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Montrea Locals - What do you consider the best small hole in the wall resto?

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baconspit Jun 13, 2007 02:19 PM

Looking for restaurant that is maybe still flying under the radar but has a great local following? Thanks!

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  1. SnackHappy RE: baconspit Jun 13, 2007 07:14 PM

    If they're off the radar, I doubt that anyone here would know about them. This place IS the radar.

    5 Replies
    1. re: SnackHappy
      b
      BLM RE: SnackHappy Jun 13, 2007 09:13 PM

      I'm sure they're some neighbourhood restaurants that produce good food, that will never be reviewed by Montreal restaurant critics(critics tend to focus on certain areas of town, & usually only review new restaurants), and never(or very rarely) get mentioned on the food boards. I was actually going to post a similar topic as this.

      1. re: BLM
        SnackHappy RE: BLM Jun 13, 2007 10:02 PM

        Alright then, name away. I love nothing more than trying out great new restaurants. I'm just pretty sure that people on this board aren't keeping secrets. Unless they are, and in that case: BOO!

      2. re: SnackHappy
        f
        fedelst1 RE: SnackHappy Sep 22, 2007 04:12 PM

        BAHN LAO THAI on Decarie up near the Cote Vertu Metro station is a true Thai Cambodian family style joint that serves up the most authentic Thai I have had since I was working in Thailand. This family run joint has the qualifying hole in the wall characteristics, that make the experience worth the drive. most traditional meals are on the menu, but be aware that these are made home style, and have some regional variation.

        The owners know their stuff, and the food comes out fresh, hot and tasty. One of the more interesting items is the beef jerky, which is served hot and crisp with a dipping sauce. The Larb Gai is not the typical version found in Bangkok, and may be a Cambodian variation, as it not only has ground chicken, but also gizzards and heart. A bit surprising if you are not expecting it.

        1. re: fedelst1
          hungryann RE: fedelst1 Sep 22, 2007 05:09 PM

          I think it is Thai and Laotian food (not Cambodian)...hence the name.

          1. re: fedelst1
            y
            yummyrice RE: fedelst1 Jun 20, 2009 04:07 PM

            Larb Gai is a Lao dish, which typically has chicken gizzards. Larb Seen is a beef version with tripe. The dried beef jerky is a Lao flash-fried beef jerky dish called "Seen Hang" (salty) or "Seen Savanh" (sweet with sesame seeds). The name of the restaurant reflects the mixture of Lao and Thai dishes..."Banh Lao Thai" pretty much means Lao-Thai Home.

        2. c
          celfie RE: baconspit Jun 13, 2007 07:43 PM

          ange and ricky's!

          1. m
            Moosemeat RE: baconspit Jun 14, 2007 08:57 AM

            I think a lot of lower end restos get left off this board for the reason that "really amazing" restaurants get more talk than good, decently priced places. A great exaple of this is that Khyber pass gets only one recent thread on the board while AuPdC is mentioned in about 12 recent posts. Khyber pass is a great restaurant (in fact one of my favourites, and by no means a hole in the wall) but because it's only a couple of blocks from AuPdc, when out of towners ask for recs of places to go in that neighbourhood, they aren't told about it.

            Is there a particular neighbourhood you're looking to explore, or is this a montreal-wide hole in the wall hunt? Also, does the place have to be small and grimy, or just dirt cheap?

            48 Replies
            1. re: Moosemeat
              hungryann RE: Moosemeat Jun 14, 2007 11:02 AM

              I also think that most smaller restos are ethnic and this is not very mainstream for the Montreal board. The same places (APdC, Toque, CCP, Brunoise, etc) get discussed ad nauseam to my chagrin. There doesn't seem to be a lot of interest to discover the great ethnic cuisines that our city offers.

              1. re: hungryann
                carswell RE: hungryann Jun 14, 2007 11:14 AM

                Among locals, there's a fair amount of discussion of ethnic eateries and food stores. But, for better or worse, much time on this board is spent responding to tourists' questions, and tourists tend to be seeking a more French and often more upscale experience. Though hard to believe given the recent (and seasonally predictable) rash of "what restaurants should I not miss during my three days in Montreal" queries, the percentage of non-tourist-related posts has increased in the last year or two. It's a trend to be encouraged, though the US-centric nature of Chowhound means there's always going to be significant percentage of questions from outsiders looking for the biggest, best and trendiest.

                1. re: carswell
                  c
                  celfie RE: carswell Jun 14, 2007 11:36 AM

                  I would venture to call Daou a low key eatery that MUST be experienced. It is certainly off the beaten path and it is a true taste of Montreal - considering we have one of the largest lebanese populations in north america.

                  1. re: celfie
                    c
                    CMT RE: celfie Jun 23, 2007 12:15 PM

                    ..note that there are 2 Daou restaurants,...go to the one on Faillon

                    1. re: CMT
                      b
                      BLM RE: CMT Jun 23, 2007 02:52 PM

                      The one on Faillon is better(it owned by the same family I believe).

                      1. re: BLM
                        c
                        celfie RE: BLM Jun 23, 2007 03:10 PM

                        what's better about that location? i can't see how the VSL one could possibly be beat!

                        1. re: celfie
                          c
                          CMT RE: celfie Jun 27, 2007 09:43 PM

                          ...do the taste test and let us know...especially hot dolmas entree and fish, grilled chicken.....

                    2. re: celfie
                      t
                      thelonious777 RE: celfie Jul 10, 2007 03:19 PM

                      Owned by the same family but I think the one in VSL is much better. Maybe its just a matter of the way you are used to having these dishes prepared.

                      1. re: thelonious777
                        m
                        maj54us RE: thelonious777 Nov 15, 2007 01:09 PM

                        DAOU is same family but since 2 different chef food can have a difference.

                        The one on Faillon looks like a cafeteria for the decoration.

                        The one in Ville St-Laurent on Marcel Laurin boulevard is more upscale in terms of decoration.

                        As for prices, I have no memory if it's the same prices for both.

                      2. re: celfie
                        SpellMan RE: celfie May 29, 2010 10:16 AM

                        Agree completely with this. Although you are likely to run into Celine and Angelil there. I've seen them at least three times so I think it is/was one of their haunts.

                        1. re: SpellMan
                          l
                          lagatta RE: SpellMan May 30, 2010 07:17 PM

                          Which one? If it is the Faillon branch, Angelil grew up near there. That area has long had a Lebanese community (as well as francophone Québécois and Italian immigrants). There are two mostly-Lebanese Orthodox churches in Villeray - one at least (St-Nicolas) has a foodie-worthy bazaar. Daou is also very close to Chez Apo. The décor is really sad though. It was nicer when it was a tiny byow hole in the wall, but that was decades back.

                    3. re: hungryann
                      kpzoo RE: hungryann Jun 14, 2007 11:23 AM

                      > There doesn't seem to be a lot of interest to discover the great
                      > ethnic cuisines that our city offers.

                      *I'm* very interested! :-)

                      For a hole-in-the-wall, how about Aux Délices de l'Ile Maurice in Verdun? Tiny place, massive portions, tasty food from Mauritius. Only been there once but it was very memorable and I've been meaning to go back. The chef himself comes out and tells you what's available that day in a very entertaining way (at least I found it entertaining - you might not. ;-).

                      Not sure if it qualifies as "under the radar" as it's already been reviewed all over the place, but it's worth a try if it sounds appealing.

                      Some reviews:

                      http://www.montrealfood.com/restos/de...

                      (in French) http://www.voir.ca/restos/chronique.a...

                      1. re: kpzoo
                        e
                        estragon RE: kpzoo Jun 14, 2007 04:06 PM

                        I'm a frequent visitor to Montreal, not a resident, so my experience is a bit limited. However, the best out-of-the-way holes in the wall my Montreal friends have introduced me to are:

                        - Kieu Anh, 7491 St-Denis, a few blocks north of Jean-Talon. Amazing Vietnamese, specializing in dishes from the north. All of us had the grouper -- it comes on a big platter, with a bowls of broth, noodles and greens, so you can assemble the dish yourself.

                        - Caribbean Curry House (Maison de cari) - 6892 Victoria, in Plamondon. Great roti, red snapper, patties, etc.

                        1. re: kpzoo
                          j
                          janetmweiss RE: kpzoo Jun 14, 2007 10:26 PM

                          Oh wow, thanks! I've always wanted to try Mauritian food but I didn't know we had any Mauritian restaurants here. I'm definitely going to have to try this out!

                          1. re: kpzoo
                            f
                            fedelst1 RE: kpzoo Sep 22, 2007 04:00 PM

                            Without a doubt Delice a top contender for hole in the wall. The chef/ Owner Sylvestre is colorful in more ways than one. Considering you can basically read the menu from what he got smeared on his shorts and tank top. This place is not for the faint of heart. From the tennis balls on the feet of every chair to the late night extravaganza that happens after 9:30, the experience is about as interesting as the food.

                            Massive quantities, nah, these are super massive. Considering you are greeted with the cabbage baji, and then asked the usual Chicken, Sausage, Smoked Salmon or Eggplant question, then this is followed up with what is usually a very good curried soup.. then comes Sylvestre to offer you dinner. If you happen to be lucky enough to come on a night where he has the Civet de Caille, I recommend it. ... and at the end of all this... the bill is below $15.... go figure.

