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Just over a week ago, we made our way to the Snow Village in Ile-St-Helene in anticipation of the Grumman hosted outdoor food event that was said to include restaurants such as the Satay Brothers, Nouveau Palais, La Fabrique, Brit and Chips and Pas de Cochon Dans Mon Salon among others.
Montreal is a city with no shortage of mid to high priced burger restaurants. Unfortunately many of them bad – and the cheap places tend to be a better bet. Perhaps the pressure of consumer expectation when paying more than $10 for a burger is just too much. Thankfully, ART:brgr (why no vowels?) actually delivers on the lofty promises of the $12 – $20 burger.
The location is on Gilford street just off the corner of St Denis and the interior decor is random but charming. Notably a pool table lies at the north side of the restaurant and a bar in its center. We stopped by on a Saturday evening and were a little curious as to why it was empty. The restaurant is larger than we expected and there were only two other groups of diners when we stopped in.
The menu consists of signature burgers, build your own burger and homemade hummus plates. I suppose the hummus plate is way of accommodating vegetarians? We ordered the Rojas Burger with lettuce, tomato, thin fried potatoes, jalapeno, cheddar cheese and a sunny side up egg with spicy home made aioli tomato sauce and the Steve McGarrett Burger with lettuce, spicy sweet chilli sauce [ house ], grilled pineapple, grilled onions and brie cheese. There are a couple of beers on tap including the usual St Ambroise as well as Carlsberg.
The Rojas Burger was straight up delicious. The patty was thick and perfectly cooked. This is where a lot of these pricier burger restos fall flat – they get so caught up adding expensive ingredients that they forget to honor the patty. The sunny side up egg has the potential to create a messy situation but instead the yolk became your friend. It seeped into the meat and added genuine flavor to the condiments.
The Steve McGarrett Burger was doing something more unconventional with the grilled pineapple and I dare say it could have been gimmicky. It was saved by a shrewd pairing of brie cheese and grilled onions. The soft cheese tones down the fruitiness of the pineapple and allows for the meat and chili sauce to come through.
Both the burgers were extremely filling and came with fries and salad. I was relieved at the portion size of the fries because a lot of burger places go overboard with it. The fries were thick and crispy – very tasty. I also like not having to choose between fries and salad but I guess that is one of the amenities of paying $13 for a burger plate.
Overall, we enjoyed our burgers and they lived up to the $13 price tag. There are some burgers on the menu that flirt with the $20 range so whether those ones are worth it we can’t say just yet. If you do end up going let us know in the comments!
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iBurger goes for a cool, urban chic vibe with a live DJ spinning chilled out rhythms and laid back grooves, carefully chosen black and white graffiti artwork adorning its walls and staff is dressed in crisp white shirts and black suspenders further highlighting the restaurant’s modern and sophisticated appeal. There is no denying that iBurger has a cool concept: touch screens that feature the menu in HD quality, beautiful photographs with stunning color and detailed descriptions about the food. One can order at one’s leisure and can have questions about the menu items answered almost completely without the help of a waiter. You send in your final order and your server brings it to you. Easy peasy.
With 15 beers on tap and over 100 types in bottles, Bières et Compagnie had won me over before I even walked in. It was recommended to me by a friend who also praised their food, particularly their specialty – mussels. The menu has 30 different preparations of mussel dishes including many of which are prepared in… you got it, beer. We walked in on this night – the very first snow in Montreal – planning on a liquid diet of beer. After our first few pints of Krombacher (German Pilsner) and Sapporo (Japanese Draft), we were quickly enticed to order some food. We had the European hot dog, toulouse sausage with fries and house sauerkraut as well as the European Hamburger with Griffon Beer raclette cheese, house sauerkraut, house dijon mustard and spicy chili mayo.
Let me start off by saying La Fabrique is amazing. Everything about the place is perfect. The design, both interior and exterior is impeccable, the service was well-timed and the view from the terrasse at the Annexe was beautiful. Boasting minimalistic wooden chairs with ultra low backs, vintage/rustic decor (typewriter, spigot type faucets, warm wooden paneling) and a friendly and inviting vibe, the restaurant finds an optimal stylistic balance somewhere between antique and modern. On top of all of this, the food is great.
Meat Market is one of those places you always pass by and take note of but never actually venture inside for one reason or another. The name itself may cause a little controversy as some know the term “meat market” as slang for a place where men and women go to hook up (check this definition if you’ve never heard of it), but then again it could also just mean a place where meat is sold. In any case, yesterday was the big day – stopping by for dinner, we were surprised to find that we were one of the few clients there but maybe it was because it was a Wednesday night. There is a lovely terrace outside, a perfect conduit for enjoying the summer weather while eating some delicious food in Montreal.
Big Smoke Burger was formerly known as Craft Burger and has three locations throughout Toronto. We visited the location at 830 Yonge Street just North of Bloor. The service was extremely fast and it had a pleasant lunchtime vibe to it. I ordered the Fresh Ontario Lamb Burger with cilantro-feta spread, tomato and lettuce and an Arnold Palmer mix of Arizona Iced Tea and Lemonade. This is the first time I’ve seen this drink available outside the U.S. and it tastes pretty much how you would expect it to. The Lamb Burger was simple, light on the dressing but delicious. The lamb flavor came through strong and went well with the feta cilantro spread. Beer drinkers note: They don’t serve any alcohol (hence the iced tea).
Our visit was to the downtown location on Bishop street just south of Maisonneuve – dangerously close to Concordia’s downtown campus.
Amidst a wealth of synagogues, Kosher grocery stores and smoked meat delis in Outremont sits the Bistro Le République. Advertising a deal for every day of the week, Tuesday’s special offered us $15 gourmet burgers, including two pints of Creemore Springs beer – not bad at all, if you ask me. Its enormous terrasse curves around the corner of the street, almost doubling the seating area inside. Raised on a platform, the wooden benches (softened by cushions) allow not only for a great view of the surrounding area but can also serve as an observation deck for some superb people watching (Shtreimel wearing Hasidic Jews, multiple children in matching clothes all riding scooters, well dressed and good looking youth etc).