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Need dinner/ brunch recs for weekend with McGill student

The hubby and I will be visiting our daughter the student in November and we are looking for places for dinner and breakfast/ brunch, preferably downtown. The dinner will involve the feeding of her 4 starving roommates as well, so price is a consideration.(Au Pied de Couchon will have to wait for another time!) Does anyone know of places that will fun fun for the kids but will also please foody parents? Sunday brunch only involves daughter but can't be a long, lingering meal as daughter has concert in the afternoon.
Thanking you in advance for your recommendations.

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  1. tall order! maybe for the roomate lunch you could try Santropol, which is reasonably priced. just simple, very fresh sandwiches and soups with a hippie, vegetarian bent. and then you can go somewhere more fancy and grown-up for the Sunday brunch--which I'll leave for others to suggest!

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    Santropol
    3990 Rue Saint Urbain, Montreal, QC H2W 1T8, CA

    4 Replies
    1. re: bakersdelight

      I think this may have been mixed up: Brunch with daughter, dinner with roommates. I don't see mention of lunch, so I don't know if Santropol would make the cut in my books..

      However, assuming it is, in fact, an affordable dinner that you're after, I'd perhaps aim for a BYO that could cut costs on wine (if all will be drinking). However, recommending something with no idea of what you're looking for might waste everyone's time, so a few questions: What price per person are you looking for? Are the students picky/vegetarian/restricted in diet in any other way? Do you have a type of food you'd like to try?

      For example, there are plenty places that would come at $20 a person, but few serve great food (a notable exception is Kazu, though with 7 people it is virtually impossible). However, if you're willing to spend more you might get to try an exceptional resto, but I don't want to tempt you if it would surpass your budget, so let us know a few more specifics if you could..

      As for brunch, the time frame does limit a few of the busier options that may involve waiting for a table (namely Sparrow, unless you arrived just prior to their first seating). However, there are a few great places I'd recommend: try reserving an early-ish spot at Chien Fumant, as its not a quick brunch but it is one that's worth getting up a bit early to experience. This also guarantees that you won't end up standing around waiting for a table. I think they could have you seated at 10am and out before noon. You could also try Byblos on Laurier (quite near Chien Fumant) for delicious Persian brunch. Others have found Montee de Lait on St. Laurent to be good for brunch, which would also allow you to reserve. On the other end of the city is McKiernan's on Notre Dame, but it is very small and also might complicate your life if it is particularly busy. All of these restaurants are of the laid-back yet upscale variety that Montreal does so well. None are in the heart of downtown, which is really a culinary wasteland, but each is not too difficult to find via car or metro.

      Let the board know re: dinner..

      1. re: Fintastic

        Kazu for lunch (sitting at the bar) might be possible if some of you are willing to get there 20 minutes before opening time and be first in line.

        I agree with fintastic about specifying what type of cuisine, and how much you want to pay. But in the meanwhile you might want to look at this link for suggestions in the Concordia University area (there are more choices there than in the Mcgill area).

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/709902

        1. re: Fintastic

          Yes, you are correct about who is involved for the dinner and I should have been more specific about what I'm after. There are no dietary restrictions and we are open to all kinds of cuisine- her friends are a very adventurous crowd and hubby and daughter lived in Middle East for a long time. I'd love to be able to keep dinner at under 25$ per person( before tax and tip) and think that the BYO option a great one, though I'd hate to pass up on something really great for a few dollars more! The other parents are great at feeding daughter when they are in town, so I'd like to offer more than pizza.On the Sunday we need to be out of a restaurant by noon and I'd feel more comfortable if we had reservations. We have a car, so mobility is not an issue.
          Thanks for all suggestions!

          1. re: Countygal

            Au Petit Extra would be pretty close budget-wise for dinner, and they can easily accommodate a party of 7. It's not downtown, though, but it's not that far, especially if you have a car.

