Eat dessert first. Jack Astor’s Restaurant (Dorval)

I’m officially making it my mission to find a restaurant that combines quality food, family-friendly atmosphere and decent service. Tonight I found a restaurant that qualifies for 2 out of the 3. Not bad but still the food left something to be desired.

Jack Astor’s Bar & Grill is in the West Island just along Highway 40 at exit Des Sources. It’s in a mall along with a Canadian Tire, a BouClair and a Cinema Guzzo. Address: 3051 boul. des Sources, Dorval, H9B 1Z6. It’s a chain so there are 3 others in Quebec (Boisbriand, Greenfield Park and Laval) and many more spread across Canada (particularly Ontario).

The decor is fun, young and inviting. One corner of the restaurant, for example, is devoted to Elvis paraphernalia–the “Elvis booth.” I particularly appreciated the brown paper tabletops and crayons they provide to entertain children while the food is prepared. My toddler was busy scribbling his Jackson Pollack lookalikes while Mommy decided what to order.


The Elvis Booth at Jack Astor’s. Also, a tribute to Twilight.

The waitstaff is young but I was very happy with the level of attention they gave us and the honest politeness with which they served us. This restaurant is hopping! And one of the reasons it’s family-friendly? It’s so loud in the restaurant that no one even batted an eye at my hollering toddler. The waitstaff was so busy that they didn’t even notice that he was launching yogurt across the table. Oh the things that settle our nerves as mothers…

They have an ample supply of high chairs, the bathroom has a (female only) change table and the menu caters to children with a large selection of meals. Half the restaurant is a bar but honestly, it was kind of “sectioned” off and by the time people start really drinking you and your child will be snug in your bed so it was a non-issue.

My husband and I ordered a burger and we ordered a kid-sized pasta dish for my son. True to my son he wouldn’t eat one bite of the pasta (it was bland but not bad) and settled instead for yogurt and crackers. Godsend: they brought out my son’s meal before ours was prepared so he’d be on dessert (i.e. distracted) while we were eating our food.

I’m so disappointed that I didn’t like my meal. My burger was charred and the bun was stale. I had really high hopes because the night started out so well in the other categories. And while it qualified for the service/family requirements, the food was just not tasty enough to warrant a “oh, we’ll be back soon” approval.

The good news is that while my son wouldn’t touch the actual meal (pasta), he devoured the brownie covered in caramel sauce and whip cream.


Yes, he licked the plate clean.

Should I base the restaurant’s rating on my son’s appreciation for their brownie dessert?

Well, maybe we’ll return for dessert!

Service: Yes; Family: Yes; Food: No

Overall rating: Maybe


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