Click HERE for a link to Bubble Tea for Dinner’s “review” of Typhoon Lounge.
Bus: STM 103, 162
Visit: September 27, 2011
Typhoon Lounge has been on my list of places to go to for a very long time. Up to this point, I haven’t really had the opportunity to go here. The main reason for that was that the restaurant was only opened after 4p.m. on weekdays. I also decided to save this location for future possible guest reviews, since it’s one of the few places I had left that had a vast selection of burgers to choose from.
Well, on this very day, with a number of more than willing people to join me, I finally had that opportunity to have my much awaited visit to the Typhoon Lounge. On this occasion, I was once again joined by the team of Foodie Date Night. It was once again a pleasure to have them along for a second burger attempt. Rounding out the table of four was the first time accompaniment of the blogger behind Bubble Tea for Dinner. Since there were so many of us there, we had a very good opportunity to see the variety of burgers choices go to work.
Being the compulsively punctual person that I am, I arrived before everyone else. Other than standing awkwardly on Monkland while people passed by, I was able to scope out the terrasse and see how that worked. For me, I do whatever I can to avoid eating outside. More or less, if I wanted to eat outside, well, I wouldn’t. The outdoor tables were mostly full, though I didn’t exactly know where the tables for the lounge ended and where the next restaurant’s tables began. Now, being the oblivious person that I tend to be sometimes, I figured that if there were plenty of people outside, there would be plenty inside. I wish that was the case.
Entering the restaurant was something. Once you make it down the stairs, you see the tables lining the left wall. To your right, you have a bar, where a number of people were stationed there enjoying their late happy hour medicine. You also can’t miss the numerous television screens that are playing nothing else but sports. Rounding out the decor is a real lack of lighting which would really lend itself to that more intimate feeling, if you’re looking for that.
The television screens are something that make this kind of lounge feasible. I’m pretty sure that on hockey night, you’ll get crowds of people packing the place just to see Scott Gomez not score. I was told that a lot of people enjoy this feature of the lounge. Personally, there are only two places where I’d consider watching a hockey game, home or the other obvious hockey shrine in Downtown Montreal. I’m also a day person, which would explain that a whole lot.
Before going to the Typhoon Lounge for burgers, I was warned that they could run out. Now, anyone who has been following this blog recently knows what happened when one downtown location didn’t deliver on at least three burger patties. So, it can be understandable that I’d be worried about getting something I clearly and plainly wanted. When most of your menu is comprised of burgers, there’s no excuse. On this evening, there is bad news and some good news. The bad news was that they ran out of Portobello Burgers. On the other hand, they managed to deliver on all four beef burgers.
The service was interesting. I counted a total of about three employees working the floor. There were two servers and someone behind the bar. The place wasn’t packed or slammed, so what I’m about to write doesn’t make sense. The service was extremely slow. I’ve had a lot of burgers and can easily understand that they take a long time when they’re cooked to order. On this occasion, it just felt that the burgers took so much longer to make their appearance. When it came to clearing and getting the bill, it still felt a little long. Now, if you don’t really care about hurrying and you like to chat with your group, you probably won’t mind. But, when you’re like me, wanting to be home at a reasonable hour, so you can get up early the next morning to brave another terrifying trip on the Complain Bridge, you want things to pick up a bit. So, in retrospect, the Typhoon lounge is a nice place to carry on nice and long conversations.
The other thing I noted that really caught my attention was that we were asked how we wanted our burgers done. I honestly can’t remember the last time I was asked by a server that question. If, per chance, I’m not asked, I don’t usually make it a point to force what I wanted or anything. But, getting the choice this time really made me feel like there was some thought into the actual cooking of the burgers, which is always a good sign.
The Typhoon Lounge seems like a good place to sit and relax. Watching the Montreal Canadiens humiliate the Boston Bruins would probably be nice if I were sitting with good people in this location. You really get the casual atmosphere over here. However, if you’re looking for quick eating, you don’t belong here whatsoever. The good news is that you have at least one Subway blocks away. If you like to take your time, this is the place for you.
