Surprising that up until now there has not really been a pub option for vegans in Montreal. That void has been filled by the Plateau located Le Bowhead.
Pubs are places where people can gather to eat comfort food, have a drink or two and maybe take in a Habs, Impact or Alouettes game. Food, drink and sports are the staples of this type of drinking establishment. It will not be any different at Le Bowhead.
As for the drinks portion the veganism continues as I had a Bloody Caesar which was made with Walter’s Caesar Mix that uses a type of edible seaweed instead of clams for its flavour. On tap, they have beers like Unibroue.
The owners of the establishment want all types to come to Le Bowhead. It is not just for vegans, which is why they have developed comfort food versions of beloved pub food. It is not a place where veganism will be preached about, rather it is a place where those who eat meat and those who don’t can gather together. Actually you might not even notice you are at a vegan establishment as the only indication is the small notation at the bottom of the menu that all food is 100% plant based.
The menu is filled with food we all know and love. They have burgers, chicken burgers, waffle fries, hot dogs, popcorn chicken, Frito pie (which is basically a nacho platter with the nachos replaced by Fritos), chilli dogs, and poutine. There is even talk of deep fried mac ‘n cheese onion rings being added. Obviously the menu is more about being ethical than healthy. This is not the place to go if you are on a diet.
I sampled the Fritos pie which you can get with crumbled “beef”, waffle fries, popcorn chicken, and the Bowhead Burger. All were great! Plenty of flavour as they use the Beyond Meat pattie and the pretzel bun for the burger was super fresh. The waffle fries came out of the kitchen piping hot, are served with ketchup (but you can order other types of sauces like a curry one) and salted perfectly.
Located on St. Laurent right on the corner of des Pins, its location is great with it being in a vibrant neighborhood. It takes over the location of the closed Big in Japan. Owner group includes some very well known and filled with experience restaurant types like Sahar Cohen, Alexis Chalifoux (Globe, Le Richmond), Paul Sen, and chef Diem Tong.
Decorwise it is very much what you would expect. Not a huge space, but it certainly has a pub feel to it with all the wood accents. Flatscreen TVs are on the walls and stools are at the bar.
Interesting little fact is that the pub’s name comes from a type of whale which was on the endangered list, but due to efforts by conservationists numbers have grown.
Open at 3723 St-Laurent from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday to Thursday and 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday to Sunday.