Tag Archives: crepes

Universel Déjeuners et Grillades (Montreal, QC)

As I mentioned several times, one of our annual traditions is to get together with friends, find a random city with decent walking routes and good food, and hike about 20 miles across the city, eating and drinking as we go. We call it a “Death March”. This year was our first “international” one, in Montreal, picked because it’s familiarity to us (we go to Montreal at least once a year), ease of travel, and the rather impressive array of restaurants, bars, and cocktail clubs available across the city. We also (not completely by accident) managed to book our trip to coincide with Mondial de la Biere, the Montreal beer festival. But like any of our Death Marches, about half of the eating and drinking happened on the days before and after the march. And thus, after settling into our hotel (the very eclectic, but affordable, Hotel Kutuma, complete with zebra-print sheets), we set out in search of a great breakfast, settling on the nearby plateau location of Universel Déjeuners et Grillades (one of two in the city, the other on Rue Peel down by McGill).

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Crêperie Le Gall (Hell-bourg, Réunion, France)

Our second full day on Réunion had us setting out to check out on of the cooler geographic features of the island: the Cirques. Réunion was essentially formed by two volcanoes: the now-extinct Piton des Neiges, and the still active Piton de la Fournaise. For the former, the old volcanic caldera has collapsed and eroded over the last 100,000 years to form three sub-formations: the Cirque, each a very steep mountain valley. All of them are inhabiting, but only two of them, the Cirque de Salazie and the Cirque de Cilaos, are road-accessible (the Cirque de Mafate is accessible only on foot or by air). So we decided to check out the Cirque de Salazie, since it’s a pretty short drive from Saint-Denis. The town of Hell-Bourg is located in the middle of the Cirque de Salazie, and the very rugged terrain makes this a splendidly beautiful French/Creole village located in the mountains. It’s a fairly quiet town, mostly with older Creole architecture, and primarily serves as a stepping-off point for the many hikers visiting the region (indeed, we basically returned to Hell-Bourg twice during our trip, once as hikers, and once driving through to see the forests of Belouve). But after checking out the area, we started to become hungry for lunch, and we immediately found the cute little Crêperie Le Gall.

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Crêpes Parfait (Washington, DC)

Since I end up going to the DC area at least twice every year (usually for work), I’ve been able to see a lot of minor changes as they happen on the food scene. One of the bigger changes is that the area is finally starting to embrace the food truck. A few years ago, there were surprisingly few modern food trucks, with the mobile food scene in DC still dominated by hot dog vendors and the people selling random snack food on the Mall. Indeed, it was just 2011 when one had to go to odd neighborhoods to find a place like El Chilango (who have since spun off a brick and mortar joint in the District, as is often the case with the better food trucks). In any case, there are now food trucks aplenty: 12th Street and 14th Street on the Mall are repleat with them, and the central business areas in downtown and Arlington now sport plenty of food truck options, as do most of the major tourist areas. Indeed, Connecticut Ave on the west end of the National Zoo has quite a selection, and, as we discovered this trip, some of them, like Crêpes Parfait, are actually quite good.

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