                            This place is not for the faint of heart, and not for food snobs, it is for people looking for an interesting experience, who can let down their hair and relax.

                            1. re: fedelst1
                              f
                              finderskeepers RE: fedelst1 Nov 16, 2007 11:02 AM

                              I must say, I've tried this place and was underwhelmed.

                              The fired cabbage and the soup that came first were sheer pleasure, and the portion for the low, low price is MORE than a good deal!

                              But the main course - choose your own culinary adventure of pairing a meat of choice with a sauce of choice - was a bit bewildering, and seems contrary to what a chef's role is - making these pairing choices for you according to their knowledge of food. Plus it didn't seem very 'authentic' to me. Maybe I missed some options on the menu...

                              It's worth a trip for sure, and it certainly a unique restaurant experience! The chef is great, and I think i'll even try it again, but perhaps this time I'll try the civet de quail, as recommended by fedelst1 !

                          2. re: hungryann
                            SnackHappy RE: hungryann Jun 14, 2007 11:44 AM

                            The reason that those restaurants are discussed so much is that every other thread on this board is started by tourists asking for reccomendations. Mostly wanting to know whether to go to this fine dining establishment or that bistro. It can't be helped that some people are going to want ot talk about 200$ tasting menus with wine pairings, foie gras lobster rolls or $80 steak plates. These people are foodies. They come here to eat and they have money burning holes in their pockets. They want an experience that will make their foodie friends jealous. They're not going to have $1.75 pupusas or portuguese chicken.

                            People don't come here from out of town looking for Mexican or Indian or Chinese food. They are mostly looking for some sort of French or Market type restaurant because that's what Montreal does better than most other cities in North America.

                            Personally, I can't afford to go to Club Chasse et Peche, Toqué or Joe Beef. I can splurge every once in a while and go to a nice place, but I spend most of my restaurant dough on cheap ethnic restos because they give me the most bang for the buck. I've discovered a lot of places because of posts on this very board.

                            Khyber Pass gets mentionned regularly here, and there are long threads about Indian and Mexican food that keep getting bumped up. I wish we spent more time chowhounding than talking about fine dining, but the fact of the matter is that people here seem to get more excited about fine dining and destination restaurants than about where to get the best roti, pozole or banh mi.

                            1. re: SnackHappy
                              kpzoo RE: SnackHappy Jun 14, 2007 11:56 AM

                              > They're not going to have $1.75 pupusas or portuguese chicken.

                              Oooh, you just reminded me of one of my favourite holes-in-the-wall!

                              El Amigo - 51 St-Zotique E.
                              http://www.montrealfood.com/restos/el...

                              A large selection of homemade Mexican & Salvadoran specialties, including pupusas. Yum!

                              1. re: kpzoo
                                l
                                lagatta RE: kpzoo Jun 14, 2007 03:39 PM

                                Do you like El Amigo better than nearby La Carreta? 350 St Zotique E. Both are good; El Amigo (television blaring, in Spanish) is a little more hole-in-wallish, La Carreta rather prettier.

                                Have you had any of the other specialities, beyond the (yummy) pupusas? They do a kind of paella, and "hungry man" type specialities with steak, beans and all manner of food. I haven't but would be interested in knowing if any are good.

                                One I'm still mourning though is Tanguito, a wee hole-in-the-wall Argentinean resto with excellent empanadas, little steaks, torta pascualina (sort of like a quiche or vegetable tart; also a speciality of Liguria (Genova) Italy - many Argentineans hail from that area of Italy. It was always packed but closed to be replaced by an indifferent-looking Italian place run by non-Italians - I think they are from a South Asian country. An Argie friend thinks the old couple running the place might have been able to sell it off at a profit and retire.

                                I'm glad celfie mentioned Ange & Ricky - scarcely a restaurant at all but such tasty Haitian and other island foods: Ange & Ricky, 195 Jarry E.

                                Another non-restaurant not to be missed is Lahmadjoune Beyrouth-Yerevan, 420 Faillon, 270-1076 for their great lamajoune and other savoury pastries and takeout dips, stuffed vine leaves, etc.

                                And a whole series of cheap, small South Asian restos on Jean-Talon West (in Parc-Extension, past the Loblaws)...

                                I'm just resigned to any of these boards focusing on places that are far too rich for my blood - in either sense.

                                1. re: lagatta
                                  kpzoo RE: lagatta Jun 14, 2007 04:09 PM

                                  > Do you like El Amigo better than nearby La Carreta?

                                  I haven't been there, but now will have to try it! Is the food similar? Yes, the TV blaring Spanish soap operas and news about Paris Hilton en Español is a bit annoying at El Amigo, but I suppose that's part of its hole-in-the-wall charm. ;-)

                                  At El Amigo, I must admit I tend to go for the $10.95 combo platter of chicken taco & chicken enchilada (+ rice + beans + salad), just because both are so delicious.... I had a fried plantain as an appetizer recently that was tasty, but had more of a dessert feel to it. When I was there recently with a group, my friend had a "typico" Salvadoran chicken-onion dish that looked scrumptious (and my friend found delicious) - I will have to try it next time.

                                  > And a whole series of cheap, small South Asian restos on Jean-Talon West
                                  >(in Parc-Extension, past the Loblaws)...

                                  Agreed. My fave is Bombay Mahal (1001, rue Jean-Talon Ouest - 514-273-3331) and I'd go there more often except it's always absolutely packed and once you're seated the wait even to order can be excrutiatingly long - especially when you're hungry. My friends and I tried to beat the crowds by going around 5-5:30 recently, but even then it was packed! I adore the channa samosa (samosa swimming in spicy chick-pea curry) and masala dosa (giant pancake-like thing wrapped around spicy potatoes, with a thin dal dipping sauce.

                                  We tried Halal 786 up the street once (766 Jean-Talon W. - 514-270-0786) when Bombay Mahal was too packed and it too was delicious, but the choice of dishes was a little less interesting to us. A lot of dishes with the same combination of ingredients - chick peas, spinach - which I love, but it was hard to find other things to order as we were with someone who was allergic to fish - too bad, because they apparently h ave some kind of whole fish fry that's supposedly fantastic!

                                  http://www.hour.ca/food/food.aspx?iID...

                                  1. re: kpzoo
                                    f
                                    fedelst1 RE: kpzoo Sep 22, 2007 04:05 PM

                                    Bombay Mahal may have a very capable kitchen, but the filthy dining room is just beyond event my tolerance. i wish I could say something nice about this place, but although I am a tolerant person, I draw the line at sticky greasy tables, and filthy cutlery.

                                    On a positive note, Jolee on Victoria serves up some very good southern Indian / Sri Lankan cuisine that is absurdly inexpensive. With absolutely no decor worth talking about, the dining area contends with a continual flow of patrons coming in and out for a massive take out business that they run. During your meal, it is normal that over 100 people may come and go with take out orders.

                                    1. re: fedelst1
                                      hungryann RE: fedelst1 Sep 22, 2007 05:13 PM

                                      Jolee has previously been cited (about 4-5 years ago) for rodent problems and sanitation issues by the city of Mtl. I've mentionned this on another thread but thought you should know since you find Bombay Mahal unacceptable. Jolee sort of had the same vibe last time I was there in 2003 but things may have changed?

                                      1. re: hungryann
                                        SnackHappy RE: hungryann Sep 24, 2007 08:25 AM

                                        As of last year, things have not changed. The place is dirty, dirty, dirty. The kitchen is filthy. there are food bins on the floor in the hallway. The bathrooms are revolting. Since we've been there, my girlfriend refuses to go to any other Victoria street restaurant.

                                    2. re: kpzoo
                                      l
                                      lizlefebvre RE: kpzoo Jan 24, 2011 07:48 AM

                                      I like Bombay Mahal a lot: eggplant appetizer, butter chicken, nan bread, vegetarian curry... it's super busy all the time due to how tasty everything is, and I don't mind a slightly sticky table top. I just leave my jacket on :-)
                                      Actually I have driven all the way from Verdun for takeout from Bombay Mahal...

                                      I also went to Halal 786 when Bombay Mahal was jammed, and it was very nice too, and yet.... I can't explain it: everything we had was delicious. Maybe all it was was that I was subconsciously disappointed that I couldn't get my BM butter chicken fix...

                                      -----
                                      Halal 786 Restaurant
                                      768 Jean Talon, Montreal, QC H2R1V1, CA

                                  2. re: kpzoo
                                    c
                                    CMT RE: kpzoo Jun 23, 2007 12:17 PM

                                    Strongly believe La Caretta is better

                                    1. re: CMT
                                      p
                                      pouletsecret RE: CMT Sep 15, 2007 07:05 PM

                                      Strongly second La Caretta as better.

                                    2. re: kpzoo
                                      l
                                      lagatta RE: kpzoo Nov 7, 2007 11:58 AM

                                      Just pointing out here that El Amigo is now a byow (you can also bring beer). That makes it an even cheaper destination to go to with friends for a casual meal.

