Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Montréal, we have a problem

They have just about finished the new U.S. wing of the Montreal airport. It looks nice and new and seems quite efficient. They even put a new restaurant in. I complained before about the absolute shit food in the airport and how they really need a restaurant that vaunts the cuisine and agriculture of the region.

So guess what is the new, fancy, "high-class" restaurant they have put in the new section? It's a ribs and bbq restaurant called Houston.

Houston? Really?

So fucking lame and typically, self-loathingly Canadian. This is the face you are presenting to American tourists coming to Montreal? A mediocre barbecue restaurant.

We don't do bbq here in Canada. It's an American tradition (and a damned good one) and we travel to places in America to get a chance to try some good BBQ. Americans who come here should be presented with quality choices of food that represent the culinary culture and terrain they are visiting. Au Pied de Cochon is probably a bit too high-end and rich for an airport, but a poutine stand would certainly be a hit and an excellent way to introduce tourists to food that is getting written about in the New Yorker. It's so typically Canadian that it takes Americans to come and write about things that we don't pay attention to because we are too busy sucking up to American culture. It's pathetic.

4 comments:

mare said...

Not many people have a meal when they fly in to Montreal. They stand in line for there luggage and then try to get a taxi to there destination.

These restaurants are to kill the hours before departure, especially now you have to be there two hours before your flight to the US leaves.

And this particular restaurant is even located after you have passed the luggage check (and the fingerprinting for non-North-Americans) so you can only go there before your flight leaves (incoming passengers are routed differently).

So since you are going to the States, you might want to eat some US style BBQ. I personally don't eat meat so I've no idea if it's any good.

WalkerP said...

Hmmm, that's an interesting point. But if you are going to the States, why don't you just wait to get there and get the real thing? And wouldn't we want departing American tourists to have a final taste of delicious Quebec cuisine to make them want to come back instead of a mediocre take on their own food?

btw, I approve of vegetarianism and have tried to adopt it several times, but I just can't make it stick. I do try and cut down on my meat intake, but once you've had proper american bbq, it really is hard to go back.

mare said...

There will be two groups of people using that terminal: people that go to the US for business or pleasure and returning US visitors to Montréal.
Both groups need to get slowly used to the on average deplorable cuisine of American restaurants.

I agree a branch of La Banquise might have been a better choice. But I'm sure the rent is very high so the Trudeau Airport Management don't want to take too much risks.

WalkerP said...

"on average deplorable cuisine of American restaurants"? I don't know how you would average out restaurant quality, but in my personal experience (fortunate enough to live in two of the U.S.'s best eating cities, New York and Berkeley), cuisine in the U.S. can be pretty damned good. I'm not really sure we have a whole lot to boast about here.