From the moment Scores Restaurants (https://www.scores.ca) made its debut in Quebec in 1995 I was a fan. Renowned for its famous Rotisserie chicken and delicious back ribs, it now has over 38 restaurants and counting in Quebec and Ontario.
A subsidiary of Montreal-based company Imvescor Inc (imvescor.ca) which also oversees the operations of Baton Rouge, Toujour Mikes, Ben & Florentine and Pizza Delight, Scores always appealed to me for many reasons. It starts off with their terrific all you can eat, soup, salad and fruit bar, a great way to start a meal. You can literally make that experience your meal or for a small add on price get things rolling with some soup and a wide array of choices.
Scores has lunch specials and a great kids menu, delivery and takeout options and some delicious desserts. Nutritional values and allergy information are on each menu and the company website.
Ron Simard, who joined Scores as chief operating officer in January 2017 via the Richtree Market Restaurant chain in Toronto, is now overseeing the launch of many new locales. For starters, there is a new corporately-owned store on Cremazie in Ahuntsic right off of the Trans Canada AutoRoute. This will double as a training center.
New openings are planned for Longueil, St. Sauveur and Repentigny. There is also good news for fans of Scores who saw their stores close due to the conclusion of some franchise agreements on Lacordaire in Montreal North and on St. Jean Blvd. in Dollard des Ormeaux. Brand new spots will open on the same streets.
For residents of NDG there is encouraging news. Simard said his Scores team is working on a possible location which could debut in late 2018 or early 2019.
My friend Tony and I recently enjoyed a fabulous meal at the Scores location in Dorval (4444 avenue Dorval). It is in the Dorval Gardens Shopping Centre, with a nice big parking lot. This franchise, owned by Kosta Ziss for the past 19 years, is among those that has been significantly renovated to include the Grand Saladier bar. Now let me just tell you that I thought the original salad bar was amazing; this one is not to be believed. “We are so proud of it,” said Ziss, noting that as a franchise owner he is able to tweak the look just a little to meet the desires of the local demographic.
The Grand Saladier costs $11.95 if you select it as your meal, but only $4.95 if you add it as side dish. It is an absolute work of art, consistently replenished by staff. And wow was there ever an endless array of choices, from soups to salads and much more!
Here’s some facts
- 24 new ingredients (like kale, edamame, bacon, chorizo)
- three cheeses (blue, cheddar and parmesan)
- Chili and nachos cheese
- Five new composed salads (one with shrimps, one with pollock, one with feta cheese and one with dill)
- Two soups (chicken noodle plus the soup of the day)
This salad bar now beats any of my US favorites hands down. Simard notes the Grand Saladier will eventually be rolled out into all existing stores.
For appetizers you can choose from shrimp, grilled chicken flatbread, chicken wings, cheese sticks, delicious onion rings and fried pickles.
There is a reason why clients of Scores often return to eat there more than once a week for the menu has such a variety. For me, there was no question about what to order. The quarter breast and back ribs have always been my house favorite, served with a choice of crispy fries, baked or mashed potato, basmati rice or roasted vegetables along with a great sauce. Scores selects air-chilled, superior quality 100 percent Quebec chicken, seasoned with its chicken spice blend and slowly rotates it on a spit 525 times to bring out all the natural juices and flavours. They also take the finest pork back ribs, rub them with a secret Scores spice blend, and slow-cook them with smokehouse aromas for seven long hours before caramelizing them on the grill with their famous rib sauce.
You can also order, fresh off the grill, chicken brochette, cooked traditional, Quebecois or Thai style as well as Swiss Cheese and Bacon and Southern style chicken meals. There are also fajitas, a tender chicken breast fillets platter, chicken parmigiana, cedar plank salmon, fish and chips and grilled bavette steak.
There is a selection of sandwiches, poutines and burgers. The latter was what Tony had in mind and he was pleasantly surprised with his delicious, tender and juicy 100 percent beef burger served on a pretzel bun, garnished with Swiss cheese, sautéed mushrooms, crispy bacon, guacamole, lettuce and the house chipotle pepper sauce.
For dessert, I opted for a decadent piece of lemon meringue pie while Tony chose the carrot cheese cake.
All Scores restaurants have a full cocktail and beer selection.
The franchise owners are very implicated in their own communities. That is especially the case for Ziss, who sponsors a lot of local programs.
As for home delivery, Scores is rolling out a fleet of electric cars. Twelve of those will be driving in the Montreal region within the next few months.
I thoroughly enjoyed this meal and look forward to many more.
By Mike Cohen