Marché de la Villette MontrealPosted By Jennifer Ho May 30 2012 · 0 comments · Dining Out
Just across from the famous Olive & Gourmando, La Villette is sometimes overlooked as an equally delicious lunch spot. Going for a distinctly French look and feel, the restaurant has a rustic, comfortable interior equipped with big wooden tables and chairs, hanging charcuterie, vintage photographs, and a large counter where their sandwiches, salads, terrines, cheeses and pastries are proudly displayed. Heaving recently started a summer internship in the old port, my ongoing mission is to discover all of the hidden lunch spots in the area – La Villette was one that was recommended by several of my co-workers.
Checking it out for the first time, I scanned the blackboard menu and the soup special, that day was a beet soup. Opting for the soup and the merguez sandwich, both were served quickly and I was out of the door in no time. So far so good in regards to time spent waiting for take-out. Still had a good half hour left of my lunch break. Not bad at all! Once I got my sandwich open and in front of me, the sandwich was a thing of beauty. It just looked delicious, and it was. The sausage was still a little warm and the pickles stuffed inside gave it a nice tart, vinegary taste. The portions are generous and you literally have a sandwich the length of a baguette. Yum. As I chomped my way through, a co-worker asked how I liked it and what drink I got. Oh I liked it, but I didn’t get a drink! It was only then that I found out that along with the sandwich, a drink was to be included in the $9.95 sticker price. Neither the cashier nor the more authoritative looking man behind the counter thought to offer me a drink or let me know about the combo, which under normal circumstances can be somewhat excused – everyone is human and it’s of course possible that they forgot that time. So, I let this one slip.
On that note, I will mention one unpleasant aspect of my experience: one of the men behind the counter was very snooty, giving off this attitude that made it seem that he was above the customer. It didn’t rub me the right way and I was glad to be gone once I had my sandwich and soup in hand.
Despite this, I had to go back and try another sandwich. Yes, they’re that good. I ordered the rillette de canard sandwich this time and acted as I did the first time. Again, no drink was offered to accompany my sandwich and the same nonchalant, offhand sort of attitude was demonstrated by the same man that I had issues with last time. Just before paying, I asked him about the drink and he seemed surprised that I knew about the combo and immediately acquiesced, reluctantly pointing at the fridge behind him. Hmm…
The truth is that the sandwiches here are awesome. They’re made well, with fresh ingredients and perfect bread. It would be unfair to characterize the entire restaurant with my negative impression of that one man’s attitude and as you can probably tell, it was a big part of my experience here. It’s unfortunate because the products are of amazing quality and great French bistro food is served here and I’m not sure that this place will be fully redeemed in my eyes until I see some sort of change the next time I go back. If there is a next time.
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