Burger 159: Rumi Express | Mr. Lew's Great Burger Search

4403 Boulevard Saint-Laurent
Montreal, Quebec

Bus:  STM 11, 55, 97

Visit:  September 20, 2012


If you’re looking for the best example of Montreal’s multicultural nature, all you have to do is look at Boulevard Saint-Laurent.  On that ever so present boulevard, you can find almost anything from any part of the world.  The boulevard itself is directly responsible for at least 10 of my past burgers, not to mention the ones right off the street.  With an impending parent’s night looming, I was making Rumi Express my fueling point, because there’s nothing better than stuffing yourself silly before addressing other adults.

Not all Burger Search locations are found by me.  Some of my past locations are suggestions from followers or friends, generally people who have their own loyalties to places that they tend to like.  Up to about 6 months ago, I had no idea this place existed.  It wasn’t until an e-mail was sent to me by a restaurant consultant, where I was made aware that burgers were to be had. 

You may now be wondering about the credibility of this post.  The contents of the message only gave me this restaurant’s name and nothing much else.  I actually rarely get e-mails touting restaurants.  I actually only received just 2 in the past and have only one place left to visit.  I, more or less, prefer to discover the places myself or have regular people tell me about what they like.  So, I put the suggestion on the back burner until it was a matter of convenience.

For the first time since early July, I was going to do a burger by myself.  In a way, I tend to prefer having burgers alone since there are no distractions and I can easily focus on the task at hand.  Nonetheless, that’s not to say that I don’t enjoy sharing the unique experiences that this Burger Search has created.

Upon entering the restaurant, after taking the much needed picture of the sign, I noticed something quite unusual.  I wasn’t the only person there with a camera in hand.  I had to wait a good moment before entering because this man with a rather large tripod was taking pictures of just about every aspect of the restaurant’s entrance.  Seeing how the camera is an important to what I do as well, I couldn’t really complain, so I waited patiently.  When room opened up, I darted inside and was quickly seated by the sole server working.

The encounter with the man with the tripod didn’t quite end at the entrance way.  He continued to take pictures of every inch of Rumi Express.  I know that these days I’m getting annoying with the 700 pictures I take of just one burger, but this was meticulous work this individual was doing.  It turns out that the restaurant hired him to immortalize the location for their website.

Just after the food arrived, the manager or owner came by and explained to the other table what was happening.  They would be taking pictures of everything, and I mean everything, but they would blur out faces.  I was seated close enough that the manager didn’t have to repeat the same spiel twice, as I just nodded and continued along with my food.  The only discomfort was trying to make sure the food wasn’t all over my face.  I know I’ve been watched before as I was eating, but this was another level of awkwardness.  Though, thinking about some of the other things I’ve done on camera recently, it wasn’t that bad, I just had to eat like a normal person for once.

Rumi Express is put forth as a restaurant specializing in Halal dishes.  Halal dishes have strict regulations as to what can be served.  For one, you will never find any pork dishes or mammals that are carnivorous.  That creates a great challenge when it comes to preparing food.  More so, it is another challenge for those seeking restaurants that have that option available.  On top of its more traditional location on Hutchinson, Rumi Express caters to the individuals who prefer more North American cuisine.  Case in point, the other table I mentioned before was a couple who are regulars.


On the side of my burger, I decided to have a poutine.  The portion was presented in a glass bowl, which was a little heavy.

Upon first glance, I could just tell that something was off.  My gut feeling just told me that the cheese would be the part that wouldn’t sit well with me.  After having something almost 50 different poutines in the last 3 years, I’m just now starting to understand how to better judge such a dish.  The cheese might have been fine in the poutine, as you pulled them up in strands, but there still was that one aspect that didn’t do it for me.  The cheese wasn’t your classic squeaker.  You had a pieces of cheese in generous amounts, but biting into the cheese made you want something else.

The sauce also wasn’t quite my favorite.  I was a dark brown sauce and for me, it doesn’t quite mix with the rest of the poutine.  That sauce, in a way, overpowers the taste you’re supposed to be getting from the cheese and fries.  To me, one thing can’t overpower the rest.  When they all work in harmony, we have a good poutine.

With that being said, the solid part of the poutine were the fries.  You can’t really complain with the amount or how they were cooked.  In all, it’s a poutine that some people would like, while others might not.  Then again, it’s subjective because not all poutines are alike.

Rumi Double Double Burger

This burger contains lettuce, tomatoes, caramelized onions, pickles, and cheese over two beef patties.

The expectations I had going into this burger weren’t that elevated.  You know the thinking that goes into a restaurant that you wouldn’t think does burgers.  They say the burgers are all hand-made, but is it really up to snuff?  With that being said, you never know where the good burgers will come from.

I’m going to start with what worked really well with this one.  For the most part, nearly every aspect of this burger was good.  These days, it’s quite rare for me to say that.  The combinations of rather simple ingredients does everything justice.  When you pick up the burger, you get your hands messy, which is a tell-tale sign that you’re having a good burger.

The progression of each bite is important in having a good burger and it was key here as well.  With each bite, I didn’t have to fight the burger.  I didn’t have to force myself to finish, as it went down smoothly.  I actually, to my surprise, enjoyed this burger from beginning to end.

If I had to describe the taste, I would have to take myself back to the burger I had at Paulo & Suzanne.  It’s very much a kin to a fast food kind of taste, but in a sit-down restaurant.  There’s nothing wrong with tasting elements that remind you of the Golden Arches, as long as the burger was made with care and decent ingredients.

My sole complaint with the burger comes with the unavoidable issues that arise when you face double burgers.  There is no way you’d be able to keep everything together in one piece.  Towards the tail end of the eating process, the whole thing fell apart.  If that happened at the beginning, this post would be worded quite differently.  Gladly, that wasn’t the case, as my mind was made up about the fate of this burger by the time the last 5% decided to give way.

In the end, I’m going to strongly recommend to anyone that this burger is one that must be given a chance.  I’m hoping I’m not wrong with this one.  It might not make the Fave 5, but it’s one, if I had it in the early days, would have been an initial member.  The simplicity of the ingredients, combined with a sauce that works well with the properly cooked beef, is one thing I can’t deny.

Final Verdict

I came into this location overlooking what this burger would bring to the search as I was looking to next week’s place.  What I found was a nice place to get a quick meal, which just happened to have a burger worth sharing.  In the realm of things, it’s a darkhorse burger that took me by surprise.

Rumi Express on Urbanspoon


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  1. mrlewburger posted this