Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Montreal is a very European city, and is probably as close to being in France as one can get without leaving the continent, this continent that is. The city is small and easy to get around in, and full of places to eat. Many of them are excellent and full of old world charm. Situated at 21 Rue De La Commune is a neat example of this called Creme de La Creme Cafe.
At first glance one sees a stone building with outdoor table service. We stopped to look at the menu and it was interesting, but we were still shopping for lunch and started moving on. What changed my mind was when I saw the waitress deliver two delightful looking melted sandwiches to a table. I got as close as I could to get a better look, and smell, without being blatantly rude of course, and decided this was our place. We decided to eat inside as the sky was getting dark and threatening.
Inside was stone and wood with a long bar. On entering we heard French music playing, a female vocalist. We chose a table near the door so that we could watch the passersby, and the impending storm. Our waitress came over and said, "Bonjour!" When we replied "Hello," she immediately switched to English with a lovely accent, more French than Canadian, and presented us with menus. We asked for ice water and I got a local micro-brewed stout. I forget the name, but that's probably because the beer was unremarkable.
What was remarkable was the food. I got baked pepperoni, ham and cheese with a spicy mustard. I came with a salad. Teresa had an open faced turkey melt with salad and coffee. The bread tasted fresh, as did the rest of the ingredients. Also remarkable was the service. Very polite, quick, and amenable. Très agréable, as the French say. Our waitress even saw me reading the local newspaper, I was looking at the horoscopes, and she asked if I wanted her to read and translate them for me.
It turned out to be a stroke of genius, or more like a stroke of pure dumb luck that we chose Creme De La Creme as it started to pour the minute we sat down and continued until we finished our meal. This did give a nice cool breeze and even more entertainment as we watched the pedestrians running down the street.
Good food, good service, and tons of atmosphere. Like most European restaurants, there is more than meets the eye. There is an upstairs as well which seats many more. If you are ever in Montreal, stop by.