Best of Montreal 2009

bom09Yep, it’s that time of year again! The people have spoken, and the results of the Mirror’s annual Best of Montreal survey are in. Let’s examine some of the results, shall we?

Okay, first of all, every year I am shocked by the strong showing by chains in this town. I mean, if you’re going to ask people what their favourite fast-food joint is, sure, I would expect lots of people to respond with McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Harvey’s, etc. But asking Montrealers to name specific types of food (Chinese, Japanese, African, Jamaican, noodles, soups, etc.) and then getting chain responses? It boggles my mind every time.

Especially in the “Best Coffee” category. People! Tim Hortons is NOT the best coffee in Montreal! I am thankful that the peeps at the Mirror finally added a “Best Non-Chain Coffee” section for those of us who get that and care enough to vote, but it still drives me nuts that they had to do this in the first place. Café Olimpico (the winner in the non-chain category) should therefore be considered the Best Coffee in Montreal. At least by Mirror readers. Personally, I prefer Café Myriade, but I’m glad to see they took fifth place. I’m sure they’ll be movin’ on up that ladder in no time.

Secondly, I must admit that as a huge Boustan fan (seriously, why haven’t I reviewed them yet?), I always check the categories for Best Cheap Eats (#5), Best Late-Night Eats (#2!), Best Delivery (#3), Best Middle-Eastern (#1, congrats!) and Best Falafel (#3) to see where they’ve placed. I would also add them on the list for Best Vegetarian (their veggie pita is the only thing I order, and it has even converted hardcore meat-atarians) and Best Sandwich. Yum.

Finally, the Best Mexican category in this town is an absolute joke. I mean, look at this list:

1. 3 Amigos
2. Carlos & Pepes
3. Casa de Matéo
4. Mesa 14
5. Los Clasicos

Seriously? 3 Amigos? The place recycles its food on 25-cent taco night, people, are you really telling me this is our NUMBER ONE Mexican restaurant?! Seriously? Seriously, you’re killing me here. My advice is: Don’t eat at 3 Amigos, not on 25-cent taco night, not ever. Aside from the fact that the food they serve isn’t even authentically Mexican, they really ought to be closed down by a health inspector. I’m not even kidding. I used to date someone who tended bar there, and the things he told me would make your skin crawl. Plus, as someone who regularly ate there for free, he got quite a few cases of food poisoning from the kitchen staff’s lack of attention to little things like hand-washing, proper food temperatures, and possible contamination from items designed to exterminate rats. Awesome!

I must admit I’ve never been to either Casa de Matéo or Los Clasicos, but I hope to holy hell they’re nothing like 3 Amigos.

Best of Montreal my bum.


7 responses to “Best of Montreal 2009

  1. Oh…I just ate at 3 amigos on Sunday. I don’t think it was taco night. I only went because it was my friend’s choice. Yeah, pretty mediocre.
    As a new Montrealer I like to use the BOM issue for new ideas, but seeing results like this, I’m gonna have to take them with a grain of salt.

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  4. Yeh, I have to agree with Jen. 3 amigos isn’t the best, actually a have some qualms about the bests this year, a lot don’t deserve it, ergo the 3 amigos classic example of “not worthy” but i wont rain too much on the best of best parade, there were some good ones and new ones too that i will most definitely be checking out.

  5. I had a gift certificate for Carlos & Pepes the other day… and it was terrible. The only good thing was the sugar infused drink I ordered. Their enchiladas were a poor excuse at Mexican.

    I’m glad that Mesa 14 got a spot – they serve REAL food, with real spice (but not too much for our North American taste buds) and such a lovely place to eat, although I always have to ask for more water, that’s my only complaint. I haven’t been to Casa de Matéo or Los Clasicos either, and I second your opinion – hopefully they’re nothing like the two restaurants that topped that list!

  6. I’ll admit up front my buddy’s family owns Carlos & Pepe’s but seriously, if you go on the right night (no not with family just the right bartender/server) you get killer sangria and the food just somehow tastes better

    maybe it’s cuz I’ve had sex in the bathroom I dunno

    but really foodwise, Montreal for me is two places Commensal and Boustans 😀

  7. That list of Mexican, come on…Who votes for this? The only one on that list that belongs in Mesa 14, because it is the complete package, good food, great ambiance. As a teenager C&P and 3 amigos were good, very cheap beer and tacos. Can’t eat there anymore. I think Los Clasicos is out of business.