Paella ...North of the Border (& Worth the Drive)

This Labor Day, I was lucky enough to escape the hustle and bustle of New York City for a quick trip to Montreal. My mission: See if the Latin food scene was living up to the hype. The French-speaking and culturally-dominant region of Quebec isn't the first place you think you'd find good Latin eats, but just as Latin flavors have become mainstream in America, they're creeping their way into the cuisine north of the border.

Was I skeptical? Somewhat. I live in New York City, where I probably have access to the best Latin food outside Latin America proper. (Sorry California, your Mexican is good but that's about it...)

I packed up my Ford Escape and four friends for the weekend away. If you've never been in a Ford Escape, it's probably the perfect road trip SUV. Besides being perfect for a group, my favorite feature is the BLIS with Cross-Traffic alert. Sounds fancy, eh? Basically, if you're road-tripping it on the highway and there's a vehichle in the lane next to you, a light indicator lets you know when it's safe to move into that lane. Can you say genius?

So, after a six hour drive, what's worth it when it comes to Montreal's Latin scene?

Barroco: The paella was highly recommended by the waiter and it certainly did not disappont! 312 St. Paul O

Cachitos: This place specializes in the Veneuzelan bread of the same name and has lots of varieties, including ham, turkey, chicken - and my personal favorite - guava. 153 Saint Catherine Est

Mezcla: After a long day running around the city, the refreshing Ceviche Mixto hit the spot. 1251 Rue de Champlain

So, where should I road trip it next? Have a spot in Montreal you think I missed? Share it in the comments.