                                    3. re: SnackHappy
                                      hungryann RE: SnackHappy Jun 14, 2007 04:19 PM

                                      "I wish we spent more time chowhounding than talking about fine dining"
                                      Amen to that! I completely agree.
                                      I go to those 'fancy' places (usually work related) and I enjoy them but what gets my juices flowing is precisely the hole-in-th-wall that serves killer food. To answer the OP, my two favorite places that don't seem to get much attention here are:
                                      -Nostos on L'Acadie for greek food (not technically a hole-in-the-wall since their brisk business has allowed them to expand)
                                      -Kuljit India in the strip mall of Marcel Laurin and Keller (a true mom and pop shop that serves delicious Punjabi fare on par with the restos in Parc EX; actually their menu is practically a carbon copy of Malhi Sweets)
                                      -

                                      1. re: hungryann
                                        kpzoo RE: hungryann Jun 14, 2007 05:53 PM

                                        > Kuljit India

                                        Thanks for the tip on this - I'm definitely going to check it out.

                                        1. re: hungryann
                                          b
                                          BLM RE: hungryann Aug 19, 2007 12:08 AM

                                          Ann, what do you think is best at Kuljut India? Just went there for the first time Saturday(18th), & from my brief sampling of their stuff it was very good. Certainly a hole in the wall resto(never would of discovered it without you writing about them).

                                          1. re: BLM
                                            hungryann RE: BLM Aug 19, 2007 10:04 AM

                                            BLM, I am so glad you tried it. I have been secretly afraid that they will close because it's always empty when I go. However, I think they do a brisk take-out business. I hope it's enough because it would be a pity to lose such a good mom and pop place. On to my recommendations...
                                            1. Channa samosa (smashed up samosas with chick peas and doused by yogurt, tamarind sauce and cilantro - perfect balance of sweet, sour, tangy and spicy!)
                                            2. Aloo tikki - very good potato pancake
                                            3.Butter chicken - excellent, practically identical to the one from Malhi Sweet but the last two times I ordered it there was less chicken and it was mostly dark meat; could be a fluke
                                            4.CTM - I recently discovered this and if it is possible I love it even more than the butter chicken. The sauce is silky and has more depth and creaminess and nice big chunks of chicken tikka in it
                                            5. Malai Kofta - same sauce as the butter chicken but with cheese balls instead
                                            6.Navratan and eggplant dishes are also good versions
                                            7. Aloo Mutter although good it is not as good as homemade versions I've had at Indian friends' homes. I guess I am a little spoiled.
                                            That's all I remember off the top of my head. What did you have? Anything I should be discovering?

                                            1. re: hungryann
                                              b
                                              BLM RE: hungryann Aug 19, 2007 06:08 PM

                                              Seems you know your Indian food. Nothing too adventurous, on my first visit to Kuljit India. Tried Vegetable pakora, Chicken Tikka, Naan bread & Fanta orange for drink. In your list of recommendations, what's 'CTM'?

                                              I noticed on their menu, they have some kind of friend chicken(1 pound marinated Chicken Breast, deep fried in oil). When I was there just past 5pm Saturday, it was doing a brisk take-out business.

                                              1. re: BLM
                                                hungryann RE: BLM Aug 19, 2007 07:21 PM

                                                CTM = chicken tikka masala
                                                I don't know about the fried chicken. I will have to inquire next time.
                                                On a related note, I checked out the Indian festival today in Parc-Ex and there were some good eats. There was a kiosk selling pakoras, samosas and aloo tikki (made by some Indian ladies), another booth with chaat papri and pani puri (I think it was by a couple who used to own Shan E Lasalle but I could be wrong), a kiosk by restaurant Devi and another by Shalimar sweets. There was also another food kiosk by the restaurant on Jean Talon and Bloomfield. All in all a good afternoon munching on various chaat items, sipping mango lassis and getting a sugar high from syrupy jalebis.

                                                1. re: hungryann
                                                  b
                                                  BLM RE: hungryann Aug 19, 2007 07:49 PM

                                                  The couple who used to own Shan E Lasalle? I only remember the mother & her son who were running it(after they first opened it for a year or two they close it, then shortly after that they reopened but that didn't last long).

                                                  Have you tried the food at 786 Halal restaurant on Jean-Talon West. If yes, what do you think? I remember eating a very good & spicy chicken tikka malala at 786 Halal.

                                                  1. re: BLM
                                                    hungryann RE: BLM Aug 19, 2007 09:57 PM

                                                    Well, now that I think about it, the woman did look older (mid 50's)and the man was probably in his 30's. So I guess it was them because they are the only place I remember serving pani puri or golgappa. Good to know that they come out every year for this event. I have not went yet to Halal 786. It is on my list after all the positive reviews I have read here and elsewhere.

                                              2. re: hungryann
                                                b
                                                BLM RE: hungryann Jun 14, 2009 02:34 AM

                                                Ann, did you read the Kuljit India review in last week's Hour paper by Joshua Karpati? Was reluctant to bring it up to you, as Josh didn't exactly have much praise for Kuljit.

                                                1. re: BLM
                                                  hungryann RE: BLM Jun 14, 2009 07:52 PM

                                                  No, I didn't. I will look it up.

                                                  1. re: hungryann
                                                    b
                                                    BLM RE: hungryann May 28, 2010 10:55 PM

                                                    Another restaurant review of Kuljit India in the Montreal papers. This time, in today's(Saturday) Montreal Gazette by Sarah Musgrave. Much more positive, than the Joshua Karpati review in the Hour paper last June. Here's the link http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/f... I originally heard about this restaurant through CH postings by you.

                                                  2. re: BLM
                                                    hungryann RE: BLM Jun 14, 2009 08:24 PM

                                                    It's not so bad...some of his criticisms though are unfair. I mean, come on, it's in a strip mall in VSL, your expectations should be modified accordingly. The family running it are not trying to challenge your culinary being, they want to offer tasty food that will make the average neighborhood folks want to come back for more. Obviously, you shouldn't trek from Repentigny to eat here!

                                                    1. re: hungryann
                                                      c
                                                      C70 RE: hungryann Aug 6, 2009 07:55 AM

                                                      Hey Ann, do they deliver? Take credit cards?

                                                      1. re: C70
                                                        hungryann RE: C70 Aug 6, 2009 08:19 AM

                                                        No to both queries, unfortunately.

                                            2. re: SnackHappy
                                              a
                                              andrewm RE: SnackHappy Jun 15, 2007 11:07 AM

                                              Speaking of banh mi, Sencha on St. Laurent between St. Viateur and Bernard has reopened, after being closed for quite awhile due a fire in the bar next door (which had undergone renovations a little while before the fire). Sencha certainly qualifies as a hole in the wall and exists solely to serve locals at lunch it seems. I doubt they'd survive if it wasn't for the Ubisoft lunch horde from down the street. Had a quick lunch there today. Only choices were chicken or beef - I had beef. Not the best banh mi in the city, I suspect -- pretty basic, but tasty and fresh. No daikon visible, only carrot.

                                              1. re: SnackHappy
                                                pitu RE: SnackHappy Jul 8, 2007 02:52 PM

                                                O la la . . .
                                                since yours in the 2nd "tourists here are looking for the trendy/expensive/etc" post,
                                                let me chime in as a Montreal visitor that was really looking for the delicious funky not-bank-breaking spots, and fabulous local cheese.
                                                As a NYer, I feel for you on the tourist glut - but if I was looking for newspaper restaurant reviews, I'd be looking in the newspaper. I hate it when Chowhound turns into every other predictable guide, and not all visitors are that way.
                                                Cheers!

                                                (p.s. I love the local Portugese grills . . . )

                                                1. re: SnackHappy
                                                  Joe MacBu RE: SnackHappy Aug 4, 2010 09:09 PM

                                                  I'm visiting from NYC this weekend.
                                                  Where do I get great Portuguese chicken (and what makes it Portuguese)?

                                                  1. re: Joe MacBu
                                                    s
                                                    Shattered RE: Joe MacBu Aug 4, 2010 11:01 PM

                                                    Yer in luck! (scroll to top for address)
                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4134...

                                                    The piri sauce makes it Portuguese.

                                                    1. re: Joe MacBu
                                                      kpzoo RE: Joe MacBu Aug 5, 2010 05:19 AM

                                                      Hi Joe, also check out these threads:

                                                      Portugese Chicken Restaurants
                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/622544

                                                      best Portuguese grilled chicken in Montreal? resto or takeout
                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/719249

                                                      Ranking Portuguese restaurants
                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/465174

                                                      Enjoy!

                                                2. re: Moosemeat
                                                  b
                                                  baconspit RE: Moosemeat Jun 14, 2007 06:35 PM

                                                  Any or all of the above, small, grimey and yes, dirt cheap helps, too. We will be near Laurier Metro but it is not necessary to be right there in the hood. Thanks!

                                                  1. re: baconspit
                                                    c
                                                    celfie RE: baconspit Jun 14, 2007 07:38 PM

                                                    check out the very recent cheap eats thread where many of us listed our favorite cheap eateries all over the city including the area where you will be

                                                3. m
                                                  moh RE: baconspit Jun 14, 2007 08:39 PM

                                                  Some of these are not under the radar but definitely qualify as great inexpensive eats:

                                                  Indian: Golden on St, Laurent, and Bombay Choupati (west island) for their fabulous dosa. I also still like the Thali at Pushaps near Namur metro, and the very yummy Shahi Paneer

                                                  Chinese: M.M.legende bakery: they do great buns, but the real find is the $6 lunch special. The eggplant Yu Hsing (Spelling) on rice is irresistable and a great deal. i also like the vermicelli with pork and pickled vegetables.

