Grumman ’78 HQ is buried deep in St-Henri, but worth the trek
Photos by Tracey Lindeman
If you think it’s getting a little chilly to hunt down the unmistakable lime-green Grumman ‘78 taco truck these days, fear not. Now, from Wednesday through Friday, starting at 6 p.m., you can head down to the Grumman ‘78’s HQ and enjoy a sit-down meal of some of their classics.
What used to be reserved for private parties and functions is now temporarily a dining room, with several spacious, homemade wood pallet tables and a very warm and festive atmosphere. Located in St-Henri, on de Courcelle, just north of Notre-Dame, the huge garage-like space the HQ occupies also has a parking lot right in front for convenient access.
The menu is made up of individual starters and sharing dishes, many of which are familiar items from both the truck and the former Faubourg food counter.
We started with an order of meatball chilaquiles for two ($14), made up of homemade tortilla chips, four golf ball-sized pork meatballs, salsa, fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese. The tortilla chips were totally addictive, and an order of these alone would make me happy, but the addition of the plump meatballs filled with bits of Parmesan and ricotta cheese really took it over the top, in the best of ways.
The mains are meant to be shared, and we couldn’t resist an order of the fried chicken ($17), along with some tacos — the turkey dinner ($24) and the steak au poivre ($32). The fried chicken is some of the best I’ve had, and I can’t recommend this dish enough. The four brined, sous-vided, battered and deep-fried drumsticks were heavenly — both crispy and juicy, with the chicken, lightly drizzled in honey and falling off the bone. The plate came with a side of jalapeño mac ‘n’ cheese, biscuits and gravy.
The tacos, also served on big plates, had all the ingredients splayed out so that you could make your own, with the tortillas kept warm in BBQ chicken takeaway bags on the side. The turkey was a mushy pile of pulled meat mixed with gravy, and although probably not the most appetizing to look at, the flavour was all there. Sides included a stuffing with charred bits of bread, cranberry sauce and beets.
The steak tacos were more my style, with sliced sirloin covered in a peppery crust, a hot jalapeño and herb-based salsa verde, sautéed kale and mushrooms in a pepper sauce. The steak was great, and although I lucked out on a couple of fatty pieces, the meat was spot-on medium rare and made for a solid taco feast.
If you were a fan of Grumman’s taco truck or their food counter, I highly suggest amping up you dining experience and checking out the HQ. And if you’ve never tried Grumman ‘78, you should definitely go now, because as soon as the holiday season kicks into high gear, the Grumman public restaurant, according to co-owner Gaëlle Cerf, might not be able to open three nights a week due to private events. Get there while you still can! ■
For more fall dining options, see our restaurant round-up.