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Best Lebanese restaurants for lunch and late night?

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urigio Jun 28, 2006 02:33 AM

I wanted to know what are the best places for lebanese cuisine in Montreal these days?
I remember there were many great lebanese restaurants in montreal when I lived there some time ago. (Especially the ones that served great late night schwarmas.)

When I go back to Montreal for a visit in July, I wanted to try a Lebanese place for lunch one day (as well as maybe a late night?) and I would appreciate some recommendations.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. c
    C70 RE: urigio Jun 28, 2006 11:26 AM

    Definitely BOUSTAN on Crescent btw. Sherbrooke & De Maisonneuve for the late-night snack. I think he's open 'til 4 am. Great falafel.

    1. carswell RE: urigio Jun 28, 2006 01:45 PM

      Though technically Syrian/Armenian, Le Petit Alep (191 Jean-Talon East, 514 270-9361) is a great spot for lunch. Plus you can combine it with a visit to Jean Talon Market and Little Italy. For a fancier dinner, there's always Alep, right next door.

      Aux Lilas (5570 du Parc, 514 271-1453) is arguably the best Lebanese resto in town and has a homey feel to boot. Plus you can combine it with a visit to the St-Viateur bagel factory.

      Daou (519 Faillon East, 514 276-8310) is worth the detour to Villeray (just ask Céline!!!).

      Downtown shawarmaries are pretty much interchangable. Agree that Boustan is among the better ones, as is the joint on the northwest corner of de Maisonneuve and Aylmer, right behind La Baie, though it's not open late.

      1. Juniper RE: urigio Jun 28, 2006 01:59 PM

        I like La Siren de la Mer on Jean Talon. They have a fresh fish market attached to it where you can go and pick out the fish you want and they cook it the way you want. The salads and dips are great and while I haven't had many of their a la carte mains (I almost always go for the fish) the ones I have had have been good as well. It is a pricier place with chandeliers hanging from the ceilings and kitsch romanesque columns as decor, but I've always enjoyed the food and service there.

        1. Juniper RE: urigio Jun 28, 2006 02:00 PM

          Sorry, I missed the part in your title that says "lunch and late night". Definitely, La Siren does not cater to the late night crowd, but they may do lunch? You'd have to call to find out.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Juniper
            e
            eat2much RE: Juniper Jun 28, 2006 02:13 PM

            La Sirene does indeed serve lunch.

          2. Chester Eleganté RE: urigio Jul 6, 2006 04:03 AM

            Hmm my friends there also swear by Boustan's, having tried the lot of them

            1. m
              Mr F RE: simplygenius Jul 8, 2006 01:22 PM

              I was going to say "surely nobody would be fool enough to call a restaurant 'Shish Taouk' -- that's like calling your joint 'Burger' or 'Pizza'", but lo and behold:

              Restaurant Shish-Taouk
              514-288-2192
              3633 St Laurent,
              Montréal, QC H2X 2V5

              2 Replies
              1. re: Mr F
                carswell RE: Mr F Jul 8, 2006 01:28 PM

                You know, I actually ate there once but the name hadn't registered. A friend of mine who lives in the hood and has been a regular patron claims the quality has dropped in the last six months or so. My single meal, about six months ago in fact, was pretty run of the mill. On the other hand, it wasn't at 3 a.m. and I wasn't drunk.

                1. re: carswell
                  m
                  Mr F RE: carswell Jul 8, 2006 01:37 PM

                  I had to check the map to be sure it was the place, but I've eaten there too. Maybe two or three lunches over the last three years. It's convenient if you're in the area anyway, but I wouldn't go more than a block out of my way for it if craving a late-night nosh.

              2. y
                yazooj RE: urigio Nov 28, 2010 06:51 AM

                I know theres a new lebanese restaurant that opened on corner st laurent and marie anne
                Its called Omnivore.

                Very good taouks and great "feuilles de vignes." They're open till 10 pm I believe.

                You definitely cant go wrong if you go there...

