Disclaimer: This meal was comped.
Our city has yet to fully latch onto the "fast casual" current that other areas in North America have embraced in recent years. Yes, we have Mandy's, Uniburger and M4 Burritos; but Toronto has the edge in this space with Fancy Franks, Banh Mi Boys, Burger's Priest, etc. One such concept – MLT DWN – has recently crossed the border from Ontario to Quebec, landing a spot on the Plateau's busy stretch of Mont-Royal Avenue.
The six-month-old eatery boasts a contemporary interior featuring exposed brick walls, various seating arrangements and box cheese graters acting as chandeliers; smart! The meager Thursday night crowd slowly trickled out, leaving the place – and owners' attention – all to ourselves by 8:30PM.
tagged: WHERE IS EVERYBODY?
Grilled cheese sandwiches in all shape and form are the name of the game here. Founding brothers Aly and Rahim Moloo propose a gourmet twist on the classic comfort food staple with an eye for quality and – almost – everything being made in-house. A variety of sammiches are offered along with sides, sodas, beer, wine and a couple simple cocktails.
Real Kraft Dinner stuffed inside a surprisingly even crust along with a couple types of cheddar, resulting in an extra melty, cheesy version of every teenager's dream.
The carb party continues in the form of a sandwiched spinach lasagna made with a zesty tomato/basil sauce and provolone; our favorite rendition of the night.
Moving on to a Quebec mashup starring poutine thinly packed into that same white toast. We enjoyed the beef gravy on the side, which you can use as a dip or pour all over your grilled cheese.
When's the last time you've seen these babies served at a restaurant? Kudos to the MLT DWN folk for putting forth these amusing, crinkle-cut potato crisps.
Once we regained our senses following the smorgasbord of cheese, bread, pasta and potatoes ingested, we started contemplating why this fun, fresh and tasty concept wasn't gaining more traction here. Perhaps (hip)pie Plateau is confused by the digital menu boards and fast casual model, landing MLT DWN in a state of limbo somewhere between a fast food joint and a full-service restaurant.
Or maybe it's too early in the game, and the enthusiastic, hardworking Moloo brothers have yet to unveil all their cards (don't look at us; we were sworn to secrecy). So drop in and you be the judge; is this comfort food pusher too cheesy or off the heasy?
Price per person: $11.88
Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys who like to eat and drink. We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.