Tag Archives: chocolate

Love letters, part 2: Barcelona and Figueres

8 Jul

Dear Spain,

I love you. There, I said it.

broken eggs

broken eggs

Why are your eggs sooooo good? What do you do or not do to them? Why have I never had broken eggs before? If I were inclined to open a restaurant here, I would sell all the variations of your broken eggs dish and call it Spanish poutine. Potatoes, eggs, and every Iberico pork product available. P.S. Your potatoes are absolutely stellar as well.

anchoives

anchoives

I didn’t think I liked you, but you changed my mind.

fried artichokes

fried artichokes

Unlike your Italian cousins (see last year’s travel post), you arrive  showing only your best.  Vegetables are good. Deep frying the heck out of them is acceptable when on vacation from real-life.

cod

cod

Pine nuts, raisins, onions and cod – Oh what a surprise. So delicious.

candy

candy

Mercat de La Boqueria de Barcelona. So scenic, so plentiful. Possibly the best food market ever.  Tapas counters, fish stalls, candy to make your eyes pop.

chocolate and salt

chocolate and salt

When I hear chocolate I usually state my preference for cheese but throw some salt on it, and a few pieces of crunchy fried bread and it’s a different story. It’s a  story about a person who doesn’t usually eat dessert but finds herself with an extra spoon and partner willing to share. It’s kind of a love story or a teen movie where the girl hates the guy at first is then wooed by his edgy sweetness.

Glaser tea towel

tea towel - Computers are to design as microwaves are to cooking

Marry me, Barcelona. We’ll make beautiful cod fritters.

Ok, I’m getting tired of writing in this voice and it’s starting to feel creepy.  I have about way more pictures of food from Spain including shrimp, mussels, cod fritters, pretty salads, etc… Check out my Flickr account for more.

France is up next.

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La Pendulerie, land of clocks and chocolate

18 Jun

On Montreal’s Crescent Street, you drift in and out of worlds in minutes. Traditional Irish pubs jostle with trendy nail bars. Fashion houses rest atop narrow staircases. My most recent discovery is a magical place that transforms the gentle slope north of de Maisonneuve into the Swiss Alps through a disarming combination of chocolate, cuckoo clocks, and flag-clad patio umbrellas.

La Pendulerie Sign

At La Pendulerie, choose from one of 40 varieties of hot chocolate or milkshake, ranging from milk to dark, including flavours such as hazelnut and orange. If you stay awhile, you’ll find yourself sipping your selection bemusedly to the ticking of nearby cuckoo clocks as tiny painted wooden figurines emerge at regular intervals and spin around to choruses of Edelweiss.

Hot Chocolate

On my first visit, I thought it best to start at the mid-point with one of the bittersweet varieties. I’ve since worked my way up to the noir-de-noir, an 84% cocoa concoction in hot chocolate form that witnesses will tell you made me weak in the knees and inappropriately flushed in public. I recently sampled my first milkshake version, wisely opting for mint chocolate, which was served with a rolled wafer cookie.

Milkshakes

Perhaps the most charming aspect of La Pendulerie is that every visitor notices something different, from the imported chocolate confections nestled in the store window to the model cars tucked away in the back of the shop beyond the Edelweiss clocks.

La Pendulerie Store Window

Whatever the weather, I suggest you make your way down to 2080 Crescent Street and indulge in a multi-sensory treat that will make you forget all of your first world problems.

P.S. There are truffles.