Popping out for a mid-morning coffee, we then decided to explore the Mile End area of the city we had only touched the fringe of. So we meandered along new streets, popping into any shop that took our fancy, and I found myself in heaven on the discovery of an amazing kitchen shop. Resisting the temptation of everything from cool new kettles to state of the art coffee machines, cupcake cases to knives with floral blades, and goggles to wear when you cut onions to a $600 casserole dish, we came out empty handed.
Walking along a little more, we came across Parc La Fontaine, which we had been wanting to visit for a while. We strolled through the leafy park, passing volleyball and baseball matches taking place, as well as discovering the park has an outdoor theatre. It was such a lovely day; the sun was shining but there was very little humidity (at last!), meaning it was the ideal temperature for being outside. Loving having noting pressing that needed to be done/bought/got, we wandered on from the park to The Village, Montreal's gay village.
By this stage it was late afternoon, so we visited a rooftop terrace which had been recommended to us by a friend and had a drink. We could have stayed there all evening to be honest, but the terrace had been booked out for a wedding, so it was just the one drink.
The waitress showed us to our table and as we sat down, T asked, "Do you have Jamon Iberico?"
"Yes, of course," she replied.
We grinned like two little kids at each other with our delight at hearing this. This type of ham is like gold dust (and costs about the same as gold dust...)
As we read the menu however (we had to share the menu as the restaurant hadn't got enough to go around - there were only three tables occupied. This should have warned us for things to come...), the Jamon was Serrano, not Iberico. Think going into a Ferrari show room and asking for a car, and them giving you a Ford Focus. Maybe a bit extreme in that example, but you get my drift...
Maybe it's just not on the menu, T thought hopefully.
"Would you like bread, cheese and ham to start and then I'll come back for your other order?"
We had already decided which other dishes we wanted, but it was asked in a way we had no choice but to agree with. We would come to regret it however...
The ham came; it was definitely not Iberico. It was nice, but not Iberico. When the waitress came back to clear the empty plate, she asked if we had enjoyed it. We replied yes we had, but that it wasn't Iberico, was it?! 'Of course it was Iberico, yes.' We looked at each other and bit our tongues.
The Manchego at least tasted very authentic, and the 'pan con tomato' was delicious. Our dishes were then cleared away, and we waited.
And waited. Eventually we caught her eye, "Can we have the menu please?"
"There is no menu available at the moment."
Eventually we got a menu.
Ten more minutes and our order for four dishes was taken: green beens with almonds, grilled prawns, chorizo with cauliflower puree, and grilled mushrooms.
Half an hour later, we had not received any dishes. We waited as the tables around us were presented with plate after plate of food.
We waited some more, and decided that when the waitress came back we would ask her for the bill, but when she returned to us, she was armed with another glass of wine and a beer as a way of saying sorry for the food being late. This was a nice gesture, but I really didn't want another glass of wine, and especially when I hadn't eaten much.
We eventually were served our green beans and almonds - a cold dish - an hour after we had ordered it.
Then we waited another half an hour before we were given two of the hot tapas dishes: the prawns, and chorizo with cauliflower. The waitress then gave us a plate of seafood paella, as it had been cooked by mistake. Again, nice gesture, but we hadn't ordered it because I can't eat rice. Our mushroom dish never appeared.
By now it was getting on for 10pm, we had been there three hours and were not impressed.
Safe to say we will not be going back to that restaurant again.
We were so mad, we walked all the way home (which is quite a distance from the Old Town).
Maybe this is something, like the sales tax, where being British we will take a long time, if at all, to get the purpose of it being done this way...