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The bright orange colour that seems hallmark to the cheery little soba shop is hard to miss walking down Delancey street. Cartoon figures welcome you from the windows and wait for you between the pages of the menu, helpfully pointing out nutritional benefits as well as tips and suggestions on how best to enjoy your meal there. Instructional cards are handed out according to the dish ordered, giving you a little bit of extra info on the history of the dish and the method of traditional consumption.
Le Chien Fumant was one of our top restaurant choices to celebrate Alex’s birthday. It had been roughly a year since we last went and recollections of our time there were rosy. With the likes of food celebrities such as Gail Simmons having made previous appearances, we knew that we were likely going to be in good hands.
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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For the longest time the Faubourg on St Catherine (corner Guy) has simply been a place for me to get Phad Thai from Cuisine Bangkok. Recently, Yuki Ramen has caught by eye as there are two employees hand spinning Ramen noodles at all times. I can’t resist ramen knowing the noodles were stretched and boiled less than 5 minutes ago, so I finally gave it a try. As I ate and listened to the rhythmic slapping of the noodles on the counter, I couldn’t help but stare at the noodles being stretched and twisted with acrobatic precision.
Steps away from the financial district, Hakata Ramen has become a somewhat popular lunchtime spot for shoppers, passerbys and especially office workers of the Golden Square Mile. I know I saw more than a few suits coming in and out! The menu is surprisingly quite varied – the section of ramen was smaller than I had anticipated as the place is named after the noodles. No matter. We had three orders of the seafood ramen (lunchtime special!), a tenderous ribs ramen and one eel on hot stone. The seafood soup was apparently average – not bad, but not very good either. I had the rib ramen which I thought was quite nice as what they served really delivered on the ‘tenderous’ aspect. I got a lot of tendon in my bowl – which I love – that was soft and not chewy at all. Service was relatively fast and courteous and the place hardly makes a dent in your wallet. Not a bad place to consider going for a sit down lunch to catch up with a friend!
Looking down the comment/review list on Burgundy Lion‘s Urbanspoon page, sentiments are mixed. While the crowd is doubtlessly cool, the atmosphere is chic and the decor is interestingly laid out, the service is sporadic, the menu is forgettable and the food is at its best mediocre. I really wanted to like this place after hearing so much about the legendary trivia night, the great drinks and the people – but unfortunately the food did not measure up.