Great, if overpriced, gourmet burgers have always been their specialty, but a new after 10pm (dubbed ‘Fashionably late’) special makes this a worthwhile late night find…
Remember the world before 2001? A simpler place, it was a world with no Ipods, where nobody really knew what Enron did or who Osama bin laden was, and where a burger was something you ate at a fast food joint. Then, in 2001, famed chef Daniel Boulud created the dB burger, a sinful combination of sirloin, short rib and foie gras that started a global gourmet burger phenomenon.
Back in 2008, the owners of Moishes caught on to this trend and opened M:brgr in downtown Montreal. Despite an overabundance of burger joints opening at the time, this one really excited us, considering how much we love the steak at Moishes. When we finally got a chance to try it however, our reaction was decidedly more tepid than we’d hoped. We felt, like many others did, that the burgers were delicious but ridiculously overpriced (aka deliculous), which is exactly why we were so pleased when we heard they were offering a much more affordable after 10 menu.
The “fashionably late” menu (which we had to ask for. Tsk task.) consists of 9 choices of mains (4 @ $15 and 5 @ $19), each of which comes with both a fry or coleslaw AND a pint of Boreal beer or a soft drink. Yes, you read that correctly, it comes with a BEER, and yes if you get the soft drink instead you better be either underage or a recovering alcoholic.
Since we haven’t entered the recovery stage of our alcoholism, we started with a couple of ginger Mojitos (see above), an excellent drink for the evening considering it had been one of those disgustingly humid days where it’s so hot even Mitt Romney seems cool. Being huge fans of both mojitos and any drink involving ginger, these were a big hit to our taste buds but also to our wallets.
This being first and foremost a burger joint, we decided to try both of the burgers offered on the late night menu: the “Kobe” burger and the little big Zak, an indecisive name to be sure. Perhaps they are insecure about the size of their Zak?
The “Kobe” burger (a $19/fancy-pants selection), comes with only tomato on the burger and truffle aioli on the side. Bacon and cheese are pretty much necessities on any decent burger (and in any decent life) so they were added for an extra $3.75 (ouch). We put quotations around the word “Kobe” because this cannot be true Kobe beef, since Kobe beef is pretty much only sold in Japan, and comes from a specific breed of cattle raised according to strict procedures. A lack of strict regulations regarding Kobe beef labeling has led to rampant mislabelling as compared to other items like Champagne and Roquefort cheese, which have far more strict identifying restrictions.
All that being said, this was one tasty burger, and there was definitely a noticeable difference in the quality of the meat in the “Kobe” burger compared to the AAA patty. The patty was cooked to perfection and was bursting with flavor. Despite their steep price tags, the perfectly crisp house smoked bacon and aged cheddar were great and necessary additions. The truffle aioli had a wonderful truffle aroma, and we loved that it was served on the side because this stuff tastes great on both burgers and fries. Speaking of fries, we tried both the regular and sweet potato varieties (sweet potato are an extra charge). Both were excellent; perfectly crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
The little big Zak burger on the other hand was a big disappointment. A triple-A beef patty topped with onions, cheddar, pickle, lettuce, tomato and a “spicy fancy” sauce that was not remotely spicy and even less elegant. Perhaps they should have stuck to their indecisive naming and called it bland spicy plain fancy sauce. Unlike the cheese on the Kobe burger, the cheese here was cold and unmelted, and everyone knows that unmelted cheese on a burger is the only thing more disappointing than The Phantom Menace.
If you’re fortunate enough to own a smartphone, or visit with someone who does, it would be in your best interest to ‘check-in’ on Foursquare and unlock their “Newbie Special”. A welcoming perk, you’re presented with a warm deep dish chocolate chip cookie à la mode that’s as good as it sounds.
Some inconsistency aside, M:brgr is a nice place to hang out with friends over some burgers, fries and brewskies and their late night menu thankfully brings the cost of these gourmet burgers into the realm of affordability.
• Juicy, Flavorful Kobe Burger.
• Excellent Fries.
• Incredible Ginger Mojito.
• BEER INCLUDED!
• Cold, unmelted cheese on the little big Zak.
• Bland Spicy Plain Fancy Sauce.
• $3.75 for cheese and bacon?
• No Monte Carlo potato
Late night savings: Between $6 and 12$
Where to grab a drink afterwards: Stroll on over to the slicker-than-you’ll-ever-be Dominion Square Tavern (1243 Metcalfe) for some cocktails in what feels a bar from a whole other era.