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Aug 31, 2010 10:54 AM

Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives (Canadian Version)

My boyfriend and I have spent the entire summer working so we can travel around Canada from mid Sept - December. We're huge fans of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives so we really want to do our own version. We're from Toronto so we want to get out of this city. We plan to venture around northern Ontario, PEI, Nova Scotia, British Columbia AND we've recently added Quebec to our list (even though we don't speak a lick of French). In case you haven't seen DDD, we are looking for places with huge portions of homecooked/fresh food. We want to chow down with the locals so no chains and no shmancy gourmet food! Just great institutions :)

Thanks for your help!

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    1. re: celfie

      The food is gross. You only stop to see the dinosaurs

    2. In Montreal, I think Chez Philippe on Amherst and Paul Patate in St-Henri would fall into that category. D├ępanneur le Pick-Up would also be a good "modern" option.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Whygee

        Paul Patate would be an excellent choice. It's in Point St-Charles, however, not St-Henri. If you're up in Mile-End grabbing bagels (not DDD but still worth doing!) then you can visit Nouveau Palais on Bernard just east of's a nice relic in that fast gentrifying area.

        Paul Patate
        2606 Rue De Coleraine, Montreal, QC H3K1S7, CA

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. Hi folks, please limit your responses in this thread to places in Quebec. The OP has posted on four Canadian boards, so if you have a suggestion for one of the other areas they're visiting, feel free to posted on the appropriate thread. You can see all the threads by clicking on lecanadienfoodie's username below their post. Thanks for your cooperation.

          1 Reply
          1. Definitely check out Cosmos in NDG for breakfast. You need to sit indoors to soak up all the local flavour - it's definitely entertaining. Behind the counter, members of the Koulakis family and longtime staffers banter with each other and with customers. There was even a documentary made about the place and its people called Man of Grease.

            Oh yeah, and the food is just what you're looking for. They're known for their heart-stopping Creation sandwich, massive mish-mash omelette, and their delectable homemade-daily home fries.

            Cosmos Snack Bar
            5843 Rue Sherbrooke W, Montreal, QC H4A1X4, CA

            2 Replies
            1. re: kpzoo

              MAN OF GREASE
              Thursday March 4, 2004 at 10 PM ET/PT
              repeating Saturday March 6, 2004 at 10 PM ET
              repeating Thursday December 23, 2004 at 10 PM ET/PT
              repeating Saturday December 25, 2004 at 10 PM ET/PT

              Cosmos is a cubbyhole of a greasy spoon in Montreal. Tony Koulakis, 66, has been sweating it out behind the grill on Sherbrooke St. for nearly 30 years. His all-day, cholesterol-laden breakfasts are legendary. Customers come far and wide to chow down on house specialties like "mish mash"-a combo of ham, sausage, bacon, salami, onions, tomatoes and eight eggs. Even Koulakis, a chain-smoker, sometimes warns his customers of the health risks. So when rumours of his impending retirement hit the street, filmmaker Ezra Soiferman was there to record the drama.

              The result is a quirky, yet poignant documentary portrait of a local Montreal legend in Man of Grease.

              Soiferman looks at how this dedicated, passionate and eccentric immigrant (known affectionately as "The God of Potatoes") turned his tiny restaurant into a city institution. One year before retiring, Koulakis placed his beloved Cosmos in the trust of his three children, and travelled-for the first time in nearly three decades-back to his homeland of Greece. There, Koulakis revisited his birthplace on the sun-drenched island of Crete.

              The documentary features Koulakis's many loyal customers, friends and family who provide insight into the culture of diners and why they are so popular. Cosmos regulars don't come strictly for the food, but for the sense of belonging, the everyday drama, the counter conversations that often segue into philosophical debates and arguments about hockey, and above all else, for Tony Koulakis.

              Man of Grease tells the story of a young man who arrived from a foreign land, worked hard to create something special, and many years later, looks back at what he has achieved.

              Man of Grease is produced and directed by Ezra Soiferman of Perpetuum Productions of Montreal.

              1. re: celfie

                oK the food isnt great but its kitsch -- the BIG ORANGE Gibeau Orange Julep catches your attention on the Decarie, has fast food (have veggie burgers, club sandwich as well as usual hamburgers, fries, poutine, corn dogs- I have only had the hot dogs) and picnic tables. But on Wednesday evenings between 7pm and 10pm hot rods and antique cars turn up, you might just get an orange julep and go somewhere else for the meal. No inside tables but has an awning.

                and here is what you can look at in parking lot while enjoying your orange julep:


                open 24 hours a day in summer