Celebrating Freedom

Mel and I were meeting Crystal for dinner to catch up and so on and so on.  Ever since she moved to BC, we barely see her anymore.

Mel had picked the terrace in front of the Metropolitain as a meeting point, planning to maybe wander in the Market for a place to eat.  But since I was a few minutes behind and Crystal was nowhere in sight, Mel made the executive decision to pick up one of the few remaining tables on the Met’s patio.

I showed up and we ordered drinks while we waited.  Mel felt Euro-sophiticated and decided to go for an Alsatian Kiss, one of their Metro Martinis – Citron vodka, apple vodka, apple juice, simple syrup.  (Why isn’t it called Lemon Vodka anyway?)  It was a well balanced drink – not too sweet, some tartness. Refreshing.   I opted for a pint of Stiegl. An Austrian beer, the Stiegl is a golden lager, with moderate yet rich malt flavours, lightly hopped, a mellow taste overall with a grassy finish.

Crystal finally showed up 30 minutes behind schedule – she wouldn’t be able to choose an appetizer as, while waiting, we had decided to take advantage of the dying minutes of the Hill Hour to order Le Petit, the smallest of their seafood platters, and 25% off during the Hill Hour.

Oysters, shrimp, crab, salmon, mussels – a nice looking platter and a good opportunity to enjoy quality seafood at a lesser price than the regular one.

As we were consuming the sea fare, we noticed some stalkers.  First, an Ottawa Citizen photographer.  Then, a guy from the Ottawa Sun.  Soon after, a CTV cameraman.  Another reporter soon joined the group.  I put my sunglasses on, hoping they weren’t after me again, as they were taking shots of the patio from across the plaza.  I looked around and noticed a growing local conservative crowd, including Tory blogger Stephen Taylor.

We waited for our food.  Mel ordered the Steamed Mussels & Frites, not quite understanding why they were Mussels & Frites as opposed to Mussels & Fries or, even better, Moules & Frites.  She unfortunately missed the “Hill Hour” deadline and ended up paying an extra $7 to enjoy them.


The fries at the Met are always nice, warm and crispy.  The Mussels were prepared with sundried tomatoes and spicy chorizo, they were nicely cooked and the sauce was rich and colourful, a pleasure for the palate and the eyes.

I ordered the Wednesday Special, la choucroute!  Smoked pork loin with pork belly, veal sausage, frankfurter served with sauerkraut and boiled potatoes.  At 24$, it is a strange price for a sausage special, but I could not choose anything else.

The potatoes still had their skins, adding some crisp to the dish.  Nice surprise, the sauerkraut came covered with little french cornichons, adding a fresh vinegar flavour to the fermented cabbage.  The sausages were cooked perfectly, but the smoked pork was a tad overdone and a bit on the dry side. Usually, the cabbage is very dominaut in a sauerkraut, but here, it was just an equal partner to the meat.  The portion was therefore smaller than the usual sauerkraut dish, but I did not suffer too much from it.

Finally, we realized who the crowd was waiting for – Ottawa Mayor Larry O’Brien, who lives nearby, was coming to celebrate the end of his trial.

The “Get out of Jail for Free” party was soon underway, with the Mayor’s supporters, a versatile conservative crowd and even some reporters who covered, or not, the trial.

Good times.

I’m glad I had pork.

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