While most Montrealers are reveling in the start of the FIFA World Cup, the rest of us basketball fans have to struggle to find a decent place to eat and watch the NBA finals. After being refused by several places all over town, we struck gold with Burger Bar minutes before tip-off, where the manager was more than willing to accommodate us.
The beautiful weather naturally meant the terrace was a more popular choice for the evening. However, the quiet interior slowly picked up as other hoops fans joined us at the bar facing the big-screen TV. What turned out to be a lopsided, no-contest ballgame generated friendly conversation between diners and staff alike.
We first tried Burger Bar last September during Burger Week, at which point their Rock N' Roller creation failed to impress. We were hoping to turn things around tonight by sampling more items across the long menu, along with several pints of Stella Artois!
"with spicy mayonnaise". Brittle batter, chewy squid. We weren't sure what was worse tonight; this sorry version of fried calamari or the Miami Heat's play.
"AAA beef patty, 911 sauce, banana peppers, spicy mayonnaise, tomato, jalapeno Havarti cheese, jalapeno relish, side of hand cut French fries". Nicely-cooked patty with tons of beefy flavor. Sadly, we would describe the heat level as medium at most, which is disappointing given the ingredients.
"bison meat patty, butter sautéed leeks and wild mushrooms, Brie, truffle mayonnaise, side of hand cut French fries". Tender, savory patty again, with an added earthy touch from the mushrooms. As with the previous burger, the fries are well-seasoned with the right amount of crisp.
"with Ben & Jerry's ice cream". The only good thing about this dessert was the Mars bar itself. As the batter was very dry, possibly indicating it had been fried a while ago, the ice cream made it edible by adding a much needed smoothness.
Everyone from the manager to the beautiful waitress and bartender was accommodating, friendly and efficient. There was a contagious sense of camaraderie among the staff that spilled over to us diners (It does help that everyone's soccer and basketball teams scored victories earlier).
To wrap things up, we had a good time tonight as far as the vibe and service went. Food-wise, we had better luck with the burgers than the rest, so we would advise our readers to stick to the former (this is a burger joint after all). We would recommend Burger Bar on game night for an experience that's a notch above your typical sports bar.
tagged: PLAN B.
Price per person: $29.50
Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys who like to eat and drink. We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.