Chez Claudette review
Casse-Croûte Connoisseur: Chez Claudette
Words— Ben Kriz
From time to time we venture out of the office and explore the many nearby eateries. We thought we’d share some of what we occasionally snack on in a feature we’re calling Casse-Croûte Connoisseur.
If you’re lucky enough be visiting Montreal people might have told you the best place to get authentic poutine in the city is called La Banquise. All of these people are wrong for reasons I won’t go into here. What I will say is that a place not too far from our office, by the name of Chez Claudette, is the absolute truth.
Like all the best casse-croutes (Quebecois for snack bar), there’s no real rhyme or reason to the decor, and at Chez Claudette it’s no different. You’ll find photos of local celebrities (including the 1993 Stanley Cup winning Canadiens team), but you’ll also find generic photos and movie posters from the 80s and 90s. There’s also a real photo depicting the Last Supper and the parody version featuring James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and the like. Classic. You’ll also find a small TV playing hockey games locked to RDS or TVA.
But let’s look at the food.
"The Fort Fort" and "The Tandoori" (left), Chez Claudette on a snowy evening
This is one hell of a spread. Look at it: crispy, cheesy goodness. First time visitors to Montreal or Quebec might be tempted to go with the classic gravy, cheese curds and fries poutine. It wouldn’t be a wrong choice. However, I am here to tell you that the “Italian" poutine is a far superior poutine. Oh you still have fries and cheese curds, but in place of gravy is a hearty tomato meat sauce. It really couldn’t be better. (If you’d like a little spice you can get the “Fort Fort” which is the same but with added hot peppers.)
Claudette’s offers more varieties of poutine than you’ll ever be able to eat like the “Pogo” (corn dogs on poutine), the “Tandoori" (tandoori chicken on poutine), the “Smoked Meat” (smoked deli beef on poutine) and a heap of others. You can also just get a plain old burger or steamed hot dog as well if you really want to get crazy.
And to drink? Water. Just kidding. A coke really balances things out. They also serve beer if that’s what you’re after.
All in all it cost just $9 which is a great price whether you’re treating yourself to a heavy Friday treat at lunch or you need a bit of food after the bar at 3 a.m. You're in Montreal, after all. Late nights are likely.
With more types of poutine than you could possibly try in a lifetime and an authentic atmosphere, I give Chez Claudette 4.5 cheese curds out of 5.