With 2012 now behind us, I want to have one last look at the past before we forge ahead and break new ground in 2013. My main purpose in pursuing this blog is to seek out new burgers and to boldly go where I haven’t been to before. Searching Montreal and its surrounding areas for great burgers isn’t just about the actual product, it’s about the journey itself. Without that journey, there would be no point in doing this. So, by going through the various desserts, poutines, dishes, pictures, and moments, there is only one last thing to reflect on, the 5 most memorable burgers of 2012.
1. Burger 126 @ Em Cafe
I started off the year at Em Cafe and the moment I bit into that particular burger, I knew that it was going to be a good year. The burger was a pretty good effort and it was quite satisfying. The only downside to that visit was the shortcomings in the service that really took away from any enjoyment I had.
2. Burger 129 @ Atlas Pizza
Who knew a pizza joint could put out a decent burger? I pretty sure that so many would never think twice about ordering a burger from a place that specializes in doing pizza. Now, this is not to say that every pizza place does burgering well, but sometimes, you land on one that’s worth remembering. This was the case at Atlas Pizza, a burger that surprised me completely.
3. Burger 151 @ Winneburger
Coming off the heels of a burger in Toronto, I was looking to start the fourth season of the Burger Search with a different kind of place. Winneburger is a mobile burger truck, one operated by the fine folks behind Nouveau Palais. I also had the chance to partake in a filming of an Eat St. episode a month later, where cramming the burger in my mouth was a bit much for me. Though, this gateway burger was a significant burger for 2012.
4. Burger 162 @ Pitarifique
Some say that if you’re not willing to spend money, you’re going to miss out. That’s not always the case and I found that out at Pitarifique. This, by far, isn’t the most elaborate burger out there, but one that packs its own punch.
5. Burger 170 @ Rosty
In 2012, I decided to make a concerted effort to try non-beef burgers. Last April, the first ever veggie burger was downed and approved of. This chicken burger was the latest step in that decision to try to expand the parameters of the Great Burger Search. Some might think it’s a bit simple, but for a chicken burger, that’s exactly what hit the spot.
1. Burger 130 @ Deville Dinerbar
In what was a Burger Search price record, the $47 spent that night were worth every penny. The self-titled burger was loaded with every quality ingredient known to humankind. It was abundantly clear that each component of this burger was well thought out and one that has many raving. This burger, the site of the first ever Mr. Lew’s Burger Night was so hard to put down that it just had to be part of my Fave 5.
2. Burger 139 @ Le Gros Jambon
The narcissistic individual that I tend to be will tell you that this has got to be the burger of 2012. Deep fried pickles, Coca-Cola mayo, and some bacon just made this burger one that couldn’t be beat. The fact that, from beginning to end, this burger kept its flavour, was another key reason why it easily made my Fave 5. It’s a burger that I’ve recommended on many occasions and no one ever came back to me with any disappointment.
3. Burger 83 Revisited @ Nouveau Palais
The selection of a 2011 burger might be a shortcut for some, but for me, there was a clear reason why it had to be on the list. When I tried this burger in August, I had the feeling that it was just that much better than the last time I had it. The Nouveau Palais might not want to be known as a burger place, but what they’ve done here, for a second year in a row, just shows that they know what they’re doing.
4. Burger 159 @ Rumi Express
This is going to be the dark horse selection for this year’s list, as all the other choices shouldn’t surprise anyone at all. I didn’t know what to expect when I set foot in Rumi Express when I showed up in September, but one thing that I knew is that I just had to take that chance. The burger I ate that day exemplifies why I’m doing this search, to find places that other people would simply dismiss just because of another specialty. I’m hoping people go try this burger to see if I’m right or not.
5. Burger 1 Revisited @ La Paryse
It may seem ironic that I’m including another revisited burger on this list. In 2009, when I first visited La Paryse, I was thinking that there had to be better in Montreal. Since that moment, I have visited 171 other places looking for better burgers. While sometimes I was successful, other times, I was wondering why I made such a mistake. La Paryse has been an icon in the Montreal scene for a very long time. The closing of its doors in October dealt a blow to the Montreal burger scene. While it remains to be seen whether or not they relocate, one thing is for certain, one cannot deny the power of its burger.
Final Verdict: 2012
In 2012, another 44 burgers, both new and revisited, came and went. I expanded by frontiers by seeking out veggie, fish, and chicken burgers. I had the chance to explore the realm of Toronto and came back with more than I could ever imagine. In 2013, I’m hoping to bring to you another slew of burgers that would make you wonder where they’re coming from. I’m hoping to go beyond Montreal to see what’s out there. Like a famous television show states, to boldly go where no one has gone before.
Stay tuned as the next burger gets posted on the site this Sunday. Every week, we’ll bring you a burger right up until the big one in July, Burger 200, which will be from Montreal.