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Have you tried Ambre on Decarie?

Has anyone tried the new incarnation of Mesquite on Decarie? Its now called Ambre (same chef - Michael Minorgan).

Am wondering if it is worth a try. Any feedback would be welcome. Thanks!

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  1. yes I have. Had the worst ribs of my life there. Could of been an off night but those were the oddest ribs I ever ate, I couldnt get any meat off of it, it reminded me of eating pork neck where the meat was all on top of the rib and not in between. Plus it had so much cinnamon in it it was just gross. Also had a very average crab cake. My buddy had meatloaf which he enjoyed.. Its not a cheap place so I have no desire to go back and try it again.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jay_81k

      Thanks for your input. The resto is featured on one of those group buying websites (teambuy.ca) today and I wondered if it was worth a try. The deal is $40.00 worth of food/drink for $20. Maybe its worth it for the "drink" part!

      1. re: tah1234

        Try it out you never know. I just wouldnt recommend the ribs is all. Let us know how it goes if you go.

    2. sorry this reply is a little late but my boyfriend and I go there regularly for breakfast since it's the best we've found in the area. Cafe Orange (nearby and always really crowded for weekend brunch) was awful last time I went. I recommend the Ploughman's hash, it's homefries, chile sauce, bacon, ham sausage and 2 (perfect) poached eggs on top! We only went once for dinner and it was pretty pricey but decent food and great service.

      6 Replies
      1. re: 22angie22

        I used to really like their burgers a lot actually (Mesquite).

        Why would they change the name of the restaurant if it's the same chef serving the same type of food; are they trying to trick people or something?

        1. re: OliverB

          OliverB - It's called "rebranding" ;-) I think they aren't emphasizing the BBQ aspect as much anymore, hence the name Mesquite no longer fit.

          to 22angie22 - what was awful about Café Orange? I find it consistently very good, depite the crowds. (And if you go before 11 you usually beat the crowds.)

          1. re: kpzoo

            i had been to cafe orange once before and i don't remember what i had but it was good standard breakfast fare.. this last time my boyfriend and i both got omelets which were sloppy and completely unseasoned. we got the ones that come with a veloute and a bechamel sauce.. they were borderline inedible. I think it may have been an isolated incident as they were very busy, but i'll stick with the "Grubz" breakfast from now on. they mostly kept the same mesquite breakfast menu and it is just so spicy and flavourful! We actually had dinner there the other night, nachos, shrimp jambalaya, pulled pork and frozen key lime pie. All were pretty good (not perfect) but i did get the impression that the menu is still a work in progress. I love that they're going for less formal and less expensive. I can't wait to try their poutine as my boyfriend's pulled pork came with great hand-cut fries. their waitresses are all awesome just ask them for recommendations, they are very helpful!

        2. re: 22angie22


          Just drove by and noticed that Ambre has changed names again. Now its called "Grubz". The name sounds cheesy to me and I don't know if there is now a new owner/chef but I guess the menu remains to be seen.

          1. re: tah1234

            Same owners/staff, new concept and menu. Have only tried it once and it could have been better (but we had delivery so things might have been better if consumed in the dining room).

            1. re: tah1234

              Grubz... Now, there's an image I want in my head when I walk into a restaurant.

          2. This place sounds VERY promising... first of all, they deliver... and I just placed a huge order!

            They were surprisingly out of bbq ribs tonight, but I went with an order of carne asado tacos (chili, pico de gallo, cheddar) - roasted corn and butternut squash soup - the pulled pork sandwich with creamy slaw and guava bbq sauce - bbq nachos with cheddar, green chili sauce and pickled jalapenos - and a burger with smoked bacon, tobacco onions and cheddar. Sides of pit smoked beans and sweet potato chips.

            Best of all - I was asked how I want my burger cooked and was able to order medium rare! Some of the burger options like the Southwest with with poblano green chili sauce appear to be carried over from the last menu. I haven't had them in over a year but I was a big fan of their burgers when I tried them last, so glad to see them around!

            There's lots of other really choice sounding plates on the new menu too, including a Famous Southern Fried Chicken in a spicy cornmeal with asiago cheese crust, mashed potatoes, vegetables, chipotle honey drizzle and sweet corn relish... some interesting New Orleans style Cajun seafood dishes... tons of sandwiches from philly cheese pork to saigon banh mi... and more. Not sure how it'll all fare, but the menu itself sounds killer!

            Will be sure to report back after delivery arrives!

            7 Replies
            1. re: OliverB

              Hello Oliver B - how was Grubz? SO few decent restos in NDG deliver, it's good to know if this one can be added to the list. Thanks!

              1. re: smack

                Sorry, forgot to update this!

                Bit of a mixed bag imo and might not be fair to judge based on delivery. Nothing was bad, nothing was great either.

                Pulled pork was very tasty though unremarkable. Perfect for lazy home delivery to satiate an unhealthy craving, but not something to rave on. They screwed the order up a bit and actually sent me the platter rather than the sandwich, which was just the pulled pork in container. Sauce was typical sweet southwest style and meat itself was tender and not too fatty. Again, nothing outstanding but would definitely order again if too lazy to go out. Incomparable to Boucan imo, which btw - I'm told will soon be offering delivery (yaah!!)

