panama MTL & West Island
has anyone eaten at both Pananmas? montreal & west island?
i've been to the Montreal store (original) and it was great.
i am invited to go to the Panama in the West island, has anyone eaten at both?
i know usually the second stores are not as good ......
I attended my company's Christmas dinner at Panama's West Island location recently and was pretty unimpressed. We paid in advance so all we had to do was show up, eat and have a good time. Even the service was pre-paid. Needless to say, by the end of the evening this arrangement left me wondering if the resto had used the opportunity to cut corners and get away with things that they wouldn't do if each customer was paying at the time of service.
Table service by the wait staff was very good. Plates were brought in a timely fashion, nobody went wanting for drink and water refills, however it was the food that was disappointing.
We were a party of approx 60 people - all pre-paid and with a pre-set menu.
The various courses were brought to each long table on platters and placed at a couple of points along each table, from which the diners could serve themselves, buffet style.
The problem was that for each long table that sat roughly 20 people, they would bring two platters of each course. After everybody took care not to take too much so that everyone would have some, each course rendered essentially an appetizer or hors d'oeuvre size portion - a couple of bites at best.
It was almost comical since this was supposed to be a dinner, not a cocktail schmoozing.
Their spanakopita was quite good, except for the fact that each plate consisted of pre-cut small portions that themselves had to be halved so that everybody got a piece.
We also got grilled chicken which was from an obviously small bird, judging from what I could make out from the size of a wing and leg, and like another poster here pointed out, was hacked so much with a cleaver that most of the meat seemed to have vanished leaving mostly bones - and again, not enough to adequately go around.
Platters of lamb chops and potatoes were brought. I, like everyone else, managed to get precisely one fifth of a potato, and a couple of exceptionally small lamb chops which consisted of mostly bone and gristle.
In addition to the amount of food not being nearly enough to satisfy such a large amount of people, I left wondering if the kitchen folk, knowing this was coming in advance, had put aside their worst cuts of meat and chicken so as to keep the good stuff for the other, a-la-carte ordering customers.
It's sad because I was really looking forward to dinner there as I know three people who have been to the West Island location in the past and have raved about how good it was.
That's too bad, it definitely sounds like they took advantage of the situation. 2 platters of each course per 20 people? Ouch. Do you know what the cost was per head? Probably $50-60 I'd guess?
I did experience what a previous poster mentioned above. I visited the WI location twice in about a month back in the summer, on the first visit the lamb chops and chicken were excellent, well marinated and tender. Unfortunately I couldn't say the same thing on the second visit.
Original seems to have slightly bigger portions and is more home style in ambiance, the West Island branch is more "slick".
Service is/was very good in both but again the West Island branch tries a little harder to up sell.
The food is excellent in both places.
Number one- Stay away from the "Green Salad". Nothing to eat and a giant waste of money.
Number two- The grilled chicken is really very, very good but they chop it into pieces with a meat cleaver or very large knife that often and I do mean often, leaves small bone fragments embedded in the flesh of the chicken. So pay attention when you are scarfing it down.
I've been going to the original Panama for years, and we've always loved it. Everything is always fresh and delicious, and the service was always great. I've been to the west island location twice, and it's good, but not the same. The biggest differences I noticed was with the tenderness of the lamb, and the flavor of the chicken, which I felt was a tiny bit lacking. But overall, still good.
Hope this helps!
We went last year and it was good, the lamb chops were very good, teramosalata ok (not strong enough for my taste) and the chicken brochette and salad were great. They also had 5$ martinis on wednesdays at the time, which was in may. I don;t remember the taziki sauce though...