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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Montreal Blogger Meetup

I first "met" Evelyne from Cheap Ethnic Eatz when she e-mailed me inviting me to a Montreal Food Blogger meetup that she was organizing. I jumped at the chance to go given that I don't know anyone else who thinks that it is absolutely normal and essential to take multiple shots of your plate of food before taking a single bite. This past Saturday the long awaited meeting finally happened at Aix Cuisine du Terroir in Old Montreal, where all the beautiful people eat. Since dinner can set you back 75 bucks a person not including alcohol we decided to go to brunch which is quite decently priced.

The original reservation was made for the terrace which is on their rooftop. The views were beautiful but as our table had no umbrellas we were roasting within 5 minutes and scurried back indoors where it was nice and cool.

I apologize for the pictures as there was a lot of sun and I had trouble getting my camera to cooperate.
Although the terrace was great, you can even seen this cool little lounge area above, the inside of the restaurant was even nicer and rather posh.

By the time we all got settled downstairs (all 14 of us) it was around 2pm and I was absolutely starving. Everyone started by ordering drinks. They had the typical brunch drinks: lattes, coffee, juice etc. but they also had a pretty good selection of cocktails.
I ended up ordering a French Connection which was really good but wow was it strong! Maybe I can no longer hold my liquor at the ripe old age of 27 but I certainly got my money's worth of booze!
It really looks like beer in a champagne flute doesn't it?
Here is a picture of Evelyne's drink. I can't remember what it was called, Vanilla something? It certaintly looked very pretty though.
I was already starving and alcohol makes me hungrier so I was very glad to see the baskets of pastries that the waiters brought out. Pastries instead of bread = instant winner in my book. I certainly encourage this initiative and that wish more restaurants would do this!
Since I love chocolate I immediately went for the chocolatines which were filled with bittersweet chocolate and were nice and flaky.
While we were waiting for our food we all started chatting. It was funny, pretty much no one knew each other but within minutes we were all jabbering away about blogging, our favourite restaurants and other random food related topics. When I said that I got Illico (digital cable) just to get Food Network and Christie from Coco Bean and Me said she had done the same thing I knew I was in good company and among other people who are as food crazy as me.
After a long wait (well, there were 14 of us who ordered at the same time), our food finally came. Here are some shots of everyone's meals, all of which looked tempting:

I ended up getting the Kobe beef burger with caramelised onion marmalade, Monterey Jack cheese, french fries and a green salad. It was absolutely amazing. I had never had Kobe beef before but it was well worth the price tag.
I know that if The Husband saw a picture of how pink the hamburger patty was that I would get a lecture about E.Coli, but it would be a crime to overcook Kobe beef and it was done exactly the way I like it. My only complaint was that the fries were a tad soggy and could have been more crispy. As there were 14 meals to prepare and all 14 were served at the same time I am guessing that some things were sitting out for a little while, hence the slight sogginess. I was pretty happy with my food nevertheless.
Here are all of us for a few group pictures courtesy of Evelyne because I completely forgot to take some!
I had a blast and am really looking forward to the next meetup. I was towards the middle of the table so I got to talk to most of the group at one point or another but not everyone unfortunately. I would have moved to the other end of the table to talk to those people that I had missed but I had to run to catch my train (ah, the joys of living in the suburbs, cheap houses but the distance puts a cramp in my social life). I have to say that everyone was really nice and a lot of fun to talk to. A friend of mine jokingly said that it was like a "group date". I was a bit nervous before getting there but it didn't last long once everyone started introducing themselves. I think the waiters must have thought that it was crazy that 14 people who had never met each other were having brunch together. Good food and alcohol are excellent social lubricants and I think the meeting was a total success.
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