Boucherie et Grillades D’Orient: The Raw Meat Sandwich
When deciding whether a person should become your best friend, I think one of the qualifications should be “Do they know food I do not know so that they can introduce me to all of it?” This brings me to Part II of my Laval-Culinary-Adventures, where I was brought to a somewhat hard-to-find little spot in a strip mall simply called Boucherie et Grillades D’Orient. Fully stocked with Middle Eastern tastiness, I can’t actually vouch for any of the canned or dried goods that line the walls, nor can I say anything for the meats and cheeses they have on offer. Nope, the only thing I was told to try there were two specific sandwiches. After eating both, I can guarantee I have the best friend (a.k.a. Co-Diner, a.k.a. Soli) ever.
The sandwich sampling began with habra nayeh, or tableh, a pounded beef tartare, rolled up in a pita with a creamy and potent garlic sauce, onions and the ingredient that completely makes the sandwich for me, mint. On my list of best-foods-eaten, this sandwich would be in the Top 5. It’s a beautiful roll, the beef tartare a vibrant red, the white garlic sauce penetrating the meat, the pita holding it perfectly together. And this is all before it even gets into your mouth!
The flavour of the tartare is light, its consistency soft and slightly cool. Really, this is how meat should taste – not oily, not fatty, not gamey, but fresh and delicate. The garlic sauce is a perfect compliment, adding a bit of bite to the meat and accentuating its subtleties. The creaminess of the sauce and meat combined is quite remarkable, and unlike anything I’ve ever eaten. The onions play well with the garlic, but my favourite element is the mint leaves, which bring an unexpected, but completely appreciated punch to the sandwich. It seems like a million things are going on in my mouth with each bite, which is a pleasure I rarely find with food.
While we were savouring the habra nayeh, the next sandwich was being prepared. Filet mignon sandwiches! This time, pita is rolled around chunks of marinated filet mignon that has been wonderfully prepared, with that perfect pink, rare meat in the middle. The end result is a filet that eats like ripe fruit; delicate and juicy with just enough texture to remind you of what you’re eating. Unlike the tableh, this sandwich is finished in a Panini grill and is perfectly laced with tomatoes, pickles, and “tarator," or a prepared sesame paste, the whole thing warm and dripping. While this is not as novel to me as the previous sandwich, it is in its own right almost equally delicious. The grilled meat is nicely spiced, and matches the warm tomatoes, but nothing in it overpowers that fine, tender filet mignon.
The word going around is that Boucherie et Grillades D’Orient is the only place in city that sells these raw meat pita rollups, so now that trip to Laval should become a priority. In a city so gastronomically diverse, you often get the chance to try something different, but that doesn’t automatically mean it’s going to be among the best taste-adventures. These sandwiches however, promise to be both.
Boucheries et Grillades D’Orient
1627 boulevard Curé-Labelle (Laval)