MTL’s Finest : Afterparty Fast Food Binge
By Alyssa De Rosa
When the clock strikes 3:00 AM on a Friday or Saturday night in Montreal, streets like St-Laurent Boulevard, Crescent, and Ste-Catherine are inundated with late-night partygoers. After consuming several ounces of alcohol, the after-effects of an intense night clubbing usually involve greasy food.
The city is known for its wide array of fine cuisine restaurants and variety of multicultural food, but what is also unique to Montreal is its slew of greasy, finger-licking, fast-food joints. So where should you go when you’re in need of carbohydrates after indulging in your favorite liquid poison?
Here’s a list of Montreal’s go-to after hour greasy spoons:
994 Rachel St Est
Taking a Montreal staple, poutine, and adding everything but the kitchen sink inside is what La Banquise does best. Open 24 hours, the restaurant’s menu is beyond diverse. Whether you’re a meat lover, or a vegetarian, after a couple hours on the dance floor, regaining some hundred extra calories is what’s needed. Located in a discrete part of the city, sometimes the line-up to get in circles around the block, but no matter how long the wait, the gooey, warm goodness of a Banquise poutine makes it all worth it. The ingredients they add to their fries and gravy include hot dogs, Pogos, smoked meat, peppers, mushrooms, ground beef, guacamole, Feta cheese and the list goes on. Getting hungry yet?
Paulo et Suzanne
5501 boulevard Gouin West
Unlike fast food locations that are just around the corner of your favorite clubs, this place involves a little mileage to get there, but it’s worth the gas. Paulo et Suzanne has been serving its customers for over 30 years. Why do people keep coming back? The service is quick, friendly, and welcoming. Also open 24 hours, they too are known for their poutine, but also for their 24 hour breakfast menu! Who doesn’t want breakfast at 4:00 AM? Eggs sunny-side up please! My breakfast dish of choice is their nutella crepe, need I say more? The food is good, greasy and hits the spot. Hop in cab, it’s worth every extra pound.
3895 Saint-Laurent boulevard
For over 80 years, this Hebrew delicatessen has been serving grade A smoked meat to happy Montrealers. The only catch is, unlike many other fast-food restaurants, they aren’t open 24 hours. On Fridays customers are welcome until 1:30 A.M and Saturdays until 2:30 A.M, but if you are a true Montreal resident you’ll know that it’s worth sneaking out of whatever club or bar you’re attending to head down to Schwartz’s. Known for its addictive smoked meat, taking a bite into their sandwiches is meaty heaven. Although the restaurant is not that big, nor is it modern, it offers customers a piece of Montreal history. The walls are decorated with celebrity autographs and photos, the tables are long and the chances of you sitting with a complete stranger are very high. Think of it as a cafeteria with long tables and no matter where you take a seat, it doesn’t matter. The only important thing is the food. If smoked meat is not your thing (but really, who denies smoked meat?) their steak is just as phenomenal. Lastly, don’t forget to order a pickle as an extra. You won’t regret it.
5188 Jarry Est
Although this location requires a drive away from the downtown core, whether you’re a St-Leonard resident or not, the chances you’ve already been to Cafe Milano are high. Open 24 hours a day, this Italian cafe has been serving customers since 1971. This afterhours spot isn’t as greasy as the other locations but it offers its clientele the best Italian submarines in salads. There’s nothing more appetizing than a warm chicken or steak chicken submarine topped with hot peppers, and “melanzane” (pickled eggplants). Need a wake-up call? Try their wide array of coffees and lattes. It’s an Italian cafe, you can’t go wrong! For those not into the carbohydrates, the menu also includes a variety of salads including bocconcini and tomato, chicken salad, cobb salad, etc. It’s a little piece of Italian history. Think of the experience as a visit to Nonna’s house where old friends and family meet over coffee and great food.
351 Laurier Est
Recently featured on Food Network show “You Gotta Eat Here,” Chez Claudette has been a Montreal landmark for over 20 years. The menu includes poutine, greasy hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries and breakfast all day long! What Chez Claudette is infamous for however is their poutine selection, which includes over 20 different varieties. Between Thursday and Saturday the hole in the wall, greasy spoon is open 24 hours a day. What really gets customers coming back for a second dose is their unique poutine gravy. It’s not what other restaurants are serving up, it’s unique and tastes so different! It’s a typical hangout for hungover university students and late night workers. Like John Catucci says, “you gotta eat here!”