November 27th marked a day of new beginnings for Diablos’ Smokehouse Saloon. Originally located on St-Denis near Berri-UQAM metro station, the smokehouse officially relocated to one of Montreal’s finest areas, and can now be found at 3619 boul. Saint-Laurent, off corner Prince Arthur. And what a perfect relocation choice it was for the establishment- amongst the many bars, clubs and high-priced restaurants is now this small but brilliant gem. Diablos brings the plateau an exquisite taste of the South only a true smokehouse could create, along with a wide selection of drinks and cocktails (over 120 to choose from) masterminded in-house to provide visitors with drinks they didn’t even know they needed. Like the Jackie Brown made with chocolate milk, Jack Daniel’s and Baileys; a drink for those bad breakups, when you wanna get drunk and eat ice cream at the same time.
Upon entering the smokehouse, we’re immediately greeted by the carefully crafted décor, reminiscent of a Tennessee saloon. Old wooden carriage wheels act as chandeliers along the ceiling, wooden panels line the walls and good old-school rock and blues fill the air. It is exciting as it is comforting, and a simple preview of what is to come. Since I don’t eat meat and Nathania doesn’t drink she ate all the food and I had all the cocktails. Here were her thoughts on the meal:
In order to celebrate the BBQ joint’s new location, many dishes were served such as chicken wings cooked for 4 hours (as were much of the meats; cooking time is not taken lightly here) with three side dipping sauces, all homemade: ranch, jalapeño and finally a sweet and savory BBQ sauce that tasted like unicorn tears. Polish sausages, briskets with an authentic grilled on the fire taste, a smoky and rich mac ‘n cheese (I loved it so much, and I am not even a mac ‘n cheese lover), amongst many other things. Each piece on the menu was as tender as the next, flavors well infused, leaving you craving for the next bite. Other rotisseries and smokehouses have nothing on this place.
The drink menu alone is worth a trip here. Diablos has the luxury of working with Sailor Jerry rum and is now Montreal’s biggest provider of the alcoholic beverage, which even made Jack Daniels envious enough to give them a call. The restaurants’ first bartender Starbuck oversaw the ingredient choices for the drinks in Starbucks Diner and some were even named after other of the original employees! My favorite of the night was the sweet and smooth Savannah Tea that must be perfect during the summer months. The Shark Attack then came along and had me questioning my ban on vodka with its refreshing and bubbly taste.
More wonderful than the food was the staff itself, and especially managing partner Raphaël Santarossa. Charming, funny, and really down to earth; we’d return to Diablos just to feel that kind of warmth and hospitality him and his staff offered again.
On Tuesday nights the restaurant hosts what they call “Eats & Beats”, a home-y feel, low-key night that mixes great food with good ol’ classic hip hop. Never mind the many lounges and bars offering top pop hits we’re sick of hearing. Featuring a live DJ curating nothing but the best hits, this is definitely one night a week to become a regular at. Raphaël says his goal is to offer Montreal a lesson in southern hospitality. Before our definition of BBQ was St-Hubert rotisserie and hopefully now with the availability of a real smokehouse in town, there just might be hope for us yet.
Co-Written and Photo Credit: Nathania Wreh