Burger 147: Miami Deli | Mr. Lew's Great Burger Search

3090 Sherbrooke E.
Montreal, Quebec

Metro:  Prefontaine
Bus:  STM 29, 85, 97, 185

Visit:  May 24, 2012


When you think of Miami, you don’t necessarily think of your normal Quebec selection of food.  But, on one street corner on Sherbrooke East, you have a place that’s open 24 hours a day and decked out in everything you could possibly think of shark-wise.  Maybe my close encounter with a shark wasn’t the main reason for my visit, but the one I was to have with a burger that left me swimming for safety.

Miami Deli is one of those few places in Montreal that are open all day long.  On top of that, what sets it apart is the fact that it provides you with a breakfast menu that is available alongside a normal menu during those hours.  For those reasons alone, this should be a place that attracts a select crowd of individual that does not necessarily share your average person’s schedule.

On this occasion, GBS regular Steakman was along for the ride, as we managed to avoid any clanging pots on our way to this location.  Steakman actually has been here before and was willing enough to return to this rather unique location.

Walking into the Miami Deli is like walking into another world.  Outside the vastness of the dining room floor and the available outdoor terrasse, you have quite the decor.  I wish I could’ve taken more pictures of what I saw, but the one I did take didn’t meet my “high” standards.  If you’re curious, the restaurant’s website does a pretty good job of showing you what things are like.  All I will say is that I tried to not look up for fear of getting cast in a Jaws sequel.  You don’t get many places like that in Montreal and it’s no wonder that a place like this has been around for almost 20 years.

The floor is also covered with large screens.  Most of the time, they are set on a sports station and they tend to not ever change.  Well, in a Burger Search first, a customer managed to get the channel changed.  It’s not like it was one of those people who just happened to be there for the first time.  It’s one of those regulars who somehow settled on this restaurant and set-up camp for the Summer.

That, in a way, leads me to service.  I had a set game plan going in and no one was going to deter me from what I wanted.  You see, the menu has a number of burgers on it.  None of those burgers suited me.  So, in my infinite burger wisdom or ignorance, I decided to mish and mash the burgers on the menu.  I took 3 burger options and mashed them into 1. 

The server wasn’t so willing to oblige me in my order choice, but I had to force them to see it my way.  I was confronted with the supposedly fear-inducing, “that will be extra” retort to my order.  Apparently, they don’t really know what kind of damage I’m willing to undergo for my burger.  To me, if I’m doing whatever I can to inflate my bill, a server should never try to stop me.  Proposing an alternative order choice didn’t soothe my concerns either.  Let me explain, me order more, you get more tip.  Questions?

While we were waiting for our food, I noticed the breakfast menu.  On that menu, there is an item called a bagel burger.  I know breakfast burgers exist in this space-time continuum and need to be tried by me.  Upon showing this revelation to Steakman, he questioned the worth of trying this.  I now ask myself, why did they have to use the word burger?

Bacon Poutine

The plan on at the get-go wasn’t necessarily to order a bacon poutine, but to go for the normal one.  We were going to split it in half.  When I heard that Steakman never tried a bacon poutine before, I just had to force the issue.  We couldn’t leave the restaurant without ingesting more bacon.

Since he managed to eat most of it, he was actually satisfied with it.  I have to remind you that he’s also the same person who didn’t like to have bacon on his pizza.  This just goes to show you that bacon does make a lot of dishes a whole lot better.

As for the poutine itself, there are a few points that need to be made.  The sauce was not like many of the ones I’ve had in the past.  Since I’m in no way a sauce or poutine expert, I won’t speculate as to what it was.  It threw me off a little bit and led me to slow down on my own poutine consumption.

The amount of bacon in the actual poutine could’ve been a whole lot more generous.  I had a very hard time trying to find actual bacon pieces.  If you’re going to call it a bacon poutine, I would actually like to have bacon in the poutine.

The part that disappointed me the most was the cheese curds.  On many past occasions, I mentioned how fresh cheese curds squeak when bitten into.  This time, it was pretty clear that the cheese curds were not fresh.  That fact alone lessened my appreciation for this particular poutine.

Overall, the poutine might have slipped in a few categories, but it was alright.  I wouldn’t go out of my way to get this poutine, but that’s not to say that I wouldn’t mind trying it again.

Bacon Double Cheeseburger

This burger contains tomatoes, onions, relish, mustard, cheese, and bacon.

As you can see, this is what I schemed hard into getting.  The first thing that set off my burger eating alarm was the onion.  After giving the onion a slight touch, I knew that it was going to be one of the hindrances on this latest burger eating attempt.

The second thing you might notice is that the buns aren’t placed traditionally.  You’ll see the top bun placed under the meat.  What gives away the top bun are the seeds that are visible.  Normally, your top burgers have the meat sitting on the bottom bun, not the top.

Picking up the burger, I noticed something rather distressing about, the real bottom bun was a little too solid for my taste.  While this didn’t really have any long-term effects on the burger eating process, it was something that took points off this burger.

I really want to say that there’s a lot to be said about the burger, but there isn’t.  The combination of mustard and relish reminds me a lot of the normal casse-croute burger that is common in the area.  What really pre-occupied me was the placement of the buns and the onion.  What you end up with is a bigger than average burger.  In a way, I know why this option isn’t readily available on the menu.

You’ll notice that I forgot to take a picture of the main dish that Steakman ate.  For the record, he ordered a submarine.  Since he’s not a tomato person, he takes them out.  I took this opportunity to play around a bit and I took one of the tomatoes, with his permission of course.  I placed it in my nearly-finished burger.  I was seriously going to eat my burger with the added tomato.  That’s when I remembered my own code of ethics.  I pulled out the tomato and finished the meal as normal.

I took this picture to once again display my insanity.  The amount of onions on the plate are a little alarming if you look at it quickly.  But, when I think about it, I normally don’t tend to like onions on a burger unless their caramelized.

This is Steakman’s plate, notice the unique design.

Rice Pudding

This was Steakman’s dessert.  What’s interesting to say is that they are usually pretty small.  So, what he did was order two rice puddings and had the server combine them into one larger dish.

Blackforest Cake

This was my main reasoning for actually wanting to come here.  It’s been 10 months since I last had a piece of blackforest cake.  There’s not much to say other than the fact that the portion was surprisingly larger than normal.

Final Verdict

At a place like Miami Deli, despite the fact it’s open all day long and offering 2 distinct menus, you have to know exactly what to order.  People come here for the unique decor, which makes them forget they are in Quebec.  While some of the service leaves a lot to be desired, the quality of what the restaurant is good at is enough to make up for that.  As for the burger, it’s not one that I’d want to remember, so I’ll take away the memories of my showdown with Jaws instead.

Restaurant Miami Deli - Open 24hrs - Ouvert 24hr on Urbanspoon


If you have any comments about anything you read here, you can always interact with me on Facebook or on Twitter.