Before Starbucks came the Hungarians
Letters to the Editor The Gazette. Montreal, Que.:
In search of our daily java fix, Montreal coffee aficionados head to Caffe Art Java on the Plateau or Mile End's Cafe Olimpico or Toi Moi & Cafe.
Misses the Hungarians
Re: "Before Starbucks came the Hungarians" (Gazette, Oct. 24).
I still miss the Coffee Mill, where I used to have supper almost every night. They had the best wiener schnitzel in the world, and I have never tasted rice like theirs since.
I went to New York to sing. When I came back in 1989, it was gone. Cafe Rococo is great, but it won't serve wiener schnitzel, which no one cooks like Hungarians.
Back then, the whole downtown atmosphere was great - hanging out at Pam-Pam or the "Riv" or The Bistro just up Mountain St. from the Coffee Mill. All the local artists - Leonard Cohen, Armand Vaillancourt, Jimmy Ritchie, Vittorio, Claude Jutras - were there. There was great camaraderie, not just between the artists and locals, but more importantly, between anglophones and francophones - two words I never heard until the early 1970s.
It was a pleasure to read Lesley Chesterman's story about the old Hungarian restaurants (Gazette, Oct. 24). I fondly remember the Coffee Mill and that awesome, wonderful Chocolate Ludlab. One time was a dinner with friends to celebrate my daughter's 11th birthday.
After the feast, the lights in the basement went out (we thought is was another Montreal power failure). The chef brought half a Ludlab decorated with candles and whipped cream. My daughter has never forgotten that special birthday.
"For me, Hungarian food is better than Italian, French and Chinese - combined. I think it's time it made a comeback."