Burger week — Mr. Steer

Cult MTL staffers do burger week!

Oh, Mister Steer — the setting of so many of my childhood memories, eating curly fries and sitting in a booth sipping on watered-down fountain Pepsi while inhaling a giant burger.

When I revisited this downtown institution for Burger Week more than a decade later, not much seemed to have changed. The condiments are still all on the table. Burgers are still served with what they call “Suzie-Q” fries (smaller and thinner than Curly-Qs), and they start you off with a sad little salad of slightly wilting shredded iceberg lettuce and carrots with the essential neon-orange French dressing on the table.

The restaurant is long and narrow, and it’s booth seating only. And although I was hoping for the kitsch appeal of my youth, it all seemed a bit depressing.

Their Burger Week offering is that wimpy salad, a bacon cheeseburger with fries and a drink for $10. The positives are that they ask you if you want your burger cooked medium or well done; the beef patty is moist and juicy; the fries taste like a thinner, crispier version of McDonald’s fries (if you like those); and the burger is stacked high with crispy bacon, melted cheddar cheese, tomatoes, onions and lettuce.

The negatives, though, are that the sesame seed bun is toasted to the point that it tastes stale and completely falls apart at the first bite; the iceberg lettuce lacks crunch (as does the salad); and although I didn’t mind the burger while I ate it, later on that night, my stomach regretted my Burger Week decision.

I know that many people swear by Mister Steer, and I get it — it’s iconic and has a place in many Montrealers’ hearts. The problem, I think, is that so many Montreal restaurants take their burgers very seriously and make sure that freshness is paramount. Back in the day, I could see why Mister Steer was a winner, but today I’m not sure I would go back just to eat that burger.

As much as it breaks my heart, I’ve got to say sorry, Mister Steer, but you get a 6/10.

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