HOME > Chowhound > Quebec (inc. Montreal) >


Worst Restaurant Ever

If you are going to open a tapas restaurant every single one of the dishes better be unique, flavourful and delicious. We went to BU at stl.laurent and fairmont tonight and ordered a variety of different dishes, and if i closed my eyes i would not even know which one i was eating. None of the dishes were spiced, they all tasted the exact same; like nothing, it tasted like cardboard would. They were overpriced, and bland. When we finally got fed up and asked for some sauce to excite our tastebuds, they only had canned tomato sauce to offer. I have never been so dissapointed, the dished had great potential, creative ideas, but in the end it was boring.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: Morganna

      It's the past participle -- well, one of them -- of the verb *boire*, to drink.

      1. re: carswell

        So the name of the establishment is just BU? I'm just trying to make sure I avoid this place when we come up for our anniversary. :)

        1. re: Morganna

          5245 St-Laurent
          Montréal, Qué. H2T 1S4
          fax: 514.276.5799


          1. re: Morganna

            As you might guess from the somewhat sarcastic tone of some of the replies, many local hounds don't agree with the original poster's assessment that BU is avoid-worthy. Quite the contrary, in fact; many of us think of it as one of Montreal's top wine bars. Actually, an evening at BU with friends is how I've spent my last three birthdays. While the food is rarely stellar, it's honest, tasty and -- more to the point -- wine-friendly. Decent food, one of the city's smartest wine lists, good by-the-glass selections, cool decor, laid-back ambiance and unflappable service make for a winner. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

            1. re: carswell

              I have NO idea why my post was deleted. I was certainly not accusing BU, or any other Mtl resto, of causing food poisoning; actually, I've never had such an experience here - not denying it could happen. It has happened to me in a town that will remain unsaid - in North America, not some poor country without refrigeration. I was just saying, having experienced restaurant-caused food poisoning, that there is far worse than tasteless food. I went to BU once, just had a little thing to eat with a glass of wine, it was perfectly ok though nothing more - I was meeting a friend after work and it is half way between her house and mine.

              1. re: carswell

                Thanks for clarifying this, carswell, I appreciate it. Glad I take the time to read through these threads and keep returning regularly. :) I've found folks mentioning things about some places that don't seem too bad to me, and other things that folks think are great that make me think "I don't think I'd like that". It's good to have plenty of input! :)

              2. re: Morganna

                I wouldn't avoid BU. I would make it a point to go there, actually.

          2. First off, the placve is a wine bar, not a tapas restaurant. Tapas is spanish, not italian. Just thought I'd set that straight.

            1. In order for BU to qualify as the Worst Restaurant "EVER", it would mean that a coding system was created in order to measure the many criteria that make a restaurant good (or not good), and that a judge (you) would have to have taken each restaurant that exists, (past, present, and future) and measured each against your criteria. Only after this process would you be right to call it the worst restaurant "ever".

              I am assuming you haven't done this, and thus your thread title "Worst Restaurant Ever" leads me to assume you are just using superlatives, and thus your whole commentary on BU follows suit.

              If you were to say "worst restaurant I have ever been to", I might believe you.

              I actually enjoy going to BU, and think their food is pretty good, and the service is outstanding. Nice folks at BU.

              1 Reply
              1. re: riboflavinjoe

                To qualify, wouldn't it also have to bill itself as a restaurant? Aside from the "à cheval entre restaurant, bistro et trattoria" blurb, bar à vin/wine bar is the only claim they baldly make.

              2. Are there restaurants of this type out there that actually have "sauce" on hand for clients who think their food is bland? Some places have hot sauce on the table, but I wouldn't expect it at a wine bar.

                Just curious, what dishes did you have?

                7 Replies
                1. re: Moosemeat

                  Since they all taste the same, it's so hard to know. I'm always confusing the beef carpacio and arugula with the fried olives and the brandade with the vitello tonnato...

                  1. re: carswell

                    I guess that's always possible to do if you sample enough of the wine on offer there ;-)

                    1. re: carswell

                      what always gets me is I get the octopus and potato salad mixed up with the tiramisu. I have conducted several blind taste tests and I have concluded that 2 out of 3 cannot tell the difference.

                      1. re: riboflavinjoe

                        That's like the old Monty Python line about how 9 out of 10 British housewives can't tell the difference between Whizzo Butter and a dead crab. Which may well have been true in the 60s.

                        1. re: riboflavinjoe

                          Octopus is for suckers.

                          Actually, I've never tried BU's tiramisu. Aside from the fact that it tastes like octopus and potato salad, is it any good?

                          1. re: carswell

                            I enjoyed what I tasted of the tiramisu that my sister ordered. I'm no tiramisu expert. I also enjoyed the panna cotta with balsamic that my wife ordered. I guess the best way to answer your question would be to say go eat one yourself, I'm pretty sure you'll find it good.

                            In fact... I enjoyed it as much as my octopus and potato salad, because they taste all tasted the same. I wanted canned tomato sauce on the panna cotta, but the waiter didn't think it was a good idea.

                    2. "Disappointed in Bu", would have been a more accurate title, in my opinion.

                      To qualify for the worst restaurant ever, I was expecting a long tale of woes that would make someone cringe. Like my organic beef burger at MBrgr.

                      I never find tapas really memorable, for me they are meant to be something light to eat with drinks. They should offer a soy dipping sauce or something.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: superbossmom

                        Tapas are (or should be, although the word is horribly abused these days) Spanish-style small plates. Soy dipping sauce might be fine for asian goodies, but not true tapas. If you want to find memorable (or at least highly enjoyable) tapas in Montreal, try Tapeo, or Pintxo. I challenge you to find them dull, tasteless, or remotely wanting for some soy sauce.

                      2. I am reminded of the episode from the Sopranos when the family goes to Italy back to their roots. At a restaurant they are shocked by the simple dishes on the menu that don't reflect their usual fare back in New Jersey. Assuming that the kitchen doesn't realize that they know "authentic" Italian food, they insist on "gravy" or sauce slathered over the dishes - to the horror of the waiters.

                        1. Enfin! Somebody that thinks like me! BU is soooo ordinary food wise! I don't know what the fuss is all about with that restaurant...I do think all the critics in Montreal have free meals to give such good ones...The wine list is good, but that's about it. It's maybe not the worse place in town, but it's way overated.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Jujulelulu

                            Busted! How'd you know that BU's management has been comping all of us who have good things to say about the place?

                            1. re: Jujulelulu

                              So bad reviews are meals that aren't comped? It all makes sense now...all I have to do to get a good meal is say I'm a food critic and will write a bad review!

                              1. re: Jujulelulu

                                I went there for my girlfriends birthday and yes, good wine. Boo on the food. Highly ordinary and highly overpriced. It was one of those moments when I thought to myself, I could make better food at home. Why am I wasting my time and money.

                                Won't go back.

                              2. We've split a diversion on making panna cotta with balsamic to a new thread on the Home Cooking board. You can find that thread here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/513749