in Everyday Drinking, Kingsley Amis talks a lot about the “metaphysical hangover,” the often more detrimental to one’s capacity for pleasure and self-worth sibling of the physical hangover – with which i’m sure we’re all familiar, yeah? yeah? yeah, anyway, today was one of those lucky days when you wake up, or wander into shortly after waking, the emotional inversion of such a soul-crushing consequence of Too Fine a Taste for the Excess of Things In Life. anyway, what? feeling good. the sublime hangover, where you still feel like someone poured a bottle of vodka all over your brain and the nerves in your teeth, but you’re surfing, in lieu of sinking in, the void. where the light just seems a little brighter, although not oppressively or aggressively so, and the withered outer veil of the flesh has been torn away, leaving you revelling in the beauty and serenity of the Real World like some skinless, gibbering abomination..
so it was in this state (more or less) that i found myself toddling, positive and alcohol-sodden, to and fro along Duluth between St-Laurent and Parc Lac Fontaine for the better part of two hours today. honestly, i was like i’d never been there in my life, oddly. and amongst all the obnoxious and over-priced restaurants that populate that stretch, i found this little bakery called……Bouchee De Pain, i believe? the exact address escapes me, but it was on Duluth around Mentana. they’re tiny and cute and provide a fairly eclectic array of baked goods, including a selection of vegan and gluten free offerings! neither of which i tried, but i gotta say, the spinach-potato-feta empanada i had was awesome. fie on you, Chilenita! i’ve long resented your deceptively unsatisfying array of empanadas (to say nothing of overpriced, undergood burritos), and now i need no longer to look only to you for such wares! not to say i won’t continue to patronize La Chilenita, for as far as i can tell, their selection for non-meats remains in this city unparallelled, but it’s nice to not feel so up against the wall. you know?
further, when i finally strayed from Duluth and up (was i going up? i believe so) Saint-Laurent, i decided to finally go in and check out Marche Andes (just above Marie-Anne), the pan-Latin-American market/snack counter, and was totally stoked for the alternate reality version of myself where i’ve finally slid into carnivory (which i haven’t, really, for the record). they have a rad selection of empanadas, organized by the stylistic specificities of their countries of origin: Salvadorean, Guatemalan, Colombian, etc…unfortunately the only veggie option available (i’m not sure if this is consistently the case) was again spinach and cheese. it happened, however, to be radically different, in both pastry and filling than that which i had consumed earlier. this one had a lighter pastry, and in lieu of potato and feta to bulk it out, it was really credibly stuffed full of uncompromising spinachissicity (and possibly mozzarella?). so that, along with the vegetarian tamale, made for a satisfying $6.00 gnosh, along with a choice of mild (green), medium, or acceptably spicy sauce. the tamale was almost bland, but really hearty, stuffed with potato, peppers, tomato, carrot and unfortunately bland green olives. but sitting against a chain link fence on Clark, tearing apart the-sauce-soaked mass with my grubby bare hands, i felt like a true King of Beggars.
they also sell varied Latin American grocs – frozen fruit purees, condiments, tortillas, empanada shells, canned tomatillos, the usual.