                                                  Thai: Can't ever go worng with Cuisine Bankok in the Fauberg. I prefer it to the the restaurant. My only sadness is that they no longer do the duck curry. But the squid with eggplant is divine, and I love the chicken soup.

                                                  Korean: My favorite is Maison Bulgogi on St. Catherine and Chomedey. The bulgogi is as good as my mothers (this is a very high bar). The kimchi is great. The pa jon is fantastic, and the soups are excellent, very good broths.

                                                  South American: Supermarche Andes. I reallylike their rice, and the tamales are yummy. and so cheap.

                                                  Pho: Pho Lien on Cote des Neiges and cote St. Catherine. Their broth is by far the best in the city. And their grilled pork with vermicelli is always perfectly seasoned.

                                                  Carribean: El Corridor on St. Laurent. Great goat roti and outstanding oxtail stew (When they have it). And the beef jamaican patty is also the best I've had.

                                                  Wow. i'm hungry now! All these places bring much much culinary joy. I have even considered sending their kitchens thank you cards for how happy they have made me!

                                                  19 Replies
                                                  1. re: moh
                                                    hungryann RE: moh Jun 14, 2007 09:15 PM

                                                    Impressive list there!
                                                    Where is the chinese place you mention?
                                                    I agree with all your asian recommendations except for Golden. Last time I went it was dissapointing; most of their curries were cloyingly sweet.

                                                    1. re: hungryann
                                                      SnackHappy RE: hungryann Jun 14, 2007 09:46 PM

                                                      Legende Bakery is on the south side of De La Gauchetière between Clark and St-Urbain. There's also one at 1565 Jean-Talon East.

                                                      I agree about Golden, also. I've never been impressed.

                                                      1. re: SnackHappy
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                                                        lagatta RE: SnackHappy Jul 10, 2007 04:31 PM

                                                        Oh, a Légende near me! Great! Baconspit, the Golden and a few other Indian restos are on St-Laurent a bit north of Laurier - a short walk west from the Laurier métro. I've never been there so can't judge.

                                                      2. re: hungryann
                                                        m
                                                        moh RE: hungryann Jun 15, 2007 08:57 AM

                                                        I hear you about the sweet curries, I guess i like that style. yes, MM Legende bakery is exactly where Snackhappy mentioned, i frequent the Chinatown location on de la Gauchetiere. That eggplant is great! (And not sweet like the curries at Golden). They have these "Daily special" menus in a plastic holder at each table. The eggplant is on that list.

                                                      3. re: moh
                                                        bomobob RE: moh Nov 8, 2007 06:05 AM

                                                        I'd have to enthusiastically agree with the above list, and add a few of my own.

                                                        Bulgogi is great, but I've recently discover Hwang BBQ on Upper Lachine, and I think they trump Bulgogi. Superb neighbourhood joint.

                                                        A big yes to Bangkok at the Faubourg, the closest thing this city has to real Thai food.

                                                        Coco Rico on St. Laurent is my meat heaven.

                                                        For Szechuan, Niu Kee on "upper" Clarke blows away anything else and leaves me with the prickly ash detox shakes.

                                                        1. re: bomobob
                                                          bomobob RE: bomobob Nov 8, 2007 06:09 AM

                                                          I almost completely forget a place I haven't been to in a few years, but is sensational, and that's the hard-to-find Mauritian joint on Hickson in Verdun, Les Délices de l’ile Maurice.

                                                          Also, a true gem, though a bit off the beaten path for many of us city dwellers, is Shahi Palace, a mind blowingly amazing Pakistani resto on des Sources in the Waste Island.

                                                          1. re: bomobob
                                                            hungryann RE: bomobob Nov 10, 2007 04:42 AM

                                                            Good to know about Shahi Palace. Have often passed it and wondered. Any specific dish recommendations there? What about the other indian restos on that same strip? I can't remember who or where but I had heard that Kwality is also very good. Can anyone confirm? How about Pushap, is it as good as the Pare location in Mtl?

                                                            1. re: hungryann
                                                              bomobob RE: hungryann Nov 10, 2007 05:06 AM

                                                              As much as I hate to admit it, there are a few good eats in the West Island these days, most of them, not surprisingly, in that little are of des Sources, and all from the Indian subcontinent.
                                                              Shahi's mutton palik (mutton/spinach) is one of the great foods of my life, with tender, succulent pieces of mutton buried in the most aromatic and flavourful spinach. I order it hot, and it is wonderfully spiced.
                                                              Kwality is also very good. I haven't been to that Pushap in a while, in fact since they were over on Gouin, but it was very good. Not quite like Pare, but still excellent.
                                                              Over in Pushap's old Gouin location, just west of Sources is another Pakistani place. I can't recall the name, but a bunch of us went there a while ago, and it was amazing.
                                                              Some people rave about Shed Tandoor (I think that's the name) across the street from Shahi, but I went once and would never go back.

                                                              1. re: bomobob
                                                                r
                                                                rthibode RE: bomobob Sep 3, 2010 11:16 AM

                                                                I ate at Pushap in spring 2010. It was quite tasty and incredibly cheap, but very dirty. I am quite tolerant but I'm very glad I didn't see the kitchen. We got a box of sweets to go, also very cheap. The gulab jamon was among the best I've had, but the other sweets were generally chemically or with a bad texture. I would go back if I was broke and in the area, but definitely would not go out of my way for this.

                                                                -----
                                                                Pushap Restaurant
                                                                4777 Boul Des Sources, Pierrefonds, QC H8Y3C6, CA

                                                                Pushap
                                                                1661 Av Dollard, Lasalle, QC H8N1T7, CA

                                                                1. re: rthibode
                                                                  m
                                                                  mak2k RE: rthibode Sep 3, 2010 12:30 PM

                                                                  not sure where you live but there is a Pushap branch near Namur Metro. that might be closer for you

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Pushap
                                                                  1661 Av Dollard, Lasalle, QC H8N1T7, CA

                                                                  1. re: rthibode
                                                                    hungryann RE: rthibode Sep 3, 2010 01:40 PM

                                                                    The jahlebi are also excellent.

                                                                    1. re: rthibode
                                                                      cherylmtl RE: rthibode Sep 3, 2010 07:22 PM

                                                                      The Pushap on Sources is a lot cleaner than the one near Namur...

                                                                      -----
                                                                      Pushap Restaurant
                                                                      4777 Boul Des Sources, Pierrefonds, QC H8Y3C6, CA

                                                              2. re: bomobob
                                                                mainsqueeze RE: bomobob Nov 8, 2007 06:18 AM

                                                                I really loved the food and service at Chez Hwang. The seafood Pa Jeon was particularly delicious.

                                                                Maison Bulgogi was a lot cheaper though.

                                                                1. re: bomobob
                                                                  cherylmtl RE: bomobob Nov 8, 2007 06:21 AM

                                                                  Have you been to Niu Kee since the ownership change last year? I used to be addicted to the place, but haven't been too thrilled with it since the change - I haven't found a decent Szechuan place since, although PM will do in a pinch.

                                                                  1. re: cherylmtl
                                                                    bomobob RE: cherylmtl Nov 8, 2007 06:43 AM

                                                                    Funny you should mention that, because I was there a month or so ago after not having been for quite a while. The hot eggplant was as sublime as usual, but my favourite chicken dish was completely different than it used to be, and I dare say, a little disappointing. I thought it was just a bad night, but now I'm thoroughly depressed...

                                                                    1. re: bomobob
                                                                      cherylmtl RE: bomobob Nov 8, 2007 06:57 AM

                                                                      It wasn't by any chance the kung pao chicken, was it?

                                                                      1. re: cherylmtl
                                                                        bomobob RE: cherylmtl Nov 8, 2007 06:59 AM

                                                                        Same thing happened to you, huh? No character at all. Squishy peanuts, rubbery chicken, devoid of any sort of sauce worth remembering.
                                                                        Sigh...

                                                                        1. re: bomobob
                                                                          cherylmtl RE: bomobob Nov 8, 2007 07:03 AM

                                                                          I feel your pain. That was one of my favourite dishes there...

                                                                          1. re: cherylmtl
                                                                            bomobob RE: cherylmtl Nov 8, 2007 07:07 AM

                                                                            In retrospect, I'm glad I didn't order the kung pao shrimp, which, in my mind, is virtually unequalled on this side of the globe. Or I guess, was.
                                                                            The very first time I had it, and every subsequent time, I was quite certain it was among the very best Asian dishes I'd ever tasted on this continent.

                                                              3. s
                                                                swissfoodie RE: baconspit Jun 15, 2007 08:33 AM

                                                                Café Presto on Stanley, next to Chez Paré. Great Italian food at ridiculously low prices. $3.95 for nonna's lasagne and $1.95 for a lovely salad. Amazing!

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: swissfoodie
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                                                                  lagatta RE: swissfoodie Jun 15, 2007 01:09 PM

                                                                  Yes, that is utterly astonishing given the dead-centre downtown location. I have to remember that place to provide a decent alternative for hungry friends who don't want to make the trek to Le Faubourg...

