5465 Sherbrooke St. West, N.D.G.
Open Sun.-Wed. from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Thurs. 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Fri. 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Licensed. Major credit cards. 489-7235
A cold night, a leaking tire valve and a quick run to a local restaurant for dinner. When the night yields misery, go for comfort food. In Montreal, that's barbecued chicken. Chalet Bar-B-Q has delivered on a one item menu for more than half a century. I knew that because one guy wandered in and looked at a banquette which could sit 8. "Hey, that's new," he said "when did you put that in." "Oh yeah," said the waitress, "we did that 50 years ago."
Not that she had been here that long but this is the kind of place where the waitresses and customers seem to be on familiar terms.
First the look of the placecomfort à la Laurentian cabin. Wood-paneled walls, leatherette banquettes, no tables. Ease yourself in and sit down.
Now for the food. There is no menu but for a few items listed on the paper placemat and a couple of chicken dinner specials. Here are your options: quarter or half a chicken, a hot chicken sandwich made with good ol' white bread and sweet canned peas ladled over large chunks of chicken meat, fried wings (and you don't get a choice of spicy, extra spicy, etc. These are just plain wings, cooked to order, crisp and juicy, the way the chicken god intended), chicken soup, great fries, a vinegary coleslaw. But back to the chicken. It is succulent with that great peppery brown sauce that Montreal chicken joints do so well. Some molasses-smoked hybrid muck came with the wings but even the waitress said she liked the standard sauce better.
What else? Coffee and desserts are tastier elsewherebetter to walk off the fries by strolling a couple of blocks north to Monkland or a few blocks west through Westmount. There are great dessert and coffee places in both directions. But you came here for chicken, and fries and sauce. And you ate well. If you spent $10 a person, you over-ordered. Reviewed by Barry Lazar