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Aug 22, 2011 12:56 PM

La Banquise question

Headed to Montreal this weekend and our first stop will most likely be La Banquise.

However, we'll probably be arriving around 10am.
I know they are open 24 hours, and online it states the breakfast menu is available from 6 to 11am.

My question is -- will the regular poutine menu also be available, or just breakfast?

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  1. Poutine is available every hour of the day ... as well as the regular menu (I would assume so if no hour is specified)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Maximilien

      Though you should be warned: eating poutine at 10am (unless still drunk) can do unusual things to one's stomach... especially if one has awoken early for a long car trip and hasn't built up the necessary poutine immune system.

      1. re: Fintastic

        Following Fintastic, I would suggest La Banquise Classique for the morning. Simple gravy and cheese that will not be too heavy if you have not had your poutine vaccinations yet! If closer to lunch there is always the poutine with smoked meat I believe they have on their menu; and there is also a vegetarian poutine option...

        La Banquise is an institution and is a must-go place but I wanted to mention that just across the street and further west (Rachel and Saint-Hubert) is one of my favourite diners, L'Anecdote, which has really excellent burgers and a poutine with emmenthal cheese. Very nice atmosphere. A nice place to have an inexpensive evening meal in this neighbourhood and local favourite. They also have a nice brunch.

    2. No I would strongly counsel going 'all-in' and ordering an large T-Rex. There's only one way to enjoy poutine and it does not involve moderation in any way shape or form. Taking 'baby-steps' is for babies. Either you have it, or you don't. And since eating poutine is not an Olympic sport there is no training that can be done.

      Face up to it, accept your responsibilities like an adult (at least I presume since you're driving that you are an adult) and deal with it in a forthright and open fashion. By all means take pictures, and if necessary a doggy-bag. But in all cases make sure that you enjoy the entire experience.

      4 Replies
      1. re: EaterBob

        I stand corrected (and very humbled) by the wisdom of EaterBob! I should never have suggested easing into the "heart attack on a plate" poutine experience. One must go hard or go home, as they say.

        And while I've never been there because I don't eat duck or pork, you should probably know that the ultimate cholesterol experience from what I understand is the foie gras poutine at Au Pied de Cochon down the street...maybe someone else here can fill you in as I'm too much of a wimp for that...

        1. re: EaterBob

          I respectfully disagree. Poutine should never be topped with more than one type of meat and/or vegetable. Too much stuff on top ruins it.

          I also believe bacon should never ever come near a poutine, but that's more of a personal opinion.

          1. re: SnackHappy

            I agree not too many ingredients for poutine is best. First time at La Banquise, I ordered their T-Rex(big mistake). I thought it was disgusting with all the ingredients.

            1. re: SnackHappy

              Agreed with SnackHappy. That T-Rex looks disgusting to me.

          2. Do yourself a favor and try patati patata instead. La banquise is highly overrated IMO

            4 Replies
            1. re: jay_81k

              Strongly second (Banquise = not enough sauce, bland and unsquishing cheese dropped on the top of the poutine as oppose as how it should be done: both in the bottom and on top...)

              1. re: jay_81k

                I have yet to go to Patati patata, but I will never go back to La Banquise, where the only way to know that it's chicken in your galvaude is by the tell-tale bones they leave in (and not just a tiny fragment). So yes, definitely highly overrated.

                1. re: poumonsauvage

                  The only time you should ever go to la banquise is at 3 am when youre drunk and nothing else is open.

                  1. re: jay_81k

                    Drunk, 3 am, bars closing... Is there any other reason to go eat a poutine than to mellow down a good beer buzz? (ah, university days...)

              2. You BET the poutine is available, you can get it 24 hrs a day at la Banquise. Happy poutine-ing :)

                1. My two cents, for what it's worth = I agree that La Banquise is overrated and that patati patata is a better option. Is their poutine available in the am? Ma'am Bolduc is the best but also not sure whether it's on their morning menu.

                  15 Replies
                  1. re: foodinspace

                    I think someone visiting Montreal should try La Banquise at least once and shouldn't be discouraged from going if that was in their original plan--if only for atmosphere and the ability to witness the crazy line-ups, be in a great area close to one of our nicest parks, and close to nice walking area on the Plateau. There are dozens of great poutines in this city as this is essentially the epicentre of poutine consumption (I agree with all suggestions above of Ma'am Bolduc, Patati Patata, L'Anecdote, and actually I find that Frites Alors isn't bad either, etc. etc., etc.). The ingredients are fries, gravy and cheese so basically one could be satisfied with going to lots of diners here and the list could be endless. But every time I have a friend coming to Montreal we go to La Banquise because it's usually packed and its poutine-frenzied atmosphere with endless menu of poutine variations is fun for someone new to the city to see at least once.

