Of Bubble tea, Pho and Téh - Montreal Secrets

b-Living
Part of the fun of writing a column about Montreal lifestyle is that I get to leave the fashion world every now and again and bring you news about random things to do and places to visit around town. Because, not unlike what people living in most mega-cities in North America experience, even if you’ve been living in Montreal your whole life, you never quite get to uncover all of its treasures.

Shops, bars, restaurants, spas… they come and go faster than you can spot them, and as far as Montreal is concerned, it’s not because the concept isn’t good enough to last; it’s just that Montrealers are creatures of habit and if you can’t make it into their routine, whether that is due to inadequate pricing, inconvenient transit or an incongruous setting, you’re bound to fail. It’s an unfortunate fact but it is our reality nonetheless. So to avoid having some of our best-kept “secrets” vanish from our streets, I thought I’d bring you 2 that you must fit into your routine right away.

The first one is an institution locals have been enjoying for years but that I, also being a creature of habit, just got to discover recently, much thanks to friends looking for a cheap, hearty and cozy meal to share. Located on St-Denis, corner Beaubien, Pho Tay Ho is a delight for those rainy November week nights when there is nothing to do but to chat with friends over some bubble tea and pho. Of course, let’s not forget the $2 spring rolls and a shot of sake to kill those ‘round-the-corner winter blues.

Pho

There is nothing pompous about Pho Tay Ho, and that is exactly its charm. This is the place you want to take shelter in after coming home worn out from a long work day, when you can’t imagine yourself cooking a meal, much less making a sandwich, and all you’re wearing is a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and 2 wool sweaters (we all know how the weather gets around these parts, don’t we?). Where Pho Tay Ho is unpretentious in its standards of decorum, it makes up in the quality and size of its menu items, not to mention the friendly service. For approximately $15 – that is if you splurge – you can leave the restaurant with a full stomach, ready to roll back home, with a doggie bag for tomorrow’s lunch to boot. This is definitely an institution to cherish in this city so go on and enjoy. You won’t be sorry.

The next place you need put on your list of stores to hit on your transit downtown is a new concept that has recently sprung right off the McGill metro station, as you make your way into Les Ailes de la Mode, facing the Jean Coutu pharmacy. If you drink tea, if you want to start drinking tea or if you’re just looking to please a tea drinker, Téh Bar is the place to go. With over 90 types of infusions and a large array of iced teas, coffees and lattes, this is a unique concept in this city. Scratch that, in this province! Along its counter, each tea is presented with, along a sample, the list of ingredients, their source, their properties and their infusion instructions. There’s really a tea for everyone and if you know me by now, you know I’ve already found 3 or 4 with my name on it.

Téh Bar Montreal

What’s more, Téh Bar offers a variety of lunch and snack items that are sure to help boost your metabolism and natural defenses. Organic muffins and bars, all-natural chocolate cupcakes, agave sticks… I swear I thought I had stumbled upon the epitome of healthy, comfort foods. This is no doubt about to become your treasured getaway from the harsh winter ahead. Go check Téh Bar in person or begin by taking a stroll through their Facebook page: http://ja-jp.facebook.com/pages/Teh-bar/122708329287

Pho Image by Andrew Dinh

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