We were driving back from Quebec City and were letting the little one sleep in the back for as long as we could. Such is what you do when you are driving a lot during the holidays.
When she woke up would determine, once again, where we would eat, depending on where we were. Just how far could we go? We were on the 40 and closing in on Trois-Rivières. Perhaps we could reach the outskirts of Montreal?
Not quite. She woke up as we were exiting Trois-Rivières, limiting our options. I suggested waiting until Berthierville, but was told that she wouldn’t hold out that long. We were closing on Yamachiche. The choice became obvious: la Porte de la Mauricie.
This old truck stop, which opened 30 years ago, was recently expanded and renovated. The complex now includes, on top of the original restaurant and the gas bar, a convenience store, a Thaï Express, an A&W and a 20 unit motel. And there is more renovations planned, 1.5 million dollars having been announced to refresh the outside and to increase the restaurant’s seating capacity to 425.
The restaurant is spacious. They have hosted receptions and meetings of all kinds, including over 500 weddings! And since they are beside the 40, it is quite convenient. Ain’t it? On the food side, they feature a Saturday and Sunday night buffet, a Sunday Brunch and their Wave of Seafood on Fridays. They also serve the best prime rib in the world. Or so they claim. I, somehow, have doubts. But it is a popular spot for the locals as well.
The menu is diversified, as is often the case for these kinds of establishments. I felt like a Club Sandwich, which is usually a good side-of-the-highway bet. I had the possibility of ordering a simple Sandwich Club, or going for the Super Club Sandwich ($11.99). “What’s the difference?” I asked our server, and she responded that it was the same, but with fries AND onion rings. Super! I went for it.
– “Ketchup, mayonnaise?”
– “Of course.”
– “Would you like honey for your onion rings?”
Honey to dip your rings in is a classic in Quebec, the combination of the sweetness of the honey with the salty rings is part of the natural order of things. The service was courteous and efficient, so the food arrived promptly and so did the free Pepsi refills when one was needed.
Is there something more classic at a Truck Stop, however fancy it has become? This particular rendition of the Triple Decker was honest. Nicely toasted sandwich bread, crispy bacon, fresh tomatoes and lettuce, and roasted chicken. It was served as soon as made, nicely warm, no sogginess. The fries were made from frozen, not bad, but not something to make you stop again. The rings were also from frozen, but they were nice and crispy, a good crunch, the onions sticking to the batter. Better than the fries. On the side, a small industrial coleslaw, vinegary, not offensive.
All in all, a nice stop. The place was spacious and clean, the service was fast and polite, the prices reasonable and the spot is conveniently located – so you don’t have to go out of your way to find an alternative to the usual fast food options.
For the record, the Waffle Jr. had the spaghetti with the house bolognese sauce, and gave two, very saucy, thumbs up.