3820 Boulevard Saint-Laurent
Bus: STM 29, 55, 144
Visit: September 24, 2013
Recently, I had the time to really think about all the burgers I had the chance to try in the last 4 years. It turns out that I tried 199 burgers in the Greater Montreal Area. Since I was headed to do my 200th burger in my territory, I wasn’t about to make that just any place. The place needed to be one that has been making waves in the world of burgers and that place is called Burger Royal.
Lately, I’ve been on a streak of taking down any burger that’s been the most convenient for the time and place. Most of those burgers just happened to be where I was at a given time. While most of those places had their own features, none of them were really places I’ve been really looking forward to. I find that keeping a mix of places that I want to go to with a bunch of other places keeps things interesting.
Burger Royal has been open for quite a while now. Their location on The Main is one that is quite interesting. There is quite a great deal of competition if you go just a further bit north. But, up to this point, there hasn’t been that specialized burger place on that specific point of the street. If you go further south, you’ll find another burger place, but their menu is too simple and perhaps, overrated.
On this particular Tuesday afternoon, I arrived to the location of Burger Royal thinking that I would be faced with a busy room. So, I was happy to see that I was able to be seated right away. There was one other table that was busy eating and then, studying. Throughout my visit, a bunch of other tables came in to keep things busy enough for the day of the week. That, in combination with a few takeout orders, kept the staff busy.
The kitchen at Burger Royal is in plain view. The way the floor is set up is reminiscent of a fast food restaurant. You have the cash at the end of the floor and the kitchen right behind it. All of the tables are at the front of the restaurant. What was even more interesting was the fact that there was only one individual working in the kitchen the whole night.
When we think of the service side of things, there was only one sole server working the entire floor. This was one of the cases where between each interaction with a customer, the server would go back in the direction of the kitchen, sit on a stool and interact with the sole cook. It wouldn’t have been so notable if it didn’t happen so much. When there are only two people in the entire restaurant keeping things afloat, there shouldn’t be any time to talk about the weather.
The menu at Burger Royal has a large variety of burgers. What’s really interesting is that you can swap beef for any of the other two patty options such as chicken or vegetarian. On the menu, you’ll also find hot dogs, poutine, and Mac & Cheese. Even though you have the other items on the menu, it was really nice to see an entire page dedicated to burger toppings, which will make things hard to choose.
Fried Chicken Poutine ($10)
Yes, you read that right, this is a fried chicken poutine. I was really having a tough time trying to pick a proper side dish to my burger, but this just jumped out at me. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of interesting poutine dishes. From smoked meat to bacon, I thought I had some of the more interesting choices already, but fried chicken seemed like it was really out there.
When the poutine arrived at the table with the burger, I just had to stare at it for a few moments. As you can see, the pieces of chicken were on top of what looked like a traditional poutine. With shoestring fries, there was a generous amount of cheese curds with the pieces of fried chicken to boot.
While the idea of putting fried chicken on a poutine is interesting, one cannot forget that there is an actual poutine here. What bothered me the most about this actual poutine was the fact that the sauce didn’t seem to fit in with everything. There was a point where the sauce became a detriment to the rest of the product. I didn’t have a problem with all the other individual components, but that sauce was hard to get past.
Then, there were the pieces of chicken. I was actually quite happy with the way the pieces of white meat were cooked and tasted. The skin on those pieces looked really nice. At times, though, it seemed like they were pieces of chicken fingers just cut up and placed on top of a poutine. That begs the question about how much the chicken really integrated with the rest of the poutine. It seemed like two dishes in one.
Le Gros Boss ($10.50)
This burger contains lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, cheese, and bacon.
A lot of the time, burgers are judged based on first impressions. After having 211 other burgers, I think I’m getting better at being able to tell how good a burger is without having to take a bite. So, with this burger’s arrival, I was heading towards an optimistic view. I was impressed with the appearance of the burger and what really helped was the bun.
When I took my first bite, I was really overtaken with the amount of juices that just flowed out of the burger. The meat was cooked medium and that really hit the spot. A lot of the time, burgers are cooked until no life is left and you’re forced to chew until you get really tired of doing so. This burger didn’t force you to fight whatsoever. Each bite was easy and the burger went down without any struggle.
The components of the burger were also well chosen. To give you one example of that, I go to the sauteed mushrooms. Usually, the placement of those mushrooms will lead to a majority of them falling out. During consumption, I can’t recall ever losing even one mushroom. That shows a great deal of thinking went into the construction of the burger. For me, that’s a huge plus.
The complete taste of the burger is one that works really well and allows it to live up the grandiose name that it has. In combination with the way it was cooked, the choice of ingredients, which all stand out individually, worked really well. You may be forced to use up your napkins, but that’s all in a day’s work when it comes to eating burgers.
Burger Royal provides an alternative to anyone wanting a good variety of burgers on The Main. While there are a whole bunch of other restaurants to choose from in the vicinity, one can’t ignore what Burger Royal does. The way that the burger was cooked and presented shows that the restaurant really cares about the product in name.