Walking out of the Scotiabank theater downtown after watching the new Star Wars "The Force Awakens" chapter, we found ourselves gravitating towards M:BRGR (a standby of ours) on this extremely gusty night. The long flick had managed to awaken our hunger, plus we got wind of a menu change at Moishes' burger offshoot since we last reviewed it for Burger Week in 2012.
As it turned out, our evening would both begin and end in cinema. The handful of diners on this late Sunday night were enjoying the Golden Globes playing on the multiple TV screens hanging above the bar, where we joined in on the action and conversation. The small, chatty crowd created a befitting intimate mood that stood in sharp contrast against the typically bustling ambiance at this trendy burger joint.
An early adopter in the city's burger scene almost a decade ago, M:BRGR also happens to be the most upscale in its category. The revamped menu did away with the build-your-own-burger section, a smart move if you ask us; we always felt it conveyed a lack of creativity. Instead, you now have a choice of preassembled "brgrs", with many rich upgrades available. The rest seemed untouched; everything is still there from the more expensive specialty burgers to the infamous $100 BRGR!
The two burgers we opted for were quite good, as we have come to expect. We were never crazy about the buns here, but everything else was on point from the beef patties to the quality toppings and flavor combinations. As for sides, the use of truffle oil on the fries does not justify the price tag, but it does add a nice aroma. Finally, the classic Moishes coleslaw is crunchy, garlicky and just fabulous.
"AAA beef, monterey jack, caramelized onions, portobello cap, tomato, lettuce, pickle, basil pesto mayo"
"AAA beef, asparagus, bacon, smoked gouda, hot peppers, tomato, lettuce, chipotle mayo"
Sitting at the bar on a quiet night in any establishment gives patrons the chance to interact closely with staff members. The man/woman duo on duty tonight was amicable and efficient. Throw in how much of a movie buff the former turned out to be and our evening spent in the realm of Hollywood was complete!
A place that was exemplar in our books got better by ridding itself of the one grievance we had with those uninspiring custom burgers. However, M:BRGR no longer reigns as the city's supreme burger palace; not because of any deficiency on its part, but due to the stiffer competition it now faces with the likes of Gourmet Burger, Royal and QDC to name a few. That being said, it is still one of our go-to spots downtown following a movie or event at the Bell Center.
Price per person: $23.95
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.