                                                                  1. re: swissfoodie
                                                                    p
                                                                    ptslim RE: swissfoodie Feb 5, 2009 12:12 PM

                                                                    After reading this, tried Cafe Presto recently when visiting Montreal (my home town). I went at lunch on a week day with my wife and daughter, and so were probably obviously from out of town. First of all, the food is not great. Mediocre at best. My wife's food was lukewarm. You could do better at a food court.

                                                                    Secondly, the owner tried to rip us off by adding a tip directly to the bill, plus a $10 "mistake" that brought the "ridiculously low price" of a lunch for 3 to $38! We argued it down to $25 and left very unimpressed.

                                                                    1. re: ptslim
                                                                      e
                                                                      emerilcantcook RE: ptslim Feb 5, 2009 01:06 PM

                                                                      I never understood the enthusiasm with Presto either. My meals there were mediocre, and the bill adds up so fast.

                                                                  2. m
                                                                    Moosemeat RE: baconspit Jun 15, 2007 11:43 AM

                                                                    Two of my favourite hole in the wall places are MESSOB D'OR (Etheopian, on monkland) and Jolee (Sri-Lankan, on victoria). Though neither of these places is easy on the stomach they're both a joy for someone who really loves spicy food.

                                                                    Jolee is just dirt cheap, with prices so low it makes you question where they get thier meat from.

                                                                    Messob d'or gets cheaper the more people you go with, and is super cheap as long as you stick to thier combo dishes.

                                                                    22 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Moosemeat
                                                                      kpzoo RE: Moosemeat Jun 15, 2007 12:59 PM

                                                                      Does anyone know for sure if Messob d'Or is still in business? I walk by it a lot but I haven't seen it open in a long, long time, though the sign's still there. I liked it too....

                                                                      1. re: kpzoo
                                                                        m
                                                                        Moosemeat RE: kpzoo Jun 18, 2007 06:09 AM

                                                                        They're still open. 5pm-10pm daily, closed mondays.

                                                                        1. re: Moosemeat
                                                                          v
                                                                          Venusia RE: Moosemeat Jun 22, 2007 01:37 PM

                                                                          I adore pan fried dumplings and I really liked Ravioli Manchuria on St-Mathieu south of Concordia, although I haven't been in a while. Are they still around?

                                                                          1. re: Venusia
                                                                            b
                                                                            BLM RE: Venusia Jun 22, 2007 06:40 PM

                                                                            The Ravioli Manchuria restaurant was sold not too long ago to new owners. The name has changed, but they're still pan fried dumplings on the menu(on the revamped menu). Haven't eaten there since the changeover.

                                                                            1. re: Venusia
                                                                              mainsqueeze RE: Venusia Aug 27, 2007 08:30 AM

                                                                              What used to be Manchuria is now called Restaurant Nouveau (or nouveau restaurant?), I think. I've eaten there recently and it's quite good, with cheap lunch specials, but it's not as dumpling-centric as it was before, which is disappointing.

                                                                              Restaurant Jolee on Victoria sure is a hole, alright, but not worth going to in my opinion. The food was alright but when I saw the state of the kitchen (disgustingly filthy, food on the floor, grime everywhere, stuff on the walls), I immediately regretted having eaten. I will never go back.

                                                                              1. re: mainsqueeze
                                                                                hungryann RE: mainsqueeze Aug 27, 2007 08:41 AM

                                                                                Jolee had been cited a few years ago by the food inspection dept of Mtl for a rodent problem. I had the same feeling after I ate there back in 2003; never went back.

                                                                                1. re: hungryann
                                                                                  mainsqueeze RE: hungryann Aug 27, 2007 08:48 AM

                                                                                  Blech!

                                                                                2. re: mainsqueeze
                                                                                  mainsqueeze RE: mainsqueeze Sep 13, 2007 02:02 PM

                                                                                  Sorry, I was all wrong on that one. It's called Restaurant du Bonheur.

                                                                                  1. re: mainsqueeze
                                                                                    e
                                                                                    emerilcantcook RE: mainsqueeze Sep 13, 2007 02:32 PM

                                                                                    I went there for lunch a few days ago and it was alarmingly empty. The dumplings weren't much special (in fact they were a little bit too thick and heavy) so I am worried that with the new owners they won't last too long. Seriously, at lunch time at Concordia ghetto, we were the only customers.

                                                                                    1. re: emerilcantcook
                                                                                      b
                                                                                      BLM RE: emerilcantcook Sep 14, 2007 06:52 AM

                                                                                      Any places in Montreal for great Chinese pan fried dumplings?

                                                                                      1. re: BLM
                                                                                        SnackHappy RE: BLM Sep 14, 2007 11:19 AM

                                                                                        Do you mean Pot Stickers? The ones at Kam Fung are pretty good.

                                                                                        1. re: SnackHappy
                                                                                          b
                                                                                          BLM RE: SnackHappy Sep 18, 2007 07:36 AM

                                                                                          I was thinking specifically of the ones that was available at Manchuria, but I'm interested in all Chinese pan-fried dumplings. The ones at Manchuria were not considered pot stickers or were?

                                                                                          1. re: BLM
                                                                                            v
                                                                                            Venusia RE: BLM Sep 18, 2007 09:35 AM

                                                                                            Is there a difference between a potsticker and a pan-fried dumpling?

                                                                                            1. re: Venusia
                                                                                              SnackHappy RE: Venusia Sep 18, 2007 01:08 PM

                                                                                              Pan-fried dumplings are fried up after boiling. There are the same as boiled dumplings but they go in the wok for a minute before serving. That's what they served at Ravioli de Mandchourie. Pot-stickers are cooked in oil in a pan to which you then add a bit of water to finish off cooking. I believe this is also how gyoza are prepared. I prefer pot-stickers to boiled or pan-fried dumplings.

                                                                                              1. re: SnackHappy
                                                                                                t
                                                                                                thomasein RE: SnackHappy Sep 18, 2007 04:04 PM

                                                                                                Interesting stuff and, yes, you are correct this is exactly how the Japanese make gyoza (and the Koreans make mandu).

                                                                                          2. re: SnackHappy
                                                                                            South Carolina Girl RE: SnackHappy Jun 30, 2010 04:22 PM

                                                                                            I was about to concur on the Kam Fung fried dumplings; then I realized the post was from 2007!! Decided to concur anyway because in 2010 the fried dumplings I had on Monday were great! I liked all the Dim Sum we tried (and with 5 of us from different regions of the US) we tried a LOT. My only disappointment was the sticky rice, it was just good : )

                                                                                          3. re: BLM
                                                                                            cherylmtl RE: BLM Sep 17, 2007 08:21 AM

                                                                                            There's a great little place on St. Marc just north of de Maisonneuve on the east side - I can't remember the name, unfortunately. It's a tiny place, and let's just say you're not paying for the decor. But they make good dumplings...

                                                                                            1. re: cherylmtl
                                                                                              c
                                                                                              chilipepper RE: cherylmtl Sep 17, 2007 01:39 PM

                                                                                              Is that Le Roi du WonTon, the one with the picture menu on the wall behind the counter?

                                                                                              1. re: chilipepper
                                                                                                cherylmtl RE: chilipepper Sep 17, 2007 03:49 PM

                                                                                                No, it's the one next door, I believe - the menu is on the side wall, when you walk in.

                                                                                                1. re: cherylmtl
                                                                                                  b
                                                                                                  BLM RE: cherylmtl Sep 18, 2007 07:33 AM

                                                                                                  OK I know the place.

                                                                                  2. re: Moosemeat
                                                                                    kpzoo RE: Moosemeat Sep 5, 2007 06:46 PM

                                                                                    For the record in case anyone reads this - Messob d'Or is officially closed. RIP!

                                                                                3. re: Moosemeat
                                                                                  m
                                                                                  mcLo RE: Moosemeat Oct 10, 2007 10:51 AM

                                                                                  Messob is now closed, unfortunately...

                                                                                4. c
                                                                                  celfie RE: baconspit Jun 22, 2007 08:49 PM

                                                                                  a nice place is a small lebanese shop on the block before the parisian butcher shop in CDN that one of you really likes. They make amazing skewers of shishtaouk on charcoal - their baguette sandwiches include the skewer (there are others to choose from) veggies including a pickle and lots of hot sauce. good stuff.

                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: celfie
                                                                                    v
                                                                                    VivreManger RE: celfie Jun 23, 2007 12:00 PM

                                                                                    Could the place you have in mind be Boucherie et Grillade Farhat, 5595 Côte des Neiges
                                                                                    514-738-4045, between Cote St. Catherine & St. Kevin?

                                                                                    There are a few other places in that area that I have seen recommended, though I have never been to any of them myself:

                                                                                    For Portuguese grilled chicken, Restaurant Mavi, 5192 Gatineau, 514-340-9664.

