CLOSED IN 2010
You’d think finding a restaurant serving real down-home Quebec cooking would be easy in Montreal, but there are at least 100 times as many sushi shops. Chez Clo is a rare exception, serving up the best Quebecois classics on the island: delicious home-cooked tourtiere du Saguenay, ragout de boulettes, and pouding chomeur. There’s even an assiette québécoise. I’d never tried their poutine, so what better way to celebrate Quebec’s national holiday on June 24 than to head out to Montreal’s gritty Hochelaga-Maisonneuve neighbourhood for some comfort food.
Chez Clo looks like your average street-corner casse-croute, maybe a bit more run down than most from the outside, but everything inside is just a little better. Mimi and her staff zip around in high heels and provide some of the friendliest service on the island. The food doesn’t taste like it just came out of a box. There’s even a leafy courtyard out back where regulars drink beer and harass the tough-as-nails wait staff.
Fries: Home-cut fries with a golden exterior, lightly seasoned, and a nice crispy potato chip edge. 26/30.
Gravy: Traditional brown sauce with the perfect salt balance, nice texture, nice taste, nice temperature. Plays by the rules and does it well. 42/50.
Cheese: The cheese was bound to be disappointing after last week’s trip to Victoriaville. Back to the same old typical wimpy squeakless Montreal crumbs, and there aren’t enough crumbs in this poutine to speak of, but thankfully the gravy doesn’t melt them away. 11/20.
TOTAL SCORE: 79/100
Verdict: Even though the cheese needs an upgrade, this is some of the best value-for-money poutine in Montreal.
Value: Good – $4.25 for a “grosse poutine”. They only have one size, though it’s more of a petite than a grosse by most standards.
Location: 3199 Rue Ontario E, near Metro Préfontaine