For the past few weeks, I’ve been hearing great things about this southern-food place that just opened down the street. When I realized where Dinette Triple Crown was located, I also realized I had been driving by it every morning without ever noticing it. That’s how small and unassuming it is. The food however, is anything but unassuming and judging from the line up every night, I am not the only one who seems to think so.
The three young owners of this very hip lunch counter – Colin Perry (chef), Beaver Sheppard (chef) and Nicole Turcotte (front of the house) – all hail from some of Montreal’s finest kitchens. Colin’s home town of Kentucky was the inspiration behind the southern food concept at Dinette. The idea of a lunch counter where the service is fast and the food stick-to-your-ribs good also comes from our friends in the south where it is not uncommon for a restaurant to have a dining room and a lunch counter for pick ups*.
Dinette Triple Crown’s interior is tiny and comprised of the counter where you order your food and another one with 5 stools where you can sit and wait for your order or eat. It is mainly a pick up and take out place (for now*). Ordinary, you say? Yes, if you didn’t know any better; if you didn’t know that you can ask them to pack up your food in a picnic basket so you can go enjoy it under the stars (or shade of the big trees) in the Little Italy park across the street. How fun is that?
That is exactly what I did last Sunday night with some friends. In our basket we found a tablecloth, real plates and cutlery, a variety of sauces, our drinks in sealed mason jars as well as our food. Let’s talk about said food for a minute. Fried chicken, smoked brisket and pulled pork are staples you will find on the menu every day. You can accompany them with your choice of 3 sides among the many available (biscuits, mac and cheese, collard greens, black eyed peas, mashed potatoes, etc.) . There are also daily specials that change constantly and include a few fish and seafood options. We were there on a mission to try the classics and didn’t let ourselves be swayed by the delicious daily specials; I will be back for those.
We ordered one of each of the main meals and almost all of the sides so we can taste everything. My favourite main was the fried chicken, which was just crispy enough on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. The batter wasn’t too thick and perfectly seasoned; finger-licking goodness! My favourite sides included the thick slices of fried sweet potatoes, the incredibly rich and buttery mashed potatoes with gravy, the slightly bitter collard greens and the zingy vinegar slaw, which cut into the richness of the food and was a welcome refreshing touch. Dinette also serves virgin cocktails, which will all be even more delicious with a shot of bourbon once their alcohol license arrives in a few weeks.
It was one of those perfect Montreal summer nights, warm, breezy and just ideal for a picnic, especially when the picnic food is this good.
*Note: Dinette triple Crown is in the process of renovating the space next door and will probably have a much larger dining room to accommodate us all by the end of the year.
Dinette Triple Crown
6704 Clark Street
514 272 2617
Dinette Triple Crown doesn’t have a website but you can find them on Facebook.
All week 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Closed on Wednesdays