Le Gourmet Burger
1433 Bishop St, Montreal
According to many local fans of the Burger, Le Gourmet Burger is currently the best place to have a great burger in Montreal. I was visiting a friend in the area (Concordia Ghetto) and we both were craving for a good burger, so we went paying a visit to Gourmet Burger. You do not need any reservation (except for large groups). We were there around 18:00, and the room was half full at that moment. The place is small and simple, with white walls, few tables and mostly countertop seating along the walls. You order your burger , they call you when your burger is ready , you pick it (self order) and eat it at your table or at the counter. I had mine with just Monterey Jack Cheese, sauteed mushrooms, and asked a second patty at extra cost. Nothing more since I like savouring as much as possible of the beef itself. The three relative quibbles I’d have are not that problematic and I’ll explain why : (1)I prefer my burger to be thicker —at slightly less than 1′ thicker, it’s thick enough of course, but I prefer twice that size . A matter of preference obviously. (2)I’d have liked the first bites to be less saltier so that the beef flavor is better expressed. The rest of the burger was fine on the salt aspect, so I think it’s just an isolated and very minor distraction where the cook had momentarily just not salted the burger evenly. (3)I wish my burger was juicier. That said, this was, by Montreal burger standards, a good Burger. Certainly refined, the burger well constructed, the ingredients fresh and of good quality, the patty great, the taste good too. The best burger I ever had in Montreal? No, but it’s rare to do better and many are doing worst, indeed. The best gourmet burger I ever had in Montreal was one that Chef Michele Mercuri once cooked at Hotel St James Xo Le restaurant (it was available from 5 to 7 at that time). Chef Mercuri is not working at XO Le Restaurant anymore, but his take on the Burger matched with my ideal of the perfect gourmet burger: the patty was about twice as thick as this one I was having at Gourmet Burger, and the meat he was using made a huge difference (it is a gourmet restaurant, so they have that huge advantage of affording the finest meats out there) , the juicy-ness of that patty and explosive beef flavor made of that Burger the best I ever sampled in Mtl . It will be unfair to expect Gourmet Burger to challenge a burger like the one Chef Mercuri used to cook (that was a gourmet restaurant easily of 2 Michelin Caliber under Chef Mercuri’s rule — I never went back since he left, so I do not know how it does at this moment– so it will be like comparing apples to pears), so I’ll keep my expectations where they need to be found: for a gourmet burger of its standing, Gourmet Burger does a great job. My raised quibbles being minor (just communicate with the cooks and request your meat to be juicier, cooked less longer, if that is what you want to avoid — I just like letting things in the hands of the cooks because when I cook, that is how I like proceeding…going with the flow of my own inspiration ). It’s quite a cool place (as a non formal restaurant concept…so you do not go there on a fancy date, it’s not a fancy place), the staff (there’s no waiter) is young, cool and balances professionalism with a great sense of hospitality (was there on Friday October 25th 2013 at 18:00) and I appreciate the fact that they cater to all kind of Burger fans, the old fashion one like me who can’t stand the list of toppings/sauces, etc…to the more adventurous ones (wasabi sauce, etc). For those ( like me) who wants their glass of red wine served with a gourmet burger, lol, they have 1 or 2 standard bottles (do not expect fancy wines, it’s a burger place). I shall go back when I am craving for a good burger while on the road.