Bus: STM 102, 103
Visit: November 8, 2011
Since my last burger at Moishe’s, I’ve been in a bit of a lull. I’ve had trouble thinking of a place to follow up my incredible dining experience at a Montreal institution. Also, being that I am Mr. Lew during the day, I haven’t found the time to really get back out there on my own. However, I wasn’t going to let another week go by without doing a whole burger.
Billy Geez is a name that I’ve read about when doing my initial burger research. I’ve always been hesitant about going to places like this because of the unknowns. I’ll explain my hesitations a little later. In the last few months, bloggers Foodie Date Night made an adamant point for me to visit this N.D.G. haunt. Though interesting, it wasn’t my real purpose. People who have been following my 118 previous burgers can pretty much predict where this is going.
One of my main hesitations was the fact that the restaurant is so tiny compared to some of the other places I’ve been to recently. As a matter of fact, it’s so small that there is only 1 person tending the entire restaurant. You enter the restaurant and you’ll see what looks like a bar to your left. There are a few tables scattered around next to the mirror on the right. Around the walls are sports paraphernalia and a decently sized flag of Italy. I wouldn’t call it a place where you’d have a meal for hours. It should also be mentioned that behind this bar was the grill where the food is cooked and taken out in plain view of the paying customer.
I mentioned above that the place is manned on only one man. Despite the lack of manpower, I found the amount of waiting to be reasonable for the situation. The person, who I can only assume is Billy G., took care of everything from cooking to handling the new obligatory provincially mandated cash register that spits out restaurant bills with unique bar codes that resemble something I can’t describe because I’m not that creative when it comes to that kind of mundane stuff. By the way, after reading that last sentence, you may take a short breath and a sip of water. I found my few interactions with the staff member to be quite cordial and any discomfort quickly dissipated.
When I entered the restaurant, there were about a group of five to six men waiting at the bar. It’s strange because two of them were standing. I’m saying that because there were benches or chair available, but they were standing. These are the things that confuse me.
I also noticed a group of two construction workers who were sitting down and enjoying lunch. I watched as the two inked gentlemen ordered burgers to go with their alcoholic companions. One of the individuals had two burgers to eat and he did so in pretty quick time. As they got up and the staff member picked up their baskets, one of the two men claimed it was the “meilleur burger en ville.” At this point, I didn’t have any food yet. That remark made my head spin a bit because it’s tough to make that claim if you haven’t been around. I’ve had 118 burgers to that point and I still can’t declare a champion in the burger fight. However, the gauntlet was laid down.
The last note has to go to the price. The burger ($3.30), small fries ($1.54), and can of ice tea ($1.53) came up to a whopping $7.26, which I believe is a Burger Search record for the least amount of money. Before you speculate, the money was not the reason I haven’t done a burger in a long while, though it doesn’t help that I didn’t pay so much on my first burger back from a short hiatus. The prices are very competitive for the kind of establishment it is. With a major English high school nearby, which just happened to be in the news on this day, it caters perfectly for the lunchtime crowd who are mostly on fixed budgets. The money saved on labour costs probably makes the place profitable. For the value alone, it’s a definite must visit.
This burger contains lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and bacon.
Before I go into the actual burger consumption itself, I have to get the research out of the way first. I found a lot of people saying that the burgers would be quite small. Now, even though this might be true, it didn’t bother me. As a matter of fact, Burger 39 at Patati Patata was probably that much more smaller. Then people would probably mention the fact that I could’ve have taken two since the prices were not so elevated. I didn’t take a second burger for two reasons. The first being that it is a logistical nightmare when it comes to counting burgers for the search because I wouldn’t want two identical burgers. The second reason is that I don’t have that kind of appetite anymore, so why over-stuff myself when it’s not necessary?
With expectations slightly higher than normal and with the amount of research I did, the burger’s presentations didn’t surprise, shock, or disappoint me at all. It looked like a decent burger, a definite step above something you could get a La Belle Province with ten times the staff and resources. I was ready and primed for action.
The burgers only real main downfall was the mustard being all over the place. Since I asked for my burger to be all-dressed, I pretty much expected to have mustard. Even though I am not a big mustard on burger fan, I don’t really mind having it every now and then. However, the mustard was all over the place, forcing me to wipe my hands every so often. Even though it was a point against the burger, it wasn’t enough to deter my experience at all.
The thing that surprised me somewhat was the placement of the bacon. First of all, the bacon was cooked well, to my liking. As I took bites, I noticed that the bacon was placed under the patty, unlike so many other burgers I’ve ever had in my life. I found that interesting because it allowed the bacon to be further infused by burger meat juices.
The meat itself tasted a lot bigger than its size. When you think of a small patty, you think small taste. I was lucky to find that despite the lack of burger size, the taste was still there. It also explains the amount of time it took to cook the burger as well.
Overall, for what it was, the burger satisfied my demands. I enjoyed each bite, even if there weren’t many. If you’re looking for something that works well with value and tight budgets, this is definitely the place to go. The burgers may be small but they pack quite the punch that you might want to have more than one.