In this case, however, this was kind of a last minute decision. I was supposed to head to Montreal to visit a friend for the day, but those plans fell through at the last minute, after I'd bought my non-refundable bus ticket. So, with a spirit of last-minute adventure, Kari was able to book the day off at the last minute, we booked a cheap hotel, and off we went to Montreal!
Now, one of the main bases of any trip Kari and I take to Montreal is to try out a new resto. And then eat Schwartz's at some point.
This time, with the trip being kind of last minute, we hadn't really had the chance to save a lot of money and we were looking for something tasty on the cheap. Fortunately, both of us had heard good things about Ice House on Roy (right near Saint-Laurent - ironically-ish, just around the corner from Schwartz's!) so we decided we'd give it a go! I'd normally post a link to their Web site, but such a beastie doth not currently exist!
So, we arrived and were sat on the terrasse next to a couple of nice ladies and immediately got our forcefields up (oh well, sometimes shared seating leads to new friends, sometimes it leads to strangers ignoring each other; we got the latter).
Now, first thing to keep in mind is that this place is anti-fancy. It's low-key, you share tables with strangers, you use industrial paper towel as napkins, there are NO actual dishes (i.e. plates, bowls, etc.) and the kitchen is about the size of a walk-in closet... a very small walk-in closet... But, I've seen tiny kitchens, including my own, produce some amazing food and these guys wouldn't have a rep if there wasn't something to their food. Or their drink. There were repeated suggestions that partaking of the Bourbon Lemonade was a must... Naturally we ordered a round! More accurately, I ordered Bourbon Lemonade, Kari ordered Bourbon Iced Tea.
|A cup of bourbony goodness!|
Next came the food. Keeping up the vein of "anti-fancy", there were no menus, but rather a chalk board that listed all the items of the day and their cost. An added touch I thought was pretty cute was that the chalkboard paint was on a bunch of surfaces, so you to poke your head under an overhang to see what was for dessert...
|Quite the interactive menu...|
|That's a pretty tasty-looking taco!|
|Best. Crab. Cake. EVER! (despite it being called a 'beignet')|
Now, being crazy people, we decided to get MORE food and another round of lemonade after this first course of pigging out. I had the "Red Fish" Taco while Kari ordered the Popcorn Shrimp.
The taco was tasty (not sure what fish the "Red Fish" actually was) with black beans and chipotle adding a lot of flavour. The fish was also well cooked, if maybe a tiny bit overdone. There was also pineapple in the taco, but I could barely taste it. I suspect canned pineapple is the culprit... Either way, it was quite tasty and light. Too bad I already had two tacos and a beignet in my belly by then... Kinda getting full...
It didn't help that Kari had maybe 4 pieces of the Popcorn Shrimp before announcing her incapacity to eat another bite. So, being a human goat who prides himself on never letting food go to waste, I tried my best to finish them off. Well, they WERE super-tasty - an odd combination of sticky and crunchy and sweet and tangy, with just a tiny bit of peppery heat to bring it all together. I almost got through it all, but even the mightiest must fall. I could not get through the last 4 shrimp...
|The mound of crustaceans that did us both in...|
The rest of the night was spent walking off the meal, drinking a few beers (with some difficulty) and shuffling back to the hotel in a food-zombie-like state where we would pass out by 11:30 pm... WE ARE PARTY ANIMALS!!!!!!!!! But really, who doesn't enjoy a good food coma now and then?
So, if you're in the area and looking for cheap and tasty Tex-Mex/Soul Food, definitely check out Ice House. I'll be going back, because apparently they also have Buckets of Ribs or Fried Chicken...