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Sep 6, 2009 03:21 PM

Tourist restaurants in Old Montreal, caution

Just wanted to add this as so many tourists reading posted menus in Vieux Montreal and likely to be disappointed. Today having parked near Galianos for some shopping and just wanting a quick light meal, not wanting to pay for a deluxe dinner i thought i could have a half plate of pasta, nothing complicated what could go wrong. I did discuss with girl at table out in front & checked out menu and prices. She said I could have the half plate of pasta at 16$. Waiter took my drink order cosmopolitan and when i said i would have the half plate fettucine alfredo, he said there were no half plates of pasta only for children that the 16$ was for the pasta and the 23$ for added grilled chicken. I waited and waited and then it all arrived at once my cocktail and a huge plate of pasta. I said if he had told me this would happen (his reply: he and barman too busy!) I would have switched it to a glass of wine which would have gone better with meal. The pasta had brown dried out reheated appearance and to my taste a glutinous, bland sauce -chicken was ok. I really am sorry to think this kind of cooking, presentation and attitude of waiters is what many tourists take away when they think of the montreal restaurant experience. I noticed the other diners at table beside me and in front did not finish their spaghetti, penne.... I have had similar experiences this year eating with outoftowners at two front terraces overlooking place Jacques Cartier. Next time I will definitely seek out the hidden gems on side streets even if view cannot compare with the tourists restaurants and just have a beer or glass of wine in the restaurants with view,
It just irks me that montrealers cant enjoy these prime location restaurants and that there is no pride to improve the situation as the tables are always filled with tourists atleast in summer.....if they could up the quality Montrealers would fill up the tourist slack in winter!

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  1. I'm guessing the waiter assumed you were a tourist. Many cities have tourist trap areas which are no different, unfortunately - lovely areas to look at, but you don't want to waste your time or money eating in most of the establishments. In your case, if the girl outside assured you you could have a half portion of pasta, and the waiter said no, then your options would have been to either insist on it, as you had been told it was possible, or get up and walk out. And a surprising number of tourists that I have met don't really care what the food is like - they are busy drinking in the atmosphere of the place, and want to stop for a quick bite where and when it's most convenient for them. Not everyone's a chowhound, I guess...

    1 Reply
    1. re: cherylmtl

      Still, it's not nice to be lied to.