Hello From Montreal – Part 8 – Mexican Delights At La Iguana And A Peak At The Montreal Jazz Festival
June 30, 2006
The Plateau area is one of the trendiest areas of Montreal, so I decided to explore it a little further after my discoveries of Old Montreal. From my hotel I hopped into the subway at Place d’Armes and took the blue train north to Sherbrooke. I enjoyed a wonderful stroll through the St-Denis neighbourhood, considered by many to be the most typical of Montreal’s neighbourhoods. Hundreds of street cafés, restaurants and funky boutiques line the street.
The streets in the area are characterized by duplexes or triplexes that have the typical Montreal exterior staircases in the front, many of which are used as comfortable places of rest and relaxation by the local residents. Many of the houses also feature small balconies on the upper floors, most of which are accompanied by small bistro tables and chairs for the outdoor enjoyment of the apartment residents.
The rooflines of in this neighbourhood are also very unusual: dormers and fake mansards add interest to the architectural mix.
The atmosphere is very relaxed, artsy and bohemian. I continued my walk west on a small street call rue Roy and came across a Mexican restaurant called “La Iguana” that also has a small outdoor sitting area. Every since my earlier trip to Mexico this year I have developed a taste for authentic Mexican food and La Iguana with its Mexican flair pulled me in.
I sat down at a comfortable table in the corner with a perfect view of the restaurant and the street outside. Unfortunately, the sky was clouding over and shortly after another tropical thunderstorm was unleashed on the city, the third one today.
To find out more about this restaurant I asked the owner, Fred Saunders, who jointly owns the restaurant with his wife Julie Chiasson, to join me for a bit. Over a mojito he started to tell me about La Iguana and how it all came about. Fred and Julie have travelled numerous times to Mexico together and fallen in love with the country and its flavours. Fred mentioned that they have visited many places on the coast, including Acapulco, Ixtapa, Playa del Carmen as well as Cozumel. Fred and Julie both enjoy scuba diving and have been enjoying underwater adventures in Mexico for the last four years.
They started dreaming of creating their own Mexican restaurant and finally three years ago, they opened “La Iguana”. Fred mentioned that it is open seven days a week for dinner and also opens Friday for lunch. Every Thursday to Saturday they feature live Cuban music that entertains the crowd with hot Latin rhythms. Fred mentioned that La Iguana also provides a catering service and a musician rental service for two to 21 musicians, a new service which they started a couple of months ago.
Fred further explained that the restaurant receives many guests from various hotels and tourism establishments. Just a week earlier, La Iguana hosted the British racing team which was in town for the Montreal Grand Prix. Fred mentioned that they referred to their experience at La Iguana as the “best Mexican food they have ever had”.
La Iguana is actually quite a small restaurant. It seats 64 people in total, including the tables on the sidewalk and the enclosed terrace which is also heated in the winter. Fred indicated that there are many nights when he has to turn away 50 to 60 people since he simply does not have the capacity to accommodate all the guests. For this reason he and Julie came up with the idea of opening another “La Iguana”. The second location will be downtown, and even beyond that Fred and Julie’s dreams extend to opening more locations, later on even in Ontario and different parts of Canada. Their dreams are to open a chain of “La Iguana” restaurants that will bring their concept of Mexican food to Canadians from coast to coast.
Big plans are in store for the new edition of La Iguana which is scheduled to open next spring in downtown Montreal. The new restaurant will be more spacious and feature a grill, allowing guests to order a whole fish hot off the grill. In addition it will also house a museum with authentic artifacts that will be provided by the Mexican Embassy. In addition, the new location will showcase live iguanas and live parrots to create an authentic Mexican atmosphere.
Talking about the history of La Iguana, Fred shared with me that right from the start the restaurant got good reviews. Their interesting dishes and plentiful portions might have something to do with it. Fred indicated that their fajitas and burritos are extremely popular. Ceviche, an authentic Mexican dish with seafood marinated in lime juice and coriander has also become a favourite. La Iguana’s Camarones Acapulco consist of a half a pound of giant shrimps in garlic butter with orange zest and flambéed with Grand Marnier. This signature dish is a crowd pleaser and looks like a sun with yellow rays.
