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Miss Selanious

Coffee and Bread
In Montreal, there are all the usual suspects in the coffee arena, namely
Second Cup and Starbucks. There are homegrown versions too, like A.L. Van Houtte and Brulerie St. Denis. These places are dotted around everywhere, but coffee is available as grind-your-own in practically every dépanneur (convenience store) in town.

There are many chain bread stores, like Premiere Moisson and Pain Doré. Bread is not in short supply in Montreal, and most of it is good.

Kitchen supply stores
There are three good places that come to mind that are right downtown
. (Ares, an industrial-strength kitchen-supply place, is somewhere in West Island on a major highway and probably not readily accessible to visitors or casual spatula-seekers.) La Soupière is right opposite the Place Faubourg between Guy and St. Mathieu on St. Catherine, and it's recently expanded (and has its own web site.) Go here for expensive Le Creuset pans and gourmet gewgaws, like Pasta crankers and attachments, Wusthof and Henckels knives and millions of other kitchen adornments. The delightful owner, who reminds me of Julia Child, is sometimes willing to dicker, if you mention you have a web site that has her shop's name mentioned on it, or that it's your stove's twelfth anniversary, or something like that.

Following the puzzling practice (at least to me) of placing your shop right opposite your most powerful competition, is Benix, a kitchen place that's much more dollar-store oriented, but it's easy to miss—it's on the second floor of Place Faubourg in a corner.

If you'd like to purchase a shotgun with your grill-pan, or prefer hunting knives to the old 8-inch chef's, you'll want Danté Hardware at 6851 St. Dominique (off St. Laurent), Tel. 271-2057. One room's a kitchen-supply place (with a leaning towards Italian) and another is a hunting and fishing supply place, with a leaning tow
ards American. Most odd, but the owners are a family and are also globe-trotters, with business ties to Italy and Europe. Definitely the place if you want a ravioli pattern-cutter.

Dépanneurs (Convenience stores)
Montreal has its own variety of the convenience store, called the dépanneur, or just "the dep," for short. Most of these places are ethnic-run—you're as likely to find a Korean one on one corner and a Jewish one on the other. (These are to be differentiated from the 7-11-type chain convenience stores like Provisoir, Couche-tard etc. etc.)

Most of these mom-and-pop places open at around 7 a.m. and close at 11 or 12 every day. They carry the usual sundries, beer, wine and cigarettes and are usually overpriced, but hey, beats carrying it 23 blocks. Note that beer and wine sales officially end at 11 p.m.

Emergency Bathrooms (Downtown)
If you're downtown and have to go, it can be a huge dilemma. There are no public bathrooms, at least that I've seen, and I don't like walking into shops and asking to use their bathrooms—a surly stare or an "Employees only!" is what you'll probably get. Surprisingly, Metro stations have no facilities either! There are a couple of good stops, fortunately, that are close to the street (St. Catherine) and anonymous, in that you don't have to buy anything and no one will bother you: Try Chapters, the big bookstore at Stanley St., and the Burger King, also around there; down towards Guy there's a McDonald's next to a Pharmaprix and there are also bathrooms in the basement at the aforementioned Place Faubourg (the big green industrial-looking building just past Guy street.)

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