The NDP Convention was over, the set had been struck and delegates were leaving Montreal happy and motivated. My train wasn’t leaving for another couple of hours, and fellow delegate Tania had to wait for her plane.
We decided to look for a place to celebrate a successful Convention, and started wandering the streets of Montreal, ending on Ste-Catherine, heading west. A new sign on University street intrigued me: Bofinger. But more importantly, there was an umbrella featuring St-Ambroise’s Blonde.
We found our spot.
Turns out, it was an American BBQ joint. I wasn’t about to turn around!
I remembered hearing about a BBQ spot called Bofinger that had opened a couple of years ago in NDG. Turns out, this is the same guys!
Bofinger Barbecue Smokehouse first opened in the NDG neighborhood of Montreal in 2007. The place was immediately successful, and there are now 3 other locations: on du Parc, in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, and of course, downtown.
Bofinger claims they are bringing authentic Southern Style BBQ to Montrealers. We’ll see, I thought!
We walked in, thinking that the diminutive patio was just not good enough, and besides, it was a tad chilly, if nice. Inside, it was spacious. This location was obviously an old Irish Pub, renovated somewhat. But Irish traces were still around, including a glass ceiling featuring a Celtic knots by the side bar. Dark woods and booths were also more reminiscent of an Irish Pub, but there were a few accessories here and there to give you more of a Southern American atmosphere.
At the back of the restaurant, the open kitchen and the order counter. In front of the counter, a wide open space – perhaps to accommodate crazy line-ups? But today, the place wasn’t really busy, the side bar was empty and that’s where we decided to settle, in order to keep an eye on The Masters. We were soon informed by the staff that the establishment didn’t have a complete liquor license, meaning that we had to order food in order to get booze. Fine by me!
We decided to share something, and I let Tania decide. Bofinger’s menu is what you should expect in a place like this: Ribs, Chicken, Pulled Pork, Wings. They also offer typical sandwiches (Burgers, Poboy, Brisket) and some less typical (Philly Cheese Steak, Portobello, Riblet).
Tania’s eye caught something fun, though. A Pulled Pork Poutine! Combining Montreal and the South, what else could you ask for? She ordered it, along with a pitcher of beer – offered for $10 in the afternoon – and I started to sip our beer while waiting for Tania to bring the poutine. It didn’t take long:
The poutine was served in a metal bowl, inserted in a basket covered with a classic red-checkered papercover. When they built the poutine, they alternated fries and cheese to give a more even distribution. They then topped it off with a flavourful gravy, peppery and savoury. The fries were crispy, golden brown, with some sweetness to the taste. “The fries hold just the right level of crispness,” commented Tania.
The cheese curds, however, were disappointing – not fresh, no “squeak-squeak”. However, the gravy was hot enough to melt it a bit, so at least it wasn’t too unpleasant.
The pulled pork was pretty good, moist – no doubt the gravy helped here, a hint of heat in the spices, a hint of smoke. Not bad as part of this dish.
I will have to come again to try the real stuff.