After an intense and exhausting shopping adventure, Kris and I realised we couldn’t face the hike back to the Plateau without grabbing a bite to eat first. We were at the corner of Metcalfe and Sainte-Catherine, somewhat at a loss for good places to eat, then magically remembered Cheeburger Cheeburger, an American diner that had recently opened just two blocks away. And so we headed there.
First impression: the place is a complete eyesore. I don’t mean to be overly blunt, and I’m sure many people will thoroughly enjoy the overwhelming pink walls, headache-inducing neon signs, and giant stuffed hamburger toys. But although I do appreciate a fair dose of ’50s paraphernalia, this was far too, ahem, “cheesy” for my liking.
The menu, however, is a pretty exciting build-your-own-everything type of deal; you can choose from dozens of cheeses and toppings for burgers and salads, and between 60 different milkshake flavours (“with which you can create more than a million combinations!”, boast the chirpy waiters).
We both chose the semi-serious (7 ounces — 10$), cooked medium well, and decided to share a half-sized basket of fries and onion rings (5$). There are four kinds of special sauces available (cheese, jalapeno, horseradish and vegetable garden — 3,99$ for all 4), but none of them seemed particularly enticing to us.
Dismissing options such as peanut butter (seriously), I ordered my burger with blue cheese, tomatoes, honey mustard and bacon (extra 1,50$ — to my dismay, all my favourite burger toppings came at an extra charge: caramelised onions, sautéed mushrooms and fried eggs). Kris asked for brie cheese, tomatoes, and BBQ sauce.
We were both underwhelmed with our burgers: we thought the buns were too big for the patty, were disappointed that the bread wasn’t warm enough, and felt the toppings could’ve been served much more generously. I would’ve taken photos if dismantled burgers weren’t so unappealing, and I think it would’ve been self-explanatory: I could only find cheese in the middle of my burger, and it looked and tasted more like a cheese sauce than an actual piece of blue cheese (this is pure speculation though, don’t take my word for granted); I also only had one small slice of tomato and two measly pieces of bacon, and could barely taste the honey mustard. I had a bite of Kris’ burger and found the sauce extremely off-putting. Kris eventually added a dollop of ketchup to his burger to improve its flavour. Nevertheless, the fries, and the onion rings especially, were great, and the size of the basket was perfect for two people (although one could always eat more fries and onion rings, don’t you think?).
Unfortunately, the milkshakes weren’t a great hit either with me. We chose an Amaretto, raspberry and butterscotch one, and a white chocolate and cinnamon bun one (5$ each). My favourite Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavour is cinnamon bun, and I thought I might get something similar with my milkshake — but it didn’t at all taste like a cinnamon bun, and rather like those awful cinnamon heart candies. Both the milkshakes were sickeningly sweet, and I couldn’t drink more than two sips of the white chocolate/cinnamon one. Admittedly, perhaps our selection had a little something to do with that.
In spite of all this, service was great. Our waitress took the time to explain the menu to us, and was present and helpful throughout the evening.
I’m glad more restaurants are opening in the food wasteland that is Montreal’s downtown area (okay, slight exaggeration — there are some good restaurants downtown, but not many), but I do think 50$ is a bit much for an ordinary burger supper, and definitely think there are better diners in the city.