The Burger Wars
Somehow, a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the simple hamburger was elevated to culinary heights. Montreal is no exception to this overwhelmingly weird trend. Yes, you no longer need refined Italian / French/ Asian fusion to fill your supper-club. All you need is a beef patty, some imagination, and people will come give you money for food and drinks.
How did this happen? How did the hamburger get its nobility title? We don't know and we don't care. All we want is more and more good burgers and more and more good beer to go with it.
If you are a simpleton like us and enjoy the small things in life, then you'll love the burger-spots we've chosen. They all combine a great atmosphere, where you can chill, grab some drinks, sometimes even dance, while pretending to be there just for the fancy burger.
O'burger (1777 McGill College, review for O'burger)
O'burger is still spanking new, and its flashy color design makes you forget that you're about to eat a simple burger. Located in the same building as the Eaton Center, it must be very popular for lunch. At night, O'burger is perfect for spending the night with a big crowd: being a bit away from the main nightlife action, the place has enough room to accommodate your group. Unfortunately, the burgers aren't that crazy: the toppings are amazing (especially the grilled onions, you have to try it) but the beef patties are nothing special at all, and their fries aren't that good either. A bit disappointing, for a place with such a design, the food should have been better.
iBurger (1237 Metcalfe)
iBurger is another new comer in town. The design is less flashy / commercial than O'burger, giving the joint a more authentic feel. The drink and food menu is also much more elaborated, with custom martinis to enjoy with your sushi burger (WTF, a sushi burger!). But what really sets this place a part is the ordering system: you place your food and drink order by using a iPad-style touch system build-in to your table. So if you want to be a sheep and follow your hipster friends and pray to the Apple god, than this is your place. I know I will personally abstain from further hipsterness, as it might be a contagious disease.
M:Brgr (2025 Drummond, review for M:Brgr)
M:Brgr opened the hostilities in the burger wars some years ago already, by daring to create a fancy joint with the sole purpose of serving burgers. Read the review if you want more info, but all I will say is that people actually do stay late in the night at M:Brgr and do end-up dancing around the tables. It's probably the only burger joint in Montreal that turns into a "nightclub", and that's pretty impressive. Less of a hipster crowd, more of a yuppie crowd. At least you wont be asked to pray to the Apple god there, simpler things matter for the M:Brgr crowd. Like that cool new communications or finance job you landed.
Dilallo Burger (2523, rue Notre-Dame Ouest)
On Notre-Dame and Charlevoix streets, in the heart of the South-West revival (the revival we've been talking about for some time now, take that Le Plateau), Dilallo is not a fancy joint. No modern design there, no DJ blasting fresh tunes, no expensive drinks there, definitely no dancing there. All you have is some juicy burgers, made and sold at the same location since 1929. There are enough bars around, so go dance somewhere in the region and then go to Dilallo and eat a burger in a setting frozen in time.
La Paryse (302 Rue Ontario Est)
La Paryse won't blind you with a flashy or colorful design either. Nor will you listen to a DJ there. But you will definitely eat the best burgers Montreal has to offer. This place has gotten it all figured out: good beer on tap, a small-friendly setting, making you feel like you're in a friends kitchen. And the most important, a juicy meat patty between some tasty buns and finger licking toppings. Did I mention I love tasty buns?
So that is all. You now officially know where to order your drink with technology, where to go dance with a burger in hands, where to enjoy a burger straight from the Great Depression era (no I don't mean the banking meltdown of 2008) and where to eat the best burger in Montreal.
But considering that we know more about beers than burgers, if the patty-in-the-buns topic truly tickled your curiosity, you can further your graduate studies in burgerism at the montrealburgers.blogspot.com.
Image credit: Padma Lakshmi in a Hardee's commercial. See the full commercial bellow:
Another burger sales-pitch by Hardee's:
It's your turn now. So speak-up.
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