11798 Boulevard de Salaberry ( Marché de L’ouest)
Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC H9B 2R8
Telephone : (514) 542-3222
Type Cuisine: Casual Fifties Diner
Cost: $ 64.25 ( not including tax and tip)
Chef Hats: 3
No reservations required
Unless you were born during the 50’s and have a good memory of the times, there is not much those born in the sixties and afterwards one can remember about this era today to really talk about it. Of course there are a few remnants of the fashions and hairstyles of the day in books chronicling the period, we can spot cars in movies, or while on vacation in Cuba, or see them in car shows. Some of our grandparents may still have in some of their homes, furniture and decor that evoke a sign of the times. The music, I can say is what lingers mostly and is still prevalent and can be heard from time to time as well. Basically it is a bygone era where life, people and everything seemed so simple.
My curiosity about the fifties peaked while in my teens in high school when all the rage was the” Happy Days “television show. Who can remember the gang sitting around Mel‘s dinner, eating burgers and drinking malt sodas in red and white stripped vinyl leather booths, with tunes from Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly playing on a jukebox. We all wanted to emulate them and be like them. In the years that followed, the American Diner type places in terms of decor and ambiance were far and few in between in Montreal. We have the Belle Province restaurants that play on that theme and decor, and a few others like Nickels, but over the course of the last 30 years, The American Diner had virtually disappeared in Montreal and replaced by gourmet burger shops playing on the French Bistro themes.It was a whole fun era that the kids of today had little exposure to. It was a wholesome innocent time, clean puritanical fun. The food was not much too write home about, it was just classic comfort food and large portions.
In a bold venture move in October 2010, Marc Emond opened Jukebox Burgers in the Marche de L’Ouest in Dollard des Ormeaux , when the American type diner were almost but extinct. The decor is a real throwback to the 50’s and he has single handily managed to re introduce a slice of this era to the kids of this generation. You will even find a large jukebox playing music at the front of the house. But most of all you can find every combination and permutations of piled high burgers and fries, dogs and salads and other foods for all to indulge in their Classic American Diner experience.
I have visited Jukebox burger a few times now while making a hungry man pit stop from my weekly market shopping spree at the Marché de L’Ouest in Dollard des Ormeaux. But none was so eventful as the day I introduced Brains to it, this year while on our usual rounds shopping at the Market during the holidays, we were both craving a big red meat juicy burger and curly Q fries. Jukebox takes burgers and diner type foods to a whole new height. You can choose how many patties you want in your burger, ( The Burger Tower has six), the type of bread, type of cheese, a plethora of different toppings and the any variations of French Fries, from straight cut to, curly to sweet potatoes or mashed and your own choice of sides, like chili, onion rings , coleslaw or salad. To boot it is very vegan and gluten free friendly. There are many other classic American dinner items on their menu such mac’n’cheese in all its glories. Hot dogs in all its variations and forms, all types of poutine with anything you want on it. Any combination salad that you can create on your own and any type sandwiches including a pretty mean Philly Cheese steak, submarines and wraps. For those that really want to indulge in a slice of Americana they even a dairy bar for those decadent milk shakes, floats and smoothies. For the diehard drinkers, there also have an alcohol permit and a cocktail menu.
I started my introduction at Juke box Burgers on my first initial visit with a Classic Simple Dean Cheese with Monterrey Jack Cheese, simple, good and satisfying. Everything was fresh and tasty. I graduated to the Elvis with carmelized onions , mushrooms and Swiss cheese. Simply decadent. On my subsequent return I had the Philly Cheese steak sandwich; I have to admit this was pretty good. Not many places truly know how to make the original version, but I found the meat really tender, with the right combination of Worchestshire sauce and cheese. The bread was the perfect medium to carry this all forward.
On this lazy Sunday, Brains, Frenchie and I decided to show Brains the history buff, who this year is taking an American Film class, a slice of the typical Americana history. Sometimes I feel the need to share what I know with Brains, so I can peak her curiosity and make her discover a piece of history we would sometimes not venture to. A passing of my knowledge, or so to say, of my pioneer days. Brains was excited and thought it was a good idea, she found upon entering the restaurant’s the red and white, stripes and checkered tiles on the wall alarming to the senses, after a few eye accommodations to the decor, we explained this was the classical decor for these type of diners in the heydays and of course the jukebox is a must and the one at Juke box is gigantesque, the decor is the typical M.O. to say the least.
After scanning the menu, she ordered The Franky, the basic hamburger on white with tomato, lettuce, and condiments to start with, and Suzie Q curly fries and a cherry coke. Frenchie had a club sandwich and sweet potato fries and vanilla Milkshake and I had Rocky Marciano with a Beef and Bacon Poutine and a beer. I graduated.The service was uber friendly, quick and accommodating. The vibe was fun and as the tunes played on, we explained the various memorabilia plastered on the wall that evoke the old film star days. You will also find lots of hockey memorabilia and TV screens, which probably are good for the days where hockey matches our prevalent in our Belle Province.
The food arrived and the portions were huge. All was to our liking and good. The beef tasted Angus; the buns were fresh as well as the topping, not a delicate gourmet presentation. But heck! This is an American style dinner folks. It is simple, nothing fancy and or minimalistic about presentations here, just a good ratio for the price worth the quality and quantity. Life made simple again. It was fun, the food was good and what more do you want, the owner would say!
Jukebox has been garnering such publicity these days it even made it on John Catucci –“You Gotta eat Here! Which will air in the New Year sometime on the Food Net work, date not yet disclosed.
I would definitely recommend Jukebox and especially for the kids and if you don’t have any, you could be the kid for a night. I would go all out and do the whole kit and caboodle, on a Friday or Saturday night. Schmaltz and ALL!