Metro: Peel, Guy-Concordia
Bus: STM 15, 24, 57, 66, 107, 165, 166, 427, 435
Visit: July 28, 2013
Crescent has a double reputation in the city of Montreal. For tourists, it is the place to come to be seen. For the rest of us, it is the place to avoid when you’re looking for something decent to eat. So, that begs the question, is there anything worth visiting on the street? Well, the only way to find out is to check all those places out. One of the staples of Crescent is Dundee’s.
If you’re paying close attention to the date of the visit of this burger and the previous one, you’ll notice that they’re both on the same day. Well, the story of it goes that our previous visit didn’t exactly fill up Steakman too much. He has a large appetite and needs to eat a lot. So, after the show that we thoroughly enjoyed, we headed out for a second round of eating.
Dundee’s is located on the northern stretch of Crescent, a street that has a lot going on. I’ve had a lot on this street, but there hasn’t been much that compels me to make regular visits. When it comes to strong streets for restaurants, I can list a good dozen before ever getting to Crescent. So, in a way, it’s the one disadvantage of being located on this street since you have to battle the Crescent stereotype.
Since it was a Sunday evening, we were a little surprised to see that there were a few tables in the process of having a meal. Sunday nights are among the weakest when it comes to dining out. The question was whether or not this day of the week would play a role in shaping our experience.
Before I get to the brunt of what Dundee’s was all about on this evening, there was one observation that I have to mention. This doesn’t have to do with the restaurant itself, but the other patrons of the establishment. At one point, this one person returned from smoking outside. When they rejoined their group, that individual started discussing the world of health and fitness. At this point, this is where the shirt was lifted and the flabby stomach came out. For a visual, it wasn’t pretty and since we’re sitting in a restaurant, it was the last place where you should be subjected to seeing something like that. Have some decency and keep your stuff inside.
Now, when we come back to all things Dundee’s, we start with the service. The service was the crux of the entire visit’s experience. Our server came in and then we waited. We waited a lot. Throughout the course of the evening, we theorized that this server was rather new on the job, mostly because there were some things that seemed out of place. At one point, they brought out 5 glasses for our group of 4. But, at the end, I personally didn’t want to be overly critical because it is a tough job. I have more sympathy than anything else.
The menu consists of pretty much everything. You have a lot going on and you’re bound to find something to please every member of your group. With too many options, you start to wonder what the restaurant specializes in. Part of the reason why Dundee’s was at the top of the list on this evening was because I was told that the desserts were the way to go. So, having a feeling how things were going to end up, I was putting my fate in the dessert.
Chicken Tenders and Mozzarella Sticks
To get things started, Steakman and I decided to split a series of chicken tenders and mozzarella sticks.
This was only the second time that I ever had mozzarella sticks in my life. I don’t really get the chance to have things like this all that often any more. The mozzarella sticks weren’t half bad. The cheese is present and the outer layer encases the whole package well.
When we move around to the chicken tenders, we get elements of different shapes and sizes. The chicken was properly cooked and that skin had a decent crunch. I wanted to be all enthusiastic about things, but what’s about to come up in this post weighed heavily on my thoughts during consumption.
This was Steakman’s partner’s choice for a main dish and it was appropriate since it was our second meal of the evening. When the mixed platter was ordered, she asked the server if it was possible to leave out the jalapeno poppers and replace them with something else.
The server comes back and tells us that the cooks refused to do such a thing. We offered to pay more if it was possible. Having taken this all in, Steakman wasn’t satisfied with the answer. He asked to see the manager, who then came over to give us the explanation. The mixed platter comes in a frozen pre-packaged box, where all the pieces are already divided up. The second I heard the word frozen, the thoughts I had about the appetizers I was about to have just sunk me.
Maybe I’ve been watching too many food shows, but hearing that the food was frozen didn’t sit well with me. No matter how good the product came out after it was thawed, nothing could get that frozen notion out of my head.
This burger contains lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, mushrooms, and bacon.
Before I get to the burger itself, I have to express how happy I was to be given the choice of potatoes I got to have as a side dish. I’m getting to a point where I’m sick of fries. I don’t know what it is, but I would rather have mashed potatoes just about every time I’m given that option.
When it comes to the burger, I wasn’t really thrilled to see it come to the table undone like this. If the burger was a little simpler, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but this wasn’t simple. The reason why lies in the mushrooms. They’re small items that aren’t quite as easy to move. No matter how you would choose to move things, you’re losing mushrooms. The idea of a good burger is to make sure that all the elements stay in place.
I managed to reconstruct the burger to something a little more reasonable. What I did was put the lettuce and tomatoes under the meat. By doing that, any grease that would leak from the meat would be soaked up by the lettuce. That particular method would help protect the bottom bun, which is the weaker of the two. When it came to the mushrooms, I lost a few, but got most of the them in there.
Before ordering the burger, I knew what kind of product I would be getting. It all lies in the type of cheese used in this particular burger. When you put Swiss cheese in a burger, it’s like putting nothing in there. I can’t remember the last time I had cheese of this type that tasted like something. With strong tastes coming from the mushrooms and bacon, having a stronger cheese would have elevated the product.
For the most part, the burger held up pretty well. There was a point where the bun was starting to split in half. This was so noticeable that Steakman, who I’ve never seen eat burger, pointed it out to me. Using my experience of over 200 burgers under my belt to guide my tactics, I was able to get through this without a major disaster.
In all, the burger wasn’t so bad, but it wasn’t great. For the most part, it was an average showing. With a few slight changes, the burger could be a few steps above what it was. Then again, the burger works for what it was. When you think of all the items on the menu, you can’t really expect everything to blow your mind away.
Dolce Vita Chocolate Cake
To finish off the meal, I finished with the item I was looking the most forward to. This cake has layers of chocolate fudge, which in itself, is filled with chocolate espresso mousse. The cake was solid from first bite to the last bite. There weren’t very many complaints in this respect as far as I’m concerned.
Dundee’s is that restaurant that gives a chance for a family to find a large variety of food. The restaurant is nice and a comfortable place to have dessert. While the service was somewhat questionable during our visit, the food didn’t completely ruin the evening.