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Ice House

http://www.montrealmirror.com/wp/2011...

Wow, this sounds great. I'm going tonight...

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  1. I've been wanting to go for several weeks now, even more so after I've read the reviews. I tried calling for resos this week, but they don't open till late afternoon. It's definitely on my life.

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodie8

      They don't take reservations and few tables, but even on Thursday after the mirror article it wasn't too packed. This place really impressed me on both of my visits so far...

    2. Went last thursday around 8:30pm with m'lady. Had the short rib burrito and the fried chicken taco. They snuck some pickled jalapeno peppers in the taco, and oh mama did that give it a kick. Creemore on tap, good vibes, killer food and homemade tabasco sauce. Will be back fore sure. Might be one of my new favorite spots. Recognized the waiter/guy running the place from Kitchenette (hodge's other resto). Really cool dude, had the place running like butter. Two, meat-juice covered thumbs up!

      2 Replies
        1. re: Maximilien

          It was pretty busy, but the tables turn over pretty quick.

      1. Went early on Friday, before 7, there were only 2 or 4 other people there, which is just as well cos the place is pretty tiny - it'll be great once summer comes and the front terrasse is open.
        I can't add much to the Mirror review as my boyfriend and I pretty much ordered what was written up there, but I will second Joanna Fox's assessment - both the oyster po-boy and the lobster burrito were delicious, and if you order fries, ask for the spicy mayo - KILLER. Not because it's incredibly hot, just really tasty. And the spiked lemonade, squeezed on site, with a shot of bourbon, was a winner too.

        1. I went last Friday as well and it was packed!. Got there around 9.30 and waited about 20 mins. for a table. My friend and I shared the 1/2 bucket of ribs and one pork and one steak burrito. Ribs come with potato salad, coleslaw and biscuits. The biscuits were incredibly buttery tasting. We were tempted to steal the biscuits leftover at the table next to us from a couple who ordered the fried chicken. Potato salad and coleslaw were both served creamy. I just wished there was a bit less dressing because they were a bit soupy but that's just my preference.

          As for the burritos, both were flavourful. My only complaint is that the ingredients weren't dispersed evenly. The meat was in the middle (mixed with other toppings) while the ends were only veggies (pork burrito was filled with sweet potato and the steak with french fries and veggies).

          The only real downside is the price of the alcohol. I inquired about the wine and the server said it was $10 a glass or (I believe) $50 a bottle (I guess it's a standard price for all of the wines). The spiked lemonade is great but is also $10. I didn't think the prices mirrored the casual feel of the resto or the food prices.

          I'm definitely going to go back (perhaps when it's not as busy) but with the late hours and the terrasse out front, it's going to be great in the summer.

          1. Just tried it. Had the short rib tacos and the fish tacos. Both were ok. Wish I had asked for some hot sauce or this homemade tobasco that they apparently have. Really my only complaint is that after tax and tip it cost about 25$ for 4 pretty small tacos that left me hungry for more. I guess Im just comparing it too much to the food truck tacos in LA that IMO are better and would have cost around 14$ for 4 tacos. Its worth a try for sure and glad I did.

            5 Replies
            1. re: jay_81k

              Yikes, that is pricey especially if you weren't even full. You can eat well for only $10-15 bucks up and down The Main. Good luck with that, dunno how they'll make it work but it won't be off the starving students and starving artists who make up most of the locals.

              1. re: Shattered

                IMO, this place is a step up, with respect to the quality of ingredients and the cooking, from the places where you would be able to get a meal for $10-15. Two of us spent about $70, I think, for 6 oysters, crab-stuffed jalapenos, fried-chicken tacos, and oyster po-boy, with a spiked lemonade and a caesar to drink; and we had NO room for dessert (darn!). So, not an everyday-type place for us but worth it for a treat. There are lots more things on the menu that look interesting.

              2. re: jay_81k

                Its pretty tough to compare the prices of Icehouse to LA taco trucks... I don't think there's any need to explain the logistics and economics behind this..

                Anyways, for a city that only recently acquired its first decent Brooklyn food-truck style tacos (Grumman), I think we're a long way away from comparing our mexican-inspired cuisine to a place thats within hours of mexican ingredients and expertise. That said, I've found Icehouse to be exceptional on my three visits, and it also manages to toss in a few original ideas that you might not find at a taco truck (i.e. the lobster burrito).

                As for the alcohol, I agree that the prices are fairly high, though they do toss an awful lot of Bourbon into those lemonades for $10. I think these prices are generally on par with what one would pay at the other casual hipster restaurants in the city, especially since one could walk out of Icehouse stuffed full of delciousness and having spent less than $20 on food.

                1. re: Fintastic

                  I agree with your post, except for the last sentence. I don't think you can walk out of Icehouse stuffed full of deliciousness for less than $20 - two rounds of tacos (4 small tacos in all) would be $18, *before* tax and tip.

                  I posted my review of Icehouse in the restaurant openings thread but I agree with both sides here really - I think the food is absolutely delicious and the quality is excellent. But the price point for these dishes is a little high. I think it is the contrast between the prices and the setting/feel of the place (which is quite casual) which is a bit disconcerting.

                  1. re: unlaced

                    Fair enough- I think I was just thinking of my first visit when I had burrito and a quarter chicken (shared a half order), which I think worked out to $18 before tax and tip and I was painfully full. But I agree that there's plenty of ways you could leave hungry even after spending much more.

                    I think Nick Hodge and co. are trying to keep quality high, and so prices follow accordingly. The casual setting is clearly a facade (maybe even a bit of a gimmick - a few things seem casual to the point of impracticality). I think Montreal has always pushed top quality food into progressively casual settings, so I feel like Icehouse is just an extreme extension of this concept. I remember when the same was said of APdC and now every other restaurant in the city is exactly the same..