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I Scream, You Scream - Le Bilboquet

Posted by Susan / June 23, 2007

I am not the sort of person who is encouraged by lineups.

When I see a queue snaking out the door of a local eatery, my first instinct is to walk right by. The phrase "hot spot" does not inspire longing in me. For years, I lived a literal spitting distance from the great Beauty's diner, and kept my saliva entirely to myself (that is, until a few days ago, when a slow morning at the corner joint prompted me to give it a try. My waffle was drool-inducing.)

So you might expect that I would be less than tolerant of Le Bilboquet, a Montreal ice cream institution that is famous for its waiting times and for the flight-of-swine likelihood of snagging a seat on the sidewalk terrasse.

20070623_Bilboquet2.jpgIn fact, I might never have tried a cone from Bilboquet if it hadn't been for a friend with discriminating tastes, who insisted that we go there one summer day after a walk on the mountain. And here's the thing: now I'm hooked.

The only thing that trumps my dislike of crowds is my sweet tooth. If you've got it bad for the sugar the way I do, you'll know what I'm talking about. Those who have seen a craving in action have likened me to a sailor under the siren's thrall, or more predictably, a really hard up junkie. Le Bilboquet is my pusher man. It's got what I need.

Namely, what I need is a Brouhaha (pictured above), a caramel-and-brownie pile of evil that gets straight to the point. And if you want to taste something akin to the fresh laboratory samplings that went into Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey, go for Bilboquet's King Kong, a banana ice cream strewn with delicious chocolate rubble.

Why, you might ask, wouldn't I simply go to the Provigo and buy myself some Ben & Jerry's? Because Le Bilboquet has the advantage of the homemade goodness that pre-packaged grocery store fare lacks, that's why. This artisan's shop makes their own ice cream. (I like to tell myself that this means it has less chemicals than packaged ice cream and is therefore sort of good for me. Just leave that one alone.) It also has the advantage of a sunny stroll to the ice cream parlour, an effort that is so charm-laden it's worth the journey on its own.

Now I'm sure this will prompt all kinds of criticism from people whose own, less lauded neighbourhood ice cream parlours offer up heavenly goodies. I'm with you - I like to be contrary too. But like it or not, if you've got a pal visiting from out of town and she wants the most famous breakfast in Montreal, you take her to Beauty's; if she wants the best ice cream, trust me: this is where you take her.

If heavy chocolately stuff isn't for you, well, you're insane. But Le Bilboquet still has plenty of lighter tasting, fruity ice creams and sorbets. And in case Outremont is a bit of a hike for you, there's no need to make the pilgrimage every time; they sell cartons for home consumption. I don't recommend this, though - it's just not worth the come-down.

Le Bilboquet
1311 Bernard O.
(514) 276-0414



Cat / June 24, 2007 at 06:16 pm
I think you are perfectly justified in assuming this ice cream is better for you. I believe (and someone, correct me if I'm wrong) that Bilboquet use fresh, local, and ideally organic ingredients whenever they possibly can (that includes the milk!). So, eating organically and locally means helping the environment, supporting local farmers and thus local economies, preserving our rural landscapes...I think it's clear we all have a DUTY to eat at Bilboquet. As much as possible.
mathamore / May 11, 2008 at 11:42 am
well remember this, you taste that ice cream because its nice, smooth,rich, tasty,etc .........first,then helping the environnement is something else.i dont like people who like to mix something pretty good in taste and the environments matters.......can we just talk about food in a foodblog?
mathamore / May 11, 2008 at 11:44 am
by the way susan , very nice text..
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