Restaurants & Bars 7

Le Gourmet Burger Lunch Review

afoodyear | Oct 13, 200901:54 PM

Haven't seen a review of this place since it opened, so I figured I'd start a thread about it. I'll copy and paste my blog review below, but I'll just quickly summarize for those that don't care to read much ;)

I ordered a beef burger with Smoked gouda, a mixed basket of fries (sweet potato and regular) and a root beer for $13. The service is still working out a few kinks and the place feels more like a smoothie bar than a burger bar. The burger left a bit to be desired, definitely not living up to the name and not really tasting like beef nor freshly grilled deliciousness, but if you're a fan of sweet potato fries, theirs are fantastic. Really crispy batons of goodness with a nice selection of mayos to choose from to dip in.

* * *

Another stand-alone burger joint has joined the fray in the already fairly congested burger market around Concordia downtown. Opened in a recently renovated spot on Bishop, at first glance, Le Gourmet Burger looks like a smoothie stand, cut from the same mold as a Liquid Nutrition. It features a similar color palette, 70’s style deco chairs and tiny tables altogether seating no more than two dozen patrons. An interesting choice of decor for a place that serves up nearly exclusively fried food and meat.

Orders are made via a checklist of toppings while trying to craft the ultimate burger. $5 will get you a chicken, veggie or beef patty laid on top of caramelized onions, crisp lettuce and a slice of tomato, served up on a brioche sesame seed roll.

Foie gras ($5) and truffle mayo ($3) are the more opulent fixings, while the more traditional addition of cheese will cost you an additional $1 or $2, depending on the selection. Other toppings veer off the beaten path to a certain Turkish/Russian territory, where if your dream burger is adorned with hummus, pickled beets, fried eggs and marinated mushrooms, you’ll be in your glory. I stuck with the basic beef burger topped with smoked Gouda, ordered a mixed basket of fries ($3) and a Boylan root beer, for a grand total of $13. They accept cash only, but there is an ATM on site.

I hear a timer go off at the grill and my fries are placed in a paper cone nestled in a metallic spiral. The room is fairly cold and I eye them for several minutes, hoping they’re still warm by the time my burger is cooked. Soon enough, a large rectangular platter is brought out to me, my burger wrapped in foil and sealed with a branded sticker alongside my anticipated cone of fries.

My first couple bites of burger didn’t quite leave me feeling like I’d just purchased a pampering indulgence, so I added a few shakes from the miniature salt shaker at the table. Even after salting, I just couldn’t really taste the hardwood charcoal flavor or get much satisfaction from the burger. The meat was kind of dry and chewy, and each bite was not filled with beef, but a rather muted mouthful of flavors tasting mostly of caramelized onion.

I snuck over to the condiment bar where I was offered a tray to choose from several different sauces, mostly variations on mayonnaise. The LGB (Le Gourmet Burger) sauce tasted like a combination of the Dijon and garlic mayos, and I stuck with that, some spicy mayo and ketchup to bring back to the table. The condiments added some much needed moisture and flavor to the burger, but it was still kind of humdrum.

The mixed cone of fries was really mostly sweet potato, with about a half dozen potato frites. The portion is fairly modest, perfect as an accompaniment to a burger, but not large enough to be particularly satisfying on its own. The majority portion of sweet potato fries was a total blessing. Le Gourmet Sweet Potato Fries would seem a more accurate moniker for this place, based on my experience. The fries were beautifully crisped and retained the perfect crunchy outer texture with creamy interior, even while patiently waiting to be eaten for so long. So often sweet potato fries are so limp and greasy that these were a real treat, like a chip in the shape of a baton. Here’s hoping that the burgers ascend to such glory to live up to the restaurant’s name, rather than the fries eventually being reduced to mediocrity.

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