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Casse-Croûte Sissi & Paul: Staple Haitian address
Casse-croûte Sissi & Paul
2517 Rue Jean-Talon Est Montréal H2A 1T6
Tuesday: 11:30 AM – 7:00 PM
Wednesday: 11:30 AM – 7:00 PM
Thursday: 11:30 AM – 7:00 PM
Friday: 11:30 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday: 11:30 AM – 7:00 PM
Sunday: 11:30 AM – 7:00 PM
- Owner(s) Sissi, Pauldy Victor
- Chef(s) Pauldy Victor
- Opened 2015-05-01
- Accepts mastercard, visa, cash, debit
- 15 Seats
The Casse-croûte Sissi & Paul opened on May 1st, 2015 on Jean-Talon street, right next to Iberville station. Although the restaurant is only about to celebrate its sixth birthday, it has enjoyed immense popularity among Montrealers for years, and can already be described as an institution in the making.
Sissi and Paul are the nicknames of Elsie and Pauldy Victor, the owners of the restaurant. The two sisters have brought the sunshine of their native Haiti to Montreal with their traditional cuisine, gaining followers left, right, and center. From the beginning, Casse-croûte Sissi & Paul has been a family affair. Elsie’s daughter, Fabiola Gay, and her cousin Sacha St-Amand take care of the service, while Elsie and Pauldy take care of the cooking. This is the first venture into the restaurant industry for the family, in which the love of food has been present for a long time: “My aunt [Pauldy] is the cordon bleu of the family. In our house, the women cook very well. My aunt’s place was the general store, where we had family parties and barbecues. My aunt is VERY EXTRA. She goes into overdrive when it comes to food. Brunch is never just brunch: it’s brunch followed by dinner,” explains Fabiola.
Authentic Haitian cuisine
While Pauldy usually runs the kitchen, Elsie is her right-hand woman. She takes care of all the small, important steps, such as seasoning the meats, while her sister puts the finishing touches on the meal before it is served. The duo’s delicious Haitian cuisine can be enjoyed today thanks to Pauldy’s decision to go into the restaurant industry on a whim. “It was a combination of circumstances. My aunt used to go to the hair salon below the restaurant. Before, there was a Moroccan restaurant upstairs, but the space became available.” That’s how Casse-croûte Sissi & Paul took off, with a spirit and energy that Fabiola defines as “now or never”. It was a good idea, as the restaurant is now one of the best Haitian restaurants in Montreal. The place is very much appreciated by the local Haitian community, but also by anyone who wants to enjoy authentic Haitian cuisine.
Before the pandemic, the space had about 20 seats. Today, the dining room has been set aside in favour of a larger production space. Since the restaurant was already largely based on a take-out model pre-pandemic, that’s where the focus will continue to be. Even after the pandemic, the dining room should not be counted on to return. The kitchen space gained is more profitable, and Sissi & Paul have never been busier than they are right now! This type of operation echoes the name of the restaurant: “The title ‘casse-croûte’ is very popular in Haitian restaurants. In our community, it means that you can find things to eat on the go.”
The real deal
The menu features classic Haitian cuisine. Anyone who eats a dish at Sissi & Paul’s will experience the real deal: “I like the fact that it’s authentic. I find that we really offer the opportunity to eat like in Haiti. We’ve brought the family spirit into the food. It’s made with love.” The griot is definitely a staple on the menu. According to Fabiola, it is also a “good introductory dish” for people trying Haitian cuisine for the first time. The goat dish and lambi in sauce are also specialties of the house. For a meat-free who don’t eat meat, the starter of accras made with malanga is excellent and you can savour them alone or as a dish, instead of meat!
The success of Casse-croûte Sissi & Paul is promising. The passion for the restaurant industry will definitely carry on through the family, as Fabiola is currently finishing her training in restaurant industry management at the ITHQ. “We would like to grow, but for now, we are still taking care of our first baby! If the Sissi & Paul family seems surprised by its own popularity, its customers are not at all. A favourite address to visit and revisit!
Written by Marc-Antoine Ranger
Photography by Alison Slattery —