Since 1986 Restaurant Boustan has been serving up the exotic flavors of the Middle East and Mediterranean in Montreal. Before he became Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau was known to drop by the downtown Crescent Street location. So did his late father.
Boustan has been in a steady expansion mode in recent years, with 40 locations and counting. Ottawa and Toronto franchises have come on board. By the time 2022 draws to a close that number will grow to an astonishing 60. That will include Cornwall and New Brunswick.
As for Ottawa, the Rideau Street location is a short walk from Parliament Hill and unless he came incognito the franchisee is still anxiously waiting for the Prime Minister to come by. They will happily make a delivery to his family at Rideau Cottage.
Emad Saad is the CEO and President of the Boustan group. He originally came on board as a potential franchisee and by 2017 was at the helm. There were a mere four locations at that time, including the iconic downtown spot.
“My vision for Boustan is to create a major chain across Canada and the United States over the next 10 to 20 years,” Saad told me in an interview.
Boustan franchises are likely to surface as soon as 2023 in multiple other locations across Canada and the United States.
Boustan is known for its mouth-watering chicken pita, deliciously seasoned beef shawarma and kebabs and a wide array of vegetarian specials. I dropped by the NDG location on Sherbrooke Street West with a friend recently. Manager Ian Davis described the menu, which was nicely displayed.
I opted for the beef shawarma -marinated beef, served with rice, garlic potatoes, coleslaw, sauces, some pita on the side, a quenching Cott cherry cola and a cookie; my friend chose a shawarma mix of chicken and lamb in a pita with garlic potatoes and baklava.
Some of the other items you can enjoy include: a fattouch salad; hummus, chickpea purée served with pita; tabouleh, parsley and bulgur salad with diced tomatoes, onions, and citrus dressing; fried eggplant slices; egg omelet; Lebanese beef croquettes; falafel and vegetarian platters; a healthy plate of marinated chicken, served with your choice of salad; Lebanese club sandwich served with rice, potatoes, coleslaw and sauces; and more.
When Saad told me that they have added a new lentil and squash soup, I headed to Boustan on Queen Mary Road for lunch and sampled it. Wow, was it good!
Folks, I must confess that I had not been to a Boustan location before this and now it has been transformed into a “go-to” spot. The food is fantastic!
Last fall Boustan introduced a brand-new kids menu. Three options are available: Je Rest Saj (chicken, beef or falafel, Club Kafta or She-warman). All dishes are accompanied with fries, a juice, as well as an allergen-free cookie from Délicouki and, are priced at only $5.99. They come in a recyclable box, with a design representing some Lebanese cuisine food. Kids can colour following their meal.
Boustan Marketing Director Joseph Audi says to look for some appetizing new menu announcements in June. There is already a central kitchen and a goal of continually introducing more healthy options.
While you can sit and eat at all the locations, pickup and delivery have grown extremely strong during the pandemic. They also cater.
You can go to https://boustan.ca for all the information you need.