I love discovering small bars, cafes, and restaurants that are out of the way, unadvertised, yet constantly busy by virtue of the quality of their food and ambience. Montreal has many of these, but they are difficult to discover as a result of their anonymity.

Yesterday, I did an interview with a participant in one of our research projects. He suggested the cafe Triangulo on Duluth Street, “Just above the bakery” as he described it. A long and steep flight of stairs led to a half-darkened room filled with large TV screens and packed with men (and a couple of women) watching soccer. It’s a Portuguese coffee bar, and on this particular day, Portugal was playing against Malta (I think).

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We sat at a small table. My companion had risen late and ordered his “breakfast”, a cheese sandwich on one of those large, super-light, crusty Portuguese rolls, and a cafe au lait. The bar offers a daily lunch menu of two items only, varying with the day of the week. The choices were grilled liver or steamed cod. I went for the cod, served with boiled potatoes and chickpeas with raw onions. The ubiquitous miniature black olives were the accompaniment, along with a Portuguese beer. I would of course, never drink during an interview, but in this case it was de rigeuer.

The food was delicious in its simplicity and quality of ingredients. The beer went down beautifully, and I still managed to get the information I was looking for. A terrific find and one I’ll be sure to bring Messieurs Italo and Dario to on the latter’s next visit from the Big Apple.

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