This burger contains mushrooms, cream cheese, and bacon.
I’ve known for a long time that I wanted this burger. We all know that I’ll get any burger if it has bacon in it, but my new superstar these days is the powerful inclusion of cream cheese. I didn’t really need to look at the menu, I just need to have the cream cheese put on my plate with strips of bacon. Unfortunately, without the buns, there’s no burger, or at least my definition of one.
Upon first glance, I really liked what I saw. It was clear, stacks of bacon with mushrooms as clear as day. The cream cheese was surrounding the cast quite well. The fact that everything looked so juicy made it so much easier to take a bite. We all know that if something looks good, nine times out of ten, it tastes good. I just took a look at the picture one more time and felt the urge to smash my monitor trying to drag the burger out of it.
The thing that surprised me the most was that there was some elements missing from the burger. There was no lettuce. Not only that, not one slice of tomato to be found for a mile. If you’re not a fan of onions, well you’ll be happy, there weren’t any either. I didn’t really realize this until later on when I was actually eating.
After the burger fashion show and photo shoot, it was time to take a bite. After one bite of this burger, I knew that this was going to be something. It’s rare that you take one bite of a burger and make up your mind about it right then and there. But, for me, on this rare occasion, I knew it was going to be good.
The fact that there wasn’t any of the generic burger ingredients involved actually didn’t hamper the burger at all. I had a burger once with only a slice of cheese and two slices of bacon. I felt cheated. But here, you had a healthy dose of cream cheese, a wallop of mushrooms, and slices of the most wonderful looking bacon you’ve ever seen. So not having the lettuce, tomatoes, or onions were more of a blessing than a curse because it allowed the all-star ingredients stand out and take charge.
I want to say that everything was peachy keen, but there was one player that didn’t show up when the game started. The guilty party in this case were the mushrooms. They were there. I eyeballed them with my still functioning vision. They were simply overpowered by the cream cheese and bacon. It probably would’ve been better to of just had the cream cheese and bacon alone. If the mushrooms brought any taste, it was too subtle for my pedestrian palate.
The cream cheese was bold as usual. Each bite was filled with a great amount of cream cheese and I wouldn’t of had it any other way. The one thing that got of my nerves a bit was the little pieces of cheese that would drop out every so often. I didn’t keep a precise count, but this happened at least three times. I don’t think I ever had this happen to me before and I had a lot of cream cheese on burgers in the last two years.
This is the part where I’d mention the bun, but there isn’t really much to write home about here. For the most part, it did its job perfectly. I don’t think the bun ever fell apart once on me. It stayed in place right until the end. So, at this point, the right puzzle pieces are adding up to make up a solid burger.
The bacon was another big time player in this burger game. I mentioned above how much I liked the way it looked. I resembled something that I’d want to take and have every day. Biting into the bacon just confirmed my dreams where I’m salivating and not stopping. The bacon was cooked to my satisfaction. It wasn’t too hard or way undercooked. You were able to chew on it a bit. The bites were maybe a little harder to make, but the taste was worth it.
My biggest curiosity and question for the burger was the meat. Since we were asked how we wanted it, I really wanted to see if they delivered on our requests. I am very pleased to report that the burger patties came to the table meeting my expectations. Now, I’m not an expert on meat temperatures, but I am now sure, 114 burgers in, what a medium well burger looks like. Each bite was actually somewhat juicy, but flavourful none the less. The only thing I didn’t feel good about was that the entire burger lacked a juiciness that some of my top burgers had in the past. Even despite that, the meat just topped off what was a very strong burger, in my opinion.
The question must be asked at this point, does this make my top 5 favorites? My quick answer to that question is no. It isn’t because I’m being picky or hard, but more because of the last point I mentioned in the last paragraph. A good burger has a good amount of juice coming out, but obviously not enough to drown in. This burger lacked that in a way. What I will say is that this is still one of the strongest burgers I’ve had recently. Even if it isn’t in my top 5, I will do whatever I can to urge people to give this one a try. It’s worth the wait, worth the detour, and worth having great company to enjoy it with.