                                                                                    Dao Vien
                                                                                    5623A Côte des Neiges
                                                                                    514-341-7120

                                                                                    Pho Lien
                                                                                    5703 Côte des Neiges
                                                                                    514-735-6949

                                                                                    Lao Beijing
                                                                                    5619A Côte des Neiges
                                                                                    514-731-8978

                                                                                    A U de M hangout:
                                                                                    Librairie Olivieri
                                                                                    5219 Côte des Neiges
                                                                                    514-739-3303

                                                                                    For Indian food,
                                                                                    East India Tea Company
                                                                                    3533 Queen Mary
                                                                                    514-344-2217

                                                                                    Kam Shing (Lower Côte-des-Neiges)
                                                                                    6730 Côte des Neiges
                                                                                    514-731-1401

                                                                                    I would be curious to learn what people on this board think of them.

                                                                                    I visit Mtl frequently enough from the US so I follow the hole in the wall scene. BTW with the US dollar dropping against the loonie, more visitors may have to look for something other than the same old same old top end dining.

                                                                                    1. re: VivreManger
                                                                                      carswell RE: VivreManger Jun 23, 2007 12:27 PM

                                                                                      As reported in the Restaurant Closings thread, East India is no more.

                                                                                      Am pretty sure your OP is referring to the imaginatively named Sandwiches & Brochettes www.montrealfood.com/restos/s-and-b.htm (3513 Swail, which is a short street one block north of Queen Mary running between CDN and Decelles, 514 737-9283). The food is honest and fresh and the people running it are sweet but I can't see going out of one's way for it.

                                                                                      1. re: carswell
                                                                                        v
                                                                                        VivreManger RE: carswell Jun 23, 2007 12:45 PM

                                                                                        Actually I purposefully omitted Sandwiches & Brochettes since it seemed to be a cut below the others. Farhat is the better of the two.

                                                                                        I list I offered was put together by someone from the U de M so he specialized in the neighborhood.

                                                                                        BTW, I have not found the food at au Duc de Lorraine very exciting, I do love their croissants and brioches. That however is hardly a hole in the wall, but it is in the CdN neighborhood.

                                                                                        1. re: VivreManger
                                                                                          carswell RE: VivreManger Jun 23, 2007 01:04 PM

                                                                                          There've been two main CDN threads in recent memory-- www.chowhound.com/topics/98541 and www.chowhound.com/topics/358733 (the first includes a link to the list you mention) -- though neither is up-to-date; besides East India, Le Figuier, Arzou Express, Tentations Gourmet and Le Saphir (the Moroccan fast food joint cum butcher on Gatineau) have bit the dust.

                                                                                          Neither the food nor the coffee at Duc de Lorraine is very exciting, though I like the European feel of the place. And I agree about croissants and bricoches -- on a good day, that is.

                                                                                          I'd thought about mentioning Mavi, Farhat and Lao Beijing in this thread, but I'm uncomfortable with calling them holes in the wall.

                                                                                          1. re: carswell
                                                                                            l
                                                                                            lagatta RE: carswell Jun 23, 2007 02:11 PM

                                                                                            Yeah, I wouldn't exactly call Librairie Olivieri a hole in the wall either. Or Daou for that matter.

                                                                                            As for La Carreta vs El Amigo, yes the general menu is similar, but El Amigo has more large combination specials - I think it would be cheaper for a real trencherperson. The Spanish TV blaring at El Amigo really annoys me (I speak Spanish, so it is harder to tune out). El Amigo's clientele is more specifically Central American though. There are lots of Central and other Latin Americans at La Carreta as well, but a larger number of francophone Québécois than at El Amigo.

                                                                                          2. re: VivreManger
                                                                                            b
                                                                                            BLM RE: VivreManger Jun 23, 2007 03:20 PM

                                                                                            Vivre I agree with you that Farhat is better of the two(refering to their grilled brochette baguette sandwiches), maybe the best of its kind in the city. Tried them both several times(doing a taste test side-by-side the last time). However the big 'but' is that Farhat screwed up my order my two last times there, & they refused to change it(it was their fault making me the wrong sandwich both times, & they refused to correct it(take it or leave it, I don't care)).

                                                                                            1. re: VivreManger
                                                                                              b
                                                                                              BLM RE: VivreManger Jun 23, 2007 03:49 PM

                                                                                              Just in case you didn't know Farhat around maybe 6 months ago, separated their butcher & restaurant sections. Their restaurant is now downstairs, while the butcher section is still upstairs.

                                                                                          3. re: VivreManger
                                                                                            c
                                                                                            celfie RE: VivreManger Jun 23, 2007 02:26 PM

                                                                                            no its not on cdn, it is on the perpendicular to CDN a the block before Boucherie de Paris but not on that street. At the corner is "coiffure zap"

                                                                                        2. b
                                                                                          BRIANTHEFOODUDE RE: baconspit Aug 19, 2007 10:11 PM

                                                                                          ONE OF MY FAVORITES...

                                                                                          WILLENSKY'S

                                                                                          Light Lunch Where Mordecai Richler hung out as a kid. This 60-year-old institution is famous for its hand-pumped sodas, rickety wooden stools, and "The Special." Closes early and is never open on the weekend. 34 Fairmount W., 271-0247

                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: BRIANTHEFOODUDE
                                                                                            phedre RE: BRIANTHEFOODUDE Aug 26, 2007 03:53 PM

                                                                                            Wow. I walk past that place all the time, and have never gone in. I'll definitely be rectifying that situation this week!

                                                                                            1. re: BRIANTHEFOODUDE
                                                                                              eoj RE: BRIANTHEFOODUDE Aug 27, 2007 03:31 PM

                                                                                              I've never understood this fascination with Willensky's ... I'm convinced it's a nostalgia thing, not a foodie thing because how can a bologna sandwich be that exciting??

                                                                                              1. re: eoj
                                                                                                phedre RE: eoj Aug 27, 2007 03:49 PM

                                                                                                They sell bologna sandwiches? I thought that was just a Maritime thing! Well, now I know where to bring my brother the next time he comes to town.

                                                                                                1. re: phedre
                                                                                                  carswell RE: phedre Aug 27, 2007 04:03 PM

                                                                                                  A tip. Unless you want to bring all converstation to a screeching halt, hear a collective gasp from the other customers and get the evil eye from the staff, don't even think about ordering the special (bologna sandwhich) without mustard. Anyway, even if you do, they'll still put mustard on it. (And for the search engines of the universe, it's Wilensky's with one L.)

                                                                                                  1. re: carswell
                                                                                                    phedre RE: carswell Aug 27, 2007 04:15 PM

                                                                                                    I consider myself warned.

                                                                                                    I make no promises for my brother though, who seems to take pleasure in the hairy eyeball.

                                                                                                    1. re: phedre
                                                                                                      SnackHappy RE: phedre Aug 27, 2007 04:26 PM

                                                                                                      Wilensky's isn't fine dining, but the special really hits the spot.

                                                                                                      Here's a good primer on Wilensky's: http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overv...

                                                                                                      Remember to read the rules before you order.

                                                                                                2. re: eoj
                                                                                                  kpzoo RE: eoj Aug 27, 2007 03:55 PM

                                                                                                  I think it's also partly a cult-status thing because of its immortalization in Mordecai Richler novels.

                                                                                                3. re: BRIANTHEFOODUDE
                                                                                                  b
                                                                                                  BRIANTHEFOODUDE RE: BRIANTHEFOODUDE Sep 8, 2007 04:53 PM

                                                                                                  Sorry for the Spelling. it is... WILENSKYS
                                                                                                  I to, hate Bologna... But I love a Wilensky Special. and Yes it is very much a nostalgia thing. I reccomend making reservations in advance, haha... Dress code is strictly enforced hahahaha. Oh Ya, Dont forget to TIP BIG... Brian the Foodude in California

                                                                                                4. phedre RE: baconspit Aug 26, 2007 04:04 PM

                                                                                                  There's a tiny Caribbean place on De Maisonneuve across from Vendome Metro called Montreal Caribbean (5155 De M I think). Go for the lunch special rotis: tasty and super cheap.

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: phedre
                                                                                                    y
                                                                                                    YUL PHL RE: phedre Aug 27, 2007 05:46 AM

                                                                                                    I always thought that place was better when it was called Pick's.

                                                                                                    I remember stepping the metro and getting some take out dinner on my way home from work.

                                                                                                    1. re: phedre
                                                                                                      eoj RE: phedre Aug 27, 2007 03:33 PM

                                                                                                      I like Jean's Trinidad Foods ... in the same area: 5914 Sherbrooke O.

                                                                                                    2. p
                                                                                                      Paphos.SK RE: baconspit Sep 6, 2007 04:39 PM

                                                                                                      We went to Justine au vin (on St. Denis near Mont Royal est).
                                                                                                      Four of us wwent nd it was very reasonable and delicious.
                                                                                                      An extensive wine list and a good table d'hote. Do make a reservation because it is small although not all that busy when we were there (Weddnesday last week).

                                                                                                      1. Richelle RE: baconspit Sep 19, 2007 10:02 AM

                                                                                                        Anyone ever try Cafe Via Dante on Dante Street? Different from other italian restaurants as they serve Nothern Italian food, quite different, a pop and sons place, a small resto with a lot of oomph and great food IMO.

                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Richelle
                                                                                                          carswell RE: Richelle Sep 19, 2007 10:04 AM

                                                                                                          Yes but is it really a hole in the wall? In fact, with those prices can it be?

