Why is everyone talking about Burger Bar Crescent? We had tried to go a year ago but when we walked in we thought “hey, this looks like a college hangout” , so we left. Too close to both Concordia and McGill, the place was filled with students with backpacks grabbing a bite to eat and a beer while watching whatever game was on the TV. A year ago we left before ordering; not our scene for a Thursday night out. After some coaxing from A, one of our readers, we told ourselves to go back and not judge a book by its cover. We left our expectations at the door and were craving burgers when we arrived.
We walked into Burger Bar in a wonderful mood, Diva#1 and Sweet Pea had spent the day shopping, Diva#2 had met up with us and off we went for a night out with A and his wife, our Sensei and Mr. Old Fashioned. We started with a cucumber gin and tonic, and a Lemony Snicket which is an alcoholic lemonade-like beverage. Our waiter was friendly, the drinks were very good and the night was off to a good start. Our Sensei had a Hoegaarden tub of beer that he could have bathed his feet in, and we were soon checking out the burgers and deciding what to order.
We started off with some appetizers. The suspicious A ordered the beer battered onion rings. As a regular patron of Burger Bar we unfortunately trusted his judgment and believed that his choices would be the best ones. The onion rings were not crispy and they were soggy on the inside; they were too doughy Diva#1 loves the occasional crispy onion ring but this appetizer did not have any bite to it and we could not even tell if it was beer battered or not. This was an unimpressive appetizer and unfortunately, the Divas had this appetizer after we ordered our main burger plate which was coming with more onion rings.
Our Sensei and Mr. Old Fashioned ordered the pulled pork poutine. This wasn’t bad and the Divas are very picky with their poutine. The pork was tender and mixed well with the gravy, BBQ sauce and cheese. If we were planning another trip back we would order this again. There was generous amounts of pork and we were pleased.
After some coaxing, Diva#2 and Sweet Pea decided to let Diva#1 order mozzarella cheese sticks as one of their appetizers. Reminiscent of many cheese stick appetizers that she would share with her dad when she was young and adorable, Diva#1 was very excited to try this appetizer. The Divas do not often go to restaurants that have cheese sticks on their menu. The cheese sticks were crunchy and lovely. We could not really tell if they were breaded with Panko crumbs or not. The spicy salsa was unfortunately Tostitos salsa…which Diva#1 hates, but maybe our expectations were set too high.
The Divas’ second appetizer was the bacon mac n’ cheese. We were impressed that the dish was not topped with bacon bits but was actually served with strips of bacon on top (though the bacon strips could have been crispier). This was overall very tasty and the breadcrumbs on top were a nice touch. The sauce was rich and cheesy, and we were happy with this little concoction. This was an original way to serve bacon mac n’ cheese and at this point in our meal, we were fairly satisfied with what we were seeing from Burger Bar. Not impressed, but satisfied.
We were soon awaiting the burgers because we could not effectively sum up our experience of Burger Bar Crescent without sampling the hamburgers that we had heard so much about. Over the last few months, A had told us how amazing these burgers were and we were anxious to try them. Their Hangover had won the 2012 Montreal burger week, and even the elusive Calvin had put in a good word for Burger Bar. On our blog and Facebook page, A kept mocking Diva#1 for her love of M:Brgr and their 100$ burger … so Burger Bar Crescent’s hundred dollar burger sold at a whopping 25$ had to be ordered. Their burgers and sandwiches come with French fries, coleslaw or a mixed green salad and for 3.95$ this can be upgraded to onion rings, classic poutine, Caesar salad or sweet potato fries. We love a variety of sides so this was great!
Diva#1 loves a good challenge therefore she naturally ordered the ‘Hundred Dollar’ burger. Their AAA beef patty was topped with pan seared foie gras, caramelized onions, wild mushrooms, arugula and a demi glace sauce. First of all, by the time the burger arrived, it was soggy from the demi glace sauce. If a restaurant is going to serve such a saucy burger they have to toast the bun until it is over toasted to ensure that once the saucy meat and toppings are resting on it, it does not become soggy. But let’s pretend it wasn’t soggy…
The demi glace sauce was so salty it was almost inedible. Diva#1 was soon scrapping it off of her patty and eating the foie gras that had not been touched by it. The foie gras was a bigger piece than we expected from Burger Bar, and the mushrooms were not very “wild” but seemed to be button mushrooms, but we admit that WE DO HAVE HIGH EXPECTATIONS. Sadly, Diva#1 could not finish her burger, the sauce was just too much and too salty and you could barely taste anything else.
