When’s the last time you heard fast food described as divine?
That was the first word uttered by the diner at the next table as he inhaled deeply before biting into The Shish, a fresh wrap filled to bursting with cinnamon-scented marinated chicken, onions, green peppers, and Algerian sauce. We quickly order the same — in the process, getting a quick crash course in Centrale Bergham’s dozen sauces, all Belgian-made (and Belgians know their sauces). When you order a sandwich here, you individualize it by selecting the toppings and sauce that go inside. Algerian sauce, it turns out, is inspired by a popular Algerian street food known as mhadjeb and includes spicy mayo and onions. Other sauces on the Centrale Bergham menu are also named after the areas that influenced their flavours — the Andalusian, the Moroccan, the Tunisian, for example. Then there’s the chili-Thai, the peppercorn, the garlic. It could take a while to sample all the possibilities.
Centrale Bergham is a fast-food chain with roots in Montreal, where it boasts 10 restaurants. The location at Bank and Heron is the chain’s first foray outside la belle province. A second resto recently opened in Vanier. This is fast food with a twist. All is halal, and there is a definite Middle Eastern feel to the flavours. And while the look of the restaurant says fast food, the menu takes it up a notch — reminiscent of the meal you might expect from your favourite specialty food truck.
The Majestic sandwich is a popular choice, the fresh bun piled high with sliced marinated beef, onions, and peppers and drenched with peppercorn sauce. We also spot a number of hearty eaters going for The Supreme, a sandwich that combines marinated chicken with merguez sausage. This being a Montreal chain, poutine is on the menu. It’s not the greatest we’ve ever had — hand-cut fries are a must in our humble opinion — but they know how to layer the gravy and curd.
Sandwiches $7.99–$10.99. (A couple of dollars extra gets you fries or a salad and a fountain drink.) Bank Street’s locale is open Monday to Thursday and Saturday 11 a.m. to midnight, Friday 2 p.m. to midnight, and Sunday noon to midnight. Donald St. location: Sunday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday 2 p.m. to midnight, and Saturday 11 a.m. to midnight.
1611 Bank St., 613-695-8844;
1255 Donald St., 613-422-8844