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Apr 23, 2009 09:21 PM

Rotisserie Laurier

Rotisserie Laurier, 381 Laurier W., 273-3671

Upon finding a description in the blog Endless Banquet - “A classic roasted chicken joint (it's been around since the 1930s) with comfy booths and good service...” - I decided to try it out. My chicken “sandwich” was a single slice of white bread (not even a soft roll!) with a tiny miserable leg of chicken, bones and all for like, $9.00. Nothing else. It was a complete joke – when was candid camera going to step in? Soooo overpriced for food that does not even beat the chain versions like St. Hubert, and at least with the other ones $9.00 will give you enough food to satisfy your hunger if not your taste buds.

I can’t believe it’s still in business after all these years - did I miss something, or what? Has anyone else been here that could fill me in?

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  1. I have to agree; we stopped going there the last few years, we used to go with my grandson when he was younger. I liked their moka cake for a sugar high and a blast from the past.

    We go to Fusée on Bernard , near champagneur, for quick bbque chicken, tastier.
    Outdoor sitting area is nice too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: superbossmom

      Thanks for weighing in - I'll have to try out your suggestion!

    2. Rotisserie Laurier is one of those "classic" joints. The food is usually better than what you describe, but I do not crave to go there except for one thing: I really like their French onion soup. Nothing superfancy, but they do a good job on it, and it really hits the spot on a winter's day. They make the cheesy top nice and crispy at the edges. The broth is fairly rich, and acceptable. I do feel like there may be some bouillion cube involved, but it is still tasty.

      The chicken is ok, but not memorable. I am always excited at the idea of some of their dishes, such as the hot chicken sandwich, and the chicken pot pie, but I often find I am disappointed a little bit when I actually get my order. The chicken is not as moist as I like, and the overall effect is not what I imagined it would be.

      Now I have heard others rave about this place, and I wonder if there is a bit of a downhill slide happening here.

      1 Reply
      1. re: moh

        Thanks for sharing. I like classic joints, and places with history, but I guess I associate them with good, simple, satisfying food. Not a place where you order a chicken sandwich and you get one slice of bread topped with a mini chicken leg - what kind of sandwich is that? My friend had something like a club sandwich I think, with not so much comical results as my order, but he certainly found it to be sub-par to any anonymous establishment that has it on the menu.

        However, the decor really was the real deal. You go in there, and you're taken back in time. I liked that. But what you get for the steep prices they're charging for this decor......really made me feel ripped off and angry. And I very rarely feel that way after a restaurant visit! Classic joints shouldn't be like that - you should feel satisfied after your meal, having been given a decent serving (doesn't have to be heaping!) amount of simple, non-sophisticated food made well and honestly, and pay an honest price for it.

        I guess when I hear about "institutions" - places that have been around for many years, I tend to trust the test of time - Schwartz's for example - but I suppose that isn't always the way to go. i wonder if that isn't a bad thread to make - Montreal restaurants that have been in business for 50+ years -- how are they faring now? Better than ever, or just resting on their name and history? I suppose a list of these places would need to be made....or maybe someone else has already done this (haven't searched the forum yet for this).

      2. It really was at one time one of the best BBQ joints in the city. In the last few years it has really gone down hill. I remember going almost every sunday evening as a kid. They had the best house salad. I love the Laurier French dressing. They also had really awsome desserts. The HELLO DOLLIE squares are the best I ever had. In the last few years the place is empty and overpriced. Maybe the owners changed hands? I am not sure why it's changed and its quite sad. The chicken was never the best... I would take CHALET BBQ over LAURIER BBQ anyday for BBQ chicken.

        1. ouch! you compare laurier with st-hubert, I guess you just enjoy meals made out of powder haha. St-hubert compared to laurier has everything made in factories. You are right for the overprice thing but to me eating a "powdered meal" for 9$ is extremely overpriced. Now you made your choice between home made and factory made.

          2 Replies
          1. re: babacol

            oh cmon, what's homemade about laurier??? the food tastes like they've been cutting corners for the last 20 years

            1. re: celfie

              A couple of weeks ago, my mom decided to go to Laurier BBQ and buy one of their homemade pies to go. She was having people over for dinner and did not want to make dessert on top of the meal. She got a lemon pie which I remembered from many years is as good as it once was!! It is still incredibly good but I can't comment on other dishes because all she got was the pie.

          2. I totally agree with you....Having the unfortunate experience of eating here last month....the food was overpriced garbage and the service was so bad that I refused to leave a tip. I rate Laurier Barbeque a ZERO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            23 Replies
            1. re: MISTER_C

              Seems like Gordon Ramsay is going to try and fix up Rotisserie Laurier


              Rotisserie Laurier
              381 Av Laurier W, Montreal, QC H2V2K3, CA

                1. re: ios94

                  Sweeet! That is awesome. Hopefully his new team will give this place the respect it deserves (not to mention restore its long-missing respect for its customers...:-/)

                  1. re: ios94

                    Poor old waitresses!!! they will all have heart attack when GR gets huffing and puffing!!!

