Bus: STM 14, 15, 24, 30, 125, 150, 410, 427, 430, 715, 747
Visit: October 14, 2012
Over the last few weeks, the hot topic of conversation over the realm of social media has been about BBQ. While I’m no real expert on the subject, I always keep my eyes and ears open about where I could find worthy BBQ to try. Now, I didn’t go to the place where everyone is talking about, but I did find a place that had some of its own buzz over the last few months on its own. For the last 6 months, Diablos BBQ has been taking on its fair share on St-Denis, a great street for food.
In the last few months, the immediate family has been making a great effort to do monthly outings to various eateries in Montreal. While it’s been me that has chosen the first two locations, our third month out would fall in the hands of another member of the family. With the reservation made and it being a cold, rainy night, I was more than ready to warm the cockles of my heart with something good.
Diablos has been on the mind of many Montrealers since its arrival on the scene back in April. More recently, its 6th Deadly Sin burger has been making waves. While it’s not on the normal menu, it’s appearance has got my attention. I never really knew that they had burgers on the menu and this special creation was what I thought only as a one time thing. After a little time perusing their Facebook page menu, I was shocked and pleasantly surprised to see not one, but multiple burger options to be had. With that in the back of my mind, I was really excited to set foot in a place that names itself after the devil.
Like I said before, it was a cold and dreary night. The walk up St-Denis was filled with rain and it wasn’t that pleasant. As I approached the long staircase up to the restaurant, I noticed that the chef was outside the door taking a “break.” Normally, this would be the point where I’d pull out the camera and take a picture of the sign, but I didn’t want to stand out like a sore thumb. I was waiting patiently, so I started to browse the menu posted at the front of the restaurant. Seeing that he wasn’t about to move, I had to make my move up the stairs into the restaurant. The chef, being quite cordial, not only greeted me, but held the door open. It was a good start.
Once inside, I inquired about the reservation that another member of our party made. We reserved for 6 p.m., but the restaurant had no idea what I was talking about, having mistakenly put down 8 p.m. instead. So, I sat down and started frantically texting other members of the party to make sure I didn’t make a mistake. Luckily, they allowed us to have our table at the time we thought of and it wasn’t an issue at all, as we were out by the time we were “supposed” to be there and no one came looking for that table.
Since we were a little staggered about getting to the place, the server allowed us to browse the drinks menu. They were quite patient with us, where other places would try to push us to move on. We never felt rushed at all at any point of the evening. We were able to have a entire meal without the pressure of moving fast, something that went in favour of the restaurant.
Diablos is quite an interesting looking place. You really feel like you’re in the heart of a American state that’s famous for the great tradition of BBQ. The horns, which I didn’t notice until someone took their phone to capture the sight, are quite the touch and something that you don’t quite see every day. The place is dimly lit and you really feel cozy during the time you spend there.
On top of that, they have servers who really look the part. We had this individual who wore this really bright top and had partially dyed hair to boot. They were right on the game and were able to jump around with our ever so changing languages that we decided to use throughout the evening, because in Quebec, we do things that way. Though, at a point, the fact that they were the only person serving, it did slow things down when it came to moving things along.
In all, we were lucky enough to sample a wide amount of items from the menu. However, I noticed something that I’ve never personally come across in my limited experience in restaurants. There were a number of items that were blacked out. Say what you want about that, it put a little bit of a halt on our desires for the evening and it made our decisions that much more harder. Luckily, what we ordered made up for the fact that some things were not available.
Pulled Pork Sliders
These are a dish of 3 pulled pork sliders. Served with their signature sauce, the pulled pork shoulder meat is place on cornbread muffins. This was the appetizer that was ordered by one of the other members of the family. The thing is that I ended up eating two of them. That’s generosity for you.
The topic of conversation when these things came around were the muffins that were acting as buns. I can’t help but say how cute they look, which is something that you might not want to say out loud in a place like this, knowing that you might get “beat up” by the tough crowd of female family members who may or may not get peeved. The buns were not that hard to eat and they really allowed the meat to stand out.
In eating these miniature “sliders,” I couldn’t help but use my burger two hand technique. It just seemed like the right thing to do, even though some people were pointing and laughing at me.
These are shrimp coated in a secret batter. This was the popular side dish of the evening, as two portions were ordered for the table. It came with a dipping sauce that I only managed to try at the end of the plate.
