Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ongoing Discussions About Food Icons: The Bacon Cheeseburger: Mister Steer review

Mister Steer

Nestled between two Houses of Burlesque on Ste-Catherine street stands a Montreal landmark that serves another kind of meat. We are of course talking about Mister Steer that has been serving burgers since 1958.
With the demise of Ben’s there are few relics to Montreal’s restauration past. The long lunch counter creates the feeling that Archie and Jughead might walk in. Even the guys behind the counter at the grill wear complete soda jerk regalia including the pointy paper hat. They do not make places like this anymore and even throwback restaurants cannot duplicate this atmosphere. Not to be outdone by the Riverdale gang the long diner counter and booths create enough vibe that you think David Lynch’s log-lady might drop by for a bite. This is the kind of place that makes you crave a milkshake. A giant sign in the restaurant boasts “The Best Burgers this side of heaven” so we are on the case.

Some assembly required


Archie and Jughead might run screaming from Mr. Steer because this bacon cheese burger set us back quite a bit coming in at just under $12. At these prices I better be getting a taste of heaven. When the burger arrives on your plate it looks skimpy, bun, patty (I think it is a quarter pound of meat), tomato, onion, iceberg lettuce, bacon and orange cheese. There is a simple beauty in this stripped down burger and behold the condiment rack. Each table is equipped with various condiments in-order to create your very own interactive burger experience. The table side mount is stocked with cayenne pepper, garlic powder, dill pickles, mustard, ketchup, relish and mayo offered by the wait staff.

And the condiments
All dressed up and ready to go

The Verdict:
This burger is good, not gourmet, and pretty darn close to the coveted great homemade burger. There is great comfort and pleasure with anything that tastes like it comes from Mom’s kitchen. The meat patty, thick, almost tennis ball like, these types of burgers are often bad following the credo of size over quality but in this case it works even though it falls apart when consumed (just like Mom). The meat itself is tasty, seasoned, and charred on the outside. The bacon, bravo, thick and salty with bite to it, crispy with some chewy bites. My photo session of this burger experience drew the attention of the manager, or perhaps owner, who accused me of “espionage.” I was given a very thick piece of iceberg lettuce and onion slice allowing room for customization with the added choice of table side condiments. You are making your burger the way you like. Because so much attention is paid to the basic building blocks the meat, bacon and bun, the result is tasty. Most places use the same condiments so Mr. Steer has the formula in making a good burger, keep it simple and do not skimp on quality. 


The price does seem a bit steep but you are getting something very good. Mr. Steer delivers a satisfying burger experience that blows most of the competition away. Then again at that price they can afford it.

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