Montreal>>>good, reasonable places to eat? [Travel]

2009 Jun 24
Just returned from a few days away in Montreal. I should have checked here before venturing into some of the spots there.
General comments:
A couple of spots in Place Jacques Cartier...over priced mediocre food, pasta sauce reheated, panini dull and dry, service was as if we where putting them out (Maybe its the way they are in Montreal) Today had a server remind me that in Montreal service charges are 15% and not the 10% I gave. Gladly gave generously to the busker....excellent!!!
Breakfast in the hotel was excellent...buffet, lots of fresh fruit.
Chinese buffet in Chinatown was 7 out of 10 and better than the night before.
Went down Saint Denis>>>mostly drunks and homeless people.

Any suggestions for a good quality meal for 5-6 people, reasonably priced in Montreal?

Will always go back to Montreal>>>Montreal is what Ottawa isn't.

2009 Jun 24
L'Academie is very reasonable and has amazing food... and is located right beside a SAQ. It is one of my favourite restaurants in Montreal.

2009 Jun 25
I really liked La Nacion Taqueria at 1850 Ste Catherine street (metro Guy-Concordia, I think). I had the cactus paddle tacos when I was there and they were amazing. The house-made tortillas were really good too. That was about 2 years ago so I can't make any promises....I guess I need to go to Montreal sometime soon.

2009 Jun 25
Chef Obi - Your closing statement "Montreal is what Ottawa isn't"

Refers of course to the culture and vibrancy of the city, not the food so much any more. Of course as a much bigger city they have more choice (and more ethnic influences percentage wise) so one will find examples of cuisines there that just haven't taken any sort of hold here as of yet (for example, there are great Eastern European Restaurants... Polish, Ukrainian, Russian).

But like you, I just don't think that the whole foodie scene there is what it used to be, in many ways it is standing on it's history. In particular, I agree the service lots of times "sucks". Far more so than here... there is too often this "attitude" thing that happens... "so sorry you are bothering me by expecting me to drop by your table to see if everything is ok, and to make me have to fill your water glass". Ugggh.

As an ex-Montrealer I can say it is part of this whole "aloofness" that characterizes the French culture (although they certainly can be warm and welcoming entertainers when at home or with friends). Something that those not familiar with it (be it here in Quebec or France) read as sobbery. I don't believe it is intentional, it just is a "persona" that is adapted when outside of one's comfort zone. And of course the language issue doesn't help it any, because many find that people may be short, curt or even rude... not that they mean to be... it is just something "lost in translation".

In most cases the above attitude can be rectified (or at least somewhat altered) I find if one makes a concerted effort to engage the server in conversation... although there are certainly some who have no interest in small talk.

When it comes to the Montreal Restaurant Scene, there are of course some real gems that combine good food and service, but they seem fewer and farther apart... what you will find though are some places that at least have great food and character / atmosphere (and that list is long)... and for that reason alone, I will go. In Ottawa, we tip well (more than the average) in Montreal, we tend to tip lower (although still within the norm)... the whole attitude thing unfortunately leaves a bad taste in your mouth, even if the food is great.

2009 Jun 25
spud guy Old Montreal is notoriously expensive because it draws in the tourists and the restaurants can benefit from that. If you go back to Old Montreal I could recommend La Sarosa. You will still pay a little more that other parts of the city but the food is very good.

Some of the brasseries are quite good my favourite being Magnan's and the Montreal Pool Room is a Montreal institution.

Da Giovanni on Ste. Catherine is good also located near the jazz festival if you want to go for dinner then a show after.

Also Schwartz for smoked meat.

2009 Jun 25
Food&Think - that's a loaded baked potato not a banh mi! at first glance i can see how you mixed up the avatars haha

i don't think this is the first time someone has confused a user over their profile photo (chimi and someone else have a loaf of bread)

2009 Jun 25
Spud Guy - I apologize... at first glance I thought your icon was Chef Obi's - hence the mix-up.

Pasta Lover - Sounds like you and I have similar turf... there are definitely some oldies but goodies (love Magnans & the Montreal Pool Room and of course Schwartz's). Some others in that long list of traditional spots would include Mister Steer on St Catherine, and Chalet BBQ on Sherbrooke Street West (never to be confused with Swiss Chalet... so not even close) and Brasserie Le Manoir in Pointe Claire... and that is barely the tip of the iceberg... and none of them fine dining but all of them d@mn fine eating.

