“Here you are ladies … or should I call you Divas?” This is what the bartender told us as he brought us our appetizers. Our mouths wide open in shock, we realized that the Divas were outed and our anonymity was forsaken. But let’s rewind…
Le Boucan was recommended to us by Bellatrix, and after asking our followers on Twitter and Facebook if we should go to Blackstrap BBQ, Fumoir Rubs or Le Boucan, well the consensus led us to making reservations at Le Boucan. We did not realize that the place was tiny; made up of a few red banquettes and bar stools. We were told there was only place at the bar and we did not mind. There is something to be said for sitting at the bar, you interact with the customers surrounding you, chit chat with the bartender and have a totally different experience than when you sit at a table.
Looking around we saw their menu written in an original way on the wall, a velvet curtain at the front door keeping the cold from getting in every time somebody opened the door, a large window overlooking Notre Dame street, and a fun bar-like atmosphere. They had their own homemade Worcestershire sauce waiting for us at the bar as well as their BBQ sauce. We were already impressed. We started with a mojito pitcher and later moved on to Pimm’s Lemonade.
We had a hard time choosing a cocktail due to their extensive menu, but the mojito was a good choice; it was not too strong and very delicious. They even have a bourbon mojito option! After we finished our pitcher, we ordered the Pimm’s lemonade which was refreshing and wonderful, a great accompaniment to spicy Southern food. I guess we were drinking a lot because the bartender later asked us if we were okay to drive home, and we had actually had a light night.
We wanted to try all the appetizers but we settled for the nachos, mac n’ cheese and we threw in the smoked tomato soup since it sounded wonderful. The smoked tomato soup was exquisite, the smokey taste came through and we were really surprised with how flavourful and chunky the soup was. We agreed that it would be lovely on pasta, and it was deliciously topped with some grated cheese and served with a piece of bread topped with melted cheddar cheese that we devoured in minutes. The Divas are not soup people, we don’t often start our meals with soup but we would not return to Le Boucan and not order this amazing smoked tomato soup.
Since Le Boucan is a sort of upscale rustic dive, we decided to order the nachos with smoked chicken. The nachos portion was massive and the generous portions of chicken were flambéed with bourbon. Finely chopped green onions, finely diced tomatoes and black olives topped this appetizer with a side of source cream and homemade smoked salsa. The salsa was amazing, refreshing, chunky and smokey, and it was not filled with canned tomatoes like the usual variety that comes with nachos. That being said, our only complaint about this dish was that there was not enough cheese on the nachos.
The manager/bartender, who was also our waiter, explained to us that he receives the Twitter updates for Le Boucan, so when the Divas checked in, he found the only two girls sitting alone. I suppose it did not help that we were taking pictures of everything. Remi was one good looking bartender, the stubble making him extra appealing. I suppose if we are going to be outed, it should at least be from a sexy bartender who promised to not distribute pictures of us on the internet.
Already full after the appetizers, we asked Remi for the perfect main meal. We had heard about their 5 napkin hamburger and were eager to try it but he recommended a plate with a little bit of everything so that we can try what Le Boucan is known for.
Our plate arrived with delicious pulled pork, a BBQ chicken leg and their famous pork ribs. We were not afraid to get our hands dirty and we were soon marveling over their amazing BBQ sauce. The pulled pork was very tender and not too saucy so you could really taste the pork. The ribs were our favourite part, tons of meat on the bone that simply fell off the bone. These were the best ribs that we’ve ever had, and we cannot wait to return and enjoy a plate of them. The chicken was also delicious and the skin was blackened. We were so full but we couldn’t stop eating. If this was not enough, all of this meat was heaped on top of their delicious fries and served with a side of coleslaw. The coleslaw was vinegary and thankfully not drowned in creamy dressing; it was light and perfect with the heavy meat. In the end, we were so full we were just eating the skin off of the chicken like five year olds because it was too delicious to waste.
At this point we were chatting it up with Remi who told us that it has been a few years since Le Boucan was on the show “The Opener” and they have been busy ever since. We can understand why Le Boucan is popular, the atmosphere is casual, the bar is fun, the music was old school and the sort you wanted to sing-along to and the service was great.
For dessert we were set on ordering the bacon brownie, well it is a brownie with bacon, how could you go wrong? Remi said that the buttermilk pie was so much better and he had not steered us wrong so far so we trusted him and ordered the pie. It was served warm with whipped cream and salted caramel sauce. The Divas love salty desserts! We did not know what to expect but we were not disappointed, it was a great dessert that was warm, sweet and salty, and the Divas were soon deciding that Le Boucan was one of our favourite all-American restaurants in Montreal.
We left satisfied and laughing that we were outed, we told ourselves that we would return for the 5 napkin burger and that elusive bacon brownie. We were also curious to try their other side dishes like their creamed corn and potato salad. Anyone going to Le Boucan would be crazy not to try the ribs and sit at the bar; you will be in for a good time with good company and some eye candy.
Our Rating: Always on Thursdays
Tagged: 1886 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, 5 Napkin Burger, Always on Thursdays, American, Bacon Brownie, Bar, Barbecue, BBQ, BBQ chicken, Buttermilk Pie, Cajun Shrimp, Cocktails, drinks, Griffintown, Grifinttown Restaurant, H3J 1M6, Le Boucan, Little Burgundy, Mac n' Cheese, Montreal, Montreal Restaurant, Nachos, Notre-Dame, Pork Ribs, Pulled Pork, Reservations Needed, Smoked Tomato Soup, Smokehouse, Southern, terrace, The Opener