Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Epic(urean) Fail

Welcome to Canada.  For some reason, many Americans still think of Canada as that foreign country somewhere north of the U.S., where all the people drink beer and say "eh" after every statement.  Ok, for parts of Canada, that description still works, especially if you're in Toronto or any points west of there.  But this time, I flew into Pierre Trudeau airport in Montreal, and headed east on Rte 20 (or est on Rte 20, not to be confused with ouest on Rte 20).  You won't find many people saying "eh" in the Quebec province.  Instead, most people speak French first and English second.  My ultimate destination this trip was Drummondville, but my evening began at the Scores restaurant in St. Hyacinthe (san-ee-ah-santh).  Scores, known for their poulet et cotes levees (sorry for the lack of accent marks Madame Kuntz.) was right next to the brand-spanking-new hotel I had booked for the night.

Scores is a restaurant chain specializing in family fare, primarily chicken, ribs and salad.  (I'm not going to comment on their specialty combinations - in Akron we have many restaurants that specialize in chicken and pizza.)  And Scores is not about any chicken, it's rotisserie chicken at its finest.  Their house wine.... well, it's not so good.  But the French Canadian accents that surrounded me during dinner were entertaining.  So we'll stick to the food of the evening and try to forget about the wine I tried that night.

I began with a salad from their salad bar.  They need to remove the salad bar from their claim to fame.  The corn salad was spicy and spiced with fresh herbs.  The giant butter beans were tossed with garlic, onions and fresh dill - not a good combo, just plain weird.  Maybe the salad chef was cleaning out his herb supplies?  The house dressing at this particular Scores was a French vinaigrette.  It was very mild, very understated, and very good.  The olives you see in the photo....not pitted.  While they were very good, I truly hate to spit my pits, so, give me a pitted olive or give me no olive at all.
I ordered the quarter chicken with the obligatory fries.  The chicken was a surprise.  For a rotisserie chicken, I found it was not overly juicy or shot through with chemicals or seasoning.  It was perfectly cooked and perfectly seasoned.  Quite tasty actually, perhaps the level of salt in the seasoning helped it along.  The chicken dish came with a side of "au jus" but I think in the States we'd call it gravy.  Truthfully, they should just call it liquid salt.  It carried the barest hint of chicken taste, yet within minutes I found it to be mildly addictive.  Layered within the salty chicken flavor was a modest taste of celery, which only marginally retrieved it from the high cholesterol bar.  The french fries should have been left off the plate altogether.  They were low-grade restaurant fare.  Even multiple dips in the au jus could not render the fries edible.  I managed to eat four before I simply gave up.
Entrees range in price from $8 to $18, so it truly would work for a family.  My overall grade for this episode at Scores is a solid "C".  Too much salt/sodium in the chicken, fries and gravy for a complete meal.  Maybe if you spread all that salt over a week's time you'd be safe.  My opinion, even at a low-budget price, (and it's definitely priced right for families), don't take small children or old people here.  It's just too unkind to tempt them with the yummy-looking and delicious tasting chicken and au jus and then choke them to death with the salt content.

Just thinking about Scores is making me thirsty.


  1. Being originally form Quebec...I agree with you ...I wouldn't take my kids to Scores..but you can't expect much in the Culinary department in Drumondville...Growing up in Montreal we had some delicious St-Hubert BBQ chicken...I think a whole generation was raised on this stuff...now if you are looking for 5 star fare, I recommend you visit Chez La Mere Michel...wonderful stuff....

  2. Baron - thanks for the recommendation. I'll see if I can find it next time I head to Montreal. Looks like I'll be going there on a quarterly basis.

  3. I think I will be there next week...it is a pricey spot,,,but very well worth it...can you email me ...I'd like to keep in touch.
    Chez La Mère Michel
    1209 Guy Street, Montreal, QC H3H Canada
    it really offers Creme de la Creme in food