Fall is all about feeling cozy. The weather is getting crisp, we dust off our favorite boots, hats and scarves. We begin to drink skinny-half-sweet-triple-shot-pumpkin-spice-lattes instead of iced caps and smoothies. We no longer crave kale salads, we want warm comfort food. Not to mention EVERYBODY wants to Netflix and chill because it means, at the very least, some legit cuddles.
Basically, hibernation mode has begun - because no one needs a summer body in the fall. We all let go a little because the cold and the stress of exams and work. The first sign of fall is when girls start to wear their adorably over-sized sweaters - ever wonder why no one starts to date in the fall? Can't trust whats under a sweater like that!! That's when you know you have one season "off" till you gotta start prepping your summer body during the winter.
'Till crunch time on looking good, here are a few recommendations of what you can enjoy eating in Montreal this fall.
1. Apple Crumble
Fall means it's apple picking season... the time of year that every girl that's in a relationship drags her boyfriend out to an orchard to pick apples and tries to get the ultimate cutest pictures possible. Now I've seen tons of the pictures of all of you picking the apples, and yes, you're adorable... but none of what you do with them after. I highly doubt 3/4 of the Montreal population have burnt their apple pies or crumbles, and if so, that's sad my friends. Please, watch a youtube video on how to put a timer on. But don't worry we've got you covered hun, Patisserie Ruhbarbe in the Plateau serves up a mean apple crumble, as well as Boulangerie Le Fournil in Westmount.
2. Pumpkin Spice
Pinky and The Brain may not have taken over the world, but pumpkin spiced lattes did. Anything pumpkin spiced is now insanely popular actually. The reason for this is not only that it is tasty, but the spice blend is very healthy for us. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger help fight off viruses, avoid headaches, and helps keep us happy. If you're one of those pumpkin spice revolution supporters, go out and buy yourself some pumpkin spiced Oreos to have with your Starbucks pumpkin spiced lattee and finish off your day in a bath with pumpkin spiced candles surrounding you.
Chocolate is one of those magical words that just brightens a bad day. Halloween is around the corner followed by Christmas, which are two chocolate filled holidays, so let loose and have a chocolate bar once in a while. Go out to Cacao 70 or Juliette & Chocolat to have a guilt free chocolate filled meal with friends if eating it alone at home makes you feel guilty - but remember, if no one see's you eat it, it doesn't count! For a killer hot chocolate hit up Kafein on Bishop.
4. Mulled Wine
We can all agree that boozy brunches are the only way to go. However, with the change in weather it's time to give up on mimosas which Montreal loves so much and have some mulled wine instead. The hot sweet red wine with a hint of cinnamon and orange is sure to warm your heart as you fill your stomach at Chez Suzette in the Old Port.
Photo cred - Flickr
5. Spicy Foods
We all have our favorite hot sauces for different foods: Sriracha, Valentina's, Frank's Red Hot, Chilola, Sambal Oleke. Eating spicy in the fall is key because it will warm you on the chilly days you wish you stayed in bed - basically everyday- and also help you sweat out any bug you may have.
6. Chinese Food
What better comfort food than that of the people who out-populate the rest of the world. I mean, they gotta have something going on right in their diets if there are over 9 trillion people living in China and their food is still incredibly good. To try some of the gems of chinese food in Montreal, check out Gia ba on Monkland, or Restaurant Mei on Mackay.
7. Broth Base Soups (Ramen, Pho, Mee Rebus)
Broth based soups or Asian style soups are a great way to warm yourself up in the fall. These soups are becoming more and more popular in Montreal and restaurants are making them readily available to the public. For incredible hand pulled alkaline noodle soups check out Nudo in China Town, for a solid bowl of ramen I recommend Saka Ba.
8. Southern Comfort Food
The smell of fresh cornbread, ribs, BBQ sauce and biscuits is comforting. You already know your meal is going to be killer before you even see the menu because you can smell it in the air. Montreal is not blessed with a vast amount of southern restaurants, but we are blessed with very good ones. On par with the best one in New York City in my books. Y'all gotta take your misses out to Black Strap BBQ in Verdun and Dinette Triple Crown near Little Italy to try it out.
A warm stew after a long day of work is a glorious thing. If you have the time to make some at home, I highly recommend you make ribollita, my personal favorite because all the veggies are in season and it's incredibly healthy - yes, SOMETIMES I recommend healthy things. If you are on the go or meeting up with friends, try out the beef stew at Hurley's Pub on Cresent, or the cuttlefish stew at Tapas 24 Snackbar in the Old Port.
Photo cred - Kathy's Kitchen Journey
Hockey season is upon us! This means watching the habs play at a bar with your friends - and what better way to watch than with a pint of your favorite beer and chicken wings. If you're up for a challenge, there is always the inferno wings at Mckibbin's Pub. For you kids looking for a deal, Cage Aux Sports also still offers their deal of 8 free wings when the Habs score 5 goals!
With exam period and the year coming to a close, many of us are stressed and can look at the crisp weather in a negative way. Instead of hearing the words "take a chill pill" or "calm your hormones" - and variations of those - I suggest we all start to drink a little tea. Tea has an immense amount of benefits, but no need to spend lots of money on the tea boutiques to get them. Stop by your favorite grocery store and get a box of bedtime tea to sleep well or simply mint tea. The trick is to go to your happy place as you drink it, and don't come back.
12. Black Velvet
Black Velvet is THE perfect drink to have at a bar in the fall. The cocktail is half a pint of Guinness and half a pint of Cider. The bitterness of the stout and the sweetness of the cider is a great combination of flavors. The drink itself is heavier than a beer, so I do not recommend this on any pub crawl type night or any boat races unless you're goal is to throw up because you're feeling a little bloated from the poutine you downed before going out... no judgement, I'm about to order one right now.