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Apr 8, 2011 09:02 PM

New lebanese

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.

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  1. 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

      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".

    2. 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

        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

          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

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

            1. re: maj54us

              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. Try Daou. I'm lebanese and this is where my family goes if we want good food (not as good as mom's though!)

          1. 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

              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

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

                1. re: SnackHappy

                  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

                    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

                      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. 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

                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

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

                  1. re: BLM

                    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."