A steamie time in fashionable Montreal...plus street bikes and Notre Dame
MONTREAL – Great shopping, sure. Lovely, fashionable folks to admire as you sip your caffe latte near Place D’Armes, sure. And great, old-time architecture.
I’m in town for a very short period and was wandering along St. Catherine St. looking for a place for a quick lunch on Sunday, not wanting to waste too much of a mostly decent afternoon indoors. Finally I spotted a typical corner spot not far from the University of Quebec at Montreal campus, and found what I wanted.
Hot Dogs Vapeur, otherwise known to English types as steamies.
Oh, I love Toronto's grilled hot dogs just fine. But I grew up eating what are easily the best steamed hot dogs in the world, those made by a San Francisco Bay Area (mostly the East Bay) chain called Caspers. They have great dogs with a crunchy casing and a just-right spice to them, and they’re simply steamed and served up to billions of loyal customers every day. I stop at the one near my Dad’s house on my in from the airport every time I go out to visit him in the East Bay. And I mean EVERY TIME.
Anyway, I was delighted on Sunday to gobble down two very unhealthy but tremendously satisfying steamies and a Diet Pepsi for a whopping $4.41.
It’s too bad we don’t see many steamies in Toronto. There used to be a steamie joint on Mt. Pleasant just south of Eglinton but it closed probably eight or 10 years back.
With the sun out, I tried renting one of the street bikes you can get for $5 for a day. It worked fine, but then I found some cool-looking shops to check out and parked the bike in one of the official locks. I went back and tried to get the bike back out but it wouldn’t work. The machine says you can re-insert your credit card and keep using the bike but somehow it wouldn’t work for me.
More to come later on old Montreal, where I spent most of the day. But I also managed a quick trip into Notre Dame, and was blown away.
I couldn’t get too close as they were getting ready for a private mass, but I managed to snap a few photos from the back of the church. I’d forgotten how stunning and colourful the interior is; much more so than similar churches in Europe. Amazing, amazing place.