                They forgot the soup altogether, so can't commetn on that. The nachos were awful, but probably would have been good if eaten in dining room. They looked homemade, large and no crunch by the time they arrived with melted cheese that was cold and hardened together making it difficult to eat. To be expoected I suppose.

                Burger despite asking for medium rare came closer to medium well; bit of a disappointment yet still enjoyable and better than a lot of places constantly discussed on this forum. It was still juicy despite being slightly overcooked for my liking, and quality of chuck seemed very good. nice flavoring as well. A well prepared burger and did not dissapoint. Again, not something that's usually good for home delivery so unfair to judge the kitchen on this. Will specify RARE next time and see what happens. I'm sure some of this could be chalked up to the relaunch as they seemed as thought they were still putting it all together and was told they were still working the menu.

                Carne asado was similar... arrived lukewarm and a bit soggy, it fell apart in my hands so was very difficult to judge. The best I could describe would be to call it guilty pleasure food... I've had great tex-mex fromt he midwest all the way south of the border and this does not compare at all in terms of quality, ingredients, freshness, taste... no surprise. I would not come here for tacos alone. It was a bit of a disappointment and would surely be a fail under any other circumstance, however for home delivery in the NDG area... it's hard to find too much fault. Despite that they were falling apart, they did the job I guess. I'd try one of the fish or pork tacos next time; just keep expectations realistic for home delivery. Compared to Icehouse for example, not very good -- Compared to Bofinger, it's haute cuisine. All relative...

                Now the sides were all outstanding imo. Excellent creamy thick cut slaw, the pit smoked beans were dee-licious and the sweet potato chips would have surely been great int he restaurant but arrived soggy as again, should've been expected. They stillt asted quite good and it's something I'd surely order in the dining room. To be honest, it's simply not the kind of place I'd go to eat in at though... there's better in Montreal for similar cost. This place exists for me purely out of convenience. Overall it's a mixed bag - nothing outright bad but nothing exceptional either. It's a very solid delivery option where there are little to no other options for this sort of meal avail in the city.

                When Boucan starts delivering, I can't really see myself bothering with Ambre unless it's out of zone. I would certainly recommend giving them a shot based on my experience, even if the short review may have seemed overly negative... this is comfort food in the end, and it's done fairly adequately. Despite no outstanding dishes, everything happened to be pretty tasty.

                1. re: OliverB

                  Thanks OliverB! I live in hope of just a few great restos in the area that deliver. The VIetnamese place on Queen Mary (Gourmet du VietNam) is a recent addition but again, it's okay, not spectacular.

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

                  1. re: OliverB

                    Thanks for the posts about Grubz (still can't quite get past the name choice). Sounds like it would fit the bill for my casual comfort food cravings when too lazy to do it myself. I dropped in to request a takeout menu and was told they don't have one. I was given a "coupon" with an e-mail address on it, where I was told the menu was available to be seen. The e-mail address given was Grubz.biz and for the life of me I cannot seem to find it. Admittedly I am not the most tech-savvy person so before I go back and tell them their address doesn't work.......I wondered if anyone else has been able to find something on the internet for Grubz. OliverB gave great feedback on the menu but I would like to be able to view and peruse it.


                    1. re: tah1234

                      That's not an email address, it's a URL.


                      Dragging your cursor across the pictures makes the most obnoxious noise. Nice bit of web design.

                      1. re: SnackHappy

                        Oops I guess I didn't really mean to say e-mail address but I couldn't find gubz.biz thru google. You are so right about the obnoxious noise - had to mute it!

                        Thanks so much for helping me out!

                        1. re: tah1234

                          I like the video of the day idea on gubz--, fun to watch the chef cooking!

              2. Looks like they've refined their menu and there's so many things that I want to try.

                I think I'm ordering a bbq brisket sandwich for lunch today. And they deliver movies from the video store next door as well! One of the few still standing...

                1. Did they close already?

                  The number's not working, the website's not working... what's going on with this place?

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: OliverB

                    Already!!!!??? I just ordered from there the other day for the first time and it was very decent for delivery. Had the Philly pork steak which really hit the spot. Only complaint was there was processed cheese in it but other than that had these delicious carmalized onions drenched in a really tasty BBQ sauce on there. The owner keeps changing directions with this place, he can't seem to make it work but it finally seemed like it was heading in the right direction. Maybe it's closed Sundays or they're on holiday?? Really too bad if it closed so fast ..

                    1. re: jay_81k

                      I don't know, I tried calling whenever I posted the above (Dec. 11) and couldn't get through either... not sure what's up.

