Bus: RTL 21, 42, 50, 60, 142, 150
Visit: April 25, 2012
Throughout the course of the last season of the Great Burger Search, an unofficial theme has been me trying sharing places that have been a vital part to my childhood and my past. While I know that the burger I’m about to present here isn’t anywhere near the caliber of the last 141, I can’t go on any further without sharing my roots. So, as you gander upon the food that surrounds Burger 142 at Guy La Patate, let me open another page in the book of Mr. Lew.
We all have our own neighborhood haunts. They range in menu, quality, and notoriety. You may go there because you like the food or just because it’s the most convenient place for your family. My family first started going to Guy La Patate about 20 years ago. I can vaguely remember days where our parents would come get us from our elementary school and we’d spend a Friday afternoon decompressing while having steamies. Whether it be a Saturday night watching the Canadiens or just because we didn’t feel like making anything, Guy’s (as we called it), was always there.
Now, I’ll be honest, the burgers at Guy La Patate are nothing to write home about. But, what I will say it’s that they’re not the worst either. We all have those dishes in certain places where the restaurant could do no wrong. If they’re sub-par, we forgive, come back, and give them another chance. That’s how our relationship with this casse-croute was/is like. With time, things change, our family isn’t what it used to be back then. It’s been months, even years, since I’ve had anything from their menu.
So, on this quaint Wednesday afternoon, I took it upon myself to go back and get that proverbial blast from the past. The thing I actually like about this particular location is the fact that I can take my normal bus home. Instead of getting off where I would normally, I just stay on a little longer where the bus deposits me right in front of the restaurant. How’s that for service?
I get to the restaurant and I actually felt a little overwhelmed. It’s actually been more than months since I’ve actually entered the building. I pass by it from time to time, plus, it’s usually someone else who would get the food. So, to be honest, I think it’s been almost 15 years since I’ve set foot in the place. Through the window, I could see the manager tending to the tables. I gave the place the once-over and walked through the front door. I say front door because there used to be a side door, but they renovated.
I mentioned renovation, which is coupled with this 2 year old picture of a submarine, for a reason. I go up to the counter to order. Now, I actually had my order rehearsed for hours. The manager wasn’t quite at the counter yet, so I started rattling off the order to the cook. The cook gave me one of those confused looks you get when someone ain’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing. But, that was fixed quickly when the manager came by.
The first thing I wanted off my list was the sub you see above. I was quickly told that they no longer offer that sub. That’s the exact moment where my heart sunk. To be quite honest, aside from the burger, it was the main reason I was going there. It was also, quite frankly, the best thing they produced. I couldn’t go any further without asking why they dropped it from the menu, to which I was told that the renovations had something to do with it. I’m still bummed out about that.
My orders and amounts of food vary when I come here. It really depends on how much I weighed and how much I could put down. These days, I’m not really packing much away like I used to, so I decided to stay conservative. Plus, I had to quickly decide again what I wanted since the sub was clearly out of the question. In addition to the burger, it ordered 2 all-dressed steamies and a poutine.
This burger contains mustard, coleslaw, and cheese.
I’ve had similar burgers in the past. Any time you read the term ‘casse-croute’ burger in any of my posts, all you have to do is picture this. It is one of the simplest burgers you can get in the province of Quebec. At $2.60, what can you really expect?
This is one of the few burgers that works well with mustard. Usually, mustard is so overwhelming. If it isn’t too strong, it’s messy. In this burger, the mustard’s application is such that you don’t have it all over your hands by the time you’re done. Mustard stains are some of the hardest to wash out.
The coleslaw is the other unique feature to this burger. The restaurant has much better uses for it, but it finds itself in the burger. What I will say is that Guy’s has some of the better coleslaw I’ve had in my decades of trying it.
When you add the mustard to the coleslaw, you don’t really miss the cheese. Normally, I would have the burger without cheese. Here, I decided to try my first ever Guy’s burger with cheese. Unfortunately, the coleslaw and mustard work so well together that the cheese gets a little lost.
The last feature of this burger is the uniquely thing, and supposedly house-made patty. It’s actually, despite the size of it, better than a lot of other patties I’ve tried. It’s thin and simple. You don’t fight it, nor do you ever taste anything funny. When you put everything together, you get a decent burger of the caliber of the place you got it from.
For some, the poutine here is not quite up to fluff. That’s quite the justified comment to make. If you walk a few meters away, you’ll find Benny’s, probably the best take-out poutine on the South Shore. As a matter of fact, before writing this latest post, I downed a rather generous helping of that very poutine. If you’re wondering what that poutine looks like, you can check out my 2011 poutine post.
What you have in this poutine is the La Belle Province style fries in combination with a weak sauce. The sauce doesn’t bother you so much, if you like ones that don’t overwhelm the rest of the components. What I would recommend is having the fries on their own, with a very tiny amount of salt. I actually got away without using any additional salt on this visit. As a matter of fact, it’s actually rare that I have to add more salt on dishes I eat anywhere.
The cheese curds didn’t quite do it for me. Then again, ever since I had my meeting with the great Foodie Date Night last July, I never see poutine the same way. I was having my Benny’s poutine earlier and all I could hear while chewing the curds was squeaking, I guess that ‘s a good thing. For the poutine at Guy’s, the was no sound effects to be had. However, having said that, it was still a decent poutine to have.
I have a on-again, off-again relationship with hot dogs or anything in that category. I don’t know what it is, but it needs to be done Guy’s way for me to eat it. My childhood experiences ruined the hot dog and the sausage for me. The way that the hot dogs are delivered to you here are probably the only ones I’d willingly take, just as long as what’s in the hot dog bun is supposed to be there. I got burned by not one, but 2 restaurants and their hot dogs.
Whenever I get a steamie at Guy’s, it always has to be all-dressed with the necessary coleslaw additions. As I mentioned above, the coleslaw here is above par. For that reason, it makes putting down as many as 4 in one sitting easier for me. I’ve actually tried one without anything in it and that didn’t do the trick.
The hot dog here reminds me of something that our family would do from time to time. When we were feeling up to it, we would take out the hot dog from the bun. Then, we would take our french fries and fill up the bun with them. One of us would eat the fry dog, while someone like me would go at the hot dog. I wouldn’t just eat it normally, I would carefully bite off the ‘casing.’ Only when that was all gone, I would eat the rest of it normally. I actually miss that, or do I? It’s just nice to reminisce sometimes.
One of the things you should know, if you don’t already, is that you don’t come here for the first class quality. You come here because you are hungry and you want decent food that could feed an army quickly. I managed to get all this for just over 10 dollars. At your average sit-down restaurant, you can easily double that price tag.
The sad thing that I have to say is that this was probably my last ever voluntary visit to Guy La Patate. The one thing that I knew them for is no longer available. So, I’m now a lost soul, wandering aimlessly looking for a steak submarine close to home. While they are well known for their steamies and their fries, that submarine always hit the spot. For those of you who aren’t into submarines, you’ll still be happy to know that the current menu is true to the years of their existence. Like I stated above, you don’t go for tremendous quality, but just to know that it will be enough when you want something quick.