Review: Le Gros Jambon

Le Gros Jambon Diner

Montreal newcomer Le Gros Jambon has been getting all kinds of great reviews lately. Most people agree that it is one of the rare decent casual dining spots in the tourist nadir of the old city.

The interior tries to mimic a 1950s diner. This would almost work well if it wasn’t for the tacky Route 66 wallpaper.

I went there for lunch – the place was packed with suits, which contrasted with the scruffy-chic staff. One of the male waiters in a lumberjack shirt was very touchy-feely, indiscriminately stroking all customers on the back before taking their order or bringing them drinks. It took a while, but my poutine finally arrived and looked great.

Le Gros Jambon Diner

Le Gros Jambon Diner

Fries: The home cut fries are made with an inappropriate waxy potato. Instead of a crispy flavourful exterior skin, there is nothing to bite into but a limp and somewhat bland fry. 20/30

Gravy: There’s a lot going on with this gravy, but I’m not sure what to make of it. First there’s the sweetness of cinnamon and cloves, then the roundness of a smooth red wine, followed by a salty ending of mustard and beef broth. Every once in a while, the scallions add a roaring cymbal to the melody. This gravy is a bit like one of those one-man band street musicians that plays the trumpet, drums, and guitar simultaneously – there’s a wow factor at the dexterity, but you wouldn’t want to listen to this music at home. It’s kinda like Bjorn Ulvaeus crossed with a football hooligan, or a hairy masculine drag queen drinking gluhwein. It does succeed in making you forget how ordinary the fries and the cheese are, though. I appreciate the entertaining complexity, but it’s a little too burlesque for me. 35/50

Cheese: There’s plenty of cheese on this poutine but the chunks are tiny and, most unfortunately, clumped up and straight-out of the-fridge cold. Not a squeak to be heard for miles. This is an unforgivable sin for any restaurant, but even more so for a place with foodie pretentions selling a poutine at top dollar prices. 8/20

TOTAL SCORE:
63/100

Verdict: Overrated. Limp fries, cold cheese, burlesque gluhwein gravy. There are better food options nearby, namely the $4 BBQ pork noodle soup (with a cup of Hong Kong milk tea) at Chinatown’s Dobe & Andy.

Price:Expensive. $10.20 with tax and tip. There’s a $10 threshold with poutine that shouldn’t be passed.

Opening hours:MON: Closed, TUE-THU: 7:30AM-3:30PM, FRI: 7:30AM-MIDNIGHT, SAT: 10:00AM-MIDNIGHT, SUN: 10:00AM-4:00PM.

Location: 286 Notre Dame West, Montreal, QC H2Y 2N7, near Square Victoria and Place d’Armes Metro.

1 Comment

Filed under Classic Poutine Reviews, Montreal

One response to “Review: Le Gros Jambon

  1. foodlibations

    I must try next time im in Montreal.

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