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.
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
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.