Sweet Pea who had been to Burger Bar before, after school with her backpack of course, had decided to try the Big blue which was topped with blue cheese, tomato confit, arugula, BBQ chips with a ranch dressing and port reduction. Big words for a bunch of nothing. She didn’t finish her burger, it was all just too much; soggy and too many ingredients were tossed together to compensate for a bunch of nothing.
Diva#2 had decided to order the bison burger. The bison meat was topped with leeks and wild mushrooms, and brie with a truffle mayonnaise. The burger was falling apart on the plate before she could even pick it up and her first few bites consisted of bread with greyish leeks and greasy brie. The leeks looked like shredded coleslaw and were rather flavourless, thank god for the mushrooms or the whole burger would have been a waste. Was it clear that this was bison meat? No. We also happen to think that M:Brgr makes a dirty good truffle mayo… and this one was just subpar. The Divas were not happy about having to attempt to eat their burgers with a fork and knife.
Both A and our Sensei ordered the Sicilian burger and Sensei even added a fried egg to make things interesting. A, a past Burger Bar supporter who had been urging us to go to Burger Bar for many months didn’t have much to say. He said that the pesto tapenade was different and interesting but that the sausage was not up to par. The burger also came with roasted red peppers, black olives, mozzarella and arugula. He even complained that he ordered a side of BBQ sauce that never showed up; minus ten points for Burger Bar but plus five points for A.
At this point we were wondering if M:Brgr would take us in for a last minute reservation. A’s wife and Mr. Old Fashioned also had burgers but we had stopped bothering taking pictures and writing down our opinions. Someone in our group ordered a hot dog that came to our table, but the Divas were exasperated at this point. Once again, it was okay, our Sensei seemed happy with it so I suppose if you’re craving a 12$ hot dog come to Burger Bar Crescent…
Bitter? A little. But only because we were told to try Burger Bar, even after we insisted that it looked like a college hangout for the less cool students… the cooler ones are somewhere else. Yet we trekked on and ordered dessert. Why give up now?
Our Sensei ordered the deep fried mars bar, which we knew was a bad idea. They couldn’t compete with M:Brgr, and they certainly weren’t competing with Chuck Hughes. It was oddly very thin, perhaps someone snacked on the Mars bar before frying it? There was too much batter and it tasted boring. Our now humbled A had ordered some smores like brownie marshmallow dessert concoction that he was given because they had run out of the dessert that he had initially ordered. Once again it was okay, uninventive and meh, nothing worth writing about. WE ARE FOOD BLOGGERS WHO HAD NOTHING WORTH WRITING ABOUT.
So we went to Burger Bar Crescent, the apparent home of a great burger. We were unimpressed, we would only return for some of the appetizers and some drinks if we wanted to watch a sports game or hang out with university students. It was not a Diva night out. But there is hope! We were glad that we went because it meant that we could smugly tell A that not only were we not impressed but that neither was he. He is now quietly licking his wounds and he has agreed that next time, the Divas are choosing the restaurant. I guess it’s safe to say that our heels are higher than most people’s standards!
Our Rating: Meh!
Tagged: Bar, Bison Burger, Buger Bar, Burger, Burger Bar Crescent, Cheese sticks, Cocktails, Crescent, Deep Fried Mars Bar, Downtown, golden square mile, Hamburger, Hangover Burger, Hot Dog, Hundred Dollar Burger, Jack Daniel’s BBQ, Kobe Beef Hot Dog, Kobe Hot Dog, Mac n' Cheese, Meh!, Montreal, Montreal Burger Week, Onion Rings, Poutine, Pulled Pork Poutine, Supersonic Burger