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Aug 15, 2014 12:40 PM

Berri/UQAM area - 2014

Will be spending a few days in the Berri/UQAM area at the end of this month. What are the all-around best places...any cuisine, any daypart, all price levels?

I was sad to read on another site that it appears L'Exception, the casual burger place on Rue Saint-Hubert, has apparently changed names and ownership, and is inferior to the L'Exception I enjoyed for many years.

On the higher end, last year, I passed a new-ish restaurant, Les Temps Nouveaux, on de Maisonneuve that was intriguing.

Any thoughts? Thanks.

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  1. Les Temps Nouveaux is very nice, not too expensive, if a tad conservative.

    The other places I like in that area are downscale, Uniburger or bars. The Cinematheque Quebecoise and Le Pèlerin-Magellan have awesome terasses. Brasserie Cherrier, Cheval Blanc, Ile Noire, Saint Bock and Pub de la Place are all fine drinking establishments that I frequent depending on my mood, bankroll, and companions.

    1. As for a quick lunch, don't forget Vua for Banh Mi just opposite UQAM (St-Denis - boulevard de Maisonneuve)

      18 Replies
      1. re: lagatta

        I have to respectfully disagree, Vua is a chain making banh mi that won't make you sick, but are nothing to go out of your way for.

        1. re: EaterBob

          That is quite possible; I haven't been there in a while. We had them when we were at a conference at UQAM, so we weren't at all going out of our way. I much prefer the choice of banh mi around where I live, but was thinking only of places very close to UQAM. Vua remains better than Amir!

          1. re: EaterBob

            What places do you recommend?
            Reminded me of a vietnamese subway restaurant but was actually tastier. It was perfect for a quick lunch.

            I also liked Diablos BBQ
            For ribs on that same street.

              1. re: EaterBob

                Link is broken loops back to this thread.
                If you have a place to recommend let us know. Thanks.

                1. re: ZEEDAN

                  That was the point. He already made a bunch of recommendations in this very thread.

                  1. re: SnackHappy

                    Snack Happy and Eater Bob. Are you guys a tag team ; ) (wink in case you dont see that I'm pulling your leg) haha

                    1. re: EaterBob

                      I read the thread but I guess I didn't explain myself clearly in my reply to your reply Eater bob.
                      Since you don't like Vua, what place or places do you recommend for banh mi (Vietnamese subs) on or off the island. thank you.

                      1. re: ZEEDAN

                        Probably a good idea to start your own thread about that if that is what you really wanted to know rather than hijack this one..

                        1. re: ZEEDAN

                          No worries, no problems. Ten to 20 years ago there was awesome Banh Mi at the corner of Saint Laurent & de la Gauchetiere, but it burned down. Five to ten years ago, Cao Thang was the bomb.

                          But sadly those days are long gone. Now I go to Marche Hung Phat, 7099 St Denis. Unfortunately it is not as convenient for me, so I don't eat as many Banh Mi as I would like.

                          1. re: EaterBob

                            Well, it is very convenient for me, and I'm heading over to a house just behind it (on St-Vallier) right now to feed some friends' cats.

                            Unfortunately I don't eat as many Banh Mi as I'd like either, but that is just lower caloric requirement as one gets on in age...

                            1. re: lagatta

                              I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

                              1. re: EaterBob

                                I certainly do! I sit on the board of a community group nearby, and banh mi are a common perk, as are those yummy savoury treats from chez Apo.

                                1. re: lagatta

                                  Up there I also quite like La Ligne Rouge and Petit Alep.

                  2. re: ZEEDAN

                    I have to disagree about Diablo's. The ribs I had there were mediocre as was everything else. They tasted as if they had not been properly smoked, but rather braised. They were far too wet and the meat just fell apart. I thought the brisket they served me was some sort of joke they were trying to pull.

                    1. re: SnackHappy

                      Funny my experience was the exact opposite. I had pork ribs.
                      Are they known to be inconsistent?

                      1. re: ZEEDAN

                        yep. they were pretty consistent when they opened but since then, i don't know what happened

              2. Hey!

                Berri UQAM is a nice area with a lot of restaurants but I don't think there are a lot that will produce long lasting gustative memories. They are not tourist traps like in the old Montreal but they tend to be "ok" options with a better version existing elsewhere. For drinks though, you get a very very good selection.

                I'll come straight up and say that my favorite indian restaurant in Montreal is Shezan on Saint-Denis between Ontario and Sherbrooke (there's also Pushap but its so out of the way that it loses points for not being close :P). I eat a lot of indian (but no, I never tried anything in NDG or in the west island as I don't use a car). I typically like to order the butter chicken, bhaji onions and naan bread.

                I like eating a banh mi at vua not because vua makes incredible banh mi but because I like banh mi.

                Thai express is an ok industrialized thai chain that is not horrible. I like eating there not because they make incredible thai but because I like thai (itsbetter than mcdonald's anyway!)

