Montreal’s Patati Patata
By: By MICHELE KAYAL For The Associated Press
MONTREAL (AP) — Stumble through the brightly beckoning door of Patati Patata on a chilly, rain-soaked day and it’s like finding a warm, secret club.
Painted like a Mondrian on the outside, with dancing squares of red and blue, this sliver of a joint is part fern bar, part diner, atwinkle in Christmas lights and perpetually packed by young Montrealers in jeans and carelessly wrapped ethnic print scarves.
With just two tables and one short counter, Patati Patata has the feel of a teeny-tiny railroad car, and it’s almost always standing room only. But no one seems to mind.
At the end of your wait, there are juicy hamburgers, excellent sausage in various costumes, inventive omelet sandwiches, and, most important, a hallowed version of Montreal’s most revered indulgence: poutines (fries smothered in cheese and gravy).
Oh yeah, and you can eat yourself senseless for less than $10 per person.
The Special Luc — a spicy omelet sandwich topped with a creamy secret sauce and devised by Luc (the tall, cheerful guy cooking it) — is perfect comfort food, hot, filling, soft and delectable.
The Demontignac is billed as “a hot dog,” but it’s more like a Chicago half-smoke, a smoky, salty sausage topped with shredded carrots and slathered in a tarragon-tinted sauce. Served on a crunchy mini-baguette, it’s irresistible.
Wash it all down with a half pitcher of the city’s crisp and bitter St. Amboise on tap and you can practically call yourself a local.
(Patati Patata, 4177 St. Laurent (at Rachel), Montreal, Quebec. Tel. (514) 844-0216, cash only)
Published in The Messenger 1.1.08