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“Noisy, Overpriced Tourist Trap”
Review of Joe Beef

Joe Beef
Ranked #100 of 5,711 Restaurants in Montreal
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $19 - $74
Cuisines: French, Canadian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Le Sud-Ouest (Southwest District)
Cross street: Charlevoix
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Noisy, Overpriced Tourist Trap”
Reviewed October 16, 2013

I made the mistake of making an advance reservation here.
Although we entered in a quiet room, we were seated in a crowded and very noisy room, and could not converse at all. The menu was written on a blackboard and so hard to read that we depended on the waitperson to tell us what it said, and she gave no information as to price. Only two fish dishes were offered.
My husband's unusual dish was acceptable, but he would not choose it again.
At the end of the meal the same aggressive waitperson brought a device on which we were to choose a tip percentage varying from 15 to 20%-which felt very manipulative.
The next night we had a much better meal elsewhere in Montreal.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
8 Thank UStraveler40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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770 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Quebec
Level Contributor
46 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Avoid at any cost”
Reviewed October 11, 2013

We looked forward to visiting this restaurant given its reputation, and when we finally had a chance - what a total disaster it was.
Food: total disappointment. The menu was promising (if you can actually read it scribbled on a big blackboard, no printed menu given, why bother). We ordered horse steaks. We were not asked how we wanted it done. It arrived "well done". Totally ruined. At the same time brussel sprouts were basically raw, I wasn't able to pierce them with my fork.
Prices: a steak of horse meat plus a sausage cost each of us 35 bucks. We buy meat from the same butcher as this shop. I can tell you that this steak is worth 8 bucks and the sausage another 2. So 25 bucks per plate goes to someone who overcooks the food. A bottle of wine for 50 bucks was so young it had no taste, worth maybe 8-10 bucks at SAQ.
Atmosphere: stressful, unwelcoming, with loud fast-paced music suited for a nightclub. Impossible to talk or relax.
Service: if you are a cute male you get good service. Others have to service themselves. My wine glass was snatched out of my hands the moment I finished my wine and carried away. Apparently one glass of wine per customer at this establishment is the maximum.
Overall impression: pretentious, overrated, overpriced, you can get a better deal for your money elsewhere.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
8 Thank Xroust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Joe Beef”
Reviewed October 7, 2013

After watching Anthony Bourdain so many times, how could we have not stopped at this restaurant? Out of everything we wanted to do in Montreal, this was on the very top of the list! It's such a unique restaurant and has a beautiful patio where they have fresh vegetables growing. It is a very laid back restaurant and definitely friendly waiters who were extremely kind and helping when helping us ordering foods. The menu was incredible, I can't remember how often they change their menu, but it changes based on what the chef feels like. We ordered a horse filet mignon that was phenomenal. We also ordered lobster pasta. We're from Texas, so that's the best lobster we've ever had. I believe we also had horse tartare, which was delicious. Our goal was to try horse meat and so we did! I love the french culture of Montreal, they genuinely enjoy their time with friends over a meal. Personally, I'd pay a little more money to try new foods, especially if I'm in a different country and was planning on going to this restaurant.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Vanessa Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
78 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“Imagine you're a bucket...”
Reviewed October 6, 2013

... and fill yourself. This is a place for the gourmand with gourmet pretensions. The food is fabulously rich, meaty, from snout to tail. I haven't had finer, but it's served with agricultural matter-of-factness rather than fussy perfectionism. Horse tartare was a treat (but I could still taste it two days later). Service efficient, friendly. Atmosphere you can keep. It's too loud for dining for my taste, but that's part of its anti-charm I guess. Oh, and 8 weeks or so for a reservation.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Boddice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California, Usa
Level Contributor
167 reviews
123 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“OMG! Too good. Too much.”
Reviewed October 4, 2013

Our trip to Montreal was focused on eating at Joe Beef. All the same reasons you are considering it. We were seated in the back patio area on a very cool evening but they immediately turned on the heaters and closed the clear vinyl drapes. Then our server, who is also a Master Sommelier, Patrick, began the SHOW. Long animated descriptions of everything on the menu. Very good concern for making sure all the food made sense. He brought three bottles of wine to choose from for every course and they were all different, interesting, and memorable.

We were a party of four who had enough food served to us to feed a family of 10. Bacon wrapped pork loin with pork sausages, spaghetti with lobster, cheval for the first time in my life, and duck breast were the main course items. Thrown in were frites cooked in duck fat and deep fried eel. There was a cheese plate that was very interesting. We shared a modern twist on a pumpkin pie.

It was great fun. It satisfied everything we were wanting on our trip to Joe Beef. Patrick made the evening very special. It will cost you but we expected that.

One of the most memorable culinary adventures in our lives. Right up there with Tour d'Argent, the Jules Verne, the French Laundry.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank GuyA473
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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