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Kosher frustration

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I'm not Jewish or kosher, but the occasion has come up where I have to find a kosher restaurant for 15-20 people on Mother's day for lunch, because the person for whom the lunch is for is also the only person in the group who eats only kosher.

I see that unfortunately, the kosher scene in Montreal seems to be pretty ghastly, or at least there seem to be two camps -- people either seem to hate the few places there are, or absolutely love them; no in-betweens.

And all of these places seem to have to do with someone named Ernie. The occasion is the person's 90th birthday, so it was my thinking that going to a place like Chez Benny was like taking the Queen to McDonald's . . . unfortunately it looks like I have very few choices here. (Considering the large Jewish population in Montreal, one would think they would have at least ONE classy kosher place . . .)

Anyway, any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. This is way out of my area of expertise . . .

Chez Benny
5071 Ch Queen-Mary, Montreal, QC H3W1X4, CA

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  1. my sister has been to 'the grill midtown' and said it was ok

    here's the link


    2 Replies
    1. re: celfie

      This wouldn't be the "New York Grill", would it, by any chance? The ones who answer the phone with an answering machine?

      Let me check it out -- I'm now on a mission from God.

      1. re: tonbo0422

        If the grill has been answering your recent calls by machine, it was probably closed for the Passover Holiday which finally ended Tuesday night.

    2. Steer clear of anything with "Ernie" in the name, please! Montreal used to (apparently) have a good kosher moroccan place downtown, but I believe it closed a few years back. What about Rumi? Would that qualify?

      Montreal, QC, Montreal, QC , CA

      2 Replies
      1. re: cherylmtl

        So you've been Chez Papa Ernie(I think he was the original Ernie the Caterer)? Previously I tried to get feedback on this establishment.

        1. re: cherylmtl

          There is a really nice restaurant next door to Chez Benny called Exceptions that serves up dairy meals: Exception 5039 Queen Mary, Montreal 514-344-0508
          They have some nice pizzas, pastas, and sandwiches. The onion soup is pretty great and they have enormous salads and delicious sushi. In terms of a Kosher restaurant I think this one might be the nicest place for a birthday. They also have amazing French pastries for dessert including both dairy and parve cheesecake.

          There is also a newer restaurant called CHOPS:
          Resto Bar Chops 5322, ch Queen-Mary, Montréal, QC H3X 1T7 514-759-4677
          I have heard very good things about their sushi and meat options.

          Chez Benny
          5071 Ch Queen-Mary, Montreal, QC H3W1X4, CA

          Queen Mary Restaurant
          5504 Ch Queen-Mary, Montreal, QC H3X1V6, CA

        2. See this thread from the Kosher board:

          1. Wow, I knew I'd stirred up a can of worms, but little did I know! If I'm right, the Moroccan place is (was) called El Morocco. Since the guest of honor is Moroccan, Moroccan has been ruled out (we make it well enough, thank you!)

            And yes, I went through the kosher thread, but it didn't tell me anything I don't already know. Rumi! The kosher restaurant with the Japanese name! I've heard of it (I think I've seen it) but it looked a bit too non-traditional . . . though what do I know? I'm neither Jewish nor Kosher and I can barely tell a Sepharad from an Ashkenaz!

            And we thought of having the whole thing catered (I have no problem with it) but the son of the guest of honor thinks that will give my wife and me too many problems, so that's been nixed.

            And yes, as far as I've seen, any lunch on Mother's day at any kosher place in Montreal (hell, at ANY restaurant in Montreal) is going to be an expensive waste of time, but what can I do? I'm only the messenger, whom you're not supposed to shoot.

            I called this place that was mentioned by celfie and spoke to an Israeli,so that's a good sign, although the menu looks like a hideous parody of some ex-pat American diner . . . but I guess there _is_ no kosher foie gras and if there were, it wouldn't be found in Montreal. I suggested giving the Queen of honor a nice kosher hot dog at her residence and then we all go out and have a blast at L'Express but as you probably know, that did not sit very well.

            But keep 'em coming -- I promise a full report. This should be good.

            L'Express Restaurant
            3927 Rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, QC H2W2M4, CA

            Montreal, QC, Montreal, QC , CA

            El Morocco Restaurant
            3450 Drummond, Montreal, QC H3G1Y2, CA

            7 Replies
            1. re: tonbo0422

              Yakimono on Decarie near Monkland should fit the bill. It's across from Lezvos. Kosher, non-sushi options, full bar, not too casual/ not too fancy. Popular spot. Might be full.

              Yakimono Restaurant
              4210 Boul Decarie, Montreal, QC H4A3K3, CA

              429 Rue Principale, Saint-Sauveur, QC J0R1R4, CA

              1. re: bakersdelight

                the pictures on their wbesite are so unappealing

                1. re: bakersdelight

                  I just noticed this thread and Yakimono...wasn't that Ginger and the new village sechuan not too long ago? Is it the corner resto? If I am right and half of it was Ginger and the other half chinese; I will have to try it out cause Ginger was god-awful bad....

