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May 8, 2013 08:46 AM


does anyone else find that they've gone downhill in a big way? last week they had the audacity to microwave the chicken. it was dry and horrible. I tried again today and the chicken is really dry, the cabbage salad unseasoned, the hummus bland. the new day crew also has a really bad attitude. they come off as angry and as if they hate their lives.

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  1. I've been twice in the past month, as recent as last Monday.

    The shish taouk sandwich was insanely dry, garlic potatoes drenched in sour tasting oil and a request for extra garlic sauce was met with a stare that would stop a train.

    Saying it's gone downhill, is being generous, I won't bother to go back.

    1 Reply
    1. re: InterFoodie

      same - today is my last time. i've been going to samir in the faubourg lately. i know of no other lebanese joint with a fresh fennel and radish salad. the chicken and sauces are kind of bland, but it is made up for in the posi-vibes of the owner and the freshness of the ingredients (also $2.50 cheap than boustan for a plate)

    2. Could not agree more... not generous (in service or food).. and really just not as tasty as it used to be. dommage.

      1. Its was sold not too long ago, that probably exlpains all.

        6 Replies
        1. re: ScoobySnacks20

          i get the impression that the new guys didn't really think it through
          they definitely look like they hate the place

          1. re: ScoobySnacks20

            I was wondering because the old man was always nice a few years back.

            I had a similar experience at a place called Charcos they call themselves the only Portuguese restaurant downtown ????
            corner maisonneuve and bishop's

            Well it looked more like a shish-taouk hybrid place with grilled chicken.

            I asked for a chicken leg an asked for a scoop of garlic sauce. The guy looked at me and said it doesn't mix. I said what are talking about? he goes It's not shish taouk. I reply Yeah but it's chicken. So he goes there's some small cups for sale in the fridge. So I tell him ah okay you want to make an extra buck.

            I'll never go back. Didn't like the vibe or felt wanted.

            1. re: maj54us

              charco's is terrible. you're absolutely right.

              1. re: catroast

                Charcos is horrible! They prep the chicken way too early so it’s fast once you order, but because it’s sitting there for a while its cold in the center and dry.

                I had a coupon from Groupon and I called them a day after it expired. I asked them if they would honor the guy on the phone said ''Hell no way'' So I told them well bylaw as its stated on the coupon you don't have to accept the deal but must honor the amount paid for the coupon. The guy once again said no way and hung up the phone on me. LOL

                What bad business, he probably sold all the coupons to get people to visit and talk about his place thereby building his business, then he ruins a client in one phone call.

                Too many good places where you can get served by folks that are pleasant, don't need to deal with rude and nasty people.

                1. re: InterFoodie

                  Also, if you order anything consisting of a 'grilled' chicken breast, you get what amounts to a frozen, processed chicken breast with painted on grilled marks

                  1. re: catroast

                    At least we can thank catroast for the tip about samir in le Faubourg when we are in that part of town. Moreover, Adonis will be opening nearby soon - imagine that they will have a counter, despite size limitations as I think it is a very profitable part of their business. They are opening on the ground floor of condos Le Séville, on the site of the old Seville cinema.

          2. Boustan has been relying on the college and university campus and last call crowd for years and their food has been inedible for a long time. They've always microwaved their garlic potatoes (in styrofoam containers no less!) and the only thing unique about their sandwiches was that they grilled the pita. I stopped eating at Boustan more than a few years ago and don't consider it any better than any of the fast food Lebanese chains. I doubt it has anything to do with selling the restaurant because it was not very good under it's original ownership either.

            8 Replies
            1. re: OliverB

              100% agree.... when most people tell me they hate boustan and think its gone downhill its usually because they just had it sober for the first time...its been terrible for well over five years

              1. re: OliverB

                I also completely agree. I've never understood the hype.

                1. re: Shattered

                  The creation sandwich was enjoyable. One of the sons has taken over Dahlia at de Maisonneuve and Aylmer and will make them if you ask nicely.

                2. re: OliverB

                  Do you know a lebanese fast food chain that doesn't micro-wave their garlic potatoes ?

                  Once my timing was perfect at a lebanese restaurant. The garlic potatoes just made it out the fryer and were tossed with the cilantro and garlic. It was so good. Night and day between micro wave and fresh. Potatoes were crispy

                  1. re: maj54us

                    Can't say that I do in Montreal, but if they're pre-cut and seasoned, it really should not take much time or effort to cook them fresh. I realize they need to have lightning fast turnaround due to the lines, but that's still no excuse for serving soggy dried out food that's reheated in a microwave. Pretty gross if you ask me. Just keep the oven going and serve fresh food, that should be a basic restaurant standard.

                    Before I left the city, I recall there being a newish Lebanese place that I think was on St-Catherine St. It was small, family run and everything was homemade. While not the best I've ever had (I spent last summer traveling across Israel and Jordan and now live a flew blocks from an authentic family-run Yemenite restaurant, so my standards are high!) their hummus was still quite good and fresh for Montreal standards. I don't have any particular memories of their shish taouk or potatoes, but I'm sure they're better than Boustan as almost anything would be! I forget the name but I'll Google and write back. For all I know it's but the dust or gone down hill...

                    1. re: maj54us

                      Okay, just found it... it was Garage Beirut on Mackay.

                      Not a destination spot in any way, and I don't have any specific standout memories, but for a local and nearby alternative in the same neighborhood, it certainly smokes Boustan at least!

                      1. re: OliverB

                        Garage Beirut isn't a shawarma joint. It is a full service, licensed restaurant.

                        As for fast food lebanese, Sinibad is still very good.

                        1. re: catroast

                          I second Sindibad and it's inexpensive too. It's pretty much my go to place for Shawarma. Actually sometimes the original Basha on St Catherine next to Sports Experts is good but it's too inconsistent.

                          Tried Beirut once a while bak and liked their chicken shish taouk but yeah it's not a shawarma joint. I actually tend to prefer shish taouk over chicken shawarma.

                  2. Met a friend for lunch at boustan on St-Catherine east corner St-Laurent. Had their Shish taouk sandwich and didn't like the coleslaw they put in it. The chicken was freshly cooked at lunch and the pita was toasted. I like the taste but next time I'll ask if they can put lettuce in it instead.