The Glories of Beaver Tail (Montreal)

Peta, Don’t Panic

Nomadic Chick hasn’t succumbed to carnivore yearnings yet.  Beaver Tail or Queues de Castor is an Eastern Canada phenom that locals or travelers gobble in copious amounts.

Based on a family recipe, Dan and Pam Hooker opened the first BeaverTail shop in 1980 at the Byward Market in Ottawa.  The company moved their headquarters to Montreal in 2002, focusing on domestic expansion, but since 2008 the focus has been on international domination.

What the Heck is it?

Beaver Tail is a whole wheat based pastry deep fried in the shape of a beaver’s tail, kind of like an oblong boat to hold toppings guaranteed to induce heartburn and a doctor’s wagging finger.  A popular topping in Montreal is maple butter.  How about cinammon and sugar?  Or an Avalanche – cream cheese, Skor pieces, chocolate drizzle. I opted for conservative – Nutella and bananas.

The result?  Disgusting, but addictive.  It’s worth sampling this Eastern Canada mainstay. Myself?  Let’s just say a few bites satisfied.

Where?

Start from Place Jacques Cartier, walk towards the Old Port, turn left at Rue de la Commune E. (across from the science center).  From there it’s easy to find a dose of Beaver Tail.

Address: BeaverTail Inc. 127 de la Commune E., 514-878-1222

Tip: another inside track for Montreal is The Montreal Buzz.  Check it out for interesting things to do around

By |August 30th, 2010 |Categories: Montreal |10 Comments

Worst Washroom of the Week

Guess they reduced the cleaning staff, or two people were wrestling in the stall.

Montreal, Quebec

By |August 27th, 2010 |Categories: Montreal |2 Comments

Gypsy Wednesday – 5 Reasons to Travel

Welcome to Gypsy Wednesday!  Every Wednesday, I strive to highlight all the juicy morsels related to travel and beyond.

1. The food.

Hmm...

2. The friends.

Me and Gray Cargill of Solo Friendly

Lovely Lauren of Globetrooper

3. Architecture that will take your breath away.

Notre Dame - Montreal

4.  The pics you can’t remember.  What the hell it is, or why you took it.

?

5.  It makes you smile.

Guess Who?

By |August 25th, 2010 |Categories: Life |16 Comments

Voulez-Vous Danser? Le Montreal

Maybe I was itching for a random, traveler experience.  Or lazy.  It was 2:30 pm, yet I feigned hurried actions to make it to the famous Basillica Notre Dame in Old Montreal when it clearly closed at 3 pm.

I conceded defeat, getting off at Metro Station St-Laurent.  My sense of purpose drifted, creeping from me like a twig pushing downstream.  A sliver of hush brought more confusion.  Then, my ears perked.  Thump.  Thump-up-up-uping. A beat invaded, piercing my skull. Was I finally tumbling into insanity?  Alone too much, too long.  Jungle drums beckoning me to come.

Under a primitive spell, I bounded up the Metro exit stairs, wildly searching for the source of my potential madness…

I jumped in, swaying to the ancient rhythms, shaking under the tribal, savage dance,  my limbs buckling to a will of their own.  Suspended in fervent joy.  Dour commuters dropped their bags and joined in, their worries fled, responsibilities replaced with spontaneity, An Argentian man to my left exclaimed he was supposed to be at a job interview.

Instead, he hooted to the group, undulating effortlessly against the music, his designer sweater growing sticky.  I couldn’t get past how uplifted they all were, a random cross-section of humans probably wrestling with any number of stresses, allowing the mask to drop and LIVE the moment.

It was one giant travel party.  For once, I wasn’t solo, but surrounded by a collective love of the unexpected.

I imagined rites of passage, an incantation uttered over maracas, passed to every dancer.  Yeah, it rocked.

Even as a well-intentioned woman handed me a promo

By |August 23rd, 2010 |Categories: Culture, Montreal |9 Comments

Couchsurfing for Solo Women Travelers, Good or Bad?

As a solo woman in and out of the traveling world, I’m taught to be afraid. Do not walk alone at night.  Avoid darkened alleys or an empty parking garage. Honestly, this makes me angry, deeply conflicted. Mixed signals abound when on one hand I’m encouraged to be forceful, yet fearful in the same breath.

I’ve stayed in hostels, with friends, guesthouses – where doom could lurk in any corner. Yet, I sense a general reluctance from fellow women travelers to use CouchSurfing.

Assault is a Four Letter Word on CouchSurfing (CS)

A 2009 Bitch piece by Mandy Van Deven strongly suggests there are flaws, this article was written after a 29 year old Hong Kong woman was repeatedly raped by ex-couchsurfing member, Abdelali Nachet, a resident of Leeds at the time.

Van Deven was quick to accuse CouchSurfing management of delayed reaction until a major news outlet broke the story.  Furthermore, how paper thin their safety measurements are for women.  What’s compelling are the comments.

Posted by kfon:

“I have used CouchSurfing with a partner in the past. It worked out incredibly well for us, but it’s not something I would ever use on my own.”

Or this one, by A Duh (!) Moment:

“Can’t fathom anyone thinking CS is a particularly great idea in today’s world. Heck, in any world. When would it ever be a great idea for a woman to stay over night in a stranger’s home? Is this something we’d do with anyone even right in our own cities and towns? I’d have no desire to put myself in a strange situation halfway around the world either. I kinda just don’t get

Worst Washroom of the Week

Anybody that can guess what this is wins a roll of TP!

Calgary, Alberta

Hint: It’s not what you think.

By |August 21st, 2010 |Categories: Montreal |7 Comments