Where: 286 Notre Dame Ouest (Old Montreal) – (514) 508-3872
Kind of food: Diner – Brunch/Lunch
Usual Suspects: It’s all business during the week, but come Sunday morning, expect to find a shitload of hungover adults wearing sunglasses to hide their faces.
Why I love it: Old school diner with a twist – the decoration is flawless and the food is incredible… even when the place is slammed, they do it right.
Why you’ll love it: For the same reasons as me… if you like that classic style, you’ll love the décor. And the menu speaks for itself.
Who to take: Friends, lovers, children… you name it.
I ordered: The Coca-Cola Burger (homemade beef patty, Coca-Cola mayo, caramelized onions and a deep-fried pickle. I added the coleslaw for good measure).
Waiter says to order: Look out for the specialties which can be washed down with a nice glass of root beer.
“Where to eat… where to eat!?”
I’ve spent these past few sunny days walking the streets of Old MTL, searching for a place to get a great meal for decent buck. I stopped in at a café or two, pausing long enough to steal a glance at the menu and what they’ve got going on. I’ve had plenty of espressos along the way, but the cold-cut sandwiches being served up just weren’t cutting it anymore.
I knew where to go. I headed north to Notre Dame Basilica and made a left towards Rue McGill. In between St-Alexis and St-Pierre lies Le Gros Jambon – that’s The Big Ham, in case you didn’t know. Thankfully, I managed to avoid the lunch hour rush this time. I walked over to the counter and found myself an empty seat facing the grill.
I ordered the Coca-Cola burger from the lunch menu (the Brunch menu on weekends is fantastic) and asked the waiter a few questions about the restaurant. They’ve been open less than six months – but you wouldn’t know it unless you asked. This place is original, trendy (in its own category), and its impressive collection of memorabilia will keep you entertained for hours. If that kind of shit doesn’t interest you, sit in front of the grill and watch the magic happen.
The chefs work side by side in a tight space, but can definitely hold their own in the kitchen. Dishes like the macaroni & cheese w/ duck confit and lobster grilled cheese were pumping out at a furious pace. The “Crabby Burger” was definitely a hit – for $16, that’s what I would have ordered if I’d seen it first.
Either way, I knew I was in for something good – like really fucking good. And the Coca-Cola didn’t disappoint. The homemade beef patty and creative mayo were impeccable, the deep-fried pickle was like biting into a piece of vegetable tempura, and the crispy, brown fries were cooked to perfection.
It’s definitely worth checking out Le Gros Jambon, at least to say you’ve been there once. Come hungry.