                    Frites Alors
                    3497 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2X2T6, CA

                    Patati Patata
                    4177 St-Laurent Blvd., Montreal, QC , CA

                    1. re: deborahm

                      Patati Patata is only a couple blocks from banquise and is equidistant from two of montreal greatest parks. La banquise probably won't have crazy line ups and be packed at 10 am (never been there in the morning). Endless menus and variations might be fun but Id rather a visitor have a great poutine than end up eating a monstrosity and thinking that is what poutine is about.

                      Patati Patata
                      4177 St-Laurent Blvd., Montreal, QC , CA

                      1. re: kpaxonite

                        Never argued about Patati Patata, in fact I encourage trying all the places mentioned. Just thought OP's original plan was to go try La Banquise as lots of people want to do, and wanted to know if their poutine would be available in the morning. A newcomer shouldn't be directed away from a place in Montreal they wanted to try, even if all other suggestions are equally valuable.

                        Patati Patata
                        4177 St-Laurent Blvd., Montreal, QC , CA

                        1. re: deborahm

                          I agree, your focus on the OP's original query was specific and should not be lost in the discussion. Isn't that what this whole site is about? Yet I understand that as foodies, we are passionate about subjects we chime in to, and I also respect that.
                          Now, to stop waxing philosophical, last I knew, LB was open for b-fest, and good as ever. PP, not sure about opening time, but be sure to get there anytime, great poutine and fun place and folks. I never like to talk down a place, and please understand, the only experience at Ma'am Boulduc I have had was disappointing. I found it mediocre, service was bad (I know it's a poutine joint) and overpriced. (2 poutines and 2 beers- 38$) C'mon, it's potatoes and gravy. And before we left, the owner, a lovely and friendly lady came to our table to, I thought, collect our bill. No, she was interested where we were staying and was pushing her upstairs weekly rentals. When I asked if can I pay her the bill now, she told me I had to go the bar. Great service, from the owner herself. Don't think we'll be going back there.
                          Hey, how about that k-pax using the fromulaic term equidistant on this site. WOW!
                          Haven't seen term used since college, much less ever used on a foodie site. Maybe he can apply it to a specific dish he reviews and it's presentation. Good for you, we need more fun like this.
                          OP, go on a poutine tasting tour ,come hungry and forget your waistline. Montreal is the only place, accept no immitations
                          By the way, has anyone heard from Carswell recently. I always enjoyed his knowledge and insights.

                          1. re: teflontom

                            I'm kinda worried about Carswell myself.

                            1. re: C70

                              Carswell seems to have disappeared from Chowhound since December of 2010, but if you click the profile link, you'll see that his own blog has been active up until July of this year. Probably just got tired of this place.

                        2. re: kpaxonite

                          5 people in Patati patata and the place is packed. I don't think you can fit more than 15 people in there.

                          Anyone heard of a new poutine place where you dress your poutine as you like? In rosemont I think.

                          banquise wasn't mapped in this thread so I tagged it.

                          Restaurant La Banquise
                          994 Rue Rachel E, Montreal, QC H2J2J3, CA

                          1. re: maj54us

                            Poutineville, 1348 beaubien e
                            I have yet to hear a positive review nor have I been myself.


                              1. re: kpaxonite

                                There have been a few good write-ups in the weeklies and a couple of good blog posts. The place definitely has its fans. The last few times I went by there, it was pretty busy.

                                1. re: SnackHappy

                                  Holy Cow look at the Poutineville photos of their poutine--I'm definitely going at least once and I'll definitely bring along some Lipitor. Thanks for posting the link!

                                  1. re: deborahm

                                    That wasn't me. It was chickenbruiser. If you wanted to reply to chickenbruiser, you should have clicked the "Reply" button at the bottom right of his post.

                                1. re: chickenbruiser

                                  Yes I see from their site that they've received some good reviews. I only eat poutine 2 or 3 times a year so normally it's just a neighborhood thing... or guests coming by. All that to say... I'm super picky about the cheese and from the pics there it doesn't look like super fresh curds... meaning crazy fresh slippery curds. Just my thing ;)
                                  Also I get annoyed with the whole poutine craze... at least it isn't halifax donair.

                                2. re: maj54us

                                  Poutineville is really bad. We tried three different poutines and they were all disappointing.

                                  If you do go, try their smashed fries. They're very good. Sauces, cheese and sweet potatoes were bad.