351 Laurier E.
Bus: STM 14, 27, 30, 46, 47, 51, 55, 427
Visit: January 21, 2013
Looking for places at the last minute is not something that I’m really known for. There are still literally hundreds of possible burgers left on my list and when put in that position of having to choose on the fly, I’m in trouble. This is where Chez Claudette comes in. A small place located just steps away from a metro station was home to a quick decision, one that I may or may no have regretted.
This past week in Montreal has been one of the coldest ones on record. I was scheduled to make a trek to the Old Port section of Montreal for dinner, but those plans were changed due to illness. I wasn’t about to let that get in my way of myself eating something, so I had to think on the spot. Since it was really cold, I wasn’t about to make a long journey somewhere else either. This is where I started thinking about places downtown, near all the major transit hubs. But, I’ve been pretty much through all those places.
That’s when I remember a walk I took from the Laurier metro station. On that particular day, I was heading towards another Montreal restaurant that was in the news a few times for all the wrong reasons. It was on that walk that I did my normal recognizance, passing by places that I would hope to add to my list. I notice that Chez Claudette was really close to the metro. With it being really cold outside, it was the perfect choice for this last minute decision.
Once you get to the door of Chez Claudette, you’ll notice the massive list of what they really offer. Outside the option of pick-up and delivery, they boast a menu of poutines that might send one on a mission to check them all off. Located on a street corner, it really is a hard place to miss.
Once inside, I noticed that the front room was completely empty. Hard to miss is the sole cook at the front grill preparing all the orders. Looks might be deceiving when you really think of how many people are actually sitting in the restaurant eating. In reality, Chez Claudette is an L-shaped room where most of the customers are sitting in the back, enjoying their poutines.
Aside from the one cook assuming the duties of feeding the entire restaurant, the service is handled by one server. From my brief interactions with this individual, I wouldn’t call them the most cheerful people on the planet. Basically, only the bare necessities were exchanged while most of my courtesies were ignored or plainly not heard. For a place like this, no one would expect more than that.
Throughout my time there, the dining area was mostly half full with people coming in and out. What struck me was that no one was sitting in the front end, preferring mostly to hide away in the back area. There were, however, a good amount of take-out orders which kept things flowing.
Sitting next to the window.
One of the more unique aspects of Chez Claudette that I noticed were the table cloths. If you look closely, you’ll notice that each of the tables is adorned with a picture of a different poutine. You don’t see that every day. With that being said, how could anyone not order a poutine over here?
To accompany my burger, I just had to make sure that I sample their poutine. When I did my online research about Chez Claudette, the mention of poutine was just staggering. This is the smaller version of the traditional poutine. It also comes in a larger version.
My appreciation for this poutine goes on a scale from could be better, alright, to good. In the first category, the aspect that made me a bit uneasy was the sauce. I don’t know what it was, but the sauce seemed a little watery for me. I find a thicker sauce seems to work better with poutine and this thickness didn’t do it for me. The taste of the sauce, however, was good enough.
In the second category, the cheese curds were alright. They weren’t as fresh as I would’ve liked, but I’ve been spoiled by my local poutine emporium. Out of the entire poutine, the cheese served their purpose, but weren’t as memorable as I would have liked.
Probably the best aspect of this poutine were the fries. The fries acted in such a way as to lift the poutine beyond average. The fries alone were pretty good and topping just about anything on them just served to make them better. In all, the poutine isn’t going to really blow your mind away, but it will fill you up nicely.
This burger contains lettuce, tomatoes, mustard, relish, cheese, and bacon.
First glances can be quite misleading. Sometimes, some things come in the strangest packages. This is true, especially with burgers. The burger comes in so many shapes and forms, you never know what you’re going to get. My first thought about this burger was along the lines of having low expectations.
When I took my first bite, I knew that my expectations were met and perhaps exceeded. Then again, maybe having low expectations helped lessen any possible disappointment. I can tell you that there wasn’t any real disappointment in having this burger.
When you think of the combination of meat and cheese, you may scratch your head as to why I would be happy with this burger. The cheese isn’t anything special, it’s more or less average. The meat was quite thin, but it was cooked and prepared in such a way that it wouldn’t be a hindrance on the burger.
When you enter places like this, you tend to get the option to ask for an all-dressed burger. Usually, that implies that you’ll be getting mustard and relish. Most of the times, that’s not something that goes well. In this case, the combination of mustard and relish meshed well with the rest of the simplest burger ingredients. When you put all that together, a simple burger becomes one that you can’t forget.
One final thing has to be mentioned. I’ve had a lot of burgers up to this point and I thought I’ve seen everything. The placement of the bacon is something that really caught my attention. Usually, you’ll see bacon strips crossed together. Here, it seemed like the bacon covered the entire burger. To that effect, it made sure that the bacon was present in every single bite, something that I can’t help but agree with.
Chez Claudette is a small neighbourhood restaurant that serves the wide gamut of food we Montrealers have come to love. The wide range of poutine choices and the simple, but decent burgers are enough to attract a loyal following.