When I was young, Notre-Dame street in old Lachine, a borough of Montreal, was teeming with excitement. Since then, it has fallen on hard times, with many stores and shops having closed, and now Notre-Dame looks a little rough around the edges. But don’t let that stop you if you’re in the neighbourhood. With the latest condo projects in the area bringing potential future patrons, slowly but surely the street is making a comeback as new cafés and restaurants are beginning to pop up, giving a sorely needed injection of new life to the street. Iranian bakery ‘Pain Azer’ is one such place.
An unplanned little walk due to boredom resulted in discovering Pain Azer, encountering Ahmed, its friendly owner, and having an informative chat about what makes his little café unique. From the moment you walk in, you can smell his freshly baked Sangak (stone) Iranian bread, but he also has poğaça (similar to focaccia) and three types of Turkish style baklava, (pistachio, walnut, and coconut). What it lacks in size (there are only 4 tables and a counter) Pain Azer makes up for in simplicity and ease, the wood panelling and Ahmed’s friendly smile adding to the comfortable space. The only place in the area that serves freshly brewed Turkish coffee, it’s definitely worth a visit for something beyond the ordinary.