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Oct 19, 2008 05:10 PM

BUNS, minimal hamburger joint on St Catherine

As you may see in the Tapioca The thread, I ate at the szechuan hole-in-the-wall last night and loved every bit of it (only question is when we're returning...)

Killing time before meeting friends there, we rambled a bit on St. Catherine and spotted "BUNS", a very narrow space between St. Mathieu and St. Marc.
We stopped in after Tapioca to help out the young entrepreneurs as well as procure perhaps a late night snack.

They have a 48" BBQ which is in the window showcase and offer hamburgers and grilled potatoes - thats it.
Burgers are served on what looks like custom-made buns (they come out of a box and cut them to order) which are toasted on the grill. $4 and include cheese which looks like hand cut mozzarella.
Potatoes are par-cooked (I think in the microwave) to al dante then seasoned and grilled up on a griddle which sits on the grill.

I'm not savvy on the burger scene in MTL, but I hope these guys do well. They have a very simple idea and the burgers, perhaps not an epiphany, make good late night snacks.

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  1. Sounds good, I will definitely try it this week; I live in the area and there is not one burger place closeby.

    1. Is "al dante" part of a temperature scale based on the circles of hell?

      All kiding aside, I noticed this place a few days ago and am looking forward to trying it out.

      6 Replies
      1. re: SnackHappy

        Sorry, it got through my spell checker alright, but didn't bother with the the the thesaurus.

        I did ask for my burger rare..."sorry, can't do that"
        OK, how about med rare..."sorry, not allowed to do that"
        "I'll sign a waiver if you like?"
        "Nope, because of possible health issues, only med well"
        Inwardly, I graoned, remembering a recent thread from a canadian asking if is was usual for americans to eat burgers less than well done, etc etc...

        The burger wasn't over done, but I would have preferred less...
        Aslo speaking about their place, I said that I couldn't smell the grill from outside.
        "Thats because the city made us vent the hood 80 feet behind the building so it wouldn't affect St. Catherine"
        Ahhhhh, city wisdom. I guess its alright to enjoy the wafting aroma while walking on DeMaisonneuve, going crazy while trying to find its source.

        1. re: porker

          I find that response quite humorous regarding the ventilation, considering Coco Rico et al just up the street seem to take perverse pleasure in filling the street with chicken smoke.

          1. re: blehfu

            Scent is such a strong sense that bakeries and restaurants often vent their smells into the street ti entice you to come in.

            1. re: Andria

              I've heard of this in Amsterdam as well...

              1. re: porker

                Actually, it is well known in the world of psychology... it is even being done on subways (scents in seats), in books (to increase retention)... it is all over the place!

          2. re: porker

            Lolll! "Ahhhhh, city wisdom. I guess its alright to enjoy the wafting aroma while walking on DeMaisonneuve, going crazy while trying to find its source."

        2. I made a quick run there from Concordia for lunch. I grabbed a burger to go. It reminded me of a backyard BBQ except instead of using frozen hockey pucks separated by wax paper, the burgers had the wonderful shape and texture of being hand formed. Mine ended up medium well done (though i didn't try to ask to have something else) and wasn't completely dried out. Didn't have time to try the potatoes but i noticed them grilling and they looked interesting. I wouldn't drive across town for one but it's another nice addition to a huge assortment of eats around the university.

          5 Replies
          1. re: blond_america

            When I was at the Sir George campus, like just about farever ago, the area was pretty much a resto wasteland...

            1. re: porker

              I went for lunch at Buns today and loved the hamburger with cheese; the potatoes were charred and greasy, unedible- they would do better with crisp fries, imo.
              It must be hard to bbque all those thin slices of potatoes, those are usually roasted in a pan or a griddle, he was flipping them on the grill, one thin slice at a time.

              I'll go back and grab a burger there anytime; it's just as well there are no french fries as far as I'm concerned, less calories.

              1. re: superbossmom

                Maybe I'll give them another try. Tried their burgers maybe close to a month ago, & was unimpressed.

                1. re: superbossmom

                  Tried Buns again yesterday, after seeing this post by you. As with my first visit to Buns several weeks ago, the Buns burger was tasteless(I really really tried to like them). FYI, the owner of Buns, is the same owner as current owners of Bistro B3 downtown(which you have commented on recently).

                  1. re: BLM

                    I might be biased because my mom makes her burgers like that; I also like the fact that the buns don't get soggy. I fail to see how they'll succeed selling only those though, specially with no french fries available.

                    I live very closeby to Buns, but I wouldn't recommend anyone make a special trip to try them. The burgers would be a big improvement over their sandwiches at b3, to say the least.

            2. I decided to try BUNS today, must say it was a pretty good burger, homemade tasting, meat was still juicy, didn't try their potatoes though, wasn't that hungry.

              Would i make the trip from across town to go there, probably not, but it's a nice addition to the area, and different from those asian cuisine places

              1. I overheard an employee say that Buns has been doing so well that the owner is gonna open another one up somewhere "in the mont royal area".