      2. Dinner for the gang? Easy. Schwartz. Order plates to keep the cost down (that's a pound or so of meat and a stack of rye to build your own sandwiches; I usually get 5-6 sammies out of one plate, depending how big I make 'em). Just hold out til 8pm so you miss the rush and can get a full table (students should be used to eating late anyway).

        1. Dinner for hungry uni students : Khyber Pass (BYOW, on Duluth st.)
          Sunday Brunch : you could try Reservoir (Duluth) just at opening time.

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          Khyber Pass Restaurant
          506 Av Duluth E, Montreal, QC H2L1A7, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: Maximilien

            Mmm, dunno bout Khyber Pass. I went there with one other person and found it incredibly cramped (with slow service to boot). Not sure how they would accommodate a big group of 6 or 7. Also I recall it was a bit expensive in terms of what you get.

            I second the recommendation for Schwartz's - they are cramped and sometimes slow too, but the platter suggestion would be a really affordable way to go, and they are also a Montreal institution. (For similar food, there's also The Main right across the street, which has its own special old-school diner charms, along with larger booths and more relaxed atmosphere.)

            I also second the suggestion of Amelio's Pizza (if the "kids" are not sick of it already). They are cramped also, but they keep things turning over, and sharing a couple of pizzas would also be an economical option for a group. (Plus it's some of the best pizza in town.)

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            Amelio's
            201 Rue Milton, Montreal, QC H2X1V5, CA

            Khyber Pass Restaurant
            506 Av Duluth E, Montreal, QC H2L1A7, CA

          2. If they are typical students, they might be up for some familiar food- like pizza- then Amelio's in the "student ghetto" area is a must. A depaneur across the street, so you can purchase some beers to bring in with you. Then take them to Romados (Rachel Street) for some take out chicken and fries- they should really know about this place if they don't! If they are adventurous at all, bring them down to the Concordia area- Cuisine Schezuan has a great lunch special : see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/580348. Avoid Prince Arthur; search previous posts on BYOW if you want to treat them- but you will be looking in the 25-45$ per person range for the better ones.

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            Amelio's
            201 Rue Milton, Montreal, QC H2X1V5, CA

            1 Reply
            1. re: weinerdog

              chinatown may not be of interest to foodie parents but can be fun for strolling around and in the restos you can get a large round table and share dishes which keeps cost lower, see other sections for specific resto recommendations if they would be interested in chinese dishes

            2. For dinner, I would suggest Rumi http://restaurantrumi.com/ or Rumi Grill http://www.rumigrill.ca/en/ as a good middle eastern option that won't break the bank. There is no alcohol I believe but there are some funky drink options.

              For brunch, what about Leméac? I believe that you can reserve http://www.restaurantlemeac.com/en-CA...

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              Rumi
              5198 Rue Hutchison, Outremont, QC H2V4A9, CA

              2 Replies
              1. re: CookEatSleep

                i havent been to rumi restaurant so cant comment on that but it is easy to get to, off of parc avenue, not far from downtown and there is free parking on street ; rumi grill is a great idea, my daughter enjoyed everything we ordered, the presentaton and was not expensive. Just across from rumi restaurant is figaro which serves a nice brunch.
                http://www.lacroissanteriefigaro.com/...

                1. re: wilmagrace

                  Along the same lines (and region) is Kaza Maza, which I wouldn't call a foodie destination, but could fit well within your budget if you didn't get wine (I didn't feel the need to when I was last there). It's great lebanese/syrian food thats also great for sharing!

                  Also within your budget would be one of the late-night deals that have been discussed a lot on this board. For instance, Lemeac, Milos, and Cocagne each offer a limited menu for less than $25pp starting after 10, 10, and 9:30pm, respectively. Also you could perhaps squeeze in a meal at T! or F! if you scrimped a bit... All of these might be more formal and less fun than what you're looking for, but each is a bit more foodie than anything else available at your price range.

                  Good luck and enjoy!