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New lebanese

d
deborahm Apr 8, 2011 09:02 PM

I just had the best Lebanese cuisine I've had here in Montreal--at a place called Garage Beirut on Mackay Street south of Ste-Catherine. Apparently it is new (the cook came out of the kitchen and says it's only been a couple of days and they are just getting started). Has anyone else heard of this place? Try the fatoush and also the Shish Taouk with a garlic sauce that was really fresh. I couldn't believe it.

  1. r
    Ruy Blas Jun 16, 2011 06:39 PM

    I have tried the yogurt base sauce with lamb: KUSHEK BI KAWARMA @ $9 along with a Kafta sandwich @ $6. I was not impressed.
    They are trying hard to offer something special. Any restaurant willing to put lamb on their menu or give away first class olives to nimble over all you can eat pita bread, does not appear to compromise on quality. Except The KUSHEK BI KAWARMA lacks something as basic as salt or sugar or tanginess and the sandwich is too expensive for its content as if they did not know how to fill it in with salad and hummus paste the way Basha does at half the price.

    There is not a lot of room, maybe 5-6 tables, no very busy either.
    I cannot see how they are going to survive long term.
    My favorite Lebanese is the low cost Basha, 2 nd floor Mc Gill; Amir is not bad either.
    better than this place even if AMir & Basha do not have lamb.
    My all time favorite s the more expensive BAGDAD on Park the best of all

    4 Replies
    1. re: Ruy Blas
      hungryann Jun 16, 2011 07:15 PM

      Where is this BAGDAD exactly? Is it Lebanese or Iraqi? What's especially good there?

      1. re: hungryann
        r
        Ruy Blas Jun 18, 2011 02:09 PM

        BAGDAD on Park does not exist; I am sorry for my mistake. I meant DAMAS at 5210 Park Avenuem with Syrian cuisine that is very similar to Lebanese ( only the purists will disagree.) This restaurant is well reviewed by the Chowhound community. Damas is the gourmet version of Kaza Maza, another syrian restaurant similar in price to Garage Beirut.
        What is best at Damas? I lke so many different things it really depends on your tastes. Lamb is very good; Black sea bass is also very good!

      2. re: Ruy Blas
        m
        maj54us Jul 17, 2011 09:18 AM

        @Ruy: In my book The chicken shish taouk at Garage is way way above any Amir or Basha chicken. Now I haven't tried all the plates on their menu but I'm not going to avoid a place because you din't like one dish called KUSHEK. Simple I'll try it maybe once and if I don't like it, I will still go back for the chicken.

        Have you tried the sandwiches at Abu Elias ON COTE VERTU? I would like to know where it stands in your book compared to fast food places like Amir and Basha.

        As for the sandwiches, I agree they are expensive at +or-7$ tax in but don't forget that Garage is not a fast food style place like Amir or Basha.

        1. re: maj54us
          kpzoo Jul 17, 2011 09:21 AM

          The chicken was indeed very tasty. However, at $7 for a pita sandwich I do expect more than 4-5 very small chunks of meat and next to no fillings.

      3. b
        BLM Jun 10, 2011 08:57 PM

        Sarah Musgrave in Montreal Gazette just gave a rave review(the highest rating possible for casual eats) to Garage Beirut restaurant for the Saturday paper. Must try their food very soon.

        3 Replies
        1. re: BLM
          kpzoo Jun 11, 2011 05:48 AM

          Garage Beirut is very good - the best part of my one meal there being the fattouche - tangy and delicious. My chicken shish taouk sandwich was very good but I have to say, I found it rather skimpy portion-wise- about 4 or 5 chunks of meat, and nothing else, wrapped in a pita. Gone in a few bites. For $6 I expect something a *little* more substantial. Service was very friendly and they gave us a free kenafe dessert to sample - it was very yummy and I would get it again. The decor is nice, though the place being downstairs makes it bit dark.

          1. re: kpzoo
            b
            BLM Jun 11, 2011 09:32 AM

            So their chicken shish taouk is cut from a revolving spit or not?

            1. re: BLM
              kpzoo Jun 11, 2011 09:35 AM

              No, it's cut in brochette-style chunks and grilled - not Montreal-style, i.e. cut off a spit. Apparently calling spit-cut chicken "shish taouk" is something of a misnomer. What we call "shish taouk" here is what the rest of the world calls "shawarma."

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shish_taouk

        2. m
          maj54us May 19, 2011 11:25 AM

          Had lunch there today. marinated Chicken shish taouk plate was 10$. It was the most excellent and juicy chicken I had in a long long time. The marinated is lemony and it matched well with the chicken. Didn't like their fries since they were fried in oil that wasn't hot enough. Had the smell of oil on them and it wasn't good. The hummus was okay but not they way I like it was to much lemony so it overwhelmed the flavors of the tahini and garlic. Overall just for the chicken I will go back.