Fred describes the cuisine at La Iguana as upscale Mexican and adds that the wine list is extensive with bottles ranging in price anywhere from $28 to $800. In addition, he and Julie have gone on research trips to Mexico and come back with 35 different types of Tequila that are all privately imported, another unique feature of La Iguana.
Well, with all this talk of tasty delicacies I was getting hungry and I wanted a chance to sample some of La Iguana’s food first-hand. I decided to order the La Iguana Special: a large platter featuring stuffed jalapeños, guacamole, potato skins, cheese quesadilla, chicken wings, nopales (cactus) and flautas (egg rolls), served with sour cream and a spicy sauce. This dish gave me a great overview of La Iguana’s cuisine and I savoured the tastes of Mexico. Then Fred surprised me with Shrimps Acapulco, one of La Iguana’s signature dishes featuring huge shrimp in a Grand Marnier sauce. My appetite was more than satiated but I just had to try La Iguana’s fried icecream for dessert which was a sinful and delicious way to cap off a very satisfying meal.
After some relaxing and listening to the live Cuban music I thanked Fred and headed out into the warm summer night. I walked down Boulevard St. Laurent, or “The Main”, Montreal’s principal north-south connection that divides the city into an eastern (mostly francophone) and western (mostly Anglophone) part. The many restaurants were filled with people and street life was animated. I walked through the pedestrian area on Prince Arthur Street, another popular restaurant area, to head south to Sherbrooke Street, one of Montreal’s main east-west thoroughfares. From there I made it to St. Catharines Street, the headquarters of Montreal’s famous Jazz Festival.
Montreal’s Jazz Festival is in its 27th year and over the course of two weeks from June 28 to July 9, 2006 more than 400 concerts will have been held, the vast majority of them free. B.B. King’s 80th Birthday Event was held on June 28. It is the largest jazz festival in the world and a true signature event for the city, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors. The festival is centered around Place des Arts and the Complexe Desjardins and with my packed schedule over these next few days tonight was my only chance to get a sneak peak at Montreal’s Jazz Festival. The crowds in front of the main stage and on St. Catharines were filling the streets as far as the eye could see and the audience were swaying to the rhythms of Afrodizz, Montreal’s best Afrobeat group, in front of a huge audience at the Scène General Motors .
What started 27 years ago as the dream of jazz aficionado Alain Simard has become the world’s biggest jazz festival that has featured stars like Ray Charles, Chick Corea, John Lee Hooker, Dave Brubeck, Muddy Waters, Dizzy Gillespie, B.B. King, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Chuck Mangione, Tony Bennett, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, George Benson, Holly Cole, Al Jareau and hundreds more. This years lineup included a tribute to Paul Simon, appearances by Dave Brubeck, Brad Mehldau, Etta James and The Neville Brothers. More than 2000 musicians will be coming to town to excite the crowds.
With African rhythms swirling through my head I strolled back slowly to my hotel, reflecting on Montreal’s superb qualifications as one of the world’s major festival cities. I needed to catch enough rest for my early morning bicycle tour of Montreal.
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Grand Oasis Caribbean Resort – All Inclusive, Cancun Overview:
Conveniently located at the north entrance to Cancuns hotel zone, the all-inclusive Grand Oasis Caribbean Beach Resort sits within walking distance of shopping, bars and restaurants. Guests staying at this resort may enjoy the additional services and facilities of the adjacent sister property, Oasis Palm Beach. This new resort opened January 2009!
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You’ll have no trouble finding hotels in Benidorm Spain, as it has more hotel rooms than any other area in the country. It has more skyscrapers than anywhere in the world, with the exception of New York.
Over the years, the city grew from a sleepy fishing village to a tourist mecca. Benidorm is the one of the most popular resort areas in Spain, with over 1000 restaurants and 30 nightclubs. The area is very popular among English travelers, and this is reflected in the types of entertainment available, as there are many English-style pubs in the area.
Whether you’re interested in Benidorm hotels or apartment rentals, you’re sure to find lodging that fits your needs. If you’re on a budget, or you’re springing for a luxury vacation, there are accommodations in this area that will suit you.
