990 Boulvarde de Maisonneuve | Montreal
Metro - Peel
I planned to eat lunch at Le Petit Extra today but when I arrived at the bistro I learned thatit was closed for lunch on Saturdays. I guess I will try it for dinner tonight. Instead I headed for Ben's, which is another place recommended in the guide books
Ben's is not what I would call a atmospheric place. It's the type of place that time forgot. Maybe it does scream with atmosphere if you take a look around. The peeling walls are covered in yellow formica with green trim around the edges. The floors are terazzo with green and yellow triangle pattern. Table are formica with multi-colored green, yellow and orange chairs. The waiters are "old world", truely "OLD world" dressed in black and white with aprons that are about as well worn as the restaurant.
OK, enough about the interior, I am here to eat smoked meat. Ben's has been around since 1908 and is a smoked meat institution in Montreal. I don't really know the history of smoked meats, but it seems to be popular here. From what I can recall, I remember reading that Ben's was the best.
Nothing here is really expensive and most of the food looks like cafeteria food, except for their special smoked meats. I ordered the special which was C$12.50 and included the "Big Ben Sandwich", dill pickle, fries, cole slaw and a coke. The Big Ben sandwich says it comes with "smoked meat" but doesn't saw what the meat is. I believe it is corned beef.
The sandwich is piles high with a good amount of corned beef and is served on rye. I am really shocked on how tender and light the meat is. It's really not smokey flavored but had a good meat flavor and a hint of pepper. The classic way to eat this is with yellow mustard which is at the table.
The fries and cole slaw were as about as bad as the service. The coke was in such a small glass that I inhaled it through my nose.
I guess Ben's is a good place for a fast sandwich with really tasty meats, but it left me unimpressed.
Total bill with tax - C$14.87
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