The shrimp were indeed coated in a crispy batter. The pieces of shrimp we’re well cooked. When it comes to having anything with shrimp in it, I’m sold. These were the natural choice and most of the party agreed. They were nothing extraordinary, but enough to get us warmed up for what was to come. It was a good choice to start with.
This burger contains cheddar, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, sauteed onions, mushrooms, and bacon. The hot peppers were taken off the burger as requested. This was another burger that was ordered by a member of our group.
As I was eating my burger, I couldn’t help but notice something about this one that got my attention. I noticed that the center of the meat was considerably pinker than mine. Now, this won’t be as important a detail until a little later on when I get into my burger. But, what I’ll say now is that I was, in a way, wishing I had ordered that one instead.
This is a “bucket” of seven pieces of fried chicken ordered by two members of our group.
Before we get to the fried chicken, I’ll say that the friend chicken discussion was long and intense. Names like Kentucky Fried Chicken and Chubby Chicken were dropped like soap in one of those places where you shouldn’t do that. I can’t tell you how the KFC bashing was music to my ears.
Now, I can’t go any further without mentioning Chubby Chicken. I knew that they existed, but I couldn’t believe how much certain people at the table raved about them. I kind of start wondering when you start rating all other pieces of fried chicken based on a restaurant with a identity crisis. Do they sell burgers or do they sell chicken? Are they selling their product to families or are they catering to Yogi Bear? That’s my tangent, thank you for hearing me out.
The chicken here was definitely better than KFC. Then again, just about anything these days is considered to be better than that. I was lucky enough to sample not one, but two carefully selected pieces of chicken. The skin was crispy enough to warrant my attention. The chicken definitely came off easily. The only thing that we all questioned was if there was enough taste in the chicken, as none of us could taste much of anything.
These are a half slab of ribs that we’re chosen by the lucky birthday individual of our group. He was happy with what he chose and for that, it makes the rest of us happy.
Upon closer inspection, I’d like to commend the photographer on this one. I was sitting too far from the ribs, so they graciously took the picture for me using my camera. Looking at these ribs can make a person want to eat, they look good.
This burger contains lettuce, tomatoes, and bacon. The patty is comprised of veal, pork, and beef. The patty is also mixed with onions, mushrooms, and parmesan cheese. It should also be noted that the bacon upgrade is two dollars. The whole packaged is topped with the signature BBQ sauce.
With the sandwiches, you are entitled to one side dish. The larger dishes on the menu entitle you to two side dishes. From a look at the various pictures above, you’ll notice the variety available. I can personally vouch for the quality of the sweet potato fries as you can never go wrong in that direction.
As for my choice of side dish, I had a nice amount of smashed potatoes. Instead of having your traditional mashed potatoes, these potatoes were smashed, leaving some pieces intact. That aspect didn’t bother me as they were a nice complement to the burger.
Upon first glance, the burger doesn’t seem like you’re getting that much. The fact that a lot of the good stuff is inside the patty is a big change to me, thus making it quite huge. When you finish the building process, you have quite the handful of burger to deal with.
On the other hand, I’m weary of getting BBQ sauce on a burger. As a matter of fact, if memory serves me right, I haven’t had a burger with sauce like that since the first year of the Burger Search. I won’t mention the restaurant since it’s now closed. Back then, I was still quite naive and just went in head first into any burger, as opposed to now where I pick things strategically. Let’s just say the burger made a bigger impact on my shirt than it did on my stomach. So, it was refreshing that the amount of sauce on this burger wasn’t enough for me to bottle it and sell them in a grocery store.
The sauce itself was quite the nice touch for the burger and definitely the real highlight. Without it, I would be talking about a forgettable experience with a burger too big for its own good. The sauce adds that touch needed to get something that tastes real good. It’s only a shame the other ingredients were lost in the shuffle.
The meat was probably the point where I was looking for the most in. I mentioned before how much the other burger looked tempting and how much I wanted it. I compared the inner of both burgers and mine wasn’t as pink as I would’ve liked. The meat didn’t really give that taste that asserts itself. That made it quite difficult to finish things off in the end. It left me wanting more and wondering what was inside the patty.
I was probably expecting more than I should have when it came to getting a burger here. It was probably a safer bet going for something more traditional in the range of BBQ. Those dishes managed to make everyone happy and that is what’s going to mark me in the end.
Diablos BBQ is still a relatively new place trying to fend for itself in the realm of Montreal and its picky eaters. The service and atmosphere was enough to keep us engaged while waiting for our interesting food to come. While some dishes were definite hits, some kind of came up short for our expectations.