Burger 235: Café République | Mr. Lew's Great Burger Search

93 Sainte-Catherine O.
Montréal, Québec

Métro:  Place-des-Arts, Saint-Laurent
Bus:  STM 15, 55, 80, 125, 129, 150, 410, 427, 430, 435, 747

Visit:  March 5, 2014

http://www.caferepublique.comze.com/

The city of Montréal has pretty much anything that you’re looking for and in literally any category.  Aside from some of the best eating experiences in the world, the cultural scene is one that you can put against any other major city on this planet.  Montréal’s Quartier des Spectacles in home to many great venues and a whole lot of restaurants like Café République.

On this particular evening, Steakman and I reunited for the first time in over a month to go see Bill Burr at Metropolis.  Before the show, we decided to meet up early to get something to eat.  For the first time in a while, we didn’t set any concrete plans and decided to wing it.  That wasn’t the best strategy.  Before I go on, Bill Burr’s set at Metropolis was awesome and we the chance to shake hands at the end.  It’s pretty cool if you ask me.

In the past, I’ve been put in many situations where I do not do particularly well.  I need to have solid eating plans or things fly off the rails.  I can’t choose on a whim or I just end up at McDonald’s.  This wasn’t going to happen as I prepped a shortlist of places that we might choose, if we both agreed to it.  Once my list was exhausted, we walked down the street and found a corner with a few places, like Café République.  We weren’t thrilled, but we needed something quick and not so costly.

Upon entering, we found an abundance of seats.  The server started off with us in French, but we quickly sensed things needed to go the English route, not that there’s anything wrong with that.  Our time there was short, but things went by like that.  It’s one of the few times where I have no idea what to say or write, but that’s how it went.

I have to say that Steakman wasn’t quite feeling it and wasn’t overly optimistic about the impending meal and quite honestly, neither was I.  To be clear, I’m rarely ever overly excited to go into a visit these days.  So, seeing him a bit sour off the top put a bit of a damper on the evening.  When Steakman took a bite of his bavette de boeuf, things turned upwards a bit.  It wasn’t mind-blowing, but it was a lot better than he expected.

Vieux-Montréal ($12)

This burger contains sauteed onions, peppers, mushrooms, swiss cheese, and bacon.

Right off the bat, I have to mention the side salad.  I’m not really so big on art, but isn’t this a masterpiece of unimaginable wonders?  I guess I’m pushing it there a little bit.  The salad was a little too simple for my taste with perhaps a bit of an overemphasis on carrots.

When it comes to the burger, I wasn’t really expecting much.  It’s actually quite rare for me to have a burger with grilled peppers, but I figured that I would give it a shot.  I was also able to ask for extra bacon, something that does not come with the burger.  The bacon does come at an extra charge for those keeping tabs on the money.

With the first bite, any apprehension I had about the burger quickly disappeared.  I was actually pleasantly surprised by the amalgamation of tastes going on.  First of all, I have to say that those peppers worked really well in the scheme of things.  I might actually try more of them from this point on.

The meat was also another extremely bright spot for me.  Normally, with a patty so thin, you find it very hard to get something out of it.  I don’t know what they put into their beef as far as spices are concerned, but it created something that allowed the meat to hold its own.

Lastly, the inclusion of the bacon was something else that I really liked.  The layer of bacon was found under the meat and to my memory, I have never seen that done before in all of my past burger visits.  The bacon soaked up all of the juices of the meat and added yet another dimension to the overall product.

In all, I was taken away with just how surprising this burger was.  We both came into this visit with low expectations and came out feeling completely different.  The burger wasn’t really on my radar, but it’s one that took me by surprise and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Final Verdict

Café République doesn’t seem like much at first glance, but the simple menu does provide you with an option when you’re getting ready to see a show in the area.  The food wasn’t something that we were looking forward to, but by the end, we were a whole lot happier with what we came out with.

Café République on Urbanspoon

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