August 6, 2017: On this third day of touring around Montreal, we hit up brunch at a famous spot, hiked up Mount Royal, and visited a restaurant that I’ve been dying to eat at! 😀
We woke up early today by 8:30 a.m. and grabbed some food from the breakfast area in the hotel. Our plan was to hit up Restaurant L’Avenue (922 Mont-Royal Ave E, Montreal) because it was a restaurant that was famous for their brunch and you had to get there early to avoid the hour-long line-ups. The friend who recommended me to try it said the line-up for her when she went was nearly two hours long! Thus, we tried to get there early. We arrived by 9:30 a.m. and stood behind a line of people who were already there. Bleh. I’ve found that the older I get, the less patience I have for waiting in lines.. but I really wanted to try this place out. It was a little chilly this morning too.
Luckily by an hour or so, we were at the front of the line and got called in since we were a table of two. Yay! I was quite excited to try this place out.
The interior of the restaurant was actually a lot bigger than I thought. From peering into the restaurant, I didn’t think there were very many tables inside but towards the back of the restaurant was where there was a long communal table of two-seaters with booths on the sides. It was a little cramped in this way and we could hear every word that our neighbours said, but I guess with a popular restaurant like this, the staff wouldn’t want you to take your time and hold up the line any longer than it already is anyway.
I ordered a Matcha Latte even though I don’t take caffeine well — it keeps me awake — for the reason of wanting to try it. Ken got a coffee. I had the Duck Benedict while Ken got the Beautiful Truffle. Both of our breakfasts were served with breakfast potatoes and a fresh fruit brochette.
While waiting for our food, we admired the surroundings which was very snazzy and eccentric. I was told about their unique washrooms too so I took a visit (and brought my phone along).
It was definitely the most unique washroom I’ve ever been inside of! It was like a black light drawings-filled room except it was blue. It was even more cold in there for some reason.
When I returned, the fresh fruit brochette was already on the table. It was such a generous portion and the fruits were so fresh! We did a little fruit sword fighting here.
My Matcha Latte was pretty and tasted good.
After 20 minutes or so, our brunches arrived! My Duck Benedict had two free-range poached eggs served with duck confit, caramelized onions, and were topped with grained mustard hollandaise sauce. It was so pretty!
This was indeed a very tasty duck benedict. The poached egg was perfectly done with a nice egg yolk oozing out and the grained mustard hollandaise sauce was very tasty. I also loved the breakfast potatoes. These were herbed and so, so good!
Ken’s Beautiful Truffle had three free-range scrambled eggs with truffle paste on white bread with wild mushrooms sauteed in butter, shallots, and herbs. It was a very large portion where the wild mushrooms looked like a mountain! It was okay-tasting to me though.
Our brunches were very hearty and heavy. We were filling so full but I did manage to finish my portion. I loved those potatoes!
Before leaving, I visited the cool washrooms one more time and this time I entered the other one of the two.
After this, we were due for some exercise and walking so we headed towards Mont Royal which was one of the spots that Ken wanted to bring me to.
Along the way, we stopped into Natura Juicery (212 Avenue Mont Royal E
Montreal) for a green juice to ease off the itis and fullness from brunch. It was a nice little juicery cafe.
The streets we were on had beautiful murals and we stopped into a costume shop too.
I’ve never seen a dim sum food truck before! There was also a schnitzel food truck as well in front of Mount Royal.
It was a beautiful summer day with bright blue skies and fluffy clouds! We headed into the park and through the woods to get to the top of the hill. There were a lot of steps to get up there and I needed a couple of breaks along the way. I don’t think I had been up to Mont Royal before this.
Gorgeous views all around! We relaxed and took a break on the bench overviewing the tourists.
It was at this time that I saw an Instagram story from my friend who was also in Montreal and it showed she was dining at Au Pied De Cochon the day before. I was astonished that she was able to get a table to eat there because I had actually e-mailed the restaurant a few days prior to request for a dinner reservation and they had replied saying that they were full the whole Civic holiday weekend. So how was it that she was able to get a table so last-minute? I messaged her to ask about it and she said she had just stopped into the restaurant. Thus, despite being disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to visit this infamous restaurant, I knew we now had a chance. I looked up on my phone of their opening hours (they opened at 5 p.m.) and decided we should head there the moment they open to nab a table too! Ken was down with this. Yay!
