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This place has so much hype it’s ridiculous. Everyone that I’d spoken to in Toronto had already been to Banh Mi Boys and every single person raved about it. When talking about it in groups, people nodded knowingly to each other and proceeded to discuss their favourite sandwiches and sides… for minutes on end. Having had a relatively consistent reign over UrbanSpoon Toronto’s “Talk of the Town” since last year, I made it a point to check the place out this time around.
Burger de Ville arguably serves some of the best burgers in the city. For an all-Canadian product and AAA graded steak cuts, a simple cheeseburger will cost you a mere $5.50. Don’t want the cheese? $4.75. Say what?! That price point is pretty unbeatable – taking into account the quality of the patty and the multitude of *free* toppings you’re privy to (caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, jalapeno peppers, harissa mayo, old fashioned mustard etc.) – there is hardly any other establishment that can compare on the same level. Burger de Ville serves honest, straightforward food with lots of room for customization – you’re the boss here.
Just around the corner from where I was staying in Toronto over my visiting weekend, L’Ouvrier seemed like a good bet for brunch time food. A friend had been for a party after a TIFF event and had great things to say about the space and the aesthetic of the place. Open to whatever, I was down to check it out – we ended up going for a nice brunch with a couple people.
I don’t know why I don’t go to La Fabrique more than I do. This place is amazing. I just remember the one and only time I went for dinner, I was completely blown away. Looking for somewhere to brunch, La Fabrique came up in my search and rose coloured memories gently came floating back.
Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurant is a fast food chain run by five brothers originating from Virginia. When we first spotted the location opening up, we found it peculiar – this red and white checkered fast food joint certainly didn’t blend in on the McGill street Old Montreal strip.
On the hunt for poutine while downtown is no easy feat. You would think it would be a quick fix given the number of clubs and bars around the area. If you think about it, the number of intoxicated people craving some greasy gravy covered fries must be huge! Especially during the weekend. Having had a few drinks at my apartment, a couple of friends and I set out our sights on La Belle Province on Peel just below Sherbrooke to sate our late night craving.
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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We’ve all had those nights. You know, the ones where you crave greasy fast food (cue the thought bubbles filled with cheesy, gravy-soaked poutine, thick burgers and steamy hot dogs) so bad that almost nothing can come between you eating it (think Harold & Kumar and their epic search for that perfect White Castle burger). This hunger is often magnified after having a few drinks at a place like the Distillerie, one of the city’s most popular bars. Guess where La Paryse is located? Right next door – which couldn’t be more perfect. At the ready to feed the inebriated masses coming in from nearby St. Denis or just next door, La Paryse is as busy at 5 pm as it is at 11 pm.
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.
Quaint and cozy, this joint is a typical Québecois diner. Its authenticity is further highlighted by the fact that it is located relatively deep in the countryside of Québec, where the population is dominated by francophones – also the ones who invented the irreplaceable, unlike any other, international recognized and provincially representative dish of poutine. Just off the main graveled road is a little house that is one of the oldest mainstays in town. Behold, the Casse-Crôute Chez Claudette! The food served here is basic – hot dogs, hamburgers and… poutine ! And boy, do they do it well. The cheese curds are freshly made, squeaky and firm and the fries hold their form even in the onslaught of thick, delicious gravy. Poutine doesn’t get realer than this.
I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been on a streak of rotisserie type meals for the past week. Just can’t get enough. At work last Friday, we decided to order in from the Montreal famous Chalet BBQ on Decarie. It’s an old classic and a great one at that. People already know this – the place has been voted as the #1 rotisserie in the city by the Le Choix des Connaisseurs and is one of oldest in town, having been open since 1944.
Best. Chicken. Ever. Get ready to go wild for this one. Crispy on the outside, firm but tender on the inside, the chicken at Romados lives up to all that street talk. Yep, it is arguably serving the best chicken in the city. None of that dry, bland tasting meat that you choke down with big gulps of water. Nope, not here. With some seasoning, a bit of spice brushed onto the meat and a little extra gravy for the fries, the taste is incomparable to anything else. Mmm, mmm, mmm. We got a half chicken and two thighs to go. Smothered with fries and coming with a bite of salad, the three of us wolfed down our meals like there was no tomorrow. Yes, we were hungry. But the main accelerator for the speed at which we ate was the tastiness of the food itself.
Every time I stop by Le St. Bock, I’m surprised at how extensive their menu is. And almost everything on it has beer in it. It’s insane how beery things get. They even manage to put it in brownies… Definitely on my to-try list. The St. Bock is a good spot for an afternoon meal, a dinner on the terrasse as well as a drink with a couple of friends late at night. The virtue of the place is that it is perfect for almost any (casual) get together location-wise, atmosphere-wise and food-wise. For avid beer drinkers, the St. Bock offers a number of house brews that are listed here – the listings apparently change every week depending on what’s on tap and what’s new in house. From what I understand, they are quite good!
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.
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.
Every summer since 2008, St. Catherine has been closed off from Amherst to Papineau to create a car-free zone. Encouraging pedestrian foot traffic and the emergence of a multitude of terrasses, the Gay Village is known for its vibrant community and colorful events. Steak Frites, being located at the center of all the commotion is appropriately equipped to handle almost any size of a crowd, with a private party room to boot. Elegantly decorated and dimly lit, the ambiance is cool yet inviting. Despite arriving ten minutes after our reservation time, we were asked to wait another twenty five minutes. Otherwise, the service was great – the servers were courteous and attentive.The specialty is steak, so it only make sense that the menu is composed primarily of it. Every main comes with a house salad, green beans and all-you-can-eat fries. We ordered the chevre-chaud, St. Paul, the duck confit (which was exceptionally tender), salmon, the steak frites in 7 oz. as well as the 9 oz.