Annex 122: À la Vieille Cheminée | Mr. Lew's Great Burger Search

6715 Métropolitain E.
Montréal, Québec

Bus:  STM 33, 192, 460

Visit:  October 15, 2013

http://www.alavieillecheminee.com/

October is National Pizza Month and there’s only one way to celebrate such an occasion.  Pizza is probably one of the items that can give the almighty burger a run for its money and I happen to love eating it just as much.  So, in the ever-loving quest to find good pizza on this island, a trip to À la Vieille Cheminée was in order.

For the first time in almost 2 months, it was time to meet up with Steakman, a regular over the course of the last 4 years of the GBS.  His love for all things steak and pizza has taken me to all kinds of restaurants.  A while back, he told me of this pizza place that he visited and he was glowing about it.  When it comes to listening to his recommendations, I always listen because he’s been on a streak of decent places to go to.  As for me, I’ve been on a losing streak of recommendations, but I have plenty of time to change that.

The east end of the city is an area that I haven’t been able to venture too much into.  Most of the time, I rely on Steakman to bring up places that I would never think of.  À la Vieille Cheminée is another one of those places.  Since the restaurant is located next to a highway, it isn’t the easiest place to reach by public transport.  You can also enter from the back from Jarry, but be ready for a walk there.

I would describe the restaurant as just about any other pizza restaurant you’ve ever been to.  One of the features that was used to sell me on the location was the fact that they cook their pizza using a wood oven.  I’ve been to a few places like that and have been rather satisfied with the results, so I had high hopes here.

Once we arrived to the table, we were greeted by the server for the evening.  In the restaurant, there were only 2 working the entire floor.  Usually, servers divide their territory and don’t really help each other that much.  Here, you could see that both the servers were lending a hand to each other and that was very much appreciated.  It allowed for the proceedings to move a whole lot faster that way.  The second server who came around was just as friendly as the first.

After we put in our order, this plate arrived at our table.  This left the both of us scratching our heads a bit, as we didn’t order this at all.  We had to ask the server what this was.  Apparently, this is given to all the tables as a sort of appetizer.  These small pizza-like wedges weren’t half bad and they weren’t that tough to eat either.

Caesar Salad ($8)

I’ve had so many salads of this variety that I would just be repeating myself over and over again.  It was a good salad and a good way to begin things.  What’s more interesting to note is the service applied to our consumption of the salad.  For our appeatizer, Steakman and I decided to split the salad.  We were more than happy to eat it out of the one bowl.  One of the servers, upon seeing this, immediately came over with an empty dish to divide the salad.  That is what I call service, something done for you without asking.

Capriciosa ($17)

This pizza is normally topped with pancetta, mushrooms, peppers, and mozzarella.  Since we both chose the pizza and we have similar tastes, we opted to have the hot peppers removed.  This way, it altered the pizza to something a little more appealing.  The restaurant was more than happy to oblige us with our request.

Much like a burger, when it comes to a first glance, it is rather important.  Here, the pizza looked pretty good.  In the past, we’ve had some grease issues with other similar pizza choices.  I was rather happy to see that this wasn’t the issue here.  We allowed a few moments for the pizza to cool before getting started.  I’ve made that mistake a few times and wanted to avoid burning the roof of my mouth yet again.

When I have pizza, I look for three main things.  The first thing I make a point of looking at was how the bottom of the slice was cooked.  If you notice that there are a lot of burnt spots, something wasn’t working.  In this pizza, it was a nice even cook, which is really positive.

The next item of consideration is the distribution of both the ingredients and the sauce.  There’s nothing worse than taking a bite and not having all the components in your mouth at once.  The cheese and sauce were consistent with each bite.  We were rolling with the way things were going.

The last of my three personal criteria is the crust.  When you eat a crust, you don’t want something that you’ll be chewing on for hours.  It has to be a combination of soft and crispy all at once.  With the thin crust wood oven cooking, the crust here managed to meet that criteria.

When you add the saltiness of the pancetta and you mix that with the rest of the ingredients, you have the components for a good pizza.  This pizza met both of our needs and we were really happy with our choice.

Crème Brûlée ($7.50)

This was Steakman’s choice of a dessert.  For the first time, I took a chance and had a try of the dessert.  I can see the appeal because it is sweet and nothing overpowers you, but it wasn’t really my taste.

Chocolat Ultime ($7.50)

This was my choice of a dessert.  When we were ordering, the server was really selling the fact that it had a 65% cacao content.  Even Steakman was reciting the points of merit of that percentage of cacao.  To be honest, it was like me listening to a foreign language at this point.  All I cared about was chocolate and the fact that they stamped an ultimate tag to it.

For what it’s worth, this cake of chocolate mousse consistency was right up on point.  Each layer of the cake lived up to its hype.  When you drag it through the berry jam on the plate, you add another dimension the dessert.  Plus, when Steakman asks for two tries of a chocolate cake, you know you got something working here.

Final Verdict

The restaurant might be a little out of the way, but it’s one that I wouldn’t mind getting back to.  Each part of the meal lived up and left us with satisfaction.  The most important part of the evening, the pizza, was the strongest part of it all.

Restaurant la Vieille Cheminée on Urbanspoon

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