Cheap Eats - Downtown Montreal
I was wondering if this actually exists... I have been living now in Montreal for 2 years and working in the industry of things food and wine, I have slowly eaten my way from one end of the island to the other, however, I have now been asked by McGill University (cont ed) students to take them somewhere for lunch...
Near (ish) the University (Sherbrooke W)...
Is there anything?
Don't know about how cheap Lola Rosa is, but it's vegetarian and it's close by in the McGill ghetto.
How about the new Burritoville near Concordia? Also vegetarian.
And once in a while I like to go to the Saigon restaurant on... Meltcalfe, I think it is. Vietnamese cooking, with some veggie options.
How many people in all?
Access Asie on Sherbrooke W. (just west of McGill College) has many veggie options, and a fixed price lunch menu (although I prefer their big bowl soups). You'd have to reserve for a group of 12, but I wouldn't think that would be a major problem. There's also a Java U on Sherbrooke just east of University - they have plenty of veggie options, and nice big tables for groups (I'd recommend Art Java, but I don't think they can easily accommodate a group that size at peak times).
I realize this is several months late, but I was just a Lola Rosa tonight and had a fabulous time. When it's summer and there's a cool breeze blowing about, it's great to sit in the Rosa's cozy dining room with the wall of windows open. That said, it is cozy - not big. Twelve people would be uncomfortable there, especially during the lunch rush I'd imagine. Burritoville isn't anything to write home about, so much so that I got bored of their menu after visiting only a few times. It is a very big space though (two floors?) and will definitely fit 12.
Mini review on Lola Rosa's:
Ordered the Tunisian ragout - cabbage, almonds, and other veggies (sorry, can't remember), which was served over bulghur. Spicey, hearty, and is more filling than it looks. My friend had the lasagne on the other hand and it was spectacular. Such a great blend of cheeses - I should've asked what they used. Dessert left much to be desired as presentation was seriously lacking. The key lime pie was too creamy, not lime-y enough for our tastes, and my apple crumble was satisfactory though the ice cream it was served with tasted like Breyer's or something. Will be back for the food and cozy atmosphere, and how it's a great vegetarian option downtown. Dinner for two, main and dessert each, tip included = a bit over $40.
Pretty much anywhere on St. Laurent.
I'd recommend Maison Thai, just above Pins (its less than 10 mins walk). Plenty of veggie options, and you can pretty much pig out (two mains plate, drink) for $10.
Cuisine Szechuan (Guy, just south of Sherbrooke) is close enough to walk. I took my lab group there for lunch (10 people with a reservation) and it worked out really well...
I am expecting flames for this but I stick to my suggestion... There is a little Vietnamese restaurant called Caravelle, that is one of the last standing restaurants in the basement of 20/20 University. The food is cheap, and really really good.
Their special of Pork and Mushrooms on Vermicelli is perfect for a carb fix in a flash. The large portion of noodles and meat is only $4 and change, and qualifies as cheap and good.
His Chicken and noodle soup is redolent with fried garlic and is worth the super expensive $6 + Change. The broth is the real deal, no bullion here, and the accompanying fried chicken leg is perfect with the hoisen and chili dipping sauce....
From the regular flow of Vietnamese regulars you can be sure that it is the real deal.
You never asked about atmosphere.
Go during the school year for the added entertainment of throngs of high school students...
Still a good bet, despite their din....
Presto Resto near Chapters. You can have a salad, main course and dessert for 13 bucks including tax. Their chocolate cake and cannoli are pretty good.