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JoBlo

10 Mar

I don’t know about every restaurant in the city. I know that statement shouldn’t be a surprise but sometimes people get the impression that I know every possible restaurant in Montreal. And yes, while I do know my fair share, even I can get surprised by a place I’ve never heard of before. This is one of those moments. For the event of the birthday of a friend of my girlfriend’s, I was invited for dinner to a place on Wellington in Verdun that I had driven by numerous times before but never noticed… JoBlo.





Such a unique vibe to this place. Strong burlesque 1920s-1930s speakeasy feel to the room but with a twist. Nat King Cole playing in the background. Big leather seats, old portraits and posters framed up but then you add the machine gun lamps, the staff all dressed in French mime attire (without the makeup) and a huge wooden horse right by the entrance. It’s weird, it’s strange but it worked for me. When the restaurant’s private group room is called the Betty Boo room and has huge pop art Betty Boo on the walls, you know this place had a unique style.











Drink wise, I enjoyed the scope of their cocktail menu. I got to try their gin fizz and the mojito. The gin fizz was a little too lemony for me. The foamy texture was perfect though. The mojito was solid – exactly what I would have expected from a proper mojito.





JoBlo calls itself a steakhouse and while yes they do have steak on the menu, the food is much more comfort food oriented. The menu is much more centered around burgers, mac n’ cheese and Sloppy Joes. As a starter, my girlfriend and I shared le “Squiggly Diddly” – home made fried calamari with tomato sauce. Portion wise very generous and pretty tasty to boot. The calamari had a nice crisp to them while still being the right level of tenderness. Tomato sauce was okay but truthfully not memorable.



As a main course, my girlfriend went with the “Sloppy JoBlo” – their version of the Sloppy Joe with home fries. Served on a toasted pun, it was absolutely uneatable as an actual burger which I suppose is what a sloppy joe should be – sloppy and saucy. The meat filling was pretty good – strong tomato sauce flavour with some tang. A very generous portion of fries to go with it – the style of fries which one would get at a true pataterie which I love so that worked for me.



On my end, I went with the “Gros Porc” because I am a glutton and couldn’t help it…. mac n’cheese, onions and bacon on a pork patty. Yeah that’s right… mac n’ cheese in the burger. Completely ridiculous I know and almost impossible to eat as a burger but I still succeeded in grabbing it as a burger. Loved the pork, the smokiness and crispness of the bacon, the sweet onions but let’s be honest… this thing is all about the mac n’cheese. Loved the creaminess of the macaron but felt like it lacked some sharpness. A different cheese blend would have probably helped to create a more distinct flavour. The noodles were also a bit too big for use in a burger but that’s really nitpicking. Another large portion of fries was provided as well. I liked this burger but didn’t love it like I had hoped.



JoBlo was an interesting experience given I had absolutely no expectations going in. Loved the portion sizes and the general ideas behind the menu. I had a few small issues over the course of the night such that while I enjoyed the food, I didn’t love it completely. Definitely worth another look… if only for the great look and vibe of the joint.

Cheers!

JoBlo Steakhouse
3807 Wellington
514 508 9178

JoBlo on Urbanspoon

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Blackstrap BBQ

7 Oct

I am a big fan of BBQ. Pretty much everyone who knows me will agree with that. Southern style BBQ is not something we are known for here in Montreal but that is starting to evolve. We have recently been spoiled with the additions of Dinette Triple Crown and Diablos BBQ to the local scene. There is now a new contender for the crown which, given they won the Quebec BBQ competition this past summer, may be a mute point.

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Blackstrap BBQ just opened this past week in Verdun amongst much fanfare in the local food scene. Started up by the former owners of Grifintown Cafe, they are focused on Memphis style BBQ and based on all the pictures and quick reviews I was seeing online, I knew I couldn’t wait long before going to try it out and my god was it worth it….

I went for a fairly ridiculous amount of food mostly because there was so much I wanted to try and couldn’t decide. First off, I went for a pulled pork sandwich, some brisket and the most tempted side they had, fried Mac ‘n cheese balls. Yeah…. you read that right. Fried Mac ‘n cheese balls. There was nothing on this plate that wasn’t amazing. The pulled pork and brisket had great natural smoky flavor and that was before you added your choice of sweet or spicy BBQ sauce. The fried balls were outstanding. Soft and melty interior with a great crispy exterior. I could a bunch of those as a meal.

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I would have been satisfied with that alone but the special item written on the wall got my attention : burnt ends poutine. Oh baby…. that poutine. Words do not properly describe how great this was. The burnt ends on their own were perfect but you add to that a very good poutine especially the gravy which clearly wasn’t an afterthought and you have a amazing dish which made the experience that much better.

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Verdun may be a little out of the way for some of you but I cannot recommend you check this place out more. As soon as I left, I waited to come back the next day. A sign of the quality and the word of mouth for this restaurant: they ran out of all their meats about an hour after we arrived…. almost 2 hours before their closing time. This was a great experience and one you shouldn’t miss out on.

Cheers!

Blackstrap BBQ
4436 Wellington
514 507 6772

Blackstrap BBQ on Urbanspoon

 

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