                      1. re: OliverB

                        Finally answered their phone and all is well... they start delivery at 5pm

                      2. re: jay_81k

                        philly (...) steak always has processed cheese

                    2. In philadelphia I remember it being a slice of real provolone. Could be wrong though...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jay_81k

                        on reading more, the cheese steak either has provolone, cheesewhiz or american cheese - none of which are the exception. i was recently in philly and had 2 cheesesteaks with cheesewhiz none of which were any good lol

                      2. Just a heads up to anyone who purchased Team Buy coupons for Ambre. Despite promises that Grubz would continue to honour them, this turns out not to be the case. This is a less than classy move on the part of the owners. I never say never but I am not likely to return.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: eat2much


                          Team Buy is pretty good about refunding coupons for places that go under. I would contact them and ask for a refund.

                          It seems like Grubz is really not open very many hours. Almost every time I go by they are closed, but I did see people in for breakfast on the weekend. Don't think it bodes well for the future of this place.

                          1. re: tah1234

                            I spoke with Team Buy and they gave me a full credit (but not a refund).

                            I won't be going back to Grubz anytime soon.

                            1. re: eat2much

                              wow that is very shady. do we know for sure that grubz is owned by the ambre people? if that's the case then their actions border on fraudulent.

                              if I were you I would call your credit card company and have them stop the charge or refund you ASAP. I am no lawyer but this seems suspect.

                          2. re: eat2much

                            I brought my team buy voucher in to use it a few weeks ago at Grubz.

                            First, the team buy email states that the Ambre voucher is redeemable at a restaurant, but that restaurant is not named Grubz. I'm not sure what restaurant it is. I only noticed it when I was trying to redeem the voucher. However, my waitress spoke to the owner, who was there at the time, who basically comped our meal for the value of the team buy voucher. I would ask to speak to the owner if the waitress/waiter says the voucher won't be accepted.

                            In my opinion, the quality of the food (at least at brunch) is actually currently as good as the heyday of Mesquite. I think that they may have turned people off, though, by the issues with quality in the past. I hope they succeed, but am unsure if they will.

                              1. re: BarackHObama

                                I only really went for brunches, but when they opened the eggs benedict with chipotle hollandaise was delicious, at least IMHO.

                          3. Did Grubz finally go under?

                            I was going to order dinner tonight but the website is now defunct.

                            6 Replies
                              1. re: kpzoo

                                Ordered from Jane instead... $58 + 15% delivery tip for 1 pizza, meatballs and beet salad.

                                This better be damn good.

                                1. re: OliverB

                                  I didn't think Jane did takeout - must be a new policy. IMHO, it's worth every penny!

                                2. Has anyone eaten at Jane since the original chef Ryan Dixon moved to le Gros Jambon?

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: eat2much

                                    Have eaten there a few times since (if he left in mid-February, as I've read) - didn't notice any difference in the pizza, which is all I've ever had there (still as good as ever IMHO). Is he still a co-owner of Jane?

                                    1. re: cherylmtl

                                      I was disappointed by Jane; it seems to be a familiar case of the usual Montreal hype over a new neighborhood restaurant. It's definitely not a destination spot. I find it overpriced for what it is. Moreover, there was really nothing interesting about the food. I made the mistake of ordering the Schwartzs pizza against my better judgement (mustard sauce? smoked meat?) and had trouble finishing two slices. I can't really comment on their pizza I suppose as this could hardly be considered a pizza in any sense, save the dough. I normally go for a simple margherita but as all the rave reviews seemed to focus on this popular menu item, I gave in. Unappetizing would be the nicest way to describe it. After more than a few bites, borderline disgusting. They may as well just serve smoked meat sandwiches, because this didn't work at all. If they offered it as an appetizer portion, the size of an order of bruschetta or the usual table bread, it might be 'OK' but definitely not something to get excited about. I can;t imagine anyone ordering it more than once. Perhaps their other pizzas are good, but as 75% of the online menu was comprised of fusion novelty choices (philly cheeseteak pizza, taco pizza, etc) for which they seem to have gained a reputation, I wouldn't ever go back to find out. This really seems very typical of Montreal's food scene though. Anyways, the good - I had the beet salad as a starter and have to say that it was really delicious, simple and fresh. The meatballs were pretty good too, but nothing more and I don't really understand why they'd be a fixture on the menu as is. The prices were too high also but that seems to be the younger local clientelle they cater to. Not worth anyone going out of their way for, and if you do end up there -- order a regular pizza and pass on the fusion stuff!

                                      1. re: OliverB

                                        I don't get the smoked meat pizza thing either, but I do love their taco pizza. However, I don't know how well their food holds up as take-out. And their clientele has tended to be quite varied every time I've been there, far from just young locals...

                                        1. re: cherylmtl

                                          Update on Jane - had dinner there yesterday. Since the last time I was there,a few months ago, the prices have increased noticeably ($3 to $5 per pizza), and the size of the pizza and amount of toppings have decreased. Not impressed. Not that it's not good, but it's certainly not the same as it was. The menu has been changed a bit, too - the Schwartza is now called the Montrealer, the Mac'n'Cheeseza (or whatever it was called) has a new name, and the hotdogs are no longer optional (and it now contains spinach, which means my son had no interest in trying it - last time it was his favourite, although I will refrain from commenting about mac n cheese on pizza...)
                                          Not running back any time soon.