In all my years living in and visiting Montreal, I'd never once been to this place until very recently when I was on a late-night run to pick up five dozen bagels at Fairmount to dole out to friends back in Toronto. Kitchens were already closed in most places so it seemed to be one of very few places to eat (it's open 24 hours, how convenient--AND dangerous).
It's your typical MTL greasy-spoon specializing in poutine, which is something the city does very well. There are about a million poutines to choose from, along with staples like burgers, all-day breakfast, etc. I didn't want to overdo the grease factor as it was quite late and I had my food itinerary set for the next day (what can I say? I'm nerdy like that) for which I wanted to ensure I had room in my stomach, but we ended up each getting a burger (~$5) and the two of us shared a large poutine (~$10). The burgers were standard diner fare--no going wrong there--with the usual toppings and condiments available.
For the poutine, I chose the Savoyarde which is a new item that does not appear on their regular menu, and anyway, the original poutine can be had anywhere so I thought we ought to try something new. The very thought of the Savoyarde brought back memories of a recent trip which included stops in France, so it was a must for me. It turned out to be an original poutine topped with their version of Savoyarde toppings which include things like bacon (instead of lardons), sour cream (instead of the cheese and cream combo), and some mushrooms (not a lot). It was good enough, and definitely hit the spot on that cold night.
The food (at least from among what we had) would normally elicit about 4* tops but the service and atmosphere (young and hip; definitely a post-bar kinda place) take it one star further. This place, with its menu and clientele, really capture the Montreal vibe. La Banquise is in a French part of town but the friendly servers were able to communicate in English just as well (useful for the many tourists I noticed), and they did so very happily, unlike in some establishments. *ahem* Food is cheap, servings massive, and our order arrived pretty quickly considering the place was PACKED. We got the last table upon arrival but when we left about 45 mins later, there was a lineup of at least 25 ppl outside!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC