When you think of cheap eats you think of a pizza parlour, maybe a simple burger joint but they don’t usually make for a fun night out. L’Gros Luxe opened on Saint André in the Plateau and a few months later everyone was gushing how they had revolutionized the concept of gourmet cheap eats. We were intrigued, and when Diva #1, Bellatrix and Whitey wanted a night out, we decided to head over. Unfortunately they don’t take reservations, so when we arrived we were told that there would be a 45 minute wait. It was one of the few times that we weren’t ravenous so we went across the street to the nice little park to wait for our seats.
Thankfully the host takes your cell number to call you when your table frees up so you can roam around the Plateau and not stay huddled outside the restaurant. In true Montreal fashion, we eyed the dépanneur next door to L’Gros Luxe and decided to buy some white wine to enjoy in the park. Sadly this is illegal, but we had a lovely time like three southern belles enjoying the sun and awaiting a picnic. Bellatrix was mortified because she had never drank in a park, while Whitey and Diva #1 reminisced about their own escapades that involved drinking in parks and other public places in their youth…or as late as the week before.
L’Gros Luxe is known for their fabulous Bloody Caesars and if you read our blog, you know that Diva #1 absolutely adores Bloody Caesars. Bellatrix ordered Le Foreman Caesar which came with a beef or vegetarian mini burger depending on your preference. Not to be outdone, Diva #1 ordered the L’Gros Caesar which came with grilled cheese, deep fried pickle, a beef or vegetarian mini burger, a spring roll and onions rings. What a cocktail, it was more of an appetizer, very filling and dramatic. Next time when ordering this cocktail/appetizer, Diva #1 would order less food.
Whitey opted for the Mojito berrito with field berries, it wasn’t a very strong drink but it was extremely refreshing and delicious. Diva #1 ordered it in round 2 of cocktails and found it perfection for a hot summer day. And in today’s restaurant world paying 8$ for a mojito is a rarity indeed. We have no idea how L’Gros Luxe is so economical; restaurants in the Plateau are usually synonymous with overpriced menu items.
We started with the three mini burgers with pulled pork and chipotle coleslaw in a pretzel bun. They were delicious, there was plenty of meat and the pulled pork was well seasoned. As if our waitress could read Diva #1’s thoughts she arrived with some hot sauce for those who wanted to add a kick to their dishes. The pretzel bun was fresh and the mini burgers bursting with meat were devoured in mere minutes.
Whitey wanted to get the grilled feta but Diva #1 was more than apprehensive. As a Greek she couldn’t imagine being impressed by L’Gros Luxe’s grilled feta with cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. A very Mediterranean dish, L’Gros Luxe is not that type of restaurant but she succumbed to Whitey’s wishes and we ordered it. Impressed, the feta was slightly melted and perfectly warmed up with drizzles of balsamic vinegar on the cheese. A generous amount of de-pitted Kalamata olives and cherry tomatoes with olive oil surrounded the cheese and big pieces of crostini rested on top of the mini salad-like-chutney. This Greek girl was impressed!
Diva #1 fell in love with tater tots at L’Gros Luxe. Sweet Pea had told her to order the Poutine L’Gros Luxe which replaced French fries with tater tots and added plenty of green onions. Whitey, on the other hand, was less than impressed. As a white girl, she had grown up on tater tots and did not find them particularly phenomenal. As ethnic children growing up in the 90s we were deprived. Kids like Bellatrix, Diva #1 and Sweet Pea were never allowed to eat tater tots, Chef Boyardee, pop tarts, etc. Tater tots were a dream come true, crispy on the outside with tender potato on the inside. Diva #1 doesn’t even like poutine but she slathered her poutine in hot sauce and dug in. There was not a lot of gravy or cheese, but you can opt to add extra cheese or throw in some pulled pork for a 2$ charge. Diva #1 likes a minimal amount of gravy so she thought that the poutine was perfection but Bellatrix would have preferred more toppings on her taters.
