Truck spotted at:
Bus: STM 14, 15, 24, 30, 125, 410, 427, 430, 715, 747
Visit: July 13, 2012
http://www.nouveaupalais.com/ (schedule/location of truck on website)
It’s officially time to start the fourth season of Mr. Lew’s Great Burger Search. Each year, choosing a burger to kick off another season is quite a difficult task. It just can’t be any place that serves a burger, it has to have something special. That’s when an event on Facebook caught my eye, which was called Winneburger. Winneburger is a ‘food truck’ put together by the crew over at the Nouveau Palais. This was interesting enough and definitely unique enough for me to choose this to start my fourth year of searching for great burgers.
Before we get to the actual burger, there are at least three different areas of background that must be given. Those areas are the restaurant behind the truck, food trucks in Montreal, and the specific area chosen for this day’s location.
Nouveau Palais, for years, has been a name in Montreal’s dining scene. Recently, it was taken over by new owners and new life was given to this diner. Located near the heavily utilized Parc Avenue, Nouveau Palais offers the staples of comfort food done just right. As a matter of fact, you’ll find their burger on my very own Fave 5. I visited their location back in March of 2011 and was proud to have my 83rd burger over there. You can get a whole lot more insight by watching Montreal burger guru Zeke’s video on their burger. I have absolutely no issue saying that it is one of the top burgers in the city.
Street food in Montreal is a touchy subject. For the last 50 years, it’s been banned from serving the streets of this fair island. I’ve taken trips to cities like Ottawa and Toronto, where street food is legal. You won’t see any garbage all over the place and it looked quite well organized. Here, in Montreal, a truck by the name of Grumman ‘78 found a way of getting around that, by showing up to festivals, where street food is allowed. Using that as a basis, events like the Just For Laughs festivals are well equipped with some of the most prominent trucks out there, now including the Winneburger.
Parc Émilie-Gamelin has gained a lot of notoriety over the last 6 months. It is the starting point for nightly student protests. A lot of people who have lived in this city for a fair amount of time also know about the reputation of this area. One walk through this area and one can see that no city is perfect. Well, this summer, the park is holding a number of events, including music and pop-up culinary experiences. One can only hope that this will help tourists have a better view of our city.
In the distance, one can see that the Winneburger was set-up and ready for action. When I got there, I didn’t want to immediately jump up and rob the place of all its burgers. So, I found a shaded refuge with a decent view of the first customers of the day. By doing that, I got a good idea of how to order and what to expect.
The menu is a combination of very simple items centered all around the biggest feature, the burger. What’s also quite interesting is that you get to even double your burger. The prices are all displayed with taxes included. I know that’s a plus for me as it helps reduce the amount of calculations one should ever do on a hot and humid day.
You make your order at the small window at the right. Once done and your name given, find a nice place to wait for your burger. I used this opportunity to sneak in a nice close-up picture of the truck. I have to say that it looks so much better in person than on the mock-up picture you see on the Facebook event page.
You receive your burger in a nice paper bag with the logo of the Nouveau Palais on it, just to remind you where the awesomeness was coming from.
One peek inside and you’ll see what bundle of goodness awaits you.
This burger contains lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, and two beef patties.
The first thing you’ll notice about the burger is the size. It is quite smaller than the burger sold at the restaurant. This facilitates the carrying if you’re outside and can’t find a decent place to sit down. I actually had to make the rounds of the park and wound up back at my shaded refuge. It’s also a convenient size for any time during the day. If the truck was going to be there for 9 hours, I don’t know of many people who would eat a full size meal at 3 or 4 p.m. This size makes it easier to have a snack.
One of the strongest suits of this burger is the fact that, because it’s a double, the expectation of structural issues isn’t present at all. All the ingredients stayed in place, even if they didn’t seem aesthetically pleasing. I didn’t have to worry about picking up a tomato from the ground, which made me breathe a real sigh of relief.
Since the burger is quite small, it’s a real quick eat. It’s perfect if you’re standing and eating, or on the go.
The thing that struck me the most, which reminded me why the Nouveau Palais burger is on my Fave 5, is the fact that this is a light burger. It’s light in such a way that you never fight the burger at all. All the components, from the bread to the meat, are quite easy to eat. That fact alone made each moment of the eating process enjoyable.
This is the aftermath of having a burger in the middle of the outdoors. This was my first ever food truck eating experience and I’m glad I saved it for Winneburger. I know that there are other prominent food trucks in this city, but I’m a burgerhead at heart. I’m hoping you’ll all get a chance to see the Winneburger when it’s around town and be sure to check their schedule on their website.