We headed downhill towards Au Pied De Cochon (536 Avenue Duluth E, Montréal) which was only 30 minutes walking away. That was nothing! I’m so glad that we were already within the vicinity. We did some jogging downhill too. I was so excited already about the chance of getting to try Au Pied De Cochon! 😀
We got to the restaurant early by 4:40 p.m. and asked at the hostess table for a table for two. The hostess informed us that we could return when they open at 5 p.m. to get a table. YEY! I was so excited at this point because I knew then that we were able to dine here for dinner! 😀
They had a beautiful patio that I was already eyeing at this point. I figured we wouldn’t be able to get a seat inside because we were just drop-ins and didn’t have a reservation. Just as the clock struck five though and we went in to be seated, the two spots that I had been eyeing on the patio were already taken up by the two parties in front of us. What! What were the chances. But then our luck changed as it was our turn to be seated and the hostess actually gave us a seat inside! I was surprised in the best way and even more excited! 😀 😀 😀
Other than the bar spot, we were given the other best spot in the house — a two-seater right in front of their bar which meant we were able to see everything that the bar and kitchen made and where the servers came out with all the food. We love people watching and especially cooking watching so this turned out to be the best place for us to sit at. I was so incredibly grateful! We went from being denied a reservation at this restaurant to getting an inside foodie spot! 😀
I knew that Au Pied Du Cochon was famous for their duck and foie gras. While waiting for them to open, we actually went on to their website to decide what to order. I’m a total foodie nerd. 8D
Thus, we pretty much knew what we wanted to order: Pork Jowls, Foie Gras Nigiri, and Duck in a Can. We ordered a beer as well to share. I got my trusty lemon wedges to help neutralize the incoming fats too. 😀
The Foie Gras Nigiri was actually like sushi which for some reason didn’t register in my head when I chose it. The foie gras pieces were huge! They were very deliciously fatty and smooth. ^_^
Next, we received the Pork Jowls and the Duck in a Can. For only 12 dollars, I thought that the Pork Jowls was a total steal of a deal. It was also one of the best savory things I’ve ever eaten. I am a total salty-tongue foodie so something this savory and fatty was right up my alley. I practically licked the plate clean. Ken wasn’t as much of a fan as I was because it was so fatty. XD The pork jowls were so smooth and tender!! I loved it.
The Duck in a Can did arrive in a can. I loved this creativity aspect of the dish! Our server set down a plate with a crostini and sauce and meanwhile opened the can for us table-side. I filmed the entire process as seen below.
Unbeknownst to us (again), this portion of the Duck in a Can also contained foie gras and duck liver! Thus, it was a huge meal for us to share (you should share if you get this too; you can’t finish this alone lol). If I had known that this dish would contain foie gras, we wouldn’t have ordered the Foie Gras Nigiri and ordered something else. Ah well.
The duck liver was fatty and tasty and the entire dish was very, very heavy. I definitely needed my lemon wedges to assist with digestion. In the end, we packed up the rest to go and took a stroll before we headed back to the hotel for our last night in Montreal. The duck was done very well though!
I was so content and happy to have been able to try Au Pied De Cochon! It really was a great dining experience and a top restaurant to try in Montreal. As for returning again though, we both thought we had tried the feature items already that a future visit wasn’t totally necessary (although now that I think about it again, I still wouldn’t mind going back somewhere down the road in the future). 😀
On our stroll back “home”, we saw a cat cafe; an arepas restaurant that had a line-up outside; and the Romados Portuguese chicken restaurant.
Rotisserie Romados (115 Rue Rachel E, Montréal) was also on the list for us but we were so full that we definitely weren’t able to give this a try — maybe on a future visit to Montreal. We stopped to watch their kitchen prepare the Portuguese chicken and weren’t very pleased with how charred their grills were and how they reused them without washing before preparing the next batch of chicken. There was a line-up here too!
We also passed by a Japanese ramen restaurant that had a line-up as well. Montreal foodies sure exist here!