Grilled Chicken and Bagels (Montreal)

Chicken at Romados
No, not at the same time.

The day after our dinner at Joe Beef a friend and I went out for some Portuguese grilled chicken for lunch. I had no idea that Montreal had a significant Portuguese presence but a number of people suggested that I try some Portuguese chicken for an unfussy weekday lunch, and Romados was the place that was most highly recommended. We’d originally planned to walk there from my hotel (about a 2.5 km walk) but it was snowing lightly and so we cabbed there and walked back. But we didn’t walk back directly. Instead we walked up to the famous St. Viateur Bagel Shop (2.2 km), where I purchased two dozen bagels for my wife who has recently become bagel-crazy, and then we walked back from there to the hotel (3.7 km). I’m making a point of noting the distances for the benefit of my friends who know how allergic I am to exercise of any kind. It turns out that if you put me in a beautiful, walkable city, I will walk. It’s the countryside that I am wasted on.

Anyway, on to the food. First, lunch at Romados and then some pictures of our walk up to St. Viateur and of the shop. As always, click on an image below to launch a larger slideshow. And if you know Montreal and have more details on any of the buildings or neighbourhoods pictured below please write in in the comments.

After the high-powered excess of Joe Beef it was good to eat a simpler lunch. The chicken at Romados was rather good. Portions were no more shy than those at Joe Beef or Schwartz’s though and if I weren’t walking around so much I might have come back from Montreal weighing a lot more than I had on arrival. I had no idea portion sizes in Canada are as out of control as they are in the US—or did I randomly hit on three outliers in a row?

I also had no idea how common it seemingly is for smaller establishments to not take credit cards. Schwartz’s did not; nor did Romados or St. Viateur Bagel Shop. At Schwartz’s I was able to pay cash in US dollars with a 10% surcharge; at Romados I was told I could pay the Canadian dollar price in US dollars (i.e the meal cost CAD 20 and I had to pay USD 20); at St. Viateur I had to use the atm in the store (and was doubtless charged big fees on both ends). You’re going to say that I should have changed my dollars; well, I was going to but the exchange rate at the airport was extortionate with commission added on.

One more Montreal meal report to come and then it’s back to Minnesota restaurant reports till the summer.

By the way, can we agree that Montreal-style bagels are superior to New York-style bagels?

6 thoughts on “Grilled Chicken and Bagels (Montreal)

  1. Your wife has turned bagel crazy? What a shocking development! I’m ridden with guilt, and should organize a care package.

    As for the striking “Orthodox Church”, this very interesting article elucidates the matter. Here’s a key excerpt and teaser:

    “In 1914 it would have taken an extremely acute social critic to anticipate the tipping point that was reached 50 years later when most of Quebec’s Catholics suddenly stopped attending Mass. Social factors that led to the dispersal of much of Montreal’s Irish Catholic community were also years away. In 1964, Cardinal Paul-Émile Léger arranged for St. Anthony of Padua’s Polish Mission (located until then in the chapel at Hôtel-Dieu) to share the church, and in 1969 the parish was renamed St. Michael’s and St. Anthony’s Catholic Community, still its official name.”

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    • Thanks for the link—what an interesting story.

      As for the bagel-mania of the female of the species, I’m afraid you can only take part of the credit (the part that will doubtless make east coast Jews of all North American countries faint away in horror): for her love of smearing of avocados over bagels; but the bagel-mania itself only really manifested itself after eating what were probably shipped and frozen St. Viateur bagels at the home of Canadian friends in town (both of whom, not coincidentally, attended McGill).

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  2. I always go for St. Viateur’s when I visit Montreal. After reading this, I think I’ll visit Romado’s next time. Au Pied du Cuchon is also damn good if you’re into pork.

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