901 Jean-Talon O.
Metro: Parc, Acadie
Bus: STM 16, 80, 92, 93, 179, 435, 935
Visit: March 22, 2012
Say what you want about Parc-Extension, but there’s one thing you can’t really deny, there are a lot of restaurants. They may range in quality, but you have quite the choice. It isn’t all just centered in one main style of cuisine, but in many various different types. For my purposes, I like to find burgers in as many different areas as I can. This particular stretch of Jean-Talon gave me another meaningful addition to my culinary resume.
The idea of coming to Miss Jean-Talon comes from the ever so great food-centered mind of Steakman. This was one of those places that have always been on our ever growing list of restaurants to visit. Surprisingly enough, mentions of this restaurant made to me were never about their specialties. This place is more or less known for their pizza. I was told about something a little different, their burger.
Steakman has a vast network of people who tell him about things and keep him in the know about certain under the radar places. He told me that his friends were really ranting and raving about Miss Jean-Talon’s burger. When it come to the multi-faceted menus that these types of places tend to offer, I really doubt what kind of burgers I’ll get. Then again, that’s my mission statement, to see what Montreal has to offer burger-wise.
At this time, I can’t go any further without mentioning Steakman’s streak. We’re both “wrestling” fans, so we share that in common. The WWE has Wrestlemania 28 coming up on April 1st of this year. The biggest attraction at Wrestlemania is The Streak. I won’t say more because this isn’t a “wrestling” blog, but a food one. Taking that as an inspriation, Steakman has a streak going on. He is currently at 10-0. Any places that he suggests and indicates is streak worthy becomes our opponent. If I’m satisfied with what I had, it’s a win. Our goal is to match the more famous streak at 19-0 or soon to be 20-0. So, suffice it to say that Steakman’s streak was on the line.
It was quite the “nice” day outside and we were just anxiously waiting to embark on this long awaited trek to Miss Jean-Talon. The first big thing I noticed is the sign you see that starts this post. I’m half-Chinese and every time I see something like that on a restaurant, I get seriously worried. It has become one of my biggest pet peeves. If you’re not a Chinese restaurant, please, for the love of all that’s bacon, please stay the heck out of my native cuisine. I don’t care if you have Jackie Chan or even Iron Chef Chen Kenichi working back there, it’s not a Chinese restaurant. There’s another offender on Hochelaga that does the same kind of thing. Like a lot of people say, stick with what brought you to the dance.
It was a little past noon and we didn’t have much trouble getting a nice place to sit. We picked quite the large booth for the two of us. The decor is a very similar to the place I went to the day before, but a tiny bit more upscale. I wasn’t comfortable at first, because of the combination of the strange seating fabric and the humidity combined to form a devastating tag team. As the match there progressed, I made the Hulk Hogan comeback and made the WWE mine. I think I got off topic again or am using my metaphors a little too liberally. Let’s just say, as time moved on, it was more comfortable.
Ham Pizza (Medium)
Steakman’s intention was to order pizza. I can’t blame him, he does really like pizza. He actually ordered a bigger pizza just for the sole reason of letting me have a piece. Now, you have to understand that I’ve been slammed in the eating department when it came the last 24 hours. The day before, I had my own lunch, a second lunch at Le Nouveau Felix, and to top it off, not one, but 2 portions of Benny’s take-out poutine when I got home. Let’s just say that I wasn’t exactly able or willing to become the next eating competition champion.
Knowing that we also had another stop to make afterwards, I had to devise a simple eating plan. I was going to order my customary burger and for the first time ever, not take any sides whatsoever. I did that for my health and sanity. The fact I was offered the slice of pizza was more than sufficient to replace any French fry or onion ring on this planet.
With the plan in place, it was time to eat. The rationale for having the ham on the pizza was the fact that pepperoni was done way too much. The pizza arrived at the table on a circular tray and then cut up to be distributed by the server. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever been served pizza this way.
The pizza itself reminded me a lot of the kind I could get back home. It was also something that I was really looking forward to trying ever since I read a post by a great blog entitled ‘This is Why We’re Fat.” You can read that post by clicking HERE. Having a bacon cheeseburger and a slice of pizza in the same meal is something that legends are made of.
Taking careful bites of the pizza was important. I didn’t really want to repeat my Elio’s experience here and wolf it down too fast, therefore leading to regret. I took one bite of the pizza and then slowly went back at it as the burger was lessened.
The ham in the pizza has more or less the same consistency of the more popular pepperoni. In regards to taste, I didn’t really see a big difference. The only other times I had ham on a pizza is when the Hawaiian was ordered at our house in my younger days. The sauce and cheese were quite exceptional. The only thing that made it slip a bit is that the bites had to be precise to make sure your didn’t take all the toppings with you. Even if that was my only complaint, one has to understand that most decent pizzas are like that.
In the end, I gave Steakman his victory for his streak based on the pizza alone. Like what most people will think, for what it is, you’ll find it to be decent pizza. It’s not mind-blowing, but it’s quite acceptable. Having said that, it makes me miss my local pizzeria so much more and I’m even more tempted to have it in the Annex sometime in 2012.
I have to note this nice little stand-up ad that I noticed at the table. The Angus burger is in the menu, but this is just to make sure that it doesn’t go unnoticed. You’ll see that the price is extremely reasonable and all the accoutrements are present. The only thing I wished was that I was emptier so that I could try the poutine.
Angus Bacon Cheeseburger
This burger contains lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, mayonnaise, onions, Swiss cheese, and bacon.
The first thing that struck me when I took a bite was the similarities between this and Harvey’s. Harvey’s makes big business by promoting its Angus burgers and I found the taste of the meat to be very similar. I actually enjoyed every bite of the beef patty. The similarities can be chalked up as a positive in my books.
However, I had to take a closer look at the structure. The majority of the ingredients were places under the meat. For me, it’s something that I rather see less of. Seeing the tomatoes so close to the bottom bun can really lead to structural issues. I was really lucky in this case because the whole thing stayed together. Also, the size of the meat compared to the bun was a little smaller. It’s not something I fuss about like others do, but it would bother me more if the bread really overlapped the meat. After thinking about it all a bit, the small structure issues weren’t really enough to derail the enjoyment of the burger.
After having the burger, I could see what Steakman’s friends were fussing about. They were probably going gaga over the combination of ketchup and mayo in the burger. For the record, I really liked that combination. For people who have as many burgers as I do, it would do just fine. It’s something that you can have over there and not regret it. I might of said that they shouldn’t overly tout their Chinese fare, but the burger is another story, it was more than acceptable for what you’d expect out of a place like this.
If you’re ever in the area or need something for take-out, you should really give Miss Jean-Talon a try. The pizza is enough to satisfy any cravings you might have. The quality of the food might not be fine dining, but it works for my very low middle class expectations. In combination with the prices, you can’t go wrong with that.