                  It's Kosher too - wow

                  1. re: blondee_47

                    Ginger, etc. still exit and are on the same block as Yakimono.

                    Yakimono Restaurant
                    4210 Boul Decarie, Montreal, QC H4A3K3, CA

                2. re: tonbo0422

                  Rumi is definitely not a Japanese name. The restaurant is named after the Persian Sufi poet Rumi and I doubt the restaurant is kosher.

                  5198 Rue Hutchison, Outremont, QC H2V4A9, CA

                  1. re: tonbo0422

                    oh tonbo0422, I feel your pain. Although not kosher myself I completely understand your hesitation cause no matter how you cook it Kosher just doesn't always cut it when you are not Kosher. I have heard that Pizza Pizza on Victoria St near Cote St Catherine has great pizza but they also do catering and have a party room. (I think the name is correct however the location is) There are a few Kosher on Queen Mary and there is one resto beside the TCBY on CSL rd that I have heard good things about.

                    Just remember that any resto on Mother's Day that is Kosher will be filled with kids and be quite the messy place...no offence but the key words here are Kids and Kosher. Many many kids and Kosher.

                    There is also Ernie and Ellie (not related to my post on Ernie Kosher Catering) where the selection is large and buffet style and would probably fit the bill.

                    1. re: tonbo0422

                      I suggest you steer clear of Rumi as it is 100% not Kosher

                      Montreal, QC, Montreal, QC , CA

                    2. Wasn't there a kosher restaurant on Queen Mary across from Rockaberry's? I guess it isn't around anymore.
                      Edit: Just saw the other thread. I was referring to Exodus and it closed awhile ago.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: hungryann

                        Kosher restaurants seem to be popping up all over Queen Mary! Rockaberries is currently a new Kosher restaurant called the JamRockCafe:
                        (514) 481-0092
                        5390 Chemin Queen Mary
                        Montreal, QC H3X

                        Although the only 'exciting' part about this place is the ability to order breakfast style meals at a diner [the ONLY Kosher option for this in Montreal]. I;ve been told the best crowd arrives after Shabbat late on Saturday nights.

                      2. Try the website jewishinmontreal.com. They have a list of kosher restaurants. Here's a link:


                        1. this may be a little out of left field, but how about a vegan place?
                          quite a few orthodox and kosher people i know will eat at Chu Chai.
                          it is nice, good service and tasty also primarily vegan (i think one or two dishes are classified as vegetarian because they contain eggs). it is not an easy bill to fill. as others have suggested, catering at home could be easier and tastier, even take out from georgie or his place on queen mary would do. good luck.

                          Chu Chai
                          4088 Rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, QC H2W2M5, CA

                          1. Well, I wish I could say it all went well, due to your many thoughtful replies, but it didn't. We ended up at Benny's. 5 more people than we'd planned for showed up, so I, as husband of the daughter, glumly sat alone at a separate table the whole time. Never mind. The whoever-priest-in-charge forced my wife, who can barely walk, let alone drive, to go back to the cake shop where she had bought a cake, to have it "sealed" because it wasn't kosher. That delayed the entire lunch for about an hour.

                            I was so pissed off by this time that not even the lousy food -- tired, thrice-pounded pieces of shoe-leather meats and greasy french fries -- could rouse me to try to like it.

                            In spite of this my wife tried her best to put a brave face on it and said "You're the only one who didn't like it -- everyone else loved it." Well, everyone loves McDonald's, apparently, because this is what it was -- an Israeli McDonald's.

                            It was hands-down the most insipid crap I've ever had to eat, and I've had to eat a lot of insipid crap.

                            Put that together with a lousy attitude and you've got the makings of a lousy Mother's Day brunch.

                            Not that I expected anything different.

                            It makes me ashamed to not be Jewish.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: tonbo0422

                              I am so sorry you had such a bad experience. Personally and even though I am Jewish I am grateful that we are more traditionalists and about the only bad thing we do outside of shopping on Saturday is not eating Kosher. Probably had I been brought up that way I would have continued in the vein.

                              I am just curious...if it was your wife's folks and they are Kosher and even if they aren't Kosher shouldn't she have known not to bring a cake from outside the restaurant. You are lucky they even accepted to let it back in because usually they will not even do that.

                              Understand though, and this is not admonishing at all: If even one tiny weeny itsy bitsy infraction of the Jewish law of Kashruth is broken not only will the restaurant loose its Kosher it will lose all its business and be shamed among the community. Years ago this happened to a very popular Kosher caterer who was catering an evening event at a synagogue and he was blacklisted from every synagogue for years.

                              I, who know the laws of Kashruth, find it would be impossible for me to keep a Kosher home.

                              As for the taste and quality of the food well, let's just say I have never known these restaurants to serve a high standard in flavor and taste; I think they just settle on edible and Kosher.

                            2. there was just a report on ctv news that the airport sheraton kitchen is kosher