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Feb 10, 2007 02:09 PM

Best Montreal-style cuisine on a budget

I'm be in Montreal the week of the High Lights festival for a computer class, and I'd like to sample the local favorite digs, where common folk like me go. I'd like to try the fries with gravy, seafood, the smoked meats, a bakery or two.

Any recommendations?

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  1. If you like poutine, head for La Banquise on Rachel St. For smoked meat, Schwartz's is a no contest, on St-Laurent. As for bakery, it all depends on where you're located. Première Moisson is a chain but delivers solid goods, much better than Au Pain Doré IMHO. For burgers, you could try La Paryse on Ontario near St-Denis or Meat Market on St-Laurent between Marie-Anne and Mont-Royal. I'm also so fond of the mexican food a la Nacion on St-Catherine West near Guy. All these are quite affordable.

    1. You might want to visit Wilensky's Light Lunch at the corner of Fairmount and Clark. Get a Special, a half sour and a chocolate egg cream. After that you can go get a Bagel, a few doors down.

      Remeber to read the rules before ordering.

      1. If you're in the Plateau, get some egg tarts (pasteles de nata) at one of the Portuguese bakeries around Duluth/Rachel/Saint Laurent. Specifically, there are 2 awesome bakeries on Rachel between Saint Dominique and Saint Denis: Romado's and Notre Dame <de something>. The tarts are less than $1 each and a great way to satisfy the afternoon snack craving. (I live right near by, and eat them all the time.)

        1. L'Entrecote St Jean on Peel is a good stop for strip loin steak in a mustard sauce and fries. Good eats for under just over $20 before wine.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Hoover

            Not to be a killjoy, but have you been there recently? I agree a few years ago I had some nice meals there. But honestly, I went to L’entrecote St-Jean with a friend in from NY and one from Ottawa 2-3 weeks ago. It was central to hotels, easy to meet after Thursday 5-a-7, and it needed to be a fairly early dinner.

            I was actually embarrassed to have brought them there. The service was OK only. We were seated close to the door so were cold bc it was the only table available. Less than 5 minutes after being seated – before our wine arrived and our 3rd person – another table was free and we asked to move. Basically we were told it would be just as cold (I doubt anywhere was as cold - next to the door).

            The food? Forget it. The soup was watery (cream of broccoli). The steaks were not great cuts but more over, the medium were absolutely well-done (not even close), and my medium-rare was medium at BEST. The fries were undercooked and bland. Not a bad price but not great food. The ambiance is ok - busy bistro, but not notable. Definitely not returning - it may have been the worst steak frites I’ve had anywhere in town.

          2. I must say that Entrecôte St-Jean has nothing to do with "Montreal-style". For the same price, I'd much rather have a steak frites or bavette at some of our good bistros, i.e. L'Express, Au Petit Extra, etc...

            1 Reply
            1. re: Campofiorin

              Agree that L'Entrecôte St-Jean is best avoided. If you're looking for steak frites in the downtown area, La Brasserie Brunoise has one on their menu.