Thursday, May 6, 2010

Montreal Food Journey - Day 3: La Banquise

Day 3, last day in Montreal! After lunch we would be heading back to Toronto. Before leaving the hotel, I asked my boyfriend whether he wanted to have burgers or poutine, he chose poutine. I was fine with either one because I had in mind a place for both options, and I know neither will disappoint. For burgers, I wouldv'e went to La Paryse, a place with rave reviews on almost every food review / blog that I've come across, it seems to be "the place for best burgers in Montreal". Likewise, La Banquise is supposedly the place for poutine in Montreal (thanks to Vinman15, a Montreal local, for this great recommendation)! According to, "it is a well-known fact that the title of the best poutine in Montreal belongs to La Banquise", and from, "La Banquise is now the best, all around poutine joint in Montreal. They offer the greatest is a must-stop for anyone eating poutine in Quebec". You will see similar comments from Urbanspoon, Yelp, and various other food review sites. 

La Banquise is open 24 hours, making it another reason why it is so popular besides the awesome poutine it serves. I can just imagine how popular this place would be in Toronto downtown's clubbing district at 3 am - Burrito Boyz can move out of the way!

To the left is the kitchen where all the poutine magic happens. We waited for about 5-10 minutes for a table.

Old diner decor

We were offered either a table inside or outside. Since it was another beautiful day in Montreal, we opted for the back terrace.

The door on the right leads back inside

Although the terrace was surrounded by houses on all four sides and without a view, La Banquise tried their best to provide a comfortable and cozy atmosphere by adding artificial trees and plants. It worked. I didn't feel cramped at all there...quite spacious and a very good use of the space.

Besides poutine, La Banquise serves other foods as well. However, the menu on their website only shows the poutine section. Needless to say, I totally skipped everything else too and went right to the poutine page (so I cannot tell you what else theyserve haha). They currently have 25 different kinds of poutine.  

What is cool is that not only do they have many kinds of toppings and variations, you can also choose what kind of sauce / gravy you want. You can choose standard, meat, or pepper. 

Took both of us a while to choose what we want. The
left column is the price of a regular poutine, the right
column is the price for a large poutine.

Not sure if it was because our waitress' English was really bad or if it was busy, but our orders got misplaced and we had to wait sooo long for our poutines! She kept apologizing to us, saying that something was wrong with the oven or something. GAHHHHHHHH I wish she can just stop explaining and give me my poutine! ASAP! I was going crazy seeing other people eating theirs! 

This father and son sitting across from us both ordered a LARGE
poutine. Look at that! First look how high it is piled up, and second
how the deep the plate is. INSANE!

Finally! Here's mine! There was a crazy amount of cheese curds on my Jaco Poutine...sooo yummy those curds. All the toppings on mine go so well with the pepper sauce. The minced meat was tender and not dry or crumbly, the onions were freshly cut (not limpy or shrunken). I really, really loved mine. Like really. I ate this thing sooo slowly because I was savoring every bite.

Jaco Poutine - minced meat, onion, mushrooms, pepper sauce.

My boyfriend's 3 Amigos Poutine was full of sausages. Lots of cheese curds too. I took a bite and it was really deliciousl. The standard gravy is very yummy, not too thick or runny, and doesn't taste "brothy". My boyfriend really enjoyed his poutine.

3 Amigos - smoked sausage, pork and beef sausages, and
merguez sausage

I was stuffed after finishing mine, while my boyfriend said he feels just right, but claims that the large size would've been way too much (FYI the father and son didn't finish their poutines).

Both my boyfriend and I loved this place. I cannot say that it is the best because it's not like I'm a poutine expert and have tried every poutine place out there. However, I'm pretty confident, with the reviews backing me up, that if it is not the best poutine in Montreal, it is one of the best for sure.  In my opinion, La Banquise is wayyyyy better than Smokes Poutinerie or Poutini in Toronto, by far.

Well, well...this ends my Montreal Food Journey as my boyfriend and I headed back to Toronto, full of poutine goodness in our tummies. I've documented everything that we ate in Montreal, and I'd have to say that every meal was fabulous (except for La Marée, but that was still great because of the view). Blessed with gorgeous weather, we had a wonderful time just walking around Old Montreal, and sometimes sitting on benches enjoying the scenery (and people watching hehe). It was a great short road trip much needed so that we can leave work and studying behind for a few days. 

Next time in Montreal, I will have a whole new food agenda. Au Pied du Cochon and Creperie Chez Suzette are a must. I also need to squeeze in some bagel time in there too, which I missed out on this time. And maybe I can go for breakfast...again, this depends on whether or not I can wake up early enough =D

Resto la Banquise on Urbanspoon