Tutto bene at Gentile – happy Monday

Ok, everyone. I discovered an incredible spot for lunch. Nestled in a basement of a duplex in the Ahuntsic neighborhood – amidst Montreal’s textile shops – is the mother of sandwich spots and short-order cookery: Gentile.

Gentile's menu

I was immediately charmed by the place’s tight entrance: a row of  “usuals” eagerly piled up at the cash, the pool table where a few guys were “playing it cool”, and busy waiters running around on a mission. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the fantastic and bustling makeshift terrace with tables set-up on the side and the front lawn of the duplex, not to mention on a few neighboring lawns too… (I love you, Montreal).

My lunch date and I sat at one of the corner tables inside to get the whole experience for my initiation, as I would have missed out on all the action if I had chosen to indulge in the sun outside. The waiter was swift and asked us what we felt like having almost immediately after we sat down. It’s the kind of place where they ask you if you’re taking something, and you know they know you should take it, so it’s really not a question as much as a strong suggestion, or at the very least an insider’s tip. “You guys want a sandwich? Yeah, the Classico – with crispy chicken, mayo and hot sauce. And you want a home made iced tea with that?” That’s exactly what we had, and added an arugula salad for some greens.

Gentile's Classico sandwich

I couldn’t take my eyes off the place – the walls are covered with vintage photo memorabilia and clothing company signs used as wall paper (regulars from the shops around cleverly hustle to get some of their posters on the walls).

As I was leaving, I lingered on the interminable menu and decided that I would have to come back for the “Tunesian” – an egg sandwich with olives and hot sauce.

Gentile, 9299 Avenue du Parc (corner Chabanel), H2N 2A2, 514.383.9299

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Categories: Out and about

Author:aalavoie

Aspiring food writer, serious traveler, media enthusiast and communications specialist from Montréal, Canada. www.facebook.com/LavoiealaBouche Follow me on twitter @aalavoie

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