Burger Week 2017: We have some contenders for you!
Burger Week 2017 – The fifth edition of Burger week is on from September 1st to September 7th, and Montreal is one of the many participating cities, with 40 restaurants eager to charm you with their burger creations. At each venue, you will be presented with a unique vision of what makes a great burger. Once you have tasted a Burger Week burger or two, you can vote online for your favourite.
For this writing mission, I knew I would need a sturdy crew of at least four hungry people, so I enlisted the help of Elena, my daughter and photographer, as well as Henri and Mateo, both avid and experienced burger eaters, who were happy to share their opinions while satisfying their appetites.
We began at Das Bier, a German-style beer hall, with a dazzling amount of beers on tap, German fare on the menu and good music as well. We were there early in the evening, and it was not busy, but our waiter assured us that later on in the evening there would be a crowd, with people dancing on the sturdy tables, German beer- hall style, and a good time would be had by all.
Their burger offering is a bavette patty, garnished with thyme and rosemary shallots, a white wine déglacé and roquette salad, cucumbers and beets as accompaniments. This was a good sized burger, priced at $17.
Since this was our first sharing experience, we struggled a bit on how to cut it into four equal portions. This became less of an issue as the evening wore on, and our appetites became more satiated.
Elena expressed some disappointment about the burger on the website being bigger than the one we were served. She quickly remedied to this by distracting Henri and stealing his last bite, however, so she walked out of Das Bier with a smile on her face. We agreed with that we had tasted a strong contender for the best burger.
Das Bier is situated on Papineau at the corner of Rosemont, and is open from 3pm to 3am every day.
We then headed to The Medley, as we were quite eager to have a go at their “Pimp your Burger” customizable offering. Their idea is to give you the possibility of creating the burger you want, by picking the toppings, and adding a dollar to the final price with each additional choice. We put the decision-making to Elena and Mateo, and they chose everything on the list: caramelized onions, house smoked cheddar, a huge onion ring, legendary bacon jam, BBQ mayo and a fried egg. Once we tasted the burger, we agreed that perhaps the actual meat was lost in all of the hoopla, and that it might have been better to exercise a bit of self-controlled tailoring. We were a comical sight though, as we tried to get a bite out of this enormous concoction into our mouths. The total price was $17, and well worth it.
Le Medley is easily found on St-Hubert at the corner of Bellechasse. They open from 5pm to 9 or 10pm, and if you visit their online site, you will be able to pick which entertainment will to accompany your meal with, since they offer everything from dance, poetry, conferences and music.
We jumped back into the car and drove off to our next destination: L’Abreuvoir, for the “Pow Burger”. We were too early for the busy evening crowd this bar is known for, which meant we were able to commandeer the Babyfoot table while waiting for our burger to arrive. The 100% beef patty, with thick bacon slices, smoked cheddar and caramelized onions made two of us decide that this was the best burger so far. This is a classic burger, with no particularly different toppings, but rather a classy take on the traditional and much-loved burger formula.
L’Abreuvoir is situated on Ontario st., just east of St-Denis. It opens from 4 or 6pm to 3am.
Matteo was eager to move on to the next venue, while the rest of us were beginning to feel the weight of our dedicated tasting, and we were unsure we would be able to even try the next offering.
We headed off to La Belle et La Boeuf, to see what the “Super Pac Mac Insanity” looked like, and we were curious about a burger described as containing a certified eight ounce Angus Beef patty, smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, homemade ketchup and served on (and this is what had me excited) breaded deep fried mac n’ cheese buns!
We arrived at the restaurant in full dinner hour rush, and it was somewhat of a wait for the much-anticipated burger. Even though this was our fifth, and even though we had enjoyed everything so far, this was the burger we fell in love with, and which we decided was worthy of our vote for best burger. Elena described this burger best, comparing it to the perfect soulmate: “dependable yet quirky, mysterious, refreshing, and on the right side of crazy”.
The restaurant is known for its over-the-top burgers, and this offering was perfectly calibrated to celebrate the burger tradition -with a nice punch.
There are a few La Belle et La Boeuf restaurants in and around Montreal, and they have varied opening hours that are best to check online.
Our last burger for the evening was “The Impostor”, a dessert burger offered at Le Renoir. The Impostor was the perfect last burger for our evening. A creation of Roland Del Monte, the pastry chef, it consisted of a sesame brioche, with a slice of orange and mango jelly for cheese, a chocolate ice-cream patty, with a pickle-style marshmallow and homemade churros fries with red berry ketchup.
We appreciated this playful take on the burger, and it was the perfect ending to our evening of burger tasting,
Le Renoir is situated in the Sofitel on Sherbrooke st. at the corner of Stanley. It is best to check their opening hours online and perhaps even reserve a table.
We truly would have loved to have tasted more of the offerings, in order to better inform readers, but there are so many, and we already had eaten so much! Make sure to peruse their online site, so as to pick what seems a right choice for you. There is a vegetarian offering at Fabergé in Mile-End, which is a breakfast and lunch venue, and there are some fish options as well which are likely worth exploring, namely the Pastéis de bacalhau at Vasco de Gama, as well as the Tamari Tuna Burger at Club Soya, both in downtown Montreal. There are some pork burgers at The Rosewood, and The Porco, and many mouth-watering temptations offered here, there and everywhere.
Happy burger eating!
Le Burger Week: https://leburgerweek.com/events/display
Feature Burger: The “Pimp your Burger” at The Medley
Photo credits: Elena Ducouré