                                                                                                          1. re: carswell
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                                                                                                            CMT RE: carswell Sep 19, 2007 12:12 PM

                                                                                                            ...I agree that it "used to be" for both price/quality......now revenue generation has displaced both service and quality......"you should have gone there when........"

                                                                                                            1. re: carswell
                                                                                                              Richelle RE: carswell Sep 24, 2007 09:12 AM

                                                                                                              I myself was wondering about that...it does lean towards expensive.

                                                                                                            2. re: Richelle
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                                                                                                              billybauer17 RE: Richelle Apr 20, 2011 03:44 PM

                                                                                                              CAFE DANTE IS OUTSTANDING!

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                                                                                                              Moosemeat RE: baconspit Sep 20, 2007 09:54 AM

                                                                                                              I'm putting my vote in for Afrodiziac, on Jean-Talon.
                                                                                                              You can read my review here: www.chowhound.com/topics/443121
                                                                                                              and a review from the hour here: www.hour.ca/food/food.aspx?iIDArticle...

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: Moosemeat
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                                                                                                                fedelst1 RE: Moosemeat Sep 22, 2007 04:16 PM

                                                                                                                Reviewed in Todays Gazoo by the very qualified Sarah Musgrave.

                                                                                                              2. mainsqueeze RE: baconspit Nov 18, 2008 05:43 AM

                                                                                                                I will second the rec for Kieu Anh. So affordable, so delicious, and the service is so friendly! I love this place.

                                                                                                                I also like Banh Xeo Minh (1308 rue Belanger), which doesn't get many mentions here.

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                                                                                                                1. re: mainsqueeze
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                                                                                                                  lagatta RE: mainsqueeze Nov 19, 2008 05:41 AM

                                                                                                                  Any specialities in particular at Banh Xeo Minh? (close by for me).

                                                                                                                  1. re: lagatta
                                                                                                                    mainsqueeze RE: lagatta Nov 19, 2008 05:55 AM

                                                                                                                    The problem is I don't remember what anything is called!

                                                                                                                    Definitely try the banh xeo if it's your first time. They have these round noodly things with shrimp that I like. I wish I could remember the name. Maybe Snackhappy can help.

                                                                                                                    I also like ordering durian and soursop shakes there but sometimes it's hard communicating what I want because they barely speak any english or french.

                                                                                                                    They have good banh mi there too if ever you're passing by and want to take something home.

                                                                                                                    1. re: lagatta
                                                                                                                      SnackHappy RE: lagatta Nov 19, 2008 06:00 AM

                                                                                                                      Their menu is very short, but the star is the banh xeo. I've also had some pretty good banh beo and bun bo hue there. I've also enjoyed the bun mang vit there, but i've never had it anywhere else.

                                                                                                                      The soursop and durian shakes are good if you can get them.

                                                                                                                      1. re: SnackHappy
                                                                                                                        SnackHappy RE: SnackHappy Jul 26, 2009 08:48 AM

                                                                                                                        Banh Xeo Minh gets its day in the sun or, in this case, the Gazette. I'm glad to see them get some press because it's one of my favourite places. Although I'm pretty sure the ladies in Hampstead won't be coming out in droves to Rosemont for some banh cuon, good on them, anyway.

                                                                                                                        http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/f...

                                                                                                                        EDIT: Forgot to post the link.

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                                                                                                                          marblebag RE: SnackHappy Jul 26, 2009 05:48 PM

                                                                                                                          That dessert they had is my favorite, Xam Bo Luong. It can be used as a sweet way to deliver herbal medicine.

                                                                                                                    2. re: mainsqueeze
                                                                                                                      carswell RE: mainsqueeze Jul 30, 2009 06:29 AM

                                                                                                                      Karpati gives BXM a pun-riddled thumbs-up in today's Hour. And, for once, a local reviewer even credits Chowhound (your post, one assumes).

                                                                                                                      "Banh Xeo Minh serves up perfect summer food that is light and airy. They also offer a whole array of homemade snacks to take out, like whole bananas sheathed in a grilled sticky rice crust, and (a long-time favourite of mine) a spongy sausage made from mushrooms mixed with pig ears and noses. What's snout to like?"
                                                                                                                      http://www.hour.ca/food/food.aspx?iID...

                                                                                                                      1. re: carswell
                                                                                                                        mainsqueeze RE: carswell Jul 30, 2009 07:31 AM

                                                                                                                        "Gelatinous steamed rice flour plays a big role in many of the dishes on the short menu, as it does in my erotic life."

                                                                                                                        Rowr!

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                                                                                                                      bigfellow RE: baconspit Feb 14, 2009 02:26 PM

                                                                                                                      Bun's on St Catherines. The whole menu is : Hamburger, double hamburger, grilled potato's and pop. Homemade burgers on a grill.

                                                                                                                      Toi, moi et Cafe on Notre Dame. Great food low prices and the brecky....mmmmmmm!

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                                                                                                                        Dusty08 RE: bigfellow Jun 15, 2009 08:51 PM

                                                                                                                        Just tried the Kogo at Picks on St Marc and St Catherine.
                                                                                                                        Very interesting experience. Same look as Buns, but their signature is the Kogo. Its a pogo with a twist. Instead of using a cornmeal based batter, they use a flower based one. It is then studded with cubes of potatoes and deep fried. I recommend. Its delicious.

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                                                                                                                          Campofiorin RE: Dusty08 Jul 30, 2009 07:15 AM

                                                                                                                          they use a flower based one...

                                                                                                                          Does it bloom in the fryer? ;)

                                                                                                                          Sorry, couldn't resist. You probably meant flour.

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                                                                                                                            mtlmaven RE: Dusty08 Jul 31, 2009 07:47 PM

                                                                                                                            Yes! I love me some Kogo!

                                                                                                                        2. Alyson777 RE: baconspit Jun 17, 2009 03:43 PM

                                                                                                                          Italian food is a weakness of mine and I really enjoy Rôtisserie Italienne 1933
                                                                                                                          Sainte Catherine W. Atwater or Guy-Concordia metro. They have a counter where you order your food and they will call your name when it's ready. Table and counter top seating in a small but cute atmosphere. The owners are the real deal. I love these guys! Now opened on weekends which it wasn't in the past. Only accepts cash $. Fair priced! fast! excellent excellent food. It is also very convienient if you are going to a movie at the AMC

                                                                                                                          1. hungryann RE: baconspit Aug 6, 2009 08:21 AM

                                                                                                                            My most recent and delicious discovery: Falafel Freiha in Laval. I have posted more details on the cheap eats Laval thread.

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                                                                                                                              ebecker RE: hungryann Dec 27, 2009 05:10 PM

                                                                                                                              >People don't come here from out of town looking for Mexican or Indian or Chinese food.

                                                                                                                              Absolutely untrue. Am here from NYC with hubby and our 16-year-old son, in part because the eating rivals our home town. Have had velvety dim sum at Ming Do, excellent lunch at Bombay Mahal, rockin' chicken at Rotisserie Romados, yummy crepes at Lulu B., good burgers/vegiburgers at La Paryse... Les Delice de L'Ile de Maurice is closed until the day after tomorrow... any other suggestions?

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                                                                                                                                billybauer17 RE: ebecker Apr 25, 2011 07:20 AM

                                                                                                                                for real good mexican food i go to El Rey Del Taco in Jean Talon market outstanding tacos and churros

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                                                                                                                              mak2k RE: baconspit Apr 12, 2010 07:30 AM

                                                                                                                              went to Bun Viet for lunch on saturday with my family. My first reaction when i walked into the restaurant was : "OMFG IT STINKS THE SMELL OF MAM!!!" (i still can't stand it hahaha), which, oddly enough, is a good sign that this place is authentic (afterall, their specialty is bun bo hue and bun nem, both dishes which contains nam). It took me a good 10 minutes to get used to it. The menu is very simple, they only serve things with bun, so

                                                                                                                              - Bun bo hue,
                                                                                                                              - Bun Nem
                                                                                                                              - Bun vit mang (duck with bamboo shoots)
                                                                                                                              - Bun rieu
                                                                                                                              - The dried version (bun cha gio etc)

                                                                                                                              No dessert, no spring rolls. Just bun. We asked the waiter/owner and he says they only do bun stuff.

                                                                                                                              The meal was great. My mom got the bun mam (which i cannot comment since i really don't like that), the brother and dad got the bun bo hue and i got the bun vit. Everything was VERY spicy (my bun vit is not spicy.. could have used more duck though), not watered down. Flavorful, couldn't really detect much MSG (probably because the spiciness killed off our taste buds). A cafe xua da was mandatory to turn off the fire

                                                                                                                              all in all, it's a great hole in the wall.

                                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                                              Bun Viet
                                                                                                                              7058 Rue Saint-Hubert, Montreal, QC H2S2M9, CA

                                                                                                                              1. m
                                                                                                                                mark_vi_ RE: baconspit May 18, 2010 02:07 PM

                                                                                                                                When I think of a "hole in the wall resto" I think small, cheap, dirty and really something that should turn you off but somehow pumps out great food. In my mind, the best, smallest, dirtiest place is the greasy spoon known as Cosmos. Yeah I said it and if you are a local montrealer who has never eaten there you should be ashamed of yourself. For those of you who know what I'm talking about you have to agree that it is just a solid breakfast joint despite being pretty gross.

