Some food trucks have refused to let winter get in the way of their new relationship with Montreal. While you can catch some trucks parked in and around the city, food truck owners Pascal Salzman, Jared Dunawa, and Ketan Patel of Le Cheese decided to put a different spin on their tasty wheels during the colder months.
Le Cheese has opened a pop-up restaurant at Cosmos in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. A pop-up restaurant is a temporary solution for food trucks where they get permission from restaurant owners to rent some space and serve up their dishes.
“[We] approached a few breakfast restaurants with the proposal to rent their space in the evenings and use their equipment and to cook our food,” explained Salzman.
Cosmos is open for breakfast during the day, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., after that, the space is ready for Le Cheese to do business.
The concept of a pop-up restaurant came from Montreal food truck, Grumman 78, who had their own pop up at Nouveau Palais. After its success, “we figured we’d give it a shot,” said Salzman. Even in the winter, party-goers are looking for a late night food option. That, along with the familiarity of the NDG area, helped Le Cheese move indoors.
“Having a pop-up restaurant gives us a chance to offer customers a sit down experience,” said operations/marketing manager, Benjamin Carter.
After the great response they received this past summer, the team wanted to keep that same momentum without having clients wait in the cold, explains Carter.
Dunawa and Salzman have been regulars at Cosmos, and couldn’t think of a better place to call home for the winter.
“We were extremely fortunate our favorite neighborhood spot agreed to our proposal almost immediately,” said Salzman.
Owning a food truck comes with its challenges, specifically a business whose main vein runs through the summer season. For Le Cheese, one of the challenges was keeping up the energy to allow for a smooth transition come winter.
To suit the season, some winter-inspired dishes have been added to the menu. Montrealers can warm up to a parmesan-infused tomato soup, or beef chili with cheese curds. However, it was important for the owners that the menu stay more or less the same as their summer one.
“We wanted to create as many parallels as possible between the food truck and our pop-up,” said Salzman. “So only a few modifications were necessary.”
Despite the cold weather and buckets of snow, Le Cheese is among the many who understand that the life of a food truck in Montreal means adapting to the seasons. If you get hungry for food truck eats, keep an eye out for Das Food Truck and Gargantua parked around the Loyola Campus.
The Le Cheese pop-up restaurant is open at Cosmos on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., located at 5843 Rue Sherbrooke W. Montreal.