Ru and I went to La Banquise, the place rumored to have the best poutine in Montreal. Luckily, we didn’t wait more than 10 minutes to be seated on the terrace. It’s a built-in terrace where you can’t smoke for all those of you addicted to nicotine. I didn’t even know they had one as I always came in the winter time. It’s open 24 hour and since I’ve only been there after 10pm, I was surprised that I didn’t have to pay right away. They do that to avoid drunk people running away without paying and as a more efficient and time-saving way of keeping the business running at full speed.
After hesitating if we each wanted a small poutine, we decided to split a large one. We chose La Elvis, a poutine with minced meat, green peppers and mushrooms. You can also chose the sauce to put over your fries and cheese. There were 3 options: meat, vegetarian or pepper. We wanted to try something different so we asked for the meat sauce. We thought it’d be similar to gravy that’s made with animal fat. You have no idea how surprised we were when we saw our plate with red pasta sauce. Seriously? How does one person even finish a small plate because at two, we had a bit of trouble and we both have huge appetites. Thankfully, it tasted good but it would have been better if it were with a simple sauce.
A small poutine is between 6.25 and 9.75 dollars while a large one is between 9.95 and 14.75 dollars without taxes. It gets a 7/10 for the poor service. Our waitress was horrible, she brought us 2 glasses of water and never bothered to check if our glasses were empty. We tried to get her attention at least 3 times with no success. I had to ask the couple behind me if I could borrow their pitcher to quench our thirst. Their were nice and asked to leave enough water for them as well. I wish the waitress had left us a pitcher of water. If you knew you wouldn’t be able to provide a good service, it could have been the least you could do. Most of the other tables had pitchers, except ours.
A typical line-up in front of La Banquise. That’s the one thing I hate about this place. It is extremely overrated and I can understand why. It’s located in a hot spot on Rachel street, just a couple of minutes from Lafontaine Park and Mont-Royal metro. It’s also the restaurant that everyone suggests to a tourist. There is a list of different poutines which changes from the typical fries, cheese and gravy. I recommend going to La Banquise at least once but I don’t think it’s the best poutine place. I prefer Poutineville or Chez Claudette on Laurier. I’ve had a bite of a general tao poutine from Planète Poutine et Cie on Rachel and it was delicious. I will definitely review it when I have an occassion.
994 Rachel East, Montreal, QC
H2L 3M9 514-525-2415