                                                                                                                                Cosmos barely seats 10 and it is honestly just great. The atmosphere is so friendly and there are typically long waiting times but definately worth it. That having been said, it is definately not healthy and you should moderate your visits there.

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                                                                                                                                  lagatta RE: mark_vi_ May 18, 2010 02:24 PM

                                                                                                                                  Does it have to be dirty and unhealthy? Vietnamese Nhu Y is tiny and pretty cheap, very plain but spotlessly clean (at least when we've been there).
                                                                                                                                  Nhu Y 134 Rue Jean-Talon Ouest Montreal, QC H2R 2X1 - (514) 948-8884

                                                                                                                                  I have been to Cosmos but frankly didn't enjoy it - I felt ill afterwards.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: lagatta
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                                                                                                                                    mark_vi_ RE: lagatta May 18, 2010 02:50 PM

                                                                                                                                    I'm just saying personally I associate a "hole in the wall" as being a dive of a place, dirty and unhealthy. For instance, there is a tiny sushi restaurant in etobicoke called Kaji which is elegant and charges 120$ for a set menu. But I have trouble calling it a hole in the wall place even though it can be classified as such. Really its semantics.

                                                                                                                                    On a side note, I will definately go check out that vietnamese place!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mark_vi_
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                                                                                                                                      lagatta RE: mark_vi_ May 18, 2010 03:40 PM

                                                                                                                                      A resto that is a) elegant and b) charges 120$ for a set menu is out of bounds as a hole-in-the-wall, I think (though that does sound very good and I have friends in Etobicoke - for us it would be a special occasion place though). Nhu Y is not elegant, and many times cheaper, but it isn't dirty. Tiny restaurant run by a couple who (when I went there) didn't speak much French or English. No food communications problems though.

                                                                                                                                      Edited to add: Nhu Y is also a BYOB - you can take your own wine or beer.

                                                                                                                                      I hope you've reviewed Kaji on the Ontario board!

                                                                                                                                  2. re: mark_vi_
                                                                                                                                    SpellMan RE: mark_vi_ May 29, 2010 10:28 AM

                                                                                                                                    Cosmos is flat out great. I keep forgetting about it. Just not in my regular path. I need a pilgrimmage brekky soon I think.

                                                                                                                                  3. SpellMan RE: baconspit May 29, 2010 10:27 AM

                                                                                                                                    A neighbourhood fave is Figaro on Fairmount, just a bit West of Parc Ave. Le Petit Italien on Bernard is perfect for Spag & Meatballs and a great glass of vino. Chez Justine on Van Horne is excellent and the owners (French) always have an interesting variety of wine by the glass. Just tried JUN-E on Laurier, and it was good but not great. If you like Greek, Panama on Jean Talon is good and surrounded by cheap and tasty Indian places (most of which are filthy..but que sera sera). And a New Zealand place is offering some yummy meat pies at Parc and Mount Royal. Oh and lastly, the great neighbourhood Greek called (???? the one with the vine-covered terrace) on Parc just north of Mount Royal is always good.

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
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                                                                                                                                      hungryann RE: SpellMan May 29, 2010 12:16 PM

                                                                                                                                      You mean Philinos.

                                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                                      Philinos Restaurant Bar
                                                                                                                                      4806 Av Du Parc, Montreal, QC H2V4E6, CA

                                                                                                                                      1. re: SpellMan
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                                                                                                                                        Shattered RE: SpellMan May 30, 2010 05:29 PM

                                                                                                                                        And it's not a "hole-in-the-wall", at least by any definition I'm familiar with (probably one of the pricier Greek spots in town, actually).

                                                                                                                                        Btw, the "New Zealand place" is Tourtiere Australienne:
                                                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/695871

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                                                                                                                                        pmarking RE: baconspit Jun 30, 2010 01:57 PM

                                                                                                                                        how about vegetarian (well, maybe some fish)?

                                                                                                                                        merci

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                                                                                                                                          vanierstudent RE: baconspit Jul 2, 2010 11:25 PM

                                                                                                                                          I personally think that Saigon Palace on Papineau near sauve seriously got some great pho. Great broth and great cha gio. my favourite cheap eat in the neighboorhood.

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                                                                                                                                            verdunbutcher RE: baconspit Oct 13, 2010 06:28 AM

                                                                                                                                            Rexs in Verdun...great breakfast, subs taste fresh, great michigans...what can I say!!

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                                                                                                                                              unlaced RE: verdunbutcher Oct 13, 2010 07:29 AM

                                                                                                                                              I totally agree! It is the definitive greasy spoon in my opinion and those cheap breakfasts are hard to beat, especially after a big night!

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                                                                                                                                              Little Edie RE: baconspit Dec 8, 2010 09:40 AM

                                                                                                                                              Well, I hate to even mention it (because the more popular it is the longer it takes to get a table), but Chez Josée on Duluth has amazing, cheap brunch, smoothie and AMAZING sandwich (especially veggie pate or chicken) for like $8 last time I checked.

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                                                                                                                                                vermontreal RE: Little Edie Dec 8, 2010 06:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                The seafood soup at Chez José, which I believe is served only on Fridays and Saturdays, is fabulous.

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                                                                                                                                                  eoj RE: Little Edie Dec 9, 2010 01:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                  This is my favourite b'fast joint ... the smoothies are delicious and generously sized and the chocolate-citron crepe (only available in summer) is *so* good.

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                                                                                                                                                  looosia RE: baconspit Dec 8, 2010 07:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                  No one has mentioned Patati Patata (mini burgers and poutine)? Or how about La Chilenta for empanadas? Also love the $2.50 banh mi in Chinatown, somewhere on St. Laurent south of Maisonneuve; never quite got the name, but the counter also sells this really yummy sticky rice dessert thingy too.

                                                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                                                  Patati Patata
                                                                                                                                                  4177 St-Laurent Blvd., Montreal, QC , CA

                                                                                                                                                  1. Har_Gow_Freak RE: baconspit Jan 18, 2011 10:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I usually go to Chien-Chaud Victoire (on Beaver Hall corner De La Gauchetière) for the very best Hot Dogs in town (with a good old fashioned bottled Spruce Beer ;) ).

                                                                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                                                                    Beaver Hall
                                                                                                                                                    1073, Cote du Beaver Hall, Montreal, QC H2Z 1S5, CA

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                                                                                                                                                      BLM RE: Har_Gow_Freak Jan 18, 2011 11:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                      They have re-located to just the other side(on De La Gauchetiere corner Beaver Hall).. Suppose to be re-opening later this month.

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                                                                                                                                                      lizlefebvre RE: baconspit Jan 24, 2011 07:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                      the Pho place on Cote des Neiges, on the corner just opposite the Jewish General Hospital! It's a hole in the wall in that it's really tiny... but it's VERY popular! We are always willing to wait in the 20-person lineup that spills out the door and down the steps... We love love love their spicy soup (Thu-Sun only). That;s really the only reason we go there: it's so fresh! Weve tried the spicy pho at a few other places closer to downtown, just to compare, and FEH... the one on Cote de Neiges is the only place that makes "real thing."

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                                                                                                                                                        lizlefebvre RE: lizlefebvre Jan 24, 2011 08:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                        sorry, it's called Pho Lien!

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                                                                                                                                                          humbert RE: lizlefebvre Jan 24, 2011 08:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Poissonerie Rayan on Cote des Neiges has the best seafood I have eaten in the city. They can deep fry, bbq or sautee tons of fresh fish and different seafood and the employees are very nice and recommend the best cooking techniques for what you order.

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                                                                                                                                                          baconspit RE: baconspit Jan 24, 2011 02:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                          I posted this over 3 years ago - LOVE that it
                                                                                                                                                          - must be all of the wonderful Montrea (sic) restaurants!

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                                                                                                                                                            restoprestige RE: baconspit Apr 9, 2011 02:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Brit and Chips! Thats all I have I have to say! Absolutely best fish in chips in MTL! The most delicious meal especially for that price!

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                                                                                                                                                              blondee_47 RE: restoprestige Apr 10, 2011 11:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                              the tamales at Sabor Latino on Belanger

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                                                                                                                                                                BLM RE: restoprestige Apr 10, 2011 12:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                From Brit & Chips, what fried fish you liked the best?

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                                                                                                                                                                  wilmagrace RE: BLM Apr 10, 2011 02:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I have taken the fish of the week and liked that (sole, etc) but last time it was a fish from australia and it didnt appeal to me. I also liked the salmon even though it seemed odd to have a batter around it. Frankly I have gone 3 or 4 times and agree the prices are good but find battered fish too heavy for my taste, I was hoping they would add one or two grilled fish to their menu. I liked most of the fish i had but enjoyed the lemon batter which i think was the weekly special.

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                                                                                                                                                                    billybauer17 RE: wilmagrace Apr 20, 2011 03:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    went there twice. first time excellent with the maple syrup batter second time got orange crush batter and it truly sucked. wouldnt go back. i think i only liked it first time cuz i was starving and the shock value was so great. but batter way too heavy it was like eating donuts with fish in it. fries kinda greasy too

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                                                                                                                                                                billybauer17 RE: baconspit Apr 20, 2011 03:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                le reservoir outstanding beers and really great brunch on duluth and st laurent

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