No visit to Montreal is complete without a visit to La Banquise. This eatery is located in another hip area of Montreal (but honestly, what part of Montreal isn’t hip?), and it almost jumps out at you in an odd sort of way. The restaurant is seemingly housed in a very large building, and upon entering, you are most likely going to encounter some sort of line up.
Unlike our visit to Schwartz’s, we had to wait for around 10 minutes to get a table. The tables are colourful, the atmosphere is vibrant, and the collection of people is eclectic. Young families, students, and friends alike all gather at La Banquise for one thing: poutine. Sure you might hear orders for burgers or even salads (whaaaat??) But let’s be real, were here for the poutine.
what we ordered
On their delightfully yellow menu you’ll find an enormous variety of poutines. We made our way through three different ones: the classic, rachel, and one frighteningly named the t-rex (yeah, the carnivorous prehistoric predator). In general, the fries are a little sweet, and the curds have an awesome rubberiness to them.
C’s fave was the Classic ($ 5.80). Despite not really having an affinity for poutine, she loved it for the back to basics look and taste. Nothing like some good fries, curds, and gravy.
The Rachel ($ 6.95) was our veggie option, and the others really liked it. It was the classic, but with mushrooms, onions, and green peppers on it as well. You still don’t feel particularly healthy eating it, but the flavour is good.
Last but not least, this was the T-rex ($ 8.55). Despite being so meat-heavy, it was not too salty! Loaded with a smorgasbord of meat, including pepperoni, ground beef, bacon, and sausage, this came in at a close second for C.
3.5 (out of 5) for food
3.0 (out of 5) for atmosphere
The portions are really large here (and we only got the regular), and we warn that you will most likely have trouble finishing a whole one on your own if you mean for it to be a snack. However, this was a great place for a Montreal favourite, and it really brought us back to our memories of heart poutine at the chalet after a whole day of tiring skiing. Check it out for yourself at 994, Rachel Est, Montréal (http://www.restolabanquise.com).
C and K