Tried Montreal’s Dinette Triple Crown Comforting Picnic Basket and it’s like a hug for the soul

Most restaurants in Montreal offer dine-in or take-out, but Dinette Triple Crown takes things a step further with a full picnic option. The Little Italy restaurant prepares baskets full of Southern-style comfort food, like fried chicken and waffles, creamy mac and cheese, and butter cookies with gravy, that will warm your heart and soul.

Calling ahead on a Sunday morning, their super friendly staff took my order over the phone and confirmed what time I wanted my basket – most can be ready in as little as 15 minutes.

Dinette Triple Crown updates its menu every Wednesday, keeping its offerings fresh. The family option for $80 is a mainstay with 10 pieces of fried chicken, four cookies, four sides, gravy, and four chocolate chip cookies. The sides this week ($4.25) were fried cornmeal hushpuppies, beans, mashed potatoes and coleslaw. Entrees included “The Individual” ($21) featuring two pieces of fried chicken, a biscuit and gravy, a side dish and a cookie, the “Big Nasty” ($17), which is a fried chicken sandwich in a gravy-covered biscuit, and the chicken and waffle plate ($21). Their popular homemade mac and cheese was available à la carte in small ($13) or large ($22) portions.

The Dinette Triple Crown menu.The food menu changes weekly at Dinette Triple Crown.@sofsilva.mtl | instagram

When I arrived at 2pm, my basket was waiting in front of their window. It was topped with a classic red and white checkered picnic blanket. Inside were the two starters I had selected, along with a small macaroni and cheese and a large mason jar of water and some mini jars to use as cups. Two sets of forks and knives were wrapped in napkins, along with hand wipes. Everything looked expertly arranged and the basket was well balanced, although a bit heavy to carry.

I ordered a few more ginger beers, made in front of me with homemade syrup and soda, which brought our order to about $80, and my partner and I left with all the transport. We were told to return the basket, blanket and jars by 9pm.

Dinette Triple Crown picnic basket.@sofsilva.mtl | instagram

There was no way to attach the basket to a Bixi, so we decided to walk to a nearby park. Across the street from the restaurant is Parc de la Petite-Italie, a lovely green space with picnic tables and lots of trees, but not much grass. Jarry Park is a 15 minute walk in the opposite direction on Clark Street, and a personal favourite, so we ventured that way and found a scenic spot by the water.

We brought two blankets from home for extra cushion which was a good decision as the blanket provided is thin. This is the perfect touch to add that classic picnic feel.

Our meal had generous portions and turned out to be more than filling. The chicken and waffles was a highlight with three pieces of fried chicken accompanied by four savory cheddar and chive waffles. The chicken was crispy with a peppery seasoning that offset the cheesy saltiness of the waffles. A spicy Espelette maple syrup added just the right amount of sweetness.

The mac and cheese is also highly recommended with a tasty blend of homemade cheeses, fun-to-eat corkscrew-shaped pasta, and a crispy cheese filling that adds texture. With two full entrees, even the small mac and cheese looked like a generous portion.

In terms of sides, the hushpuppies were a chewy mixture of cornmeal and onions, much like cornbread but spicier and with a fried crispy exterior. The biscuit was soft, flaky and buttery, and a perfect way to mop up the chicken based sauce.

Two people are sitting on a picnic blanket by a lake.Two people are sitting on a picnic blanket by a lake.@sofsilva.mtl | instagram

We also loved the Dinette Triple Crown House Ginger Beer ($4.50) to wash down the meal. It was like autumn in a glass – a blend of apple pie and gingerbread flavors that were refreshing and not too sweet. Next time we’ll probably try an Arnold Palmer ($4.50) to add the flavor of Southern iced tea to the meal.

For those looking for alcoholic options, the restaurant has a long list of beers you can pair with your picnic, like a beet-based IPA from Boldwin Brewery ($11) or a sour wheat beer from Loop ($11). $). There are also two ciders, the Hemingford at $11 and the Michel J at $9.

Food spread out on a blanket.Food spread out on a blanket.@sofsilva.mtl | instagram

Overall, the picnic experience couldn’t have been easier from start to finish and we finished our meal feeling full and relaxed.

Dinette Triple Crown seems aptly named and gets three out of three crowns from me for extra friendly service, excellent food quality and great value for a pre-packaged picnic. Once you’ve placed your order with them, the only other thing left to plan is where to enjoy your feast.

Triple Crown dinette

Where: 6704 Clark Street

Website


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