DRUMMONDVILLE, QC. — While NHL fans have the tendency to try and eat elsewhere before the game to avoid lineups, heartburn and debt, fans of junior hockey have two less worries to keep in mind the day of a big matchup. At the Centre Marcel Dionne in Drummondville, avid followers of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, home-team regulars or visiting fans alike, merely have to worry about getting ahead of the pack in order to effectively decide on one of the surprising number of choices on the in-house restaurant menu for their game meal without missing a second of the action.
Early (or late) risers can profit from the breakfast menu, offering eggs, toast, coffee, muffins or various combos. The more traditional options include grilled cheese, onion rings, sandwiches (chicken, eggs, tomatoes), hot dogs (which are a favourite of mine as the buns are toasted to perfection), and of course, poutine.
The popularity of the venue has made it such that it can no longer offer one-dollar hot dogs. However, the prices are about the same as one can find reasonable, with maybe even a few cost-efficient surprises, and certainly a breath of fresh air when compared to what Montrealers are more used to spending at the Bell Centre. Naturally, no five-dollar pizza slices here!
Rather than just beer, soft drinks and water, a variety of beverages both regular and alcoholic are offered (three types of water!), in addition to drinks that keep you warm such as the aforementioned coffee (moka and French vanilla, even!), tea, hot chocolate and even…chicken broth?
I didn’t have time to ask about that one.
The restaurant is divided into two kinds of lineups: those who want snack food and those who prefer a little (or a lot) more. On the snack side, there is a Slushie counter so large and colourful that it invokes a range of childhood memories (and possibly sugar highs) merely by standing in its vicinity. Meanwhile, contrary to movie theatres that offer huge, huger and hugest formats of popcorn, the small is actually a small and the large does not threaten to take up the size of your seat.
The ambiance, of course, moves in waves along with the score of the game being played. It is open, friendly and even familial, much like the close-knit nature of junior hockey cities. But with the all the food, drink and all the choices, you can bet on there being lineups!
Home Team: Drummondville Voltigeurs
Beer: Costs you $5.25, or 2 for $10.
Wings: The closest thing that exists is popcorn chicken, which costs $3.50.
Good to know: The poutine, while at the head of the popular choices list, unfortunately has all of its cheese at the bottom (probably due to overwhelming orders, especially in the intermissions). It remains a fan favourite, however, in mini, small (probably better known as “regular,” since there is no medium) and large formats ranging from $3.75 to $7.
Number of TV screens: Two. (Plus four on the big screen outside!) Because the only event you should be watching here sort of tends to happen out on the ice.
How loud does it get?: On a good day? 4/5
HPR (Hockey Pub Rating):
|Hockey Pub Rating (HPR)|
|Sports Atmosphere||4 Pints|