By now, you’ve probably already heard about Dinette Triple Crown and its famous picnic basket. This tiny southern-food eatery at the corner of Clark and St-Zotique opened its doors at the end of June and since then it has been attracting food lovers from all over Montreal. Like Le Vieux Vélo and Julieta, Dinette Triple Crown is another great addition to the west of Little Italy, an area that starts to become known by the locals as ‘Le Mile-Ex’.
Dinnete Triple Crown is small and very unpretentious. You would hardly noticed it if you were just passing by. The place has personality though. On the walls, shelves full of pickles jars and some family portraits. Not a lot of room to sit, there are only 5 stools facing the window and a counter when you can order food while watching the cooks in the kitchen. That’s why they came up with the brilliant picnic basket idea, so you can simply go to the park across the street and enjoy your meal. They will provide you everything you need: plates, cutlery, cups, napkins and even a tablecloth. These guys are genius!
The menu at Dinette Triple Crown is extensive. It offers sandwichs, salads, mac & cheese and desserts. They also have daily specials with fish and seafood dishes. But in my opinion, the best value is ordering one the “meat and threes’ options ($11-$13). Choices are fried chicken, pulled pork or smoked brisket. And then you can pick three of the following side dishes: Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Buttermilk Biscuit, Braised Greens, Black-eyed peas, Vinegar Slaw, Creamy Slaw and Cornbread.
I haven’t tried their pulled pork yet, but I definitely recommend the brisket and the fried chicken. The brisket was simply divine and the chicken was juicy and perfectly seasoned. Probably the best fried chicken I’ve ever had in Montreal. My favorite sides were the biscuit, the sweet potatoes and the braised greens. The mashed potatoes were also great, very buttery with a thick and rich gravy. Just the way I like it.
A full basket of food wasn’t enough for me and, of course, I ordered dessert. So glad I asked for the lemon meringue pie. I was literally licking my fingers after finishing it. I had a piece of the chocolate bread pudding too. I found it just ok though. But who is going to complain after the feast we’ve had.
Dinette Triple Crown doesn’t have a alcohol license yet. But before crossing the street to get some beers at the dépanneur, you should try their drinks. The house sodas, lemonade and iced tea are amazing. I had the spicy blackberry lemon soda and it simply blew my mind. It’s like a party in your month! My friend was pretty happy with his homemade ginger beer too. Milkshakes have a strong reputation as well, so I’ll definitely try one of them next time.
Service and Prices
These people know how to make you feel welcomed. The kitchen staff was quick and the girls behind the counter were extremely attentive, introducing us the menu in detail and explaining the specials. By the end, I even got a little mixology class when they showed me how to prepare the spicy blackberry soda. When it comes to pricing, Dinette Triple Crown is not the cheapest place in the area. But then again, portion sizes are good and the food overall is delicious. So if you haven’t tried the picnic experience yet, hurry up before the summer is officially over!