351 Rue St-Paul Ouest, Montreal, QC
Bakery w/ Sandwiches
$ to $$ — About CAD 9 – 11 for lunch
After the walking tour, we remained in Vieux Montreal and explored Rue St. Paul. Vieux Montreal, as we learned on our walking tour, is mostly inhabited by tourists. The main street, Rue St. Paul, is lined with restaurants and souvenir shops, and dotted in between is the typical crowd pleaser painted up in gold and throwing gold beads to the crowd–leave it to the Canadians and misinformed college freshmen that body paint is cool.
We headed straight for one of the restaurants we found on Urbanspoon, Olive et Gourmando. They had a great review and a line out the door when we arrived, so we figured we couldn’t go wrong.
At 1:30 p.m., the restaurant was packed, packed, packed, and we were surprised when the hostess told us it’d only be a 25 minute wait.
Once we were seated, we were told to order up at the counter and our food would be brought to us shortly. The choices were displayed on a chalkboard – only seven choices and two were already sold out.
We started off with a salad to split – settling on the RICOTTA MAISON – a dish that we saw many other tables had ordered, as well. The “salad” is a mound of spinach, arugula and an asparagus/broccoli hybrid, soaked in olive oil and covered in pine nuts and raisins. Next to the salad was another mound of ricotta cheese with an olive oil gravy pool. The salad was pretty bitter, but the raisins and ricotta cheese brought it back to normal. The dish was super fresh and a nice alternative to the heavy, heavy French food that we’d had the night before at Le P’tit Plateau and the sandwiches that we were about to consume.
Our first sandwich, the TRUITE FUMEE (9.95 CAD) was a smoked trout salad with olives, celery, sun-dried tomatoes and a creamy cheese. It was good, but a little weird for me. The creamy capers spread really makes the sandwich. The fishy taste is a little overwhelming and not quite what I was looking for.
The second sandwich was 1000 times better. LE CHEVRE CHAUD (9.50 CAD) is a grilled Panini with a mix of goat cheese and caramelized onions, and homemade sweet ketchup on the side. The sandwich itself was so flavorful that you really didn’t need a sauce for dipping, but the ketchup was a nice addition. I ended up dumping the trout sandwich and eating every crumb of this one.
BOTTOM LINE: Possibly the most popular/highly rated restaurant in Vieux Montreal, and not without reason: the food is délicieux and worth coming back. Worth a visit even if it’s partly a tourist trap.