We love nachos, it is one of our favourite snack foods and we used to make them once a week at lunchtime in the office. We ordered the small order of nachos with black beans, green onions, a mix of cheeses, sour cream and salsa. Again you can choose to add more cheese, guacamole or pulled pork for 2$ surcharges but we chose to keep it simple. The nachos could have used more cheese but they were good, nothing to write home about but fun. L’Gros Luxe has better dishes than the nachos but it was a fun appetizer nonetheless. Even the salsa was very fresh and they gave you a lot of sour cream.
Diva #1 loves a good grilled cheese sandwich, she is known for making fun grilled cheeses with a fig compote, caramelized onions, varied cheeses, prosciutto, etc. Anything to get that perfect sweet and salty balance! She opted for the classic, which was composed of an aged cheddar, orange cheddar, smoked Gouda and cheese curds. Surprisingly, you really tasted the aged cheddar and smoked Gouda, definitely a gourmet grilled cheese. The melted cheese was oozing out of the grilled sourdough bread which wasn’t too greasy and Diva#1 was hooked!
Whitey and her love of everything with pulled pork chose the grilled cheese with pulled pork. Not as cheesy, this grilled cheese was composed of house cheeses and a generous amount of pulled pork. L’Gros Luxe even allows you to double your grilled cheese by adding another for an additional 4$. You also had the choice of fries or salad with your grilled cheese but for an additional cost you could upgrade to a poutine, onion rings or tomato soup if you wanted. Whitey opted for the poutine and Diva #1 tried to upgrade to tater tots but alas they couldn’t do it for her…she really liked those tater tots!
At this point we were full and instantly regretting ordering tacos with our dinner. The pulled pork taco (note the theme) arrived; open on a plate, with marinated red onions, their chipotle coleslaw, coriander and lime. Covered in a tangy sour cream based sauce, the tacos were delicious, and for an additional 2$ you could add another taco since there were two to an order and we were three people. Sweet Pea had told us to order the fish tacos, but we didn’t get a chance to try them!We will be back so this isn’t a problem 🙂
We never got to try the avocado fries either but we felt better about it after we tried the vegetarian tacos that was stuffed with fried avocado, a purée of sweet potatoes, more chipotle coleslaw, coriander and lime. The sweet potato purée was delightful but there should have been more than one slice of fried avocado to stuff the taco because there was just too much coleslaw that it overpowered the avocado. Once again a tangy sour cream was drizzled over the taco but they had put too much sauce so it was a bit too creamy and overpowering. Hot sauce was slathered on to counteract the creamy sauce! Delish!
We wish we had space left to order the banana and Nutella hot pocket, but we were already at the stage where we were unbuttoning our pants and grunting. But the pièce de resistance is when we saw our more than reasonably priced bill, well we were quite pleased! L’Gros Luxe is the perfect place for fun gourmet cheap eats, and a second location just opened up in the Mile End, this popular little restaurant has Montreal buzzing. We wish they took reservations but if you show up when you aren’t ravenous, enjoy a drink in the park; you don’t even notice the time fly by. Perfect for a 5 à 7 or girls night, L’Gros Luxe has made it onto our short list of quick places when you just want a drink and a bite, nothing fancy, but always tasty!
Our Rating: Splendid
Tagged: 3807 Saint André, 5 à 7, Bar, Bloody Caesar, Cheap Eats, Cocktails, Fried Avocado, Grilled Cheese, H2L 3V9, Hot Pocket, L'Gros Luxe Mile End, L'Gros Luxe Plateau, L’Gros Luxe, L’Gros Luxe Caesar, L’Gros Luxe Montreal, L’Gros Luxe Saint André, Mile End, Mile End Restaurant, Montreal, Montreal Food, Montreal Restaurant, Nachos, No Reservations, Nutella Hot Pocket, Plateau, Plateau Restaurant, Poutine, Poutine Grilled Cheese, Pulled Pork, Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese, Pulled Pork Taco, Taco, Tater-Tots