Fig.1. Basi's lunch door is located on Shamrock, facing the market
We foodies tend to complain a lot: not enough of this and not enough of that and why don’t we have food like this city or that city. Well we do, and often the great food we lament about not having slips right under our mouths.
It’s a while I’ve known about Basi’s new lunch and take out counter, but I hadn’t been since it opened about 5 months ago. Located on Shamrock, directly facing the Jean Talon Market, Basi’s new counter offers up pizzas and sandwiches for people on the move, as well as for those who just need to re-energize from a busy market day. On the lunch menu are classic pizzas such as pepperoni, bacon and seafood, to the more imaginative roasted tomato and figs. Same variety goes for the sandwiches: Smoked salmon, sausage, prosciutto, veal parm, and a Basi Burger.
Fig.2. Veal Parm
It was a blustery day with a chill in the air. Hunger struck like a free flowing autumn leaf slapping me in the forehead. Basi was in eyeshot. Walked through their lunch door, (the lunch entrance is different than the dining room entrance.) looked through their menu and opted for a veal parmigiano paninni, while my market companion chose the mortadella with rabiolo cheese.
Our paninnis emerged from the kitchen wrapped in aluminum foil. Clasping the packets in my hands revealed their hot and comforting nature. Given the cold outside, I didn’t know whether to eat them or shove them down my pants. I decided to forgo the pant stuffing as I wore my 501 tight fits that day and had consumed potato chips the night before, squishing the sandwiches was inevitable. Tasty, hot and packed with flavor, the sandwiches were perfect. While they might not be the best sandwiches in the world, they are the type of sandwiches that complement this city. Everything from the bread, to the meat, to the combinations of flavors’, to the way in which they are served, add to this city’s foodscape. They are just the type of sandwich you would eat in New York and say, “I wish we had sandwiches like this in Montreal.
So the next time your mouth is wasting precious chewing time complaining about how the food in Montreal just can’t compare with the food in (insert city here), shut up and eat something, you might just taste the next best thing.
Fig.3. The aluminum package to the left of the bag is how Basi's sandwiches come wrapped