Décarie Hot Dog is THE casse-croute in Ville St-Laurent (St-Lau), home of the best hot dogs in the city and a killer poutine. As a little diva, Diva #1 use to come with her dad and P’tit Frère, and now as an adult it’s her go-to spot after her soccer games, for late night eats, and when she’s with friends roaming around St-Lau looking for a quick (and greasy) bite. It’s been owned by the same Greek family for over forty years, generations of Greek immigrants, and Greek Canadians have been working there, and they promise us that that will never change.
This hole-in-the-wall has minimal seating with a few picnic tables on the street in a makeshift terrace. A few years ago they updated the sign in the front but the interior hasn’t changed one bit and that’s just how we love it in St. Lau. It’s a true old school diner, rustic and you can hear the cooks yelling in Greek, talking amongst themselves and working hard. When they write up your bill they take out a pencil and write it out right on the counter, they tell you the total, obviously they only take cash, and then erase it away. Near the antique register, the enamel of the counter is worn out from years of erasing, there is something absolutely comforting about a place that never changes.
When Diva #1 visits she always has a bacon cheeseburger, all dressed, the cheese in the cheeseburger just slightly melted, and the burger delicious. Sitting on those old diner stools with a Cott cherry cola and those perfect golden fries, dipped into ketchup & mayo of course, she is brought back to her childhood. Diva #1 still remembers when she used to get Orange Crush in a bottle from Décarie Hot Dogs, and she still always checks if there are new bumper stickers and car memorabilia on the hood of the grill.
Although Diva #1 adores their bacon cheeseburger, their steamies are what Décarie Hot Dogs is known for. But what is a steamy / steamie? The Montreal hot dog is known as the steamie, meaning that both the hot dog and its top loading bun are steamed and slightly smaller than toasties. Toasties are side loading hot dog buns that are breadier and often toasted, they are popular in the rest of Canada. Décarie Hot Dogs has toasties too but for Christ’s sake get the steamie. Today the classic steamie dog is more popular in the rest of Canada, but it all began in Montreal, in institutions like Décarie Hot Dog.
Décarie Hot Dogs has the best steamies in the city, nothing more needs to be said. Just try them! They use Lesters hot dogs, and we always order them all dressed, which in Montreal traditionally means mustard, chopped white onions and coleslaw. We have no idea why there is no ketchup in all dressed steamies (it’s a Montreal thing) but we always add a squirt to our hot dogs, and a squirt of ketchup & mayo to our all dressed bacon cheeseburgers.
The Traditional Trio is two steamies, a French fry and cola, but the Savory Trio replaces your fries with a poutine. Ah their poutine… after their steamies, Décarie Hot Dogs poutine is their second hottest commodity. We don’t even like poutine but god damn we like this one! Their gravy is a little more garlicky than the norm, it’s full of flavour, and they always give you plenty of squeaky cheese curds. Their fries are crispy, we love them on their own, and their poutine never gets soggy. Made to order, it’s absolute Montreal perfection!
Old glass juice bottles with holes poked in their metal caps hold salt and pepper on the counters, the radio is blaring, and three generations work at the grill. They still ask about Diva #1’s dad every time she walks in, and it’s been years since they’ve gone there together. It’s just that sort of place, the place where everyone knows your name. Open from 5:30 am to 1:30 am seven days a week, try their steamie and poutine, and delve into Montreal’s yesteryears at Décarie Hot Dogs.
Our Rating: Always on Thursdays
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