Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve definitely heard of those two beautiful words that, when uttered, are sure to induce instant drooling to any young Montrealer. It’s one of those joints that make me wish I wasn’t writing this review on an empty stomach. Of course, I’m referring to La Banquise; the product of some crazy mastermind who one day decided to open a joint that serves almost exclusively Quebec’s pride and joy: the poutine.
If you’ve never heard of it, shame on you and go get some friends, but let me give you a quick recap:
The place first opened in 1968 as a dairy bar, also serving hot dogs and fries. By the 1980’s, the poutine started to gain popularity across Quebec and as a result, was added to the menu. When more and more people were introduced to this glorious artery-clogging dish, it hit a peak in the 1990’s and by 1999, La Banquise’s menu already listed 23 different kinds of poutine.
Now I bet you’re thinking: “Silly girl, how the hell can you make the ingenuous mix of fries, cheese curds and gravy any better??” Although you can never go wrong with the classic recipe, La Banquise offers 25 variations that are sure to especially satisfy the meat lovers. You can find combinations of ground beef, sautéed onions, merguez sausage, bacon… The list goes on, and I assure you that the choice is never an easy or quick one to make when seated in front of the menu.
Their poutine is only half the excitement. Since they’re open 24/7, it’s no wonder that their peak hours are usually when the clubs shut down and a swarm of drunken party-goes, overcome with the munchies, invade the place. Don’t be surprised to find a lineup at 3:30am on a Saturday night. The place isn’t huge but trust me, the food is definitely worth the wait. Call me cheesy (pun!), but you always remember your first time at La Banquise, where a special moment is shared with the people you’re with.
Prices range from 6$ to 12$ for generous portions.
Gym memberships not included.