Montreal Restaurants 1 – Inexpensive

Time to think about food in this city which is the most English in Quebec, but is still overwhelmingly French in its thoughts about food.

This next few posts will be a quick overview of well-regarded Montreal restaurants grouped only by price. Normally, I would have included only French food, as that is what I think people come from afar to enjoy in Quebec, but this will be the only reference to other cuisines, here and there. Although, I do think it’s hard for any other chef not to be affected by the nuances, techniques etc., of the French cooking all around them.

Please understand, that this first cafe is a diner, and although the food is well done, it is home-fare and cannot be compared to the restaurants which follow.

La Binerie:

Since 1938, Montrealers have loved La Binerie, a place that is famous for their baked beans (which are done in lard, the traditional choice). It is situated in Mont Royal, a mixed area with all sorts of interesting shops, tattooed people and parents bustling along with babies in strollers. Upon entering the narrow, doorway of the old brick building, you will find 4 2-person tables and a long counter. There are menus in English, but their website is only in French.

Prices here are very reasonable with 1/4 of an entire classic meat pie costing you about $3.75 and dessert of Pudding Chomeur (a Bread Pudding like “cake”) setting you back about $2.75.Try a breakfast special and a slice of tourtière which is the Quebçoise version of a meat pie – this is made with mince and rendolent with cinnamon.

In summer, you might want to try a classic Spruce Beer, which harkens back to a beverage that the French-Canadians learned to make from the First Nations tribes. The waiter pours it into a beer tankard and are surprised that its actually like a light lemonade in color. It’s actually like a ginger beer with a slight herbal aftertaste.

Onto the beans though, which come separately, and are ladled from large metal trays in the oven in front of the bar. There’s a large take-away business. In addition to the classic beans, consider the other traditional foods like: poutine (crisp French fires with raw cheese balls and light gravy), pea soup, salmon pate, sugar tart, chomeur, and spruce beer.

À la Binerie, vous êtes en visite dans la famille. Bienvenue chez vous !!

La Binerie, the classic Montreal diner.
367 Avenue du Mont-Royal
514 285 9078
La Binerie, Montreal

Next time, Olive et Gourmando, the excellent Montreal restaurant which bridges between “budget” and “moderate” in price, but is world’s apart from La Binerie, which is such a classic that it was written about in a famous Quebeçoise author’s book and in the movie made from it.

Montreal Archive

©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review


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