Montreal – Cafe Venosa

Update: June 14, 2017: Sadly, Cafe Venosa has announced they are closed and declaring bankruptcy.  So far, I’ve written about our most recent visit to Aux Vivres and Sophie Sucrée, but Café Venosa has been on my list since they first appeared. A few months ago JC and I were in Montreal, wandering around. I was still pregnant and we were taking our final vacation as just the two of us. It was nice to visit and knock off a few places on my “To Visit” list. It was March, and there was still a bit of snow on the ground. One of those stops was Cafe Venosa (of course) since it combines a few of my favourite things – vegan food, coffee, and cats. (and also wifi.) We walked in, and to the right there was a board with some of the adoptable cats. We saw a few cats wandering around, a case of sweet treats from a couple of vegan bakeries, and friendly staff waiting to take our order. They told us to take a seat and they’d be right by to grab our order. We started out with some hot drinks – I ordered a hot chocolate, JC got a soy latte. Then I got a soy latte, and JC got a hot chocolate. Then we alternated for the rest of our visit and confused everyone including ourselves. They brought me this beauty of a hot chocolate. It was as good as it looked! Though I’m not going to lie – I wish it looked…

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Montreal 2016 – Aux Vivres

As part of our pre-baby adventures we visited Montreal. I was about 37 weeks pregnant when we went, so it was a bit of a nervous trip (because going into labour in another province where people speak French, scared me a little), but it also felt like a necessary one (at least from a wanderlust perspective.) We took the Megabus down, which seemed like a good idea when I booked the tickets, but less of a good idea when I was trying to arrange myself and my belly behind the table we had reserved. It was much too crowded – live and learn. Much like some of the other cities I keep returning to, Montreal is very familiar. There is always something new, but ultimately the city still has the same energy, the same streets, the same language. I went to the University of Montreal during a pretty formative year one summer, so our visits are usually a blend of some of my old favourites and trying to visit whatever is new in town. Aux Vivres is one of my old favourites since my first time in Montreal, and it’s been incredible to watch them grow from a relatively small restaurant & cafe to doubling in size and adding a grab and go deli/grocery area. I still remember the first time I ordered the BLT sandwich on chapati from them. It was 2007 – and coconut bacon wasn’t a thing like it is now and it was mind blowing. During those two…

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Montreal – The long way around. Jour Trois! (picture heavy)

One of my favourite spots in Montreal besides the Chateau at Mont Royal Park is the Botanical Gardens. Since climbing up a mountain and having trouble walking don’t mix very well, we opted for the slightly less strenuous activity, and planned to visit the Gardens. But first it was time to find Lunch! We decided to go to Le Pickup, it was enthusiastically recommended by friends, and it was so out of the way that it seemed to fit with going to the Botanic Gardens. (Which is also out of the way, but easy enough to get to.) Deppaneur Le Pickup (7032 Rue Waverly, Montreal, QC – Near De Castelnau Metro) is in the middle of a residential area (and in Le Petite Italie/Little Italy), and as one Montreal friend put it “at the outskirts of town.” I’m not really sure if it’s truly at the outskirts of town or what that means to a Montrealer, but I do know that the metro ride out  there (to De Castelnau station) took a lot longer than any of my other trips around the city have. It’s half convenience store (and hey, that’s what “deppaneur” means), half diner-style sandwich stop (I guess that’s the Le Pickup part). They serve as an occasional event venue and the convenience store part has a lot of organic options in addition to the usual deppaneur fare. There is one lovely vegetarian item on their sandwich board menu that I could see, but it’s not vegan as…

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…then She took a wrong turn at the cemetery and it all went uphill from there.

I think it is wonderful to be in a city that never seems to sleep. Because apparently, neither do I. Ha Ha. At first i thought the time zone change might be the problem… but the 2 hour difference between time zones is kind of minor really, I think it might be the 48 hour bus ride that has destroyed whatever sleep schedule I had developed for myself. Yesterday I went exploring within a 10km radius of the University Du Montreal, I decided to follow the large green dome I see outside my window every morning and go see what it was. It turned out to be L’Oratoire Saint-Joesph du Mont-Royal, an amazing church building atop of a hill. The distance from here to there was misleading, which I have to attribute to it’s absolutely massive size, I thought it would be much closer but it ended up being about 2km away (which, yes is rather close anyway.) It is 124m tall (408 feet) I spent about an hour there, wandering inside and outside of the church, and the surrounding parks. Really quite a beautiful place. There were so many people there, though I guess that is to be expected considering it was a beautiful day, and also a Sunday. As I was walking back to the residence, I saw a familiar sign, and I have to say I got excited to see it. Well it was not really familiar but I knew what it was, Pharmaprix (aka Shoppers Drug Mart).…

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