When I arrived to the Tolhurst Park Picnic Wednesday, I saw a sympathetic group of people sitting together behind a table filled with Mexican dishes. I was quickly informed that all were either family of Patricia or friends coming to give her a hand for the evening. Like her, they were mostly from the city of Mexico or otherwise of the region of Aguascalientes.
Patricia is a baker.
It is as a member of the new SDC Quartier FLO (as in Fleury West) that Patricia can offer her products to Wednesday picnickers. Patricia arrived in Montreal with her husband and children nine years ago. After working briefly as assistant educator in a day care, she and her husband opened a bakery and pastry shop (Boulangerie-Pâtisserie mexicaine Patricia) seven years ago just west of Tolhurst Park. The couple had operated the same kind of business in Mexico City.
Their counter at the Wednesday Picnic offers different dishes every week. You may find a full meal on the table. That day, there were tacos dorados and paella, plus pastries and watermelon cubes served spicy or not. The first time I visited their table; there was pollo con mole poblano (chicken in a typical cocoa sauce).
If the business was mostly known to some Mexicans in its early days, the customer base has grown and diversified over the years. The house specialty is the "pastel de tres leches" (three milks cake).
Today, Patricia and Luis believe they get by at least as well as in their good years in Mexico City. Despite preserving strong roots – as their "Viva Mexico" caps showed –, they consider themselves permanently settled here. Their children have already started making their way. It must be said that at the speed at which this small neighborhood changes, they are already veterans! Indeed, the opening of their bakery preceded somewhat that of St-Urbain restaurant that turned heads to what is now known as FLO.