Bus: STM 15, 24, 55, 80, 129, 150, 410, 427, 430, 435, 747, 935
Visit: August 9, 2011
Billed as the little sister of the more expensive Toqué, Brasserie t! was opened in 2010 to cater to the lesser affluent folk like me, for example. I’ve actually been studying the menu for quite a while and at the beginning, I noticed that there was indeed a burger on the menu. My initial hesitation was that the menu didn’t really have a mention of cheese or my favorite, bacon. So, there were many times where I was going to make it my next location, but decided for something more appealing to my sense of everything bacon. Luckily for me, recently, I noticed the words, ‘extra bacon,’ printed on the online menu. At the behest of others and at the urge of my need for bacon, this restaurant became a priority to visit.
The restaurant itself is located in a part of Downtown Montreal that I like to venture into every now and then. Smack dab in the midst of the Quartier des Spectacles, you’ll notice the unique architecture of the building you’re about to step into. There are two restaurants like this, and the brasserie is one of them. The building is mostly windows and you can see nearly each aspect of the restaurant really well. The front door is also quite unique. The glass wall has menu printed on it. I’ll say that is was a little awkward having unsure patrons look at that menu while my seat was looking in their direction. The large windows also provide a unique view onto Jeanne-Mance as the citizens sit down and enjoy the nice, sunny day. Looking directly up provided me with a nice blinding sunlight. Suffice it to say, it was the only time I looked up.
The menu posted on the glass front. The picture isn’t so clear, but it’s enough to get the idea.
When you enter the restaurant, you are greeted by a hostess. When you give them the number of people, they start fidgeting on a computer, typing down who knows what. I found this system to be quite strange to be honest. I did witness one occurrence that made the computer’s seating decision useless. The hostess types in the info for the patron and gets a table. Midway through the restaurant, the patron talks their way onto another table, therefore defeating the purpose of this computer.
The service you get at this restaurant is quite good. The server was fluent in both official languages and never made you feel little. Outside the server I had, I felt like I was being stared at while sitting at my table. That’s just too uncomfortable. If I wanted people looking at me while I ate, I’d enter a hot dog eating contest. In the end, I have to give kudos to the “floor manager” individual who helped expedite my visit out of the restaurant without making me have to wait too long.
The last note has to go to the ice tea. Normally, I don’t mention ice tea unless there is something I need to say. After I place me order, I overheard the server shouting, “where’s the Nestea, where’s the Nestea!” That alone didn’t catch my ire, but the bill did. Based on a previous location and statement I made about ice tea, believe paying 4 dollars for ice tea is way too much, especially this time when there were no refills. I’m not paying for some specialty brew coming from some obscure location, it’s Nestea!
Hamburger au Fromage + Frites
This burger contains onions, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and bacon.
This was one of those occasions where I didn’t quite know how much to expect for the burger I was about to get. I’ve had many various opinions about the food at this restaurant. The first offsetting point was the 18 dollar price tag on the burger alone. Adding bacon to the mix costs you an extra 2 dollars. I’m in the kind of position where I feel like a price tag has to equate to something relative when it comes to taste and end results.
The first thing I notice when I got the burger was the bun. I didn’t really appreciate the amount of charred space on the top bun. The bun itself wasn’t half bad. It did its job when it came to holding the structure together. Even though there was an average amount of flaking, it wasn’t enough to make the eating process harder. In the end, even though the charring was a little displeasing, it complemented the meat and components quite well. You could easily notice that it wasn’t your normal, run of the mill bun, which is a plus.
The main things I look for to step up in any burger I order are the bacon and cheese inclusions. The cheese was rather dormant in this burger. It took me quite a while to figure out whether or not it was there. When I finally got to it, it tasted fine, but too subdued. I’m no cheese expert, but something a little stronger might of upped the burger a bit.
On the other hand, I felt the bacon played its supporting role well. Even though I paid the extra 2 dollars for the bacon, I wasn’t too disappointed. Sometimes the bacon can’t be too overpowering. In this case, the bacon complemented the meat well. Even though you have a hard time seeing it, it is truly there.
The biggest highlight of this particular burger was the meat. I was giving a choice on how I wanted it done and I asked for medium well. So, when I got the burger, you could see the juices coming from it, which reminded me of some of the really memorable burgers I’ve had on the search. The taste of the meat was truly the reason it was the star of the burger. I finally understood why you didn’t really need the cheese or the bacon. This burger could’ve stood on its own, without the iconic burger add-ons.