JUNE 15, 2010 – Upon arrival, I had the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour playing in my head. I said to myself: Aha, I’m at L’Escalier! I like everything about this restaurant/youth hostel, even the name. I like when a painting is entitled “The little girl and her pink chicken” and the painting actually depicts a little girl with her pink chicken. The owner of the former L’Utopik café has worked his simple magic. When you enter L’Escalier, the first things that you see are the stairs. Go figure (escalier means stairs in French). Upon climbing the stairs, it’s like you’ve walked right into the student café hang-out you used to frequent as a frosh in university. Young twenty-somethings meet up, laptop in tow, to enjoy a pint, eat millet and catch up on their e-mail. The menu is affordable and extremely health- and socially-conscious: wholesome sandwiches on organic bread, lentil soup, vegan choices, etc. Once inside, my free spirit takes over and I’m overwhelmed with the notion of planning a road trip…perhaps it’s just in the air. At L’Escalier, the world hangs out just across from Place Émilie-Gamelin.
552 Sainte-Catherine Street East