Bus: STM 13, 18, 45
Visit: April 28, 2011
A normal burger search day involves entering, ordering, waiting, eating, paying, and leaving. I was never expecting what I was about to find when entering this brand new restaurant located on Beaubien. This latest contender in the poutine restaurant war opened less than a month ago on April 4th. New restaurants always have to take time to work out the kinks before becoming either a staple in Montreal lore or another forgotten name in a list of casualties. What I experienced here makes me feel that we’re only going to hear good things about this restaurant.
The restaurant staff noticed I was taking pictures. Normally, I would start panicking because we all know that there is a large amount of paranoia in today’s society. What came next was totally unexpected. I actually got to meet the owners of this establishment. This was not a normal meal because I was now wrapped up in what I’ll call a pretty interesting conversation. Now, I won’t go into all the details of every word spoken, but what I will say is that the owner I talked to treated every customer present very well. Now, this is nice for a new restaurant, but once this place gets established, I wonder if that aspect will remain the same. The interaction went so well, for the both of us, that the owner picked up the tab, a burger search first. I rarely return to burger search locations, but I might come back to try the poutine selection.
This burger contains sauteed mushrooms, grilled onions, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, aioli sauce, and bacon.
As much as I like poutine, the burger was the main focus of the visit. I don’t care what a place specializes in, if you put a burger on the menu, it’s a candidate for the search. The unique feature of this burger was the bread. Instead of being a normal hamburger bun, it was made with pizza dough. Even though it provided a different slant to the traditional burger, I found the bottom bun to be less stable than the top. That’s normal when you have the greases and various ingredients working away. I had a chance to see another burger where the bottom bun was a little bigger. The taste itself was fine. Unfortunately, I don’t remember much because the poutine(s) outshined the intended meal. This was a decent burger where the ingredients worked well together, but got lost sitting next to the signature poutine.
For a 2 dollar upgrade, you get to add poutine as your side dish. Normally, a burger-poutine combo is very hard to take down, but the size of this was just right. The combination of cheese and sauce reminds me of what I could get back in high school. It’s nothing that special, even if it tastes good. You could probably get similar poutine anywhere. During my discussions with the owner, I mention some of this, which led to him bringing out the next poutine.
Yes, I had a second poutine. I finished both of them. I was never planning on eating more than what I ordered, but it happened. This poutine is much different. The potatoes are called Smashed Potatoes. The difference in size makes the poutine automatically unique. That, in combination with the sauce, makes this poutine different than any other poutine I’ve ever tasted. It takes a few bites because it’s little strange. But once you start, you can’t help but finish. I actually finished this poutine before the one I originally ordered. Everyone does poutine, but a restaurant needs one that’s different and stands out.
Going into this location, I heard of a 15 pound poutine challenge. I inquired and got to see the dish they serve it in. If I go again, I’ll try to see what this monster looks like. They call it the Heart Attack Poutine. It’s not exactly a valid name because I’m sure it will kill you if you attempt it on your own. Apparently, it has become a dish that groups of 10 order and polish off. Recently, a 2 man team finished the whole thing. I don’t care if your name is Adam Richman, you’re not finishing this on your own. You’d be insane to try.
If getting to try a bonus poutine and getting to see a monster poutine dish wasn’t enough, I was given a chance to try the only current dessert on the menu. This is Nutella spread out on pizza dough. Now, I’m not a die-hard Nutella person. As a matter of fact, I can’t remember the last time I’ve had Nutella. This is a unique idea. It reminds me of all those times I’ve had Nutella on toast. This “pizza” has a lot of the same elements and tastes. An interesting dessert that unfortunately will never beat my all-time favorite Blackforest Cake and the Bacon Brownie I once had. But, if you do like Nutella, you should try this.