                2 Replies
                1. re: yazooj
                  b
                  Bwitch RE: yazooj Nov 28, 2010 07:37 AM

                  I absolutely agree about Omnivore - delicious taouk - as good as those at Abou Elias. It is a small, cosy space with 2 tables that seat 6, 3 table that seat 4 and 2 tables that seat 2. The quality is amazing and the prices very reasonable. We ate lunch there yesterday and we''ll be going back. We had taouks, but heard people around us raving about the soup of the day, the salads, the fattouche and the tisanes.

                  1. re: Bwitch
                    j
                    jay_81k RE: Bwitch Feb 16, 2011 12:11 PM

                    Just tried Omnivore and was pretty pleased. Will definetly save me the trip of going all the way to Abu Elias.. Although the selection isnt as great its pretty much as good and almost as cheap. Will cost about 2$ more for a sandwich which is the same style as the Abu ones, rolled up then grilled some more on charcoal. 100 times better than boustan in my opinion. Definetly putting it into my rotation

                2. t
                  The Chemist RE: urigio Feb 17, 2011 04:46 AM

                  Lot's of people will say Boustan but I disagree. The potatoes are always greasy, often microwaved, and the sandwiches really taste pretty one note these days. For late night, fine, but for lunch, I VASTLY prefer either a place under the Scotia bank building on Sherbrooke (I think it's called Aqli, but I could be wrong... I go there often though, just never look at the sign) or Medina in the food court of the Cathedral section of the underground mall. At Aqli, I recommend anything with falafel and the chicken is top notch. At Medina, again the chicken and the cabbage salad.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: The Chemist
                    s
                    sweettoothMTL RE: The Chemist Feb 17, 2011 06:06 AM

                    I actually was disapointed with the Villa Madina at Place de la Cathedrale, when I went there last year expecting Les Cèdres (which was very good), and finding it changed. I found it pretty average, not bad, but no longer a standout. However, I'll admit going there only once and on a Saturday, so I may have been unlucky.

                    Boustan is not a destination restaurant, agreed, but if you're in the area, and looking for a quick meal, it does the job better than average. Agreed the potatoes are pretty bland (it actually bugs me more that they microwave the styrofoam plate along with the potatoes than the actually microwaved potatoes), Boustan's strength is in their garlic sauce, so don't forget to get some on your potatoes, and you'll be happy.

                    -----
                    Villa Madina
                    1455 Rue Peel, Montreal, QC H3A1T5, CA

                    1. re: sweettoothMTL
                      c
                      celfie RE: sweettoothMTL Feb 18, 2011 06:03 AM

                      often, their chicken is quite dry, but not always
                      on a chicken pita i ask for hummus and spicy sauce - no garlic for me, i think it's sickening

                      1. re: celfie
                        s
                        Shattered RE: celfie Feb 18, 2011 02:21 PM

                        Agreed. Mayo + store-bought garlic powder? Urg. Definitely not traditional.

                        I never get pototoes either cause when the plate comes out of the microwave with the mini crater texture in the middle, and think of the styrofoam particles now burnt on the bottom my food... double barf.

                        1. re: Shattered
                          c
                          celfie RE: Shattered Feb 19, 2011 11:28 AM

                          soggy fried potatoes microwaved on styrofoam is the food of the future

                    2. re: The Chemist
                      m
                      maj54us RE: The Chemist Feb 17, 2011 08:52 PM

                      If you know a Lebanese fast food joint that doesn't microwave the garlic spicy potatoes let me know. Because I had it once of the fryer and it was amazing.

                      I was at Amir once on st-dnis/mont-royal and asked the guy behind the counter if I could have a fresh order of garllic potatoes. He looked at me as if I was an alien.

                      1. re: maj54us
                        d
                        deborahm RE: maj54us Apr 9, 2011 08:06 AM

                        Try "Garage Beirut Cuisine Libanaise" on Mackay just south of Ste-Catherine. Very new (like just the past couple of days) but I was blown away by the quality.

                        1. re: deborahm
                          c
                          CarolinaLP RE: deborahm Apr 9, 2011 09:49 AM

                          Omnivore on St-Laurent, definitely your best choice

                          1. re: CarolinaLP
                            d
                            deborahm RE: CarolinaLP May 8, 2011 08:26 PM

                            Garage Beirut is very fresh--particularly the garlic sauce. With the Shish Taouk (from the grill), the garlic sauce is heavenly.

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