Montreal Travel Guide
Over this weekend, while you were likely BBQing or breaking out your swimsuit for the summer, more Federal No Fly List drama went down in the skies. An Aeromexico flight from Paris to Mexico City was diverted to Montreal when it was discovered that a passenger onboard was listed on the US' No-Fly List.
Abdirahman Ali Gaal, believed to be a part of al-Shabaab, an al-Qaida ally in Somalia, was removed from the plane, which then continued on to Mexico City. So why, you ask, would a flight that does not land in the US be stopped abroad for a passengers on a US list? Well, it's simple: the United States wouldn't allow the plane to fly into its airspace. And you kind of need that permission when you're on a Paris-Mexico City flight.
Beer Travel / Drinking Travel / Beer Festivals / Montreal Travel / Festival Travel / Events / → All Tags
We’ve been to our share of beer festivals, but there has never been one as classy as the Mondial de la Bière in Montreal. Although it sounds fancy because you must use your limited French language skills to pronounce it, the Montreal Beer Festival is the largest party dedicated to hops and barley in all of Canada. Of course there will be plenty of Molson and Moosehead, but there will also be other more exotic options as well.
This year’s festival is set to run from June 2 through June 6 at the historic Windsor Station. Admission is free, and tasting coupons are only $1 each. The coupons should get you a three-to-four-ounce sample, so you’ll need to watch it if you actually want to critique a few different brews before getting sloshed. The only catch is that some samples might cost more than just one coupon. We expect that to be the case for the Sam Adams Utopias from 2009 with its distinct flavor and even more distinct alcohol content—its 27% per volume.
While some celebs were getting poured on in L.A., Jimmy Fallon proved all the cool kids were actually in Canada. The Late Night host spent the weekend in Montreal for a friend's bachelor party where, he announced on his show Friday, they planned to do some snowmobiling and ice fishing. But, apparently, they decided to do some eating and bar hopping instead.
On Sunday, he tweeted, "Love to Montreal. Had a blast this weekend. Joe Beef, Chez Serge and Stereo. Great places." So, where are these great places? Joe Beef, located at the corner of De la Commune Street and De la Callière Street, in Old Montreal, has only 28 seats and a limited menu to ensure each customer has great service and each meal is as fresh as it can be. Every night there is a choice of four appetizers and four main courses written on a blackboard in the restaurant. Main dishes include tripe-a beef, fresh fish or traditional Montreal cuisine ranging from $18 to $40.They also have a “raw bar” where you get to choose from three or four different kinds of oysters, clams, crabs or lobsters ($8 to $18).
It appears that the perks of being famous don’t stop when you reach the airport. Last week Halle Berry was too cool to wait in line for airport security in Montreal, and was whisked past all the passengers at the airport.
A police officer escorted her, her boyfriend, and her little girl to the front of the line. Apparently the boyfriend—Gabriel Aubry—played the “we’re going to miss our flight” line, and that’s what allowed them to skip ahead of everyone else.
Bike Sharing / Montreal / Canada / Bicycling / Bixi / → All Tags
Following the huge success of Paris' Velib bike sharing program, we've been wondering how long it would take for North American to get in on the action. Leave it to Frenchy Montreal to show everyone up by being the first on the continent to put the pedal to the metal.
Launched last week, the Bixi program (a combo of "bike" and "taxi") puts aluminum Montreal-made bicycles on the streets, available for rental with annual memberships of $75, a daily rate of $5, or per-hour pricing following a free first half-hour. By June 7, the city is aiming to place 3,000 of the bikes at 300 hubs around the city, and your rented Bixi may be picked up at and returned to any of them.
And these babies weren't named one of Time's top 50 top inventions of 2008 for no reason; the bike docks are equipped with wireless RFID technology which can immediately signal if one is defective, and the pay station itself is touch-screen with energy support from solar panels. According to the Vancouver Sun, this model of bike sharing in Montreal is what's being studied for the future in other bike-desperate cities like New York and London. Bring it on!
Just last week, she headed up to Montreal to host a gig at a nightclub. Remember Lilo, it works if you work it.
However, her trip through customs in Canada didn't go quite as planned. While we usually get admonished for having our cell phones out or for not having our passports ready quick enough, Lindsay Lohan was actually "hauled into a backroom by border staff" at the Montreal Airport.
Montreal bagels are made completely different than any other bagel in the world. They are hand-rolled, thinner, boiled, dipped in honey water and put in a fire oven the old-fashioned way.
