My work schedule is not one that provides opportunity to try out lunch spots during the week and certainly not ones downtown so when I get a chance, I really need to jump on them. Taking advantage of a recent Friday vacation day, I made my way to the old port for a long overdue visit to the Gros Jambon diner. This is a diner in appearance through and through – from the long narrow space, to the counter with open kitchen, to the retro 70s style decor and, given my arrival during the lunch rush, the full occupancy with a lineup at the door.
The diner’s claim to fame is its typical diner fare but with a twist. Burgers, grilled cheese, fries, poutine, Mac n’cheese, hot dogs, BLTs and sandwiches. All the classic. However, classics don’t include things like lobster, duck confit, coca-cola mayo, fried pickles. Those are the elements that make this diner unique. I went in prepared to order their coca-cola burger which I wanted to try during MTL Burger Week this past summer but didn’t get around to it. However, after talking withers waitress, I switched to the duck confit grilled cheese. Given my hatred of pickles (I know, I know… Just ignore that statement and let’s move on), she advised that I skip the burger since that was its main selling point. I appreciated the honesty and ended up really enjoying my choice.
There is really nothing that makes a grilled cheese as well as a flattop. Just a perfect crisp on the bread with the proper gooey cheese center enhanced by the duck confit. Add to that very nice crispy fries with some coleslaw and you get a delicious, rich and decadent lunch. Exactly what you want and except from a diner style establishment.
Added to that dish, I ordered a warm apple and cranberry cider and a apple bourbon doughnut. The cider was quite good – a nice balance between the apple and cranberry. The doughnut was a bit of a disappointment – much more bourbon than bacon. It felt like the bacon was just there to say there was bacon. It didn’t feel essential to the flavor profile of the doughnut.
All in all, Le Gros Jambon was a good experience and certainly a place I want to go back to to try other items on the menu. If you are in the old port and looking for a quick but delicious lunch, you should certainly consider giving this diner a shot. I simply wished I worked a little closer so I could give it more consideration more regularly.
Le Gros Jambon
286 Notre-Dame Ouest
514 508 3872