NOTE: As part of the relaunch media event, all food and beverages were free, but all opinions are based on my own experience.
I’ve been to Dunn’s Famous during the PaintNite events, so I was excited when Peak Communicators contacted me about the Dunn’s Famous Relaunch Media Event. As I was away during the actual event, Peak Communicators was able to arrange for me to visit the restaurant at another time. I met with Yonathan Delgado, the General Manager who gave me a thorough tour of the newly re-opened restaurant.
Dunn’s Famous is the only franchise outside of Quebec. The store launched in 2011 and the grand re-opening was on October 9, 2015. They have revamped their menu to focus more on their signature dishes, but have also added a couple of new items. My immediate reaction when I entered was how bright the restaurant is now.
You’ll find brick walls on one side and tables with black and white photography of Quebec.
The new addition is the deli experience where customers can purchase both quick lunches and also goods to take home. They offer a variety of smoked meat, pickles, salads, and soups. Of course, you can also choose sit-down dining, but it’s great that there’s an option for Downtown workers for a quick sandwich.
Dunn’s Famous specializes in authentic Montreal smoked meat, an artisan meat product produced from beef brisket that is cured and spiced using old-world techniques before a slow cooking process. It is then steamed again and hand sliced to order, before used to create the iconic Canadian Montreal smoked meat sandwich.
Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich
Of course I had to try their signature item, so I ordered the Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich. For the sandwiches, you can choose the size, cut of your meat, mustard, and any side add ons. I asked for advice from one of the servers (who by the way, are extremely well-trained and knowledgeable with the products) and chose the smallest size, a 4 oz meat sandwich, with a medium cut, and Dijon mustard. They use rye bread which comes from the local bakery, Brekka, so the bread is extremely fresh. All sandwiches also come with a pickle, which is refreshing to eat between the sandwich. The smoked meat is seriously some of the most melt-in-your-mouth meat I’ve had though. This is because Dunn’s offers the only hand-sliced Montreal smoked meat in Vancouver. The hand slicing is an art that takes years to perfect and allows the meat to be cooked for a longer period of time and it can be cut against the grain. This would not be achievable with a machine. With a medium cut, you get a mix of lean and fat meat, so you still get the perfect melt-in-your-mouth texture.
For my add-on, I chose the Quebecoise Poutine. The fries are hand cut and made from Kennebec potatoes, and topped with fresh Canadian cheese curds covered in an original BBQ beef gravy. The gravy is made in house from scratch using roasted beef bones and a signature barbecue spice mix, which I thought was quite different from your typical gravy sauce. I quite liked this and the fries were extremely crispy.
Overall, I was extremely satisfied with the service and food at Dunn’s Famous. There are very few, if any, Montreal smoked meat restaurants that I’m aware of so it’s great that Dunn’s still keeps the traditions and authenticity of this delicious artisan meat. Great location and I’m loving the new vintage retro ambiance at the restaurant. Plus, you can now bring home the smoked meat to assemble your own sandwich!