2009 Jun 25
Food&Think it does sound like we have similar stomping grounds. Geez I haven't been to Mister Steer in years! When I was growing up our dentist's office was located downtown. Every year when my mom would take me in for my annual checkup she would always ask for a morning appointment then lunch after. As a child Mister Steer was always a favourite especially for their curly fries. I also remember lunch at La Soupière on the 8th floor of The Bay. I still go there for lunch during my all day shopping trips downtown. I love the formica counter tops, the 1950s style uniforms the waitresses wear, and the soups, sandwiches, and desserts available (date squares anyone?). I feel as if I am time travelling back in time-;) And even though I grew up in Pointe Claire I never made it to Le Manoir for some reason. I think that's one thing I miss the most about Montreal - you can eat very well on a poor man's budget.

2009 Jun 25
Does Au Pied de Cochon count as reasonably priced? I couldn't believe how much food we got for the price we paid.

2009 Jun 25
Olive & Gourmando is a good option if you're in Old Montreal and want to avoid the overpriced touristy places with mediocre food. It's casual and reasonable for what you get.

2009 Jun 25
Oh, and Basha makes a decent shawarma, if you want to pretend you never left Ottawa ;)

There are a couple of them, I think, but I've only been to the one at the corner of Sainte-Catherine and Mansfield.

2009 Jun 26
This is great and thanks for all the tips. I will certainly look up some of these places when we get back there.
Even after the sirly waiters, I still and will always love Montreal for its cultural diversity and energy. It has a fabric and edgyness that Ottawa doesn't have.

2009 Jul 8
I'm bumping this back up to see if anyone has any other bright ideas for lunch or dinner out...I'm off to Montreal for a day trip next week.

2009 Jul 8
I love bombing around Marche Jean Talon and eating homemade sausages, merguez sandwiches, spit roasted lamb, oysters, calamari, home made chips fried in duck fat, and then finish with an espresso and panettone at Cafe Italia On St Laurent!

2009 Jul 8
No trip to Montreal is complete without visiting Shwartz for the sandwich.

I've also enjoyed the food at Mondo Frites (which is located in the same area).

2009 Jul 8
For reasonable pricing, excellent margaritas, great food and cool decor - the three amigos. if you can make a reservation though, I would advise doing so.

IF you want to enjoy excellent food with an amazing ambiance go to Bistro Le Porto in the Village. I warn you though, it is expensive and a bit upscale (dress classy-casual). It's a Portuguese restaurant and they know how to cook their seafood and meat, I'm telling you. When I went there, I felt like I had been transported to Spain or Portugal with the intoxicating aromas of the seafood being grilled, the beautiful music and the spanish speaking diners next to me that seemed to be having the time of their life lol.

ahhh...I would love to go back.

2009 Jul 8
Have to disagree with KD. I'm through and through a Reuben's man.

2009 Jul 8
You know, I might get lynched for this, but I really like Modavie in the Old Port. It has a charming atmosphere, the food is good, wine list is huge, and there's live jazz. I always have a fab time there.

2009 Jul 8
Pam, thanks! next time I'm there and in the mood for jazz, I'll keep that in mind

2009 Jul 8
I like to go for brunch at the Resevoir. Reasonably priced, creative dishes. Plus, they make their own beer! (French only for now)

2009 Jul 16
Montreal was heaps of fun yesterday and I thought I would report back on the food aspect of things.

Olive et Gourmand: a little cafe, sandwiches were quite good, but for $10 ought to have come with a little bit of chips/salad/carrot sticks, or a slightly bigger portion. Mine was proscuitto, aspargus, cheese and pesto and was delicious. They had Jamaican beer and Italian beer, both of which were quite yummy. The pastries also looked quite good and the atmosphere was really nice.

The non-food highlight of the day was sitting next to Paul Giamatti (from Sideways and other such sort of indie films) who's in Montreal for the filming of Barney's Version (we also bumped into Maxime Bernier later on, but that's not as exciting)

We were famished and on Ste. Catherine Street shopping, so we ended up at Trois Brasseurs, a microbrewery/chain in the Montreal area (they have one location in Toronto too it seems).

Honestly, for a chain it was pretty good. The beer was a bit lacking in flavour for something that was supposed to be their specialty, but it was cheap and we were parched. They serve Alsatian flammekueche, and while I wouldn't say it's as good as the European version, I was absolutely delighted by its existence and it was a perfect storm of pretty good food and ohmygoodnessimhungry.

(The problem with daytrips, I've decided, is not enough time to eat everywhere you want to)

2009 Aug 5
How about bringing an authentic cake or bread from Premiere Moisson when you are shopping in downtown Montreal?

2009 Aug 5
If you are on diet, you can consider the mini ones from Premiere Moisson? Yum....