You might want to stay in a hotel with the most gracious of amenities and the most panoramic views. Or you might be looking to spend the least amount of money. You might want to be in the thick of the action, or you may want to be on the outskirts of the city, where it’s a little less busy. You might prefer modern features over quaint rooms.
Your first stop should be the internet. Here you’ll be able to compare prices and conditions of hotels, and find out before you get there whether or not you’ll be happy staying there. You’ll see pictures of the hotels, and some sites even post reviews by former guests. This is a great way to get an accurate, unbiased opinion of the location. Be sure to compare the hidden details, such as check in and check out times, cancellation policy and additional charges. You may find that what you thought was a great deal may turn out to be not so great once all of the additional information is evaluated.
Hotel Amenities in Spain
Think about the amenities that are important for you to have. Depending on how you’re traveling and with whom you’re traveling (spouse, single friends or children), your needs will be different. Consider children’s activities if they’re accompanying you on your vacation.
Another thing to consider is the location of your hotel to the main attractions that you’re interested in visiting. If you’re a golfer, it may make sense to stay at a property with a golf course, or to purchase a golf package when you book your trip. If you’re a sun worshipper, you may want to be in close proximity to the beaches in Benidorm.
Careful consideration of all the options will help ensure a relaxing vacation.
The Wrea Head Hotel Scarborough was built in the late 19th Century, this elegant country house hotel is set in acres of its own private grounds in a village just on the outskirts of Scarborough and sits on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors national park.
Make your way up the long winding drive and catch a tantalising glimpse of honeyed stone from which this luxureous country house hotel is built. The full grandeur of this wonderful mansion is only revealed once you turn that last corner at the end of the winding road.
The hotel’s arched entrance is vaguely reminiscent of a church doorway and, once inside instead of the bland walls of more modern hotels, guests are greeted with the warmth of glorious oak panelling, comfortable leather sofas and beautifully upholstered chairs.
Offering truly breathtaking, uninterrupted views across the Yorkshire countryside that must seen to be believed, Wrea Head offers arguably one of the most beautiful settings of all Scarborough hotels.
Surrounded by the endless scenery of England’s most beautiful county – from the heather filled Moors and scenic Dales to the spectacular Yorkshire heritage coastline – you can choose make your break as active, or relaxing, as you like.
Made famous by the ever more popular television series of ‘Heartbeat’ and the wonderful novels of James Herriot, you can explore this unique Yorkshire countrside just minutes walk away from the hotel. Within walking distance you will find the ever growing and most popular seaside resort in the UK – Scarborough, Famous for the hit ITV series ‘The Royal’ and the hit Michael Cane film ‘Little Voice’.
As well as the 21 individually styled, comfortable bedrooms. guests will also enjoy our Michelin Recommended Four Season Restaurant, The Ellis Cocktail Lounge, The Library and the hotel’s wood paneled halls.
During the summer months take a seat out on the terrace or take in the breathtaking views from the newly built conservatory – the perfect place to relax after a hectic day.
Small enough to care, yet large enough to cope with the demands of the most discerning guest, Wrea Head Hotel provides the perfect retreat from the trials of everyday life.
Wrea Head Hotel also appeals to business guests and is an ideal venue to get away from it all and get down to the business in hand. You might consider taking over the hotel exclusively to host your meeting in a secure, efficient and peaceful environment where attentive service and fine food offer the perfect environment for your event.
What’s the star rating? 3 star or 4 star?
Is the service and room for business twin single for single occupancy good? Anyone stayed here before?
Is the location good, other than it being in the Yokohama Chinatown area?
What are other comparable hotels to this hotel which I can choose from for my 4 days’ stay in Yokohama?
I’m not sure the rating, but I guess it values 4 star or more.
I find a page, there almost 500 people gave feedback to the hotel.
According to the page, it’s almost perfect!
