Bus: STM 200, 211, 212, 405, 411, 419
Visit: February 15, 2012
Throughout the Burger Search, there was always one part of the island of Montreal that I kept my eye on. That part was the area of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. I can’t tell you the number of places I have on my list that can be found within a small stretch of road in Sainte-Anne. With most of my locations needing to be accessible to public transport, Sainte-Anne was never extremely realistic, that is, until this very day.
I’m an avid listener of TSN 990 on the AM dial. As a matter of fact, a few of my Burger Search locations came from the radio ads on the station. Most of the adverts led to something decent, as they appeal to the proper demographic. Over the last few months, I’ve been hearing ads for the Klondike Resto Bar. In the ads, they claim that their steaks and burgers were good. Well, I don’t know very many people who would be more than willing to test those claims than someone who does a search for burgers.
I was saving this location for the right time. I was milling about one day and I mentioned this restaurant and its claim to my fellow eater, known as the Steakman. That’s all I needed to say in order to get him to accompany me on this trek to the west. So, we set off on the road for about an hour, as we were getting quite hungry. After driving for what seemed like an eternity on Beaconsfield road, we reached our destination.
This particular stretch of Sainte-Anne is one that holds some significance to the Lew name, as my father worked here for many years, braving the over 2 hour commute by public transport. In my memories, I’ve only been here once before, but it was so vague that all I remember was images of the street. My father worked in the kitchen of one of the restaurants that’s still there today, though I won’t mention which one it was. All I’ll say is that you’ll see this place one of these days on the GBS. So, in all, coming here was important to me.
Before we managed to get around to Sainte-Anne, I did some Google Streetview research and noticed that there was something else at this address before. Klondike used to be home to a Cheater’s, which if I’m right, was a dessert place. So, that confirmed that the Klondike Resto Bar is still rather new.
Upon entering the restaurant, we were taken aback by the decor. For my tastes, it’s a nicely decorated restaurant. There are a number of Klondike appropriate objects tacked to the wall, which adds a special touch. Since it was the 15th of February, you still had quite a bit of the Valentine’s Day decorations still keeping things lively. We were walked towards the back of the room, where there were 2 large screens, which were RDS ready.
Now, I have to note that the restaurant wasn’t full at all. As a matter of fact, we were the only paying table there. The winter is an especially tough time for restaurants, and I know from family experience. I was hoping that the Canadiens game that night would yield some people, but I will never have the answer to that question. In the summer, with the back terrasse and the proximity to the water, there should be no excuse about attracting customers.
The last thing I wanted to note before getting to the food was something that wasn’t exactly related to the restaurant. We got the chance to hear some really great songs during our meal. For your information, one of them was a nice tune sang by Bing Crosby. I believe you all know the words to this little ditty. I’m dreaming of a white Chrismas! I’m looking at the calendar and remembering the pouring rain that night, thinking that someone at that particular radio station needed to be talked to by some professional help. By the way, there are still some people around the Montreal area who have Christmas decorations on their front lawn.
Soup and Salad Bar
Steakman’s Soup and Salad Bar Selection
As we ordered, we were told that with our meals, we would be entitled to go have at the free soup and salad bar. Now, this would be the first time I would ever be able to partake in such a wonderful opportunity to have soup and salad. Knowing what I was about to eat, I didn’t overload my plate like Steakman did, but I took enough.
On my plate, you’ll see potato salad, coleslaw, feta cheese, and macaroni salad. I’ll start with my least favorite and work my way up to the pick I liked the best.
The potato salad is something that I never had before in my life. Both Steakman and I took the potato salad and he took a bite of it first. He wasn’t too impressed by it. I didn’t mind it, but I didn’t like it too much. Luckily, we both had much better potatoes later on. The coleslaw was nothing so special, as I had a second serving later on with my burger. The macaroni salad was the star of the salad bar. It tasted slightly better than the one you could get at KFC. The biggest coup de gras was the fact that they had lumps of really good feta cheese available. My biggest regret for that evening was having anything else on the plate outside of the feta.
The idea of the complementary soup and salad bar is a good idea, that is, for a newer restaurant. Newer places always need to look for that one hook to attract people like you and me to enter their establishments. For the two of us, that night, it was an additional hook. We were both pleased about the salad bar. Steakman was so pleased that he went back for seconds to accompany his main course.
As I mentioned many times in the past, Steakman is a person who prides himself on having steak. Earlier, the claim for best steaks was made in the radio ads. I was there to test the burger claim and I couldn’t think of anyone better to test the other major claim.
From what I saw, the plating resembled what I saw from other similar restaurants. Steakman’s opinion on the steak was a little different from my eye sight. He felt that the steak was appropriately cooked as he asked for medium. It was definitely better than his Jack Astor’s experience, which I keep mentioning here to make sure no one forgets. His only complaint was the fact that there was more pepper than it needed. We all know what too much pepper can do. While it didn’t leap over his expectations, it wasn’t well under either.
Klondike’s Deluxe Burger
This burger contains smoked steak, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, cheese, and bacon. The big feature of this burger was that the meat patties equalled one pound.
Before I get started, I have to discuss the value of the double patty burger. These days, in Montreal, you can get a 1 lbs. burger nearly anywhere. They are a dime a dozen. Some restaurants should take note of that, it’s not a challenge for many of us to finish it. The bigger problem is keeping it together and making an effective one. I now have had about 12 large burgers and most of them were not well put together. It’s not that the taste didn’t work, it’s just that there was too much “awesomeness” to contain. So, I had that in mind going in. I also had the must finish all rule in mind as well.
The big unknown factor was the smoked steak. I’ve never really had smoked steak in any burger before. What it added was a unique taste that led to me not being to tell whether or not bacon was there. The steak was not an impairment, but with a burger so big, it wasn’t as affective. It probably would have been better in a smaller burger.
When the burger got to the table, it was really hot. Even after waiting a bit, the bites were still a little hard to handle. The fact that the meat was still steaming, in a way, hid the taste. As the consumption continued, I was better able to ascertain what I was having. The combination of the various ingredients, in combination with the meat, was well done. It’s a unique taste, but I’d doubt that the meat would shine if it didn’t have the other components.
The inevitable happened. After I finished about 3 quarters of the burger, the rest of it just gave way. I tried to stack the remaining pieces together, but what I build wasn’t about to withstand my eating strategies. So, what I did was knock it back down and finished it piece by piece. That way, I got to see what each individual portion of the burger tasted like.
Coming in, I didn’t really know what my burger expectations were. Seeing how the place wasn’t so busy didn’t really increase anything for me. The burger, for what it was, was more than satisfactory. Much like I explained before, no matter how good your double burger is, it’s doomed to fall apart. The issues with structure, which only happened near the end, didn’t diminish the fact that I liked this burger. If I would ever return to Klondike, I would actually like to the try a smaller burger that features feta cheese. If it is anything like the burger I had that night, I’m sure the feta burger would be a hit.
If you’re looking to feed a group of people with a varying amount of tastes, Klondike has the menu to accomplish that. The decor lends itself to a nice evening at the edge of the greatest island on this planet. What you’ll get is food that will be enough to satisfy your hunger. It satisfied two people who were driving in the middle of nowhere for an hour, trying to find a direct route to Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.