There used to be loads of these classic no-frills Greek-run places around Montreal, but they are either fast disappearing or have suffered one too many modernizing makeovers. This place, which has been around since 1962, still looks the part. It is dripping with grease, has the original sixties booths, a great decor with alternating white and red stripes, broken jukebox consoles, and a hand-painted menu on the wall.
The stretch of Beaubien between Saint-Laurent and Saint-Denis is slowly being colonized by hipster cafés with edison bulbs selling $5 coffees. It’s refreshing that this place is still here–one of the few places in town where cheeseburgers are still decently priced at three bucks.
I tried their poutine for the first time last week.
Fries: These fries are OK on their own, but not quite crispy enough to stand up well to poutine gravy. They’re also a little on the sweet side. 19/30
Gravy: This dark sauce is slightly better than your run-of-the-mill generic gravy and it has a nice thick texture that adheres well to the fries. Temperature was good when we tried it. 38/50
Cheese: There’s not enough cheese on this poutine, the chunks are too small, and it doesn’t squeak. 10/20
Verdict: The fries are better on their own, so come for the atmosphere and have them with a steamé or a burger instead.
Price: Good. This place is generally excellent value, though the poutine is perhaps less of a deal than other menu items.
Location: Restaurant Nouveau Système, 323 Rue Beaubien E., 5 minute walk from Beaubien Metro Station.