Thursday and Friday were spent mainly hanging out with friends. Thursday, a couple i knew were driving over from Quebec City. We had our breakfast and returned to the room to wait. They had hoped to get there by noon but were a bit later than that.
We were to meet them at Steve's music shop on Rue San Antoine which is just across from the hotel and up a block east. Steve's is probably the epitome of music shops if you're looking for an instrument in Montreal. They have pretty much everything and it's all spread through several little shops all connected along the street. Some are connected inside but some you have to go out into the street and go in the next doorway.
We met our friends there and then we headed out to drive up around the McGill university area and then parked up and went to Dunn's Famous deli on Metcalfe Street. Way better than Schwartz's apparently. I've been to Schwartz's and remember that it was very good but according to my friend, they are rude there and it's always very crowded and thronged with tourists. That's certainly true enough. We went to Dunn's which has been around since 1927 and we did have a really good meal there. The staff was indeed very nice and the Montreal Smoked Meat was excellent!
We all went up to Chapters on St. Catherine's and browsed there and along the famous shopping street. We finally got a chance to do a bit of souvenir shopping, too. My friends still had to drive back and wanted to get back on the road so we headed back to the hotel for coffees and a last visit before they had to leave.
On their recommendation, we thought we'd go back to St. Cath. to have our evening meal later on at Nickel's which is a 1950s style restaurant. We got the bus but seemed to get off at the wrong stop so found ourselves walking further than we expected. We found it eventually, though. It's bright inside and is another franchise style restaurant with a varied menu. I liked the food but it wasn't rave-able i think. You do get good portions and the prices are reasonable.
After we ate, we walked along looking at some of the stores with the Christmas lights on. The Bay was flooded in red and very nice and a cathedral was lit up with stars in the trees outside it. Although we aren't all that far from the hotel, we ended up taking the bus back anyway. Overall, though, we never felt unsafe walking at night in the downtown area of Montreal.