Guest Burger 3: Terrasse Lafayette | Mr. Lew's Great Burger Search

Burger 109

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Mr. Lew:  Terrasse Lafayette was a location that was suggested to me in the early stages of the GBS by one of my former high school classmates, Amanda.  Amanda was also responsible for my above par visit to Burger 42 at L’Exception.  Since she was the one who suggested Terrasse Lafayette, I decided to save that location for the right moment in time.  The guest reviews has allowed me to be joined by the people who make bold suggestions.  On this occasion, we were also joined by Amanda’s partner, Dave, and another high school classmate, burger fanatic Darcie.

Amanda/Dave - Cajun Burger

I first spied Terrasse Lafayette listed on Mr. Lew’s list of upcoming burger locations quite some time ago.  I immediately commented and mentioned that I would be up for tagging along.  Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when Mr. Lew contacted me to ask if I was still up to tagging along.  For sure!
Terrasse Lafayette is family favorite of ours.  It’s convenient: we live down the street.  It’s good value for money: the portions are huge and it’s a bring your own wine or beer establishment.  There’s something for everyone: there’s an extensive menu, covering everything from pizza to burgers to Greek specialties to mussels and fries.  The service is always friendly.  So needless to say, it was not my first burger ever consumed at Terrasse Lafayette.  I didn’t however, give away any hints of what was to come to my dining companions, I figured it was best they experience it themselves for the first time.  I knew it wouldn’t be winning any awards for best burger, but the overall experience is good and the food tasty.
On to the burgers!  The date of our visit being August 15th (National Acadian Day), both Dave and I decided to go with the Cajun burger.  It only felt right, considering we had brought along a selection of beers we had purchased while visiting family in New Brunswick.  As described on the menu, the Cajun burger has onions, cheese and Cajun spices.  And when it arrived?  Exactly what I expected: a HUGE burger cut in half (more on that later), with equally huge mounds of fries and salad.  Inside the burger was cheese, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions and (surprise!) hot peppers.  I am not sure if the hot peppers were the cajun spice or if there were additional spices added, but overall it worked and was quite tasty.  The patty itself was a tad overcooked for my liking (I like mine somewhat more medium-rare than well done), but I didn’t specify how I wanted it cooked (nor did the waiter ask).  The picture makes it look a lot more rare than it actually was.  But it was tasty meat nonetheless.  Something I always look forward to when eating at Terrasse Lafayette is their bread products, most of which I believe are baked on site.  This time though, the bread had a coating of what appeared to be cornmeal, something I do not remember from any past visits.  It made for what felt like really messy eating, because every time I would put down my burger half to take a few bites of salad or fries, or a sip of beer, my hands were covered in cornmeal. 
So back to the topic of cutting burgers in half: I can see where Mr Lew in coming from when he says he prefers his burgers intact, but in this particular situation I am quite happy to have it done for me. While an uncut burger is much easier to eat as a whole, there’s only so much burger I can eat in one sitting.  I am by no means a small woman and can develop quite an appetite.  These burgers though are just too huge.  I just cannot do it, at least not without disastrous consequences.  So this way, the kitchen staff has saved me the trouble of cutting my burger in half.  I get to enjoy my dinner AND a lunch.

I had my leftover half burger for lunch the next day.  I took it from the styrofoam the restaurant had packed it up in, and transferred it to a tupperware type container for easy transport to work.  Heated up in the lunch room microwave for a minute, it was the perfect temperature for consumption.  In some ways, it was better than the first time around: the bread had had time to get a bit soggy, which actually made it even more delicious.  Being a huge bun, the outside stayed crisp and the inside went soggy, making for a good balance.  Plus it seemed to grip the burger innards better this way.  The cornmeal coating seemed less pronounced too.  The burger patty was a bit overcooked, but delicious for “things I bring to work and heat up in the microwave standards”.  The lettuce was not that great heated up, but when is warm lettuce ever a good thing?  The onions and peppers though were perfect.  So overall, pretty good for the day after.  And as a bonus, since I didn’t have salad or fries to distract me, I ate the burger in one long go, so the little bit of cornmeal remaining was not as bothersome as the evening before.

The bottom line: I like Terrasse Lafayette and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good (filling) meal.  Is it the best burger I have ever had?  No. Is it a perfectly acceptable burger and sides?  For me, it sure is.

Darcie - Classic Cheeseburger w/Bacon

First of all it was my immense pleasure to be a guest reviewer for Mr. Lew’s Great Burger Search. So many burgers to be had…only 1 stomach.

I decided to go classic for purity’s sake. The menu indicated the burger was topped with house sauce, lettuce, tomato, and bacon. Yay for bacon! Classic enough. Then spotted the glass bottle Coca-Colas in the fridge and added that to go with the burger experience.

When my burger platter arrived, I was a bit surprised to see it cut in halves. Hmm, this isn’t a sandwich I ordered. The bun was non-traditional, it looked more of a flatbread dusted with cornmeal. It was also huge, totally engulfing the patty & toppings, forming a bread halo all around. Minus for getting the proportions wrong. I’m also hoping that with all that bread, it won’t expand in my stomach and settle like a lead bullet.

However, the bun was nice & toasted and added a little crunch when biting into the burger. The beef was not dry but not super juicy either, and I’m not sure if there was much marinade in the meat. I tasted some beef flavour but couldn’t detect hints of spices, onion or garlic, black pepper…As I’m working through the burger I notice no juice dripping onto the plate, or soaking through the bottom bun. Slightly overcooked patty, perhaps? The cheese (standard orange slice cheese) helped out a bit. As for the bacon, I saw a nice layer on top of the meat, detected some slight crunches from time to time, and a hint of the bacon taste. For a burger that lists bacon as a topping, one would expect to taste and detect more of that smokey goodness.

Since there was a house sauce on the burger, meaning no mustard and ketchup, I peeled apart my second half of burger to take a closer look at the sauce. It appears to be mayo based, light orange in colour (like McD’s Big Mac sauce), but more subtle in flavour when tasted alone. Mayo mixed with french dressing, maybe? A bit of a non-factor in the burger.

Sides were a salad and fries. The greens were a grade up from standard pre-packaged salad, nothing fancy but quite good. The fries already had what appeared to be a seasoned salt on them, a nice touch but there was a bit too much as I found the fries a tad salty as I worked through them.

Overall, the classic with cheese at Terrasse Lafayette is a passable burger; it just doesn’t look or feel like a burger right away due to the oversized, flatbread bun or the fact that the burger is cleaved in two. The sides are a bit of a saving grace as they are decent accompaniments. But hey, cold Coca-Cola out of a glass bottle always tastes great.

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