          Garage Beirut Cuisine Libanaise (514) 564-2040 - 1238 Mackay Montreal, QC H3G

          5 Replies
          1. re: maj54us
            d
            deborahm May 19, 2011 12:00 PM

            The meat from the grill is really incredible. The next time I went I ordered the mixed grill (with four people) with Kafta and kabab and shish taouk. The garlic sauce is melt in your mouth. I tell you the shish taouk is seriously the best I've had in the city. Don't know about the fries--maybe you hit a bad day? I was somewhere else last night for hummus and actually it made me recall that it's true, there is a strong lemony flavour to Garage Beirut Hummus--a very light , creamy taste--I like it that way because if it's too overwhelmed by tahini it can be gooey texture or if balance is off with the garlic it's too much like a 'dip'. But you're right, it's worth going back just for the chicken.

            1. re: deborahm
              SnackHappy May 19, 2011 12:30 PM

              Gosh, is there anything about this place you don't find absolutely wonderful?

              1. re: SnackHappy
                d
                deborahm May 19, 2011 01:27 PM

                I'm not a huge fan of the location!
                But I'm on a hummus quest in the city--I was also wondering about Byblos for brunches and if that is good.

                1. re: deborahm
                  t
                  The Chemist Jul 12, 2011 11:21 AM

                  My SO and I found the bunch at Byblos to be the single biggest disappointment in this city in the last 5 years. A variety of very mediocre bread and and nasty eggs with spices dumped in for WAY too much money. Also, the service was almost aggressive and I normally do not complain about service.

                  1. re: The Chemist
                    d
                    deborahm Jul 12, 2011 08:08 PM

                    Oh no! Thanks for your honesty about Byblos. I've been wanting to go since moving back to Montreal. It's such a beautiful location and so popular..........(?!)

          2. r
            randa_h74 May 13, 2011 05:56 AM

            Try Daou. I'm lebanese and this is where my family goes if we want good food (not as good as mom's though!) http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant...

            1. m
              maj54us May 10, 2011 11:00 AM

              Hello, I thought I asked this before but question seemed to vanish or my search skills did. Is this place like a fast food restaurant like amir or basha or more like a dinning place like sirene de la mer or a;ep? thank you

              4 Replies
              1. re: maj54us
                b
                BLM May 10, 2011 11:16 AM

                It's a dining place, but not like Sirene de la Mer from my quick visit recently. A little more upscale than your regular fast food Lebanese establishment(still casual). It's not a very big establishment.

                1. re: maj54us
                  d
                  deborahm May 10, 2011 11:22 AM

                  Hi--I'm not sure what happened and I noticed that too. That was actually my friend who wrote a review of brunch, as she tried out the same place. I had told them about it because it really is very good (brunch on Sundays only from 11 until early afternoon...) But I have been there and it's definitely not fast food! It is sit down. I have only been to Petit Alep and I would say it is like that--sit down, with wait staff, but definitely casual. I have to say that the brunch was amazing--it's great to go in a group because there's lots of mezze to share and pass around, and the cook came out to explain everything. We even had homemade knefe.

                  1. re: deborahm
                    m
                    maj54us May 10, 2011 07:59 PM

                    Thanks for the replies. How much did it cost for a dinner there and How much is the brunch?

                    1. re: maj54us
                      d
                      deborahm May 10, 2011 08:22 PM

                      The brunch I had, which is on Sundays only, was about 50 bucks for three people who eat a lot (including tip, plus at least 3-4 turkish coffees). I would highly recommend the brunch and going in a little group to share a bunch of mezze. I checked the Garage Beirut Facebook page, and I couldn't find the menu for the brunch. I have been there for dinner, when I first found the place a few weeks ago, and had mixed grill (Kabab, Kafta, Shish Taouk) and the usual fare (Tabuleh, Fattouch, Labne, Halloum, Hummus) that we split amongst four people (we shared everything but probably about $20 bucks each? and we didn't have any drinks as there is no license there yet). I was really impressed: I just tripped upon it on Mackay among those pubs and couldn't believe this amazing, little standout place, the quality and the presentation. It's only recently opened. A small place (maybe sits about 20 people?), generous servings and well worth going for your tastebuds. Yalla!

                2. w
                  wizardoflittlearmenia Apr 9, 2011 07:16 AM

                  I've been looking for an authentic and delicious Lebanese restaurant for the longest time now! The closest I've come to finding it was at Petit Alep, but I'll have to give this place a try (maybe after finals are done)! thanks for the post!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: wizardoflittlearmenia
                    d
                    deborahm Apr 9, 2011 08:04 AM

                    Well, apparently this place is very new (like two days or something and will have a terrasse, etc.) but I couldn't believe it. The labne and the freshness was spectacular. I believe it's at 1238 Mackay and full name is "Garage Beirut Cuisine Libanaise".

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