They are also addictive! We paid a visit to Mount Royal Bagel Factory on Lucerne to get a sneak (bagel) peek of how their amazing bagels are made. Actually, anyone can see how they are made, as it is done pretty much right in front of you behind the counter.
We might have a bias since we grew up in Montreal, but we've lived in other big cities and we can say these bagels really are the best in the world.
Insider Tip: Another great classic bagel brand to try is St. Viateur which has three shops in Montreal.
· Jaunted's Springtime in Montreal [Jaunted]
Don’t come to Montreal on a diet and with a closed mind. Two signature foods you can’t leave the city without trying are Montreal Bagels and Poutine. Today, we're talking Poutine. We'll save the bagels for later.
Poutine is not exactly the healthiest choice you can make when visiting Montreal but it's an experience to say the least: French fries, melted cheese and gravy. C'est le Paradis!
The oldest and most famous joint in town is La Banquise, which has been serving up to 26 choices of poutine for nearly 40 years. Sample it during the day or indulge late-night after a long night of drinking. It's open until 3am!
Watch the video as we go back into the kitchen of La Banquise to watch them make our poutine goodness.
Embedded Travel Guides / Jaunted in Montreal / Shira Lazar / Saint Laurent / Schwartz's Deli / → All Tags
We grew up shopping by day and party hopping by night on St. Laurent, known for its fun boutiques and supperclubs. Globe and BuonaNotte might not have five-star chefs, but the American/Italian dinners are pretty good and as the night continues, locals start dancing on chairs and tables until 3AM.
If you’re hungry again after that, there are a ton of late-night pizza and schwarma spots along the street too. For more of the pub/bar scene, walk to the closed cobblestone street of Prince Arthur.
But if you want a foodie experience to remember, then you must continue north on St. Laurent you’ll also find one of Montreal’s most famous deli’s Schwartz’s. Open from 8am to midnight on weekdays and weekends until 2:30am, Schwartz’s is the oldest deli in Canada (it opened in 1928), a true historic landmark. Nothing has changed since the place opened and all the ingredients are fresh and free of preservatives. Plus, their smoked meat is smoked daily. Trust us, your stomach and tastebuds will be eternally grateful.
Watch as Shira's takes a bite out of their famous smoked meat sandwich and interviews a waiter who’s worked there for 7 years.
We stopped by L’Orignal, a “chalet chic” resto on industry night Monday, where they offered $4 vodka and had an oyster chucker right at the bar.
The owners of L’Orignal also have another hot resto/lounge in the area called Garde Manger. It’s a the hip dining destination, where you can order seafood platters and bbq ribs while wining and listening to funky tunes. We’re told the waiting staff are hot too. BTW- that seems to be actually a Montreal norm.
L'Oringal: 479, Saint-Alexis/Garde Manger: 408 St-François-Xavier
Embedded Travel Guides / Jaunted in Montreal / Shira Lazar / Travel Videos / Old Montreal / → All Tags
Telling people you’re from Montreal can be quite the conversation starter. That’s because whoever has been there tends to love the city, and people that haven’t been there, want to go there. What makes Montreal standout as the most unique city in the province of Quebec and in Canada entirely, is that it contains a melting pot of cultures, both English and French. Visiting or growing up there, is like experiencing a slice of Europe in the middle of North America.
Jaunted Field Trip / John Lennon / Yoko Ono / Shira Lazar / Montreal Travel / Museums / Music Travel / → All Tags
Jaunted's own travel video correspondent, Shira Lazar, took a trip to her hometown of Montreal this week where the celebration of the 40th anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Bed-In For Peace is now in full swing.
Lennon and Oko famously spent their honeymoon in Amsterdam's Hilton Hotel for one-week allowing the press to come and visit them every day to hear their messages on peace.
That following May, the couple did the same thing at the (now a Fairmont) Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, staying in rooms 1738 and 1742. This stay was historic because its where "Give Peace a Chance was Recorded." Head on over to HotelChatter to see Shira tour the actual suite where Lennon and Oko stayed.
Currently, Montreal's Museum of Fine Arts is hosting an free exhibit from now through June 21 celebrating the bed-in with 140 works on display that includes "drawings, unpublished photographs, videos, films, artworks and interactive materials that convey the famous couple’s message of universal peace." Here, Shira walks us through what to expect from the exhibit. She even tests out the Lennon-Oko Bed-in bed replica. Just watch.
· Montreal Travel [Jaunted]
· Inside the Famous Bed-In Suite Used by John Lennon and Yoko Ono [HotelChatter]