and Saint Denis. It's a bit of hike to the Old Port and the Old Town of Montreal, but unless it's the dead of winter or during a thunderstorm, it makes for a pleasant walk through Chinatown. Some areas seem a bit rough on they way, but with all the tourists you see walking with you to the Old Port, it's not scary at all.

I wouldn't hesitate to stay here, or at one of the other apartments for any future trips to Montreal. I wouldn't recommend it if you are looking for a romantic trip, like, say a honeymoon.

They also do a B&B. We did not see the B&B but the breakfast smelled pretty good!