Check how many people choose it and gave feedback,
however, it’s written in Japanese
The hotel is about 367m from Yokohama-Chukagai station (Minato-mirai line), 707m from Ishikawa-cho st. (JR)
Hear what real guests have to say about this luxurious All Inclusive Resort. Just 25 minutes from Cancun’s International Airport, Valentin Imperial Maya sits on a half-mile-long stretch of white sand beach of Playa Del Secreto (The Secret Beach) in the Riviera Maya. Discover a blend of romance and all-inclusive luxury at The Valentin Imperial Maya. This intimate all adults resort provides guests with upscale accommodations, fine dining, and superior amenities in a tranquil and relaxing oceanfront setting.
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See more at http://www.varadero-cuba.net as this is Magic at Hotel Sirenas Varadero Review so please see this video an dread more about Varadero Cuba!
Duration : 5 min 7 sec
When I read the other reviews on Paradise Island Harbour Resort I was sceptical about staying here. When we drove up to the hotel, I was even more sceptical – it clearly is not the fancy hotel on the outside like the others on the island. We checked in with no problem. Our room was ready when we arrived. We upgraded to the balcony view. The room was very clean. The drinks were wonderful. The food in the dining room was hit or miss. The first night we were not impressed but the second night the food was terrific. I would definitely stay at this hotel again. Easy access to the pool and food. Short walk to the casino without the crowd.
Early Sept. is a great time to go because they are not busy at all and you get more personal attention. Take part in the activities, like the nature walk. We were the only ones there so we got a private walk around the island and found out where the beach and other sites were!
The food was terrific-lots of variety at the daily buffet, and the outdoor grill was great. Captain’s table had limited options. Location was fine-walking distance to the Atlantis. Beds comfortable, but rooms small. The lagoon is terrific for the children, but the broken water toys need to be replaced!
Hotel could use a good painting and attention to: keeping the lagoon clean of the debris that blows off the beach-however, it would help greatly if the guests would dispose of their plastic drink cups when finished! They also should fix the ice cream machine, it was broken almost daily.
The arcade is great for the kids while the parents have adult time-but keep the games in working order! One big disappointment-the kids club is designed for children to stay indoors in one large room. They don’t want the liability to be responsible for the kids on the beach or in the pool. And, the final kicker is that it costs $5 per hour if the parent doesn’t stay with the child in the room for the kids club-so where’s the break for the parents as advertised? Who puts their child in a club and then stays with them? As a result, a majority of the children at the hotel play at the pool and lagoon while their families sun themselves. It was fine for our 8 year old as he found lots of to play with. Drinks are fine, good, not weakened. Need more shady areas around the lagoon and pool. Families should request upper floor rooms as lobby and pool area is loud. All in all a great value for the money.
Cam and Katie have a detailed look around one of the top London hotels available, giving their expert opinions on what the place has to offer.
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http://bookit.com/travel_guide-m0gtc-New_Orleans-Articles-Restaurants-American-New_Orleans_Restaurants_Serve_Up_Big_Flavor.html Two Creole sisters and the notions shop they owned on 613 Rue Royale Street gave The Court of Two Sisters its name and the street itself has long played a significant role in the history of the French Quarter and old New Orleans. Originally known as “Governor’s Row”, the 600 block of Rue Royale was home to five governors, two state Supreme Court Justices, a future Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and a future President of the United States. The two sisters, Emma and Bertha Camors, born 1858 and 1860 respectively, belonged to a proud and aristocratic Creole family. Their “rabais”, or notions, outfitted many of the city’s finest women with formal gowns, lace and perfumes imported from Paris.
Come check out the Daily Jazz Brunch Buffet! Enjoy a fine array of traditional hot and cold dishes made with the freshest ingredients. A typical selection of hot dishes includes made-to-order omelets, Eggs Benedict, sausage and bacon, grits and grillades, and shrimp or veggie pasta with a creamy Alfredo sauce. The afternoon’s sampling includes Creole jambalaya, turtle soup, Duck a l’Orange, and Shrimp Etouffee. The cold buffet typically offers boiled shrimp/crawfish, seafood and pasta salads, ceviche, marinated artichokes, pâtés, cheeses and a variety of fresh fruit, as well as delicious desserts like pecan pie, chocolate mousse, homemade French vanilla ice cream, Bananas Foster and famous bread pudding with whiskey sauce.
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