Burger Week, in its third year now, has expanded over to five Canadian cities and one Caribbean spot. With almost 50 restaurants participating this year, we tried to visit ones that we have not tried in past years; giving a fair chance to all Montreal eateries while not overwhelming our stomachs.
Unlike the two previous editions where burgers sold at a set price or had to include cheese, this year's Burger Week had no rules. This made room for creative patties and toppings ranging from squid ink buns to waffle chicken burgers. It even included a dessert offering in the form of macarons.
"breaded skate wing, lemon tartar sauce, lettuce, tomato, cayenne, smoked paprika, fennel seed bread, milkshake". Very creative with the use of the skate (a ray fish) and the shake on the side, which added sweetness to the otherwise sharp flavours. We really enjoyed the bun, although the pungent fennel seeds didn't necessarily marry well with the rest. Not your everyday burger.
"seared beef patty, fried oysters, vegetable slaw, tarragon aioli". Overall, this burger was tasteless. The beef flavor was lacking from the patty and required more seasoning. The oysters were rubbery and felt absent, while the aioli tasted like regular mayonnaise. It just did not come together.
"organic beef, American cheese, caramelized chanterelle and onion, Wickles pickles, tomato, lettuce, foie gras mayo". The best burger we tried this year. Bold beefy juicy patty with a deep earthy hint from the chanterelles. The foie gras, while clearly present at first, quickly fades away. And to bring it all together, rich sweet milk buns. It combined all elements of a great burger!
"Angus Sterling burger with grilled jalapeno & cheddar fondue and a house pickle". While the patty had good beefy flavor, it needed more seasoning. We enjoyed the rich fondue cheese and jalapeno flavor; however, it was overwhelming because there was so much of it. The house pickles were sliced a little too thick for our taste. Good concept that failed to deliver.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you should know about Burger Week by now. It's a great way to pit willing restaurants against each other in a burger throw-down; the judges being its own picky eaters. The first three editions had great turnout and were a major success. We were there, we had fun. If you did not try any this year, make sure you do so next year!
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.