                    Seriously, wasn't there a plan to refurbish the building ?

                    1. re: Maximilien

                      there was an interview with coowner danielle lord on radio and she said when gordon ramsay came to Bay store in Montreal re launch of casseroles he visited the restaurant, fell in love with it (she actually said he fell in love with their chicken!), but also laurier street and decided to buy in, lend his name, his first endeavor in Canadian market. Apparently according to her he is very sweet and kind off of hells kitchen! He is in process of planning with them menu and there will be an opening of new menu (classics remain same including sugar pie and mocha cake, but there will be burgers, shepherd pie, beef bourgignon, poule au pot although all items to be added still under discussion at present....) in February 2011. She said they want to maintain family clientele but also add in teenagers, young adults as well as attract back clientele. There will be a bar operating and music. Quite the buzz! I am so glad to see this place spruced up and would certainly go there for comfort food.

                      1. re: wilmagrace

                        I assume that the price structure of having to pay $30 to get a half-chicken with fixin's will remain. After all, price is the method used to differentiate their customer base from the riff-raff in less affluent neighbourhoods.

                        1. re: Lowe Arthorbit

                          guess you are right, all restaurants on that street are in that price range, no deals unless you count the late night menu of lemeac

                          1. re: Lowe Arthorbit

                            Dunno about that - they still need to compete with Fusee up the street on Bernard (whose prices are pretty reasonable), as well as others like the Binerie down on Mt-Royal.

                            1. re: anachemia

                              Fusée and Binerie are in different 'hoodz'! (even if bernard is close) and Binerie is not really and was never a competitor of Laurier BBQ.

                              1. re: Maximilien

                                Bernard in Outremont is not really a different "hood" - very much a part of Outremont.

                              2. re: anachemia

                                fusé chicken was the weirdest chicken I ever ate, I didn't like it at all.
                                Laurier chicken is a better tatse than St-Hubert chicken but so expensive (normal it's in outremont). But in my book nothing beat the taste of charcoal chicken like portugalia and ramados. Chalet suisse used to taste good 15 years ago and then it got to processed I guess? The chicken you buy makes the whole difference.

                                1. re: maj54us

                                  The Portuguese chicken places remain my favourites too.

                            2. re: wilmagrace

                              I was flabbergasted when I first heard about this, but now I guess I can see it, keeping it a basic homey comfort chicken place but sprucing up the quality. It's always been his mantra on the british "kitchen nightmares" series. It could work, but he really isn't known at all by the french side, so he won't be able to rely on his usually hype to ensure success.

                              1. re: johnnyboy

                                Dude - there are enough English speaking people who know Ramsay - everyone in my office is TRÈS excited!!! My daughter is going to freak out!

                              2. re: wilmagrace

                                From what I could make out of the CBC interview, it sounds like Ramsay will be consulting on the menu and they'll get to use his name. It won't be his team, the restaurant had already been bought and was headed for a refurb before Ramsay got on board. I really wouldn't expect that much from the Ramsay collaboration except, of course, a lot of PR opportunities.

                                1. re: SnackHappy

                                  from report in la presse today he will be back here in two weeks for planning, so does appear there will indeed be some on hands involvement than just lending his name, and possibly a tv emission on site. Its getting greater coverage across Canada (globe and mail today and i read it in two francophone papers this morning). Hence, good news for Montreal scene, as well as foodies and tourists, celebrity linkages can be just as appealing as the food one report they said they are going to try to keep prices moderate and resto may be closed at some point for renovations. Open til 3am!

                                  1. re: wilmagrace

                                    Today's Gazette piece mentions that he's already replaced the frozen fries with fresh, so that bodes well.


                                    1. re: kpzoo

                                      Thx for posting that link...the story also mentions they're talking about expanding across the country...!

                                      (Then again, it also refers to the chicken as "grilled," so perhaps best to take the whole thing with a grain of salt.) ;-)

                                    2. re: wilmagrace

                                      It's hard to imagine Ramsay doing this without cameras rolling, whether for Kitchen Nightmares or something else.

                                      And while I find the whole celebrity-chef phenomenon (and Gordon Ramsay in particular) tiresome, IMO it's encouraging that Laurier BBQ will apparently continue in a family resto/comfort food vein -- it may be a cliché by now, but there are still few such places delivering real quality at decent prices. I'm a little skeptical that that will be the actual result, though. Believe it when I see it.

                              3. re: ios94

                                I'm sure Mister C will be lining up!