Montreal is synonymous with many, many delicacies. Poutine, bagels, smoked meat - and, yes, the steamie.
Now, I know Montrealers are pretty divided in their opinion about where the best steamie truly is. It seems like a whole lot of us enjoy flocking to Decarie Hot Dogs to cure our cured meat cravings, though.
And I mean, don't get me wrong: Decarie Hot Dogs is an awesome place - an institution in its own right. But friends, if you're down to broaden your hot dog horizons a little bit, let me tell you about Chez Ma Tante (3180 Rue Fleury E).
Located in the Ahuntsic/Montreal North/St. Michel trifecta that locals know all too well, Chez Ma Tante is kind of hidden, and quite a ways away for most people. In my personal opinion, that's probably why Chez Ma Tante isn't more widely known: if it was in the Plateau, this place would be famous A.F. Still, though, the travel time? Doesn't even matter. It's a non-issue. The food more than makes up for it.
Okay, I know what some of you are thinking: a steamie is a steamie. It's got, like, five basic ingredients. It's steamed. It's great. But trust me when I tell you this, my friends: the steamies at Chez Ma Tante are. on. point.
Each bite is a juicy, fresh gateway to flavour heaven. The condiments are like little tangy flavour bursts. Even the bun is steamed to perfection, so that it cradles its delicious filling in a soft, warm cushion.
If you're wondering whether or not I'm aware of the fact that I sound a little crazy, don't worry. I'm fully aware. But trust me, once you try a Chez Ma Tante steamie, you'll be ranting about bread and cabbage, too. You might even shed a few tears. Don't worry. No one will judge you.
Chez Ma Tante has been open for decades (in fact, my parents remember eating there when they were younger, eons ago) and their menu has pretty much stayed the same. Hot dogs, fries, poutine - the latter of which I truly believe can easily rival any one of the city's top contenders. But this isn't about their poutine, friends. This is about their steamie. Their juicy, top notch steamie.
Seeing as I grew up in the area, I've probably been there about 100 times in my life. Okay, that might be a little bit of an exaggeration. Actually, never mind , it's a pretty accurate number if I'm being honest with myself.
I'm pretty sure that the first steamie I ever had in my life was from Chez Ma Tante. And, to be honest, it very possibly ruined me for all other steamies. Every time I try a hot dog from somewhere else... I don't know. It's a little underwhelming.
Still, I know we all have our favourite places. But the next time you're in the mood for one of Montreal's most famous dishes, get yourself down to Chez Ma Tante. You can thank me later.