We thought we were being smart, taking our extended Columbus Day weekend in Canada. But Monday morning I suspected something was up when there were too many people out and about and it looked like lots of businesses were closed. We had wanted to try the steak frites at L'entrecoute St. Jacques, but the place was shuttered-up at prime lunch time. It wasn't until I read the Thanksgiving closure notice on a bank door that any of it made sense.
Still in search of steak frites, we settled for Chez Alexandre, down the street. I fear that neighborhood is the Times Square of Montreal (minus the Disney Store and black muslims). The menu didn't seem so remarkable, but the prices indicated as much. Who were we to argue? Choices were scarce and we were in a hurry to get on the road.
The most interesting part of the meal was spying on the middle-aged gentleman in the corner who ordered what appeared to be a gin and tonic, then would periodically hide his glass with his newspaper and pour in smuggled gin from one of those mini airplane bottles. He even had the audacity to ask for more ice at one point, just to top it off with his own spirits. I couldn't begrudge him, he was alone on a holiday (maybe he couldn't wait to get away from the family) and the drinks were probably expensive. I wonder if one gets into some sort of trouble if found out by the waitstaff?
Chez Alexandre * 1454 Peel St., Montreal, Canada