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Abu Elias: Grilled (Halal) Meat Sandwiches

Posted by Kim / January 23, 2008

20080123_elias1.jpgGood news, carnivores! You don’t need to travel all the way to the West Island to get a juicy, charcoal-grilled Lebanese meat sandwich after all! Abu Elias, my latest gastronomic discovery, is right on Cote-Vertu in Ville St-Laurent. Surrounded by Lebanese bakeries, other sandwich spots and an upscale restaurant or two, Abu Elias stands out – the food prepared there is fresh, fantastic and cheap. Tastebuds and wallet, rejoice!

Unlike many Lebanese sandwich joints, these meats aren’t sitting on a skewer, rotating slowly all day long (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) As soon as you walk in, you’re greeted with a display case filled with raw meat kebabs, waiting to be grilled over the coals right in front of you. Sandwich prices range from $2.99 (the shish taouk or the filet mignon) to $4.99, with most items costing $3.99. That’s one cheap lunch! I ordered a filet mignon sandwich, along with a kafta one and a soujouk sandwich. The cook grills the meat, stuffs a pita with all the dressings and meat, then gives the pita roll itself a grill, giving the sandwich a crispy outside.

20080123_elias5.jpgThe filet mignon sandwich is everything a grilled meat sandwich should be. The meat is medium-rare, soft and tender, and still full of juices, tasting of charcoal and marinade (all the meats are marinated there, before being grilled). Stuffed into the sandwich is a garlicky tahini, a strong punch of parsley, and a few strips of crunchy pickles. Simple and straightforward, the meat stands out and is nicely complimented by the other ingredients.
20080123_elias7.jpgNext up, the kafta. This was my least favourite of the three, but still good. Saltier and a different texture, this meat didn’t carry as much of the charcoal taste with it.

The soujouk sandwich (pictred on top) was startlingly different from the other two, and my favourite. Soujouk is a spicy red sausage, and the sandwich has tomatoes, grilled onions and a garlic sauce that puts the hummus from before to shame. The strong spiciness of the sausage and the tang of garlic is unforgettable.

Abu Elias isn’t just a small sandwich place. It’s also a butcher with a counter full of fresh meats, and a second counter stockpiled with Lebanese treats to take home: prepared falafel, bags of pitas coated with cheese and za’atar, meat and spinach pies, little pizzas, olives, and baklava, just to mention a few. However, I went for the sandwiches.
20080123_elias3.jpgThere isn’t really seating here, so be prepared to eat standing up, or get your sandwiches to go. I arrived a bit before twelve, and the place was pretty empty, but was slowly filling up with orders, so I would recommend calling in your orders for speedier service. Next up for me, the shish taouk, steak and lamb sandwiches!

Abu Elias
733 Cote-Vertu (Ville St-Laurent)



djou / January 23, 2008 at 06:35 pm
i've heard about this place before, but i have never been. since it's near my school, i think i'll swing by when the temperature goes up. was the filet mignon one anything like the one in laval?
kim / January 23, 2008 at 08:32 pm
Good question! They are very similar.
I prefer the other filet mignon sandwich - there are more fillings, so the total taste factor is bigger and fuller.
However, the meat itself is just as good, and the sandwich is a wonderful compromise when Laval is out of the question.
Pegz / November 25, 2008 at 10:47 am
I go to Abu Elias at least twice a month.
Am from Montreal and i come next door to Abu Elias restaurant to do my eyebrows.
I love that place too.
I always get their chicken shish taouk .... fantastic !!!!
fred / June 2, 2011 at 12:57 am
since 2 month i stoped to go there because i discover a new restaurant best than abu elias and the name of the restaurent poulet mankal since 1994 and he offer the real lebanese sandwish and beleive me its the best chicken that i ever eat u can see their video on youtube just write poulet mankal i reommend it
Dennis / September 22, 2012 at 02:56 pm
Every time I went to Abu Elias I saw im the only Chinese :) My ex-colleague recommend it to me. I almost tried everything, pretty good!
Laurice khamissi / April 6, 2013 at 01:53 pm
This message is for Fred ! 1st abu lias knows
My parents since lebanon .

2nd he is the best and best ever .

3rd you could not compare abulias to Andalos,
Adonis or farhat beside or crazy falafel or even
Farouj el Mankal .

4 rd Andalos & Adonis its nasty and expensive
They say it halal but its not !

Farah at the begging was good then i got sick
Twice & never went there, Crazy falafel it's just not well done

Farouj el mankal the (farouj el meshwi)
Its small and really skiny ,the chikeen dont have
Any taste at all .

So Abu Lias is the best of the best
In Ville St -Laurent
may replying to a comment from fred / March 14, 2014 at 07:40 am
best best sandwiches in town !!!
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