Burger Week 2013 has come and gone. This event, which started last year here in Montreal, expanded Canada-wide for this year’s edition. In Montreal, we had 30 restaurants which showcased their special takes on a cheeseburger. I was able to enjoy 4 different burgers this year. While I enjoyed the one’s from Blackstrap BBQ and les Enfants Terribles Outremont, they are not regular items on the menu so I will not discuss them. The other 2 restaurants however showcased true elements of their menus so I believe they are worth some follow-up.
First up, I took a short walk over to St-Laurent and Roy to check out Burger Royale. This burger joint promotes itself as a source for natural organic burgers. All of its beef and poultry is from a single Quebec source, grain-fed free range as well as hormone & antibiotic free. Each patty is handmade following an in-house grind. Nice ideas in concept but execution is the key here.
For a drink, I went with one of their milkshake. Something unique that they offer here is the choice of regular milk or milk that has been steeped in cereal overnight. When I was there, the choices were Captain Crunch or Fruit Loops. The notion is that the milk will absorb some of the flavours from the cereal and add something to the milkshake. I decided to try the Captain Crunch milk in a cookie & cream milkshake. Honestly, there wasn’t much of impact from the milk. The rich cookie and cream ice cream used pretty much masks any of the Captain Crunch sweetness that I was hoping for. The milkshake itself was quite good but I think I will stick to the regular milk. Props on the creativity though.
The burger promoted for the week was the Faux Boss Burger. A beef patty topped with deep fried Jalapeños, house sauce, spicy mayo, bacon, lettuce, tomato, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions and cheddar cheese served with a side of house sauce. This burger is a slight variant of their Boss Burger – they added the Jalapeños and changed the cheese for this one. Overall this was a very good burger. The beef was definitely fresh – nice and juicy without creating a mini-lake in your plate when you bit into it. All of the topping were good and created a nice mix of spiciness and sweetness. The bread was grilled but still had a nice softness to it. I very much enjoyed this burger.
The fries, on the other hand, were a big disappointment. The portion size was nice but the fries themselves were dry and lacked any real flavour. They certainly didn’t have the same feeling of freshness that ones gets from the burger. Even the picture I took of them makes them seem….blah. Which is too bad because a good burger place needs great fries to pair with a great burger for things to feel whole. I loved the burger so if you decide to check them out, try a burger but don’t bother with the fries.
3820 St Laurent
514 282 0002
The second place I went to was Uniburger out in the Latin Quarter. I had heard and read some great things about this simple burger joint so I was excited to try them for the first thing. The place is no frills – simple tables, no fancy decor and a plain fast food-like counter to order from. The menu is short and sweet – hamburgers, cheeseburgers, their signature “uniburgers”, fries, soft drinks and milkshakes. I respect a place that says “this is what we do, no more, no less”. If a burger place is good, it doesn’t need a poutine or chili fries or desserts or any number of random extra dishes. Just serve us a kick ass burger, fries and a shake. And Uniburger nails that perfectly.
First up, the milkshake – chocolate or vanilla but using Bilboquet ice cream. Simple but again, the use of great ingredients makes all the difference. Perfectly smooth texture with a great richness from the Bilboquet ice cream. when you can see the vanilla bean in your milkshake you know you are dealing with a proper vanilla milkshake.
The fries are pilled high, perfectly golden crispy on the outside but still soft enough on the inside. No grease at all present and perfectly salted off the bat. Love the salting prior to receiving the fries. These guys know how to make fries.
For the week, Uniburger added bacon to their classic cheeseburger. Lettuce, tomato and Uniburger sauce which is essentially a variant on a big mac sauce. The entire thing is stacked between a potato bun and my god is this a great burger. Pretty much the best classic burger I have had in Montreal to date. Everything here is perfect – the soft potato bun, the juicy beef patty, the melted cheese, the crisp iceberg lettuce, the tangy Uniburger sauce and the fatty fresh bacon. If I hadn’t planned other burger visits that day, I would have had at least one more. I have now found my burger joint until further notice. Uniburger lived up to the hype and then some.
Burger week was a great opportunity to experience a wide-range of burgers across the city. Hopefully next year, those of you who missed out will find the time to enjoy some burgers. Don’t think you will be disappointed.
302 Ontario East
514 419 6555