Saturday, March 17, 2012

Montreal's Irish Pubs

People don't tend to think of Montreal as an Irish city, but the St. Patrick's Day parade has run here every year since 1824. Scratch a French-Canadian (or, more politically correctly, un Quebecois) and you are likely to find an Irishman or Scotsman lurking. Even our seeming Premier for life, Jean Charest, is half Irish. And the city's flag is quartered with the fleur de lyus of France, the rose of England, the thistle of Scotland and the shamrock of Ireland.
Today, of course, the city's flag should include the symbols of Iran, Haiti, Vietnam, China, Lebanon, Mexico and many other countries if it were truly to reflect Montreal's population.
One of the happy results of Irish ehritage is a proliferation of Irish pubs in Montreal, mostly downtown. They are all fine places for a brew and a burger at reasonable cost, and sometimes for live Irish or other music.
Just the other day I enjoyed lunch at the Irish Embassy on lower Bishop Street, where a pint of local beer and a veggie burger with fries and salad came to almost $17. (High taxes push prices for booze and restaurant meals to pretty astronomical levels in Quebec.) Costs are similar at the other pubs I am familiar with, Hurley's and McKibbins. McKibbins is a good place for happy hour snacks, but get there early (shortly after 5 p.m. on weekdays) or the best will be gone. McKibbins original location is right next to the downtown campus of Concordia University, and there is a branch on St. Laurent Boulevard near Prince Arthur and another in the West Island.
Hurley's is on lower Crescent Street, and downtown on Cathcart the Vieux Dublin has re-opened. Now there is even a new Irish pub on St. Denis near the Cafe Cherrier, one of the chief hangouts for members of the separatist Parti Quebecois.
Montreal's St. Patrick's Day parade will take place tomorrow, and it is free. Happy Shamrock Day, everyone.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home