                Le Pellerin-Magellan does pleasant french bistro food. I've had french friends who were impressed that there were some provincial specialties on the list (they have tartiflette! I don't know if its any good though... :))

                Mâche serve an interesting Quebec dish you won't find a lot: pâté chinois. It is a layered casserole consisting of steak, corn and puréed potatoes that a lot of quebecer eat at home. Its a low brow dish made during the week though so not a lot of restaurant puts in on their menu. Mâche tries to mix it up and do declinations on the classic. They also have burger, poutines, ragout de pattes de cochon (pork feet ragout... another quebec classic you find nowhere) and mac&cheese.

                A lot of belgian friends like to go to "Frites Alors!". I like to order a mitraillette there (two mergez sausages in a baguette with spicy sauce covered with fries instead of slaw). Some like their poutine too. I like the pulled pork poutine. I didn't like their burgers.

                Diablo BBQ is an option for me if I want a pulled pork sandwich. I can easily find 3 other places in Montreal that does this kind of food better but I wasn't "insulted" either.

                I've heard from friends that "sushi saint-denis" is actually pretty good for "all you can eat sushi". I never went because I'm not an "all you can eat" fan (I never make money with all you can eat options and I am usually full with 15 sushi pieces).

                If you like tea, go to Camelia Sinensis. Its one of the first tea store and its a great one.

                For beer, you can go to Ile Noire (a nice pub with a good scotch program), Pellerin-Magellan, Sainte-Elizabeth (probably the best terrasse in Montreal... I like it better than the one at Magellan), Saint Bock for a lot of beer choices, Cheval Blanc and l'amère à boire if you like microbrewery (I prefer Cheval blanc).

                There is a new cocktail bar called "bar b1" that opened but I never went. Distillerie is not bad but its always full.

                If you like "american coffee", there is a second cup, Tim Horton's (think Dunkin Donut) and starbucks.

                If you are a third wave coffee fan, I suggest you try "café saint henri".

                2 Replies
                1. re: CaptCrunch

                  Your Belgian friends doubtless like Frite Alors! because it has about the only thing resembling Belgian frites here. I think their frites are the best thing they serve; I don't like their burgers either. But if a mitraillette is too much, you can just have sausages without bread, or a yin and yang of health and indulgence by ordering a salad alongside your frites (great sauces for them).

                  I miss the Frite Alors! booth at Jean-Talon Market; yes, I could just head up to Villeray, but I can't get the frites back to my place hot from there, as now I live south of the market. Next picnic at Jarry Park!

                  How is Yuan, the Asian vegetarian restaurant on St-Denis between Sherbrooke and Ontario?

                  I see that L'Entiché has closed...

                  1. re: lagatta

                    They even celebrated belgium's national day there at Frites Alors! For the beer, however, they tend to go elsewhere (saint bock, amongst others, has a good selection)

                    I went at Yuan once and liked it very much! I'll need to return again to get a firmer opinion but everything I ate there was great. It has the clean esthetics of a vegetarian restaurant and it make me think more of Aux Vivres than a Lola Rosa (where you could not notice you were in a vegetarian place if you didn't know).

                    I don't know about l'entiché unfortunately.

                2. I want to pause to thank you for all of your contributions thus far.

                  Some comments from me:

                  * I've passed Le Pèlerin-Magellan [mentioned twice] numerous times over the years.
                  Thought it didn't look that inviting from the outside, so I appreciate the scoop as being dine-worthy, esp. as a source for provincial fare.

                  * Very intrigued by Mâche, for, among other things, this provincial Shepherd's Pie known as pâté chinois.
                  If the weather cools down a little next week, sounds great to me.

                  * I've also walked by Frites Alors! many times when headed for what used to be Le Commensal on Saint-Denis.
                  I think I dismissed it as just another Belgian Fries place.
                  But I'm eager to sample the mitraillette [ideally before walking around the city - :o) ].

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: JBinOC

                    *just remember that its french provincial fare for Pellerin Magellan (tartiflette is a savoyard speciality). Its not a destination restaurant, even in Montreal, (that would be, for example, L'Express for french food) but if you are in the area their food is usually good enough!

                    *Sorry, sometimes if forget the english equivalent of our dishes. Of course its shepherd's pie :D

                    *I think you'll be happy with frites alors!

                    1. re: CaptCrunch

                      Or more precisely still, a Quebec take on cottage pie, as it is usually made with beef, not lamb, though nowadays there are many variations with different meats or even vegetarian ones.

                      A specific feature of "pâté chinois" is the layer of corn, often hominy corn.

                      I've also eaten it and made it with layered, finely-sliced potatoes rather than mash.

                      1. re: lagatta

                        Yeah, I've recently went on a trip for "mais lessivé" (hominy corn) for an old school soupe aux pois recipe a friend's mother wanted to make to find out that south americans still use this product a lot! It is a common feature in our traditional recipes but few of us use this product anymore.

                        1. re: CaptCrunch

                          Yes, it is easy to find in South American shops.

                  2. Is Grenadine too far away from the Berri/UQAM area?

                    Confusion Tapas is nice (maybe not at the level of Tapeo, Pinxto or the new Tapas24) and has a nice wine list.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Maximilien

                      No, its not. You could go eat there during your break if you were a teacher and UQAM. Never went there though.

                      1. re: Maximilien

                        Grenadine is not too far away at all and thank you very much for making me aware! I am so interested that I am considering it for a dinner with local friends, instead of another restaurant in Mile-End.