1093 Cote Du Beaver Hall
Metro: STM Bonaventure, Square-Victoria, McGill
Train: Gare Centrale
Bus: STM 15, 36, 61, 74, 75, 150, 168, 178, 410, 427, 430, 435, 747, 935, AMT Terminus Centre-ville
Visit: October 19, 2011
Over the summer, I was given an interesting suggestion that would put me in the heart of Montreal’s financial district. That suggestion came in the form of Montreal Brisket. It interested me for two reasons. The first reason was that I was looking for something in the Beaver Hall area. The second reason was that I had no idea this place existed before a Twitter follower mentioned it to me. It shows you the power of social media sometimes.
Like I do for many of my Burger Search locations, I undergo a period of “intensive” research. Alright, it may not be intensive research, but at least I take a look at the website of the restaurant if there is one. The thing that really caught my attention here is the menu. Not only is the menu expansive, but the choices of burger meat is just as well. If you were ever interested in having a rabbit, kangaroo, or ostrich burger, this is your place, Now, those options don’t particularly interest me, as I am a beef man myself, so I can’t tell you how “good” they were. The fact that there are so many choices sets this place apart from other types of burger establishment.
The vast menu has me worried for a completely different reason. When I entered a little bit after 4 o’clock, there were only 3 patrons in the restaurant, all at one table. My research also indicated the lack of patronage during afternoon and evening hours. I’m hoping that it is much fuller around lunchtime, as it is located in a highly dense business area. With such a vast menu, one has to wonder if everything gets made or ordered.
Upon entering, I looked around and saw a person eating at a table. As I made my way further inside, that individual motioned to the server to come greet me. I noticed a lot of non-customer people coming in and out. At a point, I swear there were more non-customers there than actual paying people.
My meal was also accompanied by a nice gust of wind. It didn’t begin that way. There was a large window directly behind me. The server decided it was too warm and decided to alleviate the situation. Luckily, since winter is around the corner, I’m always appropriately bundled up. After all, this is Montreal and winter does go on for 11 months out of the year. The time where the breeze really bothered me was as I was finishing, so no real damage was done.
The decor of the restaurant was actually quite interesting. It looked like it was decorated by a big time beer aficionado. There were what looked like larger version of beer caps hanging on the wall. The chairs were mostly sold wood to match the floor and tables. In a way, it looked like a basement hangout. From where my seat was, I had a pretty good view into the kitchen. That basically leads me to one of the lower points of the visit.
The only minor issue I had with service was the part where I waited for my food. As a matter of fact, since I was able to see the kitchen staff or solitary person work, I knew where they were in the process. I also heard the “it’s ready” bell two times, indicating that it’s time to feed the massively hungry burger monster in the dining room. However, the first bell went completely ignored as the non-customers seemed more interesting to staff. Even the second bell was greeted with a delay, as the first table were looking for alcoholic beverage refills. The only reason that this didn’t get on my nerves was the fact that the server was extremely friendly.
This burger contains lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, and bacon.
Choosing this burger was more or less a no-brainer. I had to choose beef because all the burgers so far have gone in that direction. Despite the fact that the other types of meat tempted me, I was more than happy to go with the norm. I had more questions coming into this location than answers. The menu isn’t exactly forthcoming with information about what’s in the burger. I had to ask the server what the burger came with. Luckily, the information was not hard to get. They even graciously allowed me to add bacon to the burger, even though it is not indicated anywhere on the menu. The only thing that’s strange is the fact that cheese is an extra charge.
Upon my first glimpse of this burger, the plating made me think that I was jumping back in time to my early burgers. I can’t remember the last burger that was really presented to me in this fashion. It may have been recently, but too many hits to the head can do things to your memory. It was a real simple plating, which is never too bad a thing. I also laid eyes on the bacon and how small those two pieces looked. My expectations lowered a bit right then and there.
My first bite of burger was way too hot to handle. I couldn’t really get to the core taste of what I was having. It was only after chewing a bit that I realized that I was actually liking what I was having. The meat tasted good and it reminded me of some one of the better burgers I had recently at Hintonburger in Ottawa.
I ordered the half pound patty to go in between the buns. I wasn’t too sure what I’d be getting because you’re always taking a shot in the dark when trying to guess what the patty or patties would look like. On this occasion, I got 2 quarter pound patties with a piece of cheese covering both entities. It explains why the burger came out so quickly and why it wasn’t that difficult to put down.
The cold ingredients like the lettuce and tomatoes varied in their role in this particular burgers. When you took the appropriate bite, it was like heaven. When you took more of the cold players into your mouth, the lower temperature of your bite became a little overwhelming. However, being a burger strategist like I am, this issue disappeared quickly.
One of the things I thought I’d have a problem with was the size of the patties compared to the bun. The patties were considerably smaller than their bread counterparts. Usually, that creates structural problems where the burger would fall apart. Even though I could feel it wanting to happen, I was lucky enough that the burger stayed whole the entire meal.
In all, I was tremendously happy to have tried this burger. The taste was strong throughout the entire consumption period. With the simple list of ingredients and the way the meat was cooked, the burger definitely crushed any low expectations I had. The only things that worried me was the lack of patronage at that particular time.