Bar-B Barn – If you are craving a no-nonsense, generously-portioned and wholesome dining experience, in an iconic setting that is a Montreal establishment, you’ll want to settle down to a meal at Bar-B Barn. We have all noticed the impossible-to-miss yellow and brown restaurants at either of the two locations: Guy street downtown or Sources boulevard on the West-Island. The decor has not changed since the restaurants opened, and this will give you the impression that you are going back in time. Vintage barn-style wooden accents decorate the walls and ceilings, and comfortable table or booth seating awaits you. Calming Western-style chandelier lighting illuminate the space, and the most special tiered bottle display at the West-Island location will certainly amuse you. Both restaurants offer the choice between a dining zone with big screen tv’s and a sports game playing, or the quieter, more family-friendly area which is where we asked to be seated. The downtown location has five dining rooms and 225 seats, and the west-island location has 515 seats, so bring your friends and family without hesitation, you will be accommodated no matter how big your group is.
The downtown location was opened in 1967 and the West-Island restaurant opened thirteen years later, in 1980. Bar-B Barn is famous for its ribs and chicken. Our host for the evening, co-owner Tom McQueen, explained to us that he and his partners Manny and Dalton Barnoff ship their products as far as Western Canada, to long-term faithful customers in Calgary and even the Yukon!
My dining partner Wes and I decided that we wanted to try as many of the items on the menu as possible and our friendly waiter Nelson gladly brought us many dishes. We started with a Caesar salad ($7, or $10 with added chicken). It was quite good, served with plenty of bacon bits, big crunchy croutons and good homemade dressing. The garden salad ($7), also a generous portion, is made with fresh crunchy vegetables, and offered with a choice of three dressings, one of which was a house dressing, and my favourite.
Our next dish was a starter serving of chicken wings ($12 a pound), which came with three sauces ranging from mild to call 911 hot. The wings were plump and the meat was tender, and we left nothing on our plates but carefully-picked bones.
Bar-B Barn whole Hawg experience
We were then served our main dishes, a Whole Hawg ($31, 9 maxi ribs), served with a choice of onion rings, crinkle fries or homemade mashed potatoes. This was an enormous portion, and since we asked to taste a bit of all the sides, so as to be able to write about it, I was able to say that the mashed potatoes were my favourite, and Wes preferred the fries, although we finished all of the tasty onion rings. The ribs, coated four times and cooked slowly for three hours, were quite tender and lip-smacking good. The second main dish was the quarter chicken ($10), also served with a choice of sides. The chicken is marinated for 24 hours in a dry-rub, then also cooked slowly for two and half hours. The meat was buttery-tender and delicious. Even though the food was very good, the portions were so generous that we ended up taking some home.
Our desserts were just awesome. A rich plain cheesecake served with blueberry sauce ($6) and a slice of homemade apple pie ($4), which we chose not to have ice-cream with, but we could have, for an extra $2.
Nelson asked us if either of us was celebrating our birthday, since, if that had been the case, and upon us showing our id. He would have given the birthday celebrator an up to $25 discount on our meal. The menu offers many different sized portions to please all appetites, and a kids’ menu to boot.
If you want to take a step back to relax, and have yourselves a wholesome, no-nonsense plentiful meal, head over to either of the two Bar-B Barn locations.
Bar-B Barn – West Island
3300 Sources Blvd,
QC H9B 1Z7
Bar-B Barn – Downtown
1201 Guy St,
QC H3H 2K5
Opening hours: Wednesday 11:30AM–9PM • Thursday 11:30AM–9PM • Friday 11:30AM–10PM • Saturday 11:30AM–10PM • Sunday 11:30AM–9PM • Monday 11:30AM–9PM • Tuesday 11:30AM–9PM