You know that I'm the person you need to trust with all things Russian in Montreal, right? Vodka, bears, communism, supermodels... It's all within my comfort zone. Growing up Russian in Montreal is definitely a struggle, but one thing I'm positive about - everyone needs a Russian BFF in their lives. It will take your existence to the next level and make your life that much more fun. So here are ten reasons why you need a Russian best friend in your life ASAP.
1. We will always feed you
ALWAYS. There is no way you can come over to a Russian house and not eat. Food is part of our culture and you will be force fed every single time. Deal with it.
2. We're your best party buddies
Russians LOVE to party. We're known for hosting the best house parties, but if you want to hit the town and go out and about - we're super down with this idea as well. One thing for sure, you will never ever feel bored with a Russian friend.
3. We're generous
Russian people are very generous. Don't be surprised if we offer to pick up the tab often, that's how we show our love and appreciation for you.
4. We'll introduce you to Russian banya
Have you heard of Russian banya? No? Then you're missing out on life, my friend. Russian banya is a traditional spa/steam room experience that includes getting spanked with birch leaves, drinking beer, eating crawfish, etc. It's a gathering that combines both social and therapeutic benefits.
5. We're loyal
Once you get inside our trust circle (it might take a while), you're in it for life. We will fight for you, care for you and contribute to your happiness as best as we can.
6. We love to spoil our friends with gifts
If you invite a Russian person over, just know that we will ALWAYS bring something. Our parents raised us this way. We never ever come over to someone's house empty handed. Gifts, cake, chocolate, flowers or booze, of course - we're always going to bring you something from this list.
7. You'll become part of family
If you become our real friend, you become our family. We will care for you and your family like it's our own. Russians are very intense people: we either love you with all our heart or don't bother with you at all. There are no grey areas in the way we see people. If you're in our life - you mean the world to us.
8. We'll make you try caviar and shashlik
Shashlik is a Russian gathering similar to North-American BBQ, but so much more fun. We make a huge fire, eat, drink, dance... it's just a whole day slash night of awesomeness. In addition, you're very likely to get addicted to red and black Russian caviar. It's a rare delicacy and we know all the best ways of serving and then eating it.
9. We'll get along with your parents
Russians are raised with a very pronounced and deep respect for older people. In general, as kids, we knew we couldn't talk when adults were having a conversation, we had to always offer them our seats in public transport, we helped older people carry heavy grocery bags home... We stick to these values throughout our lives. We will treat your parents with the same respect we treat our own family and they will definitely appreciate it.
10. You'll be proud to be friends with us
You'll be able to say, "My best friend is Russian" and that just sounds so dope. You're welcome.
While there are a million and one spots to enjoy a 5 à 7 in the city, not everywhere does happy hour quite like this Montreal restaurant in the Village.
Resto Keela serves $6 drinks from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., including house draft beer, house red or white wine, and speed rail mixed drinks, which is a choice of vodka, rye, rum, or gin — a pretty hard drink deal to beat.
As for food, you can go every week and try a different $6 dish at happy hour. "The $6 bites change from week to week but we always offer 3-5 options," owners Kristin Murphy and Johnny Hamilton told MTL Blog.
I went on September 10 and got to try green beans with a cashew romesco sauce and feta crumble, chorizo sausage, chicken Kaarage with kimchi cucumbers, and organic cherry tomato salad with blue cheese. And I kid you not when I say these dishes all take your taste buds on a culinary trip to heaven.
Keela's full menu is also filled with tons of unique dishes for you to try. The celery root carpaccio is hands down my favourite.
Every Friday night, you can hear the sweet voice of Bud Rice sing live at the restaurant.