Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Getting a boost from Restaurant Boustan

I know I haven't updated in a while, but midterms have started, so restauranting won't be happening for a while. I did manage to visit Boustan before things got too hectic, so here is a fast post about fast food!

Boustan is a popular Lebanese fast food restaurant located on Crescent street, known to be a haven for students and hungry late-night party animals alike.

Accessibility - Grade: A
It's right in the heart of downtown Montreal, about a five minute walk away from Guy-Concordia metro, Guy exit.

Service - Grade: B
Since it is a fast food joint, you go in, you line up, you order and you pay. The owner is pretty friendly and likes to chat with the customers while they're waiting. Buuuuut...

Warning: If you're someone who is very picky about the quality or cleanliness of your food, then this place might not be for you. For one, I saw part of my meal being shoved in the microwave and heated before being served to me, and for another, they handle food and money interchangeably, without wearing gloves or washing their hands in between.

I personally haven't had any problems after eating here (but then again, I'm also okay after eating street food in China, soooo...), but I do have friends who have had problems the following day. You have been warned.

Food - Grade: B

Oookay. While I do enjoy Lebanese food (or whatever they pass off for Lebanese food here in Montreal), I haven't had enough of it to be able to judge what's good and what's not. But, again, I do know what my stomach likes, and my stomach apparently likes Boustan.

Chicken Shawarma Platter
 The chicken shawarma platter consists of juicy and tender slices of grilled chicken atop a bed of rice (or potatoes, or riced AND potatoes), with a side of coleslaw, hummus, pickled turnips and topped with garlic sauce.

I've had some shawarma plates that were pretty dry, but this wasn't one of them. The meat was tender and flavourful, the rice not too mushy or too hard and the potatoes were well-seasoned. The coleslaw was vinegary and refreshing, but a bit on the salty side, and the hummus was smooth and not too strong.

Beef Shawarma Platter
The beef platter is the same as the chicken platter, but with beef slices instead of chicken. Again, the beef wasn't too dry, and neither was it too oily. The pickled turnips were nice and crisp, and the sliced onions added a spicy zing to the whole thing. Of course, combined with the garlic sauce, it gave you a monster breath that could K.O anyone within a five meter radius.

Overall, I found Boustan pretty solid. I've had shawarmas that were dry to the point of being inedible, and I've had ones that literally dripped grease with every forkful. Boustan had just the right balance. And with some pretty decent sides, it made for a good meal. But I don't see (or taste, rather) that special something that seemed to make everyone super hyped about this place. Maybe I should go back and try their other stuff...

Price - $
It's fast food, so it's gotta be at least affordable. The two plates came up to roughly $20, so its around $10 for a hefty plate of food.

Final Grade: B
Again, it was solid and probably one of the better fast-food Lebanese restaurants, but it wasn't as mind-blowingly amazingly awesome as people are making it out to be. Still, if you're cramming and too lazy to cook or if you're drunk and starving, Boustan will fix you up in a jiffy!

Boustan on Urbanspoon
2020 Crescent st., Montreal
(514) 843-3576


  1. There was a time I tried almost every place that offered chicken or beef schwarma sandwiches in the downtown area including Amir, Boustan, Basha, Rimal, Chateau Kebab and lesser known hole in the walls. I honestly couldn't tell much of a difference between most places. The sandwich at Boustan was nothing special and was slightly more expensive than some Basha locations. I still think the original Basha location on St. Catherine and Mansfield is the best bet for it.

  2. @filmbeats

    Thanks for the comment, and the heads up! I'll be sure to check out Basha next time I'm cramming and in the mood for Lebanese food. :)

  3. I passed by here again recently, and realized that Mr. Boustan gives more of the pink pickled radishes than most other Lebanese joints. And he also doesn't charge extra to exchange rice for potatoes! <3<3<3