The owners of Grumman 78 should be thanked by Montrealers for kick starting the drive to bring back food trucks to Montreal. In addition to their mobile taco truck, one of the first food trucks in Montreal, they also have a headquarters in St. Henri which is, admittedly, not the easiest place to find.
On this particular Thursday the Divas weren’t sure where to go eat, we were juggling a million ideas back and forth. Finally, our new friend Whitey offered to meet up with us and recommended Grumman 78. We got lost finding Grumman 78 but luckily for the Divas, we spotted the lime green Grumman 78 food truck and followed it to a lot tucked away from de Courcelle street, north of Notre-Dame. We were impressed, Grumman 78 has a parking lot… you rarely see that in the popular restaurant locales of Montreal. And no, we do not consider the West Island, SouthShore or Laval as parts of Montreal.
From the outside, the building didn’t look very promising, actually it looked like a warehouse and the Divas grew worried that this place was not Diva-esque. Once inside, the space was large and very open. We instantly loved the trendy vibe and we settled in at our table constructed of pallets. Diva #1 almost knocked over the pallets multiple times throughout the evening because she kept banging her leg on them. The place looks pretty cool with weird flea market finds decorating the walls and an old Ms. Pacman arcade game.
While waiting for Whitey to arrive, we looked over the food and drink menu. The Divas love Grumman’s hibiscus tea that is available at their food truck, so when we saw it paired with alcohol on their menu, it was hard to resist. Diva #1 opted to replace the tequila with rum and Diva #2 stayed with the tequila. Both versions were refreshing and delicious. We were soon quite cheerful! Diva #1 was eyeing the oreilles de criss on the menu, we really need to go back, we did not experience enough of Grumman’s delights.
Whitey arrived and ordered a glass of wine which later turned into a bottle that the Divas helped her finish. We were all surprisingly well behaved that night and it didn’t end sloppily. Whitey is a nice addition to the group; she also drinks heavily and is prone to bouts of insanity. Normal girls don’t fit in with the Divas, they just make us aware of the lunacy of our scheming, how our correlation between hunting and dating is unhealthy, and that generally we need to quiet down and maybe get married and start breeding…. Nahhhhhhh! This is more fun.
The menu at Grumman 78 is one page, divided into appetizers and mains, and some mains can even be ordered as a half or full portion. The Divas think this is great since we love variety in a meal. We started with two appetizers that jumped out at us right away. Unfortunately, Whitey is not an adventurous eater but it is a new friendship so we will eventually change that. She makes Vegan Vixen and her love of veggies and tofu look easy to feed!
We started with the horse tartare which was delicious. The meat was tender and flavourful and a bit spicy from the chipotle. It was topped with deep fried corn chip strips which added a great textural contrast. The Divas love a good tartare and this spicy concoction was a wonderful way to start our meal and a very generous portion for the price.
Our second appetizer was the snail quesadilla, which was recommended by our waiter. It was not an item we expected to see on the menu but were pleasantly surprised with the dish. The snails were plentiful and scattered on top of the large, cheesy quesadilla. They were mixed with the pico de gallo and a creamy garlic sauce, it was a great dish. Definitely a favourite of the night, the abundance of cheese was perfectly melted, the tortilla was slightly crispy, the pico de gallo lightened it all up and the snails were meaty and wonderful.
We decided to share two mains. The first was the Johnny cakes and fried chicken. The coleslaw was fresh and crunchy and not overly pickled. It went well with the fried chicken, though there could have been bigger pieces of chicken. The Johnny cakes were light and didn’t get too soggy with everything piled on top. It was a fun bite and rarely seen on menus. Another chicken appetizer that we were considering ordering was the Buffalo bits salad which was made up of more crispy chicken bites in buffalo sauce with blue cheese, nuts and endives. Whitey told us that she has ordered it in the past and she found it spicy… but she is white so we aren’t deterred for next time.
Our waiter had informed us that the pulled pork taco listed on the menu had been replaced with a Thai style pork taco on this night. We were torn between this new dish and the pork tacos with pineapple salad. This new one sounded interesting so we tried it. Four tacos to a serving, our only complaint was that the double taco shell was soggy and made it hard to eat so we had to revert to a fork and knife. Not the right way to enjoy Mexican! A fork shouldn’t be necessary. Other than that, the pork itself was cooked in a curry-coconut sauce that was not overpowering, and was actually very good. The slaw on top mixed well, especially with the added squeeze of fresh lime.
As our night and bottle of wine wound down, our waiter was back at the table inquiring if we wanted dessert. A little full from our meal, we opted to skip dessert. Instead, we sat and chatted over the remaining bottle of wine. Whitey and Diva #2 bonded over their shared memories of their common high school, Diva #1 had only spent a year there and had wisely escaped. She already had strong opinions at the age of twelve. It has been the start of a fun and adventurous friendship with Whitey, a great addition to the lunatic women that the Divas surround themselves with, and another lady to add to Zeus’ harem. For now we will keep her away from Mr. Wonderful, but we cannot wait until she meets our Sensei… he is simply marvelous.
Our Rating: Splendid
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