The Shaw clan spent six days in Montreal, where we attended the 67th World Science Fiction Convention. In keeping with He Who Will Not Be Ignored’s ongoing project to eat a hot dog in every new city he visits, we chose to end our walk through the old city with a lunch at McGill Hot Dog. Since food vendor carts are prohibited, storefronts like McGill have cropped up to satisfy the locals’ need for cheap fast food.
Sitting a ta table seemed to defeat the purpose of eating a local dog, but it gave me a chance to scope out the menu, watch some food being ordered, and decode some of the local jargon. Hot dogs are cooked either vapeur (steamed) or rôti (grilled), and the choice of garnishes is “all-dressed” (mustard, chopped onions, and cabbage slaw) or “Michigan” (topped with meaty tomato sauce). Then there’s the choice of frites (fries) or poutine (fries and cheese curds covered with gravy).
Armed with this quickly-acquired knowledge, I dove in and ordered one vapeur all-dressed avec poutine:
The hot dog was on the small side and didn’t have much spice or snap, and the slaw was very light on the dressing. The ideal poutine would have been crispy fries, melted cheese, and tasty gravy, but that was not to be. I got soggy fries, melted cheese, and canned gravy.
I got exactly what I paid for: a cheap fast meal that also provided me with a baseline experience that I would seek to improve during the the remainder of my stay. And mais oui, did I improve on that lunch.