Bus: STM 19, 30, 31, 52, 53, 54, 56, 135, 146, 192, 460
Visit: June 26, 2012
For my last burger in Montreal for this season, I was looking for a unique place to bring my most valued colleagues for a taste of burgers. In Montreal, there is no more unique place than L’Auberge du Dragon Rouge. If you haven’t heard of this place, you must be living under a rock. Not only do you come here to eat, you come here to be transported to another time in history. Our group didn’t really think that would happen, but it did thanks to a few memorable exchanges.
Very early on in my Great Burger Search, the name of this restaurant came up very often. What this restaurant turns out to be is quite simple. Think about the middle ages. You have a decor that represents that time quite well. You have dedicated staff members or actors really into their parts. They cannot break character whatsoever. It’s almost to the point where you don’t come for the food, but for the show. If you think it’s one of those shows where you can hide, you’re sadly mistaken. Make one wrong move and you are the show.
On this sad and dreary day, we were 6 people in all brave enough to venture out to the medieval land of the red dragon. The group included past luminaries such as Heizenberg, LabTech, and P.G. Joining in on the fun was our former leader, who tends to come on these outings. Rounding out the group was the unsung hero and the daughter of our former boss, A.B. (You can tell I’m running out of ideas for nicknames.)
Over time, these burger reviews have morphed into stories, so that you can better get the experience of really being there. In my opinion, as flawed as it might be, the experience is just as important as the food. So, I want to take you into this short period of time in the medieval theater of Burger 149.
I’m going to let the picture speak for itself.
Our group settled in at our table. Almost immediately you can tell that you’re not in a normal place. Our server, Gerbette, is not your average waitress. The language used was definitely not of our time. Even the terminology is not simple. So, after we asked for la flotte (water), we were going through the various terms we were going to use. Luckily, P.G. is a history teacher and was not a first-timer here.
The restaurant has more than one floor and you could easily tell. We are a group of teachers and there was another group of you guessed it, teachers, upstairs. Believe me, it being June and all, we’re just as happy that the year is over. Even when we were on the first level, you could easily hear what was going on. I was just hoping that the roof wasn’t coming down, because it sounded like an entire school worth of teachers were there. Even on a dreary Tuesday afternoon, the atmosphere was really jovial. The best times to come are at night, when the singing and dancing is at an all-time high. Just be forewarned, normal reservations aren’t given, so waiting is probable.
The atmosphere downstairs wasn’t much different as there was another group there as well. It was at this point where I noticed another term being used. Now that I think of it, it was another table of two getting ready to pay. As most of us know, in 2012, we can pay using a portable debit machine. Well, it was not to be a debit machine, but a genie. It was just another shining example of the dedication to the role that these servers, like Gerbette, played.
Earlier, I mentioned our unsung hero of this outing, AB. Well, AB is the kind of individual who is a good sport. Since she was still finding a parking spot, she came in kind of late. It was kind of clear that Gerbette was going to be picking on her. So, after AB shows up and gets Gerbette’s attention, the show really began. The back and forth was one of those you had to be there situations. But what I will say is what AB retorted after Gerbette left. AB, almost giddy, stated that she would like to take the waitress home because she’s so cute. It’s a kin to wanting to putting Verne Troyer in your pocket because he’s just so munchkin-like.
I wish it ended there, but it just didn’t. Then, we spot another member of the cast, dressed in full medieval garb. Picture this, a crown-type hat, a light chain-mail armor, and a beard, all of which would make you think King Arthur was still alive. If you thought Gerbette was committed to her role, this man took the cake. Of all the people at our table, it was once again AB who just had to stare at him with that puzzled look. Yes, that look was enough to get his attention and make a detour to our table. He started off by questioning poor AB, but nothing came. That’s when drastic measures were to be taken, so he slammed his sword on the table. Oh yes, did I mention he was carrying a sword? After spouting out a few good barbs towards out center of attention, he was along his merry way, that is, until he came back to update Gerbette on what AB did.
In all, L’Auberge du Dragon Rouge is an experience that I believe that all Montrealers should try at least once. Regardless of what you want out of the experience, you should come out entertained. But, you should be aware that it’s mostly a French show, as most most Anglophones would probably not understand some of the terminology. I would’ve like to have seen how to interact with an English speaker.
Confits de Racines - Canard Confit de Monsieur Seguin
Heizenberg was the only member of our group who did not order a burger. If you haven’t figured out what confit de racine is yet, it’s simply what it looks like, a poutine.
Since we were 6 people in all and 5 of us ordered galettes, I’m only including one of those pictures. I’m doing that because they’re really difficult to tell apart. It’s mostly because it’s not easy to take a picture from a basket. What I wanted to point out were the pétaques in the basket. The pétaques are basically pieces of potatoes. These were notable because they’re supposed to be spicy. I didn’t originally take any with my galette. It was actually our troublemaker, AB who insisted that I try the pétaque. I had 2 pieces in all. The first time, you could tell it was spicy, but not quite all the way. It was when I had the second piece where things changed a bit. You’ll notice the mayo included with the basket. Once you dip the pétaque in the mayo, the heat increases exponentially.
Galette De L’Ogre
This burger includes lettuce, tomatoes, mustart, relish, onions, mushrooms, mozzarella, and bacon. When you order your burger, you are given three choice for size (commoner, bourgeois, and royale). That ranges from quarter pound to full pound. I wasn’t about to risk things, so I went with the middle half pound option, which turned out to be 2 beef patties.
The first thing I noticed about this burger was the rather large bun. It, more or less, engulfed the entire burger. So, I basically found myself trying to even out the who burger, so that I could end up taking more manageable bites in the later stages of consumption. The fact that it was a double patty didn’t necessarily help the bun situation either, as some of the other ingredients fell out throughout the eating process.
The bun also dubiously had another issue that didn’t sit well with me. The bun was far too hard for my liking. I believe that the bun can’t be an impediment to the enjoyment. An ideal burger has a bun that is freshly baked and not one that’s seems like it’s been sitting there for a while. This particular bun was so hard that I actually had a hard time squeezing my rather large burger into a smaller, more mouth-fitting size.
The two other parts of the burger that let me down a bit, even though they weren’t so bad, were the bacon and the meat. The bacon was a tad bit overdone for my taste. The meat , though cooked reasonably well, was simply lost in the shuffle. I don’t want to say much more than that because all the other burgers were met with satisfaction according to my colleagues. In the end, that’s all that matters to me.
In the end, think of L’Auberge du Dragon Rouge as a theatre where food is a bonus. You should go there to unwind and get royally entertained, and I do mean royally lambasted as well. The show, in combination with the service from the dedicated staff, will more than make up for any shortcomings a picky eater (like me) would have with their burger. In my three years of doing the GBS, this had to be one of the most entertaining moments I’ve ever been a part of, bar none.