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Smart Burger

EaterBob Jun 29, 2011 08:23 PM

(Note: This thread was split from a Five Guys thread at: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7186...


If you want a better fast food burger y=ou should try Smart Burger.

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  1. b
    BLM RE: EaterBob Jun 30, 2011 12:31 AM

    Has the downtown Smart Burger location opened yet?

    2 Replies
    1. re: BLM
      Werzoth RE: BLM Jun 30, 2011 04:47 AM

      On their website it says it is now opened.

      1. re: BLM
        EaterBob RE: BLM Jun 30, 2011 06:35 PM

        Yes it has. Been open for about two weeks now. I pass by it almost every day.

      2. SnackHappy RE: EaterBob Jun 30, 2011 06:40 PM

        So in your opinion what makes Smart Burger better than Five Guys?

        24 Replies
        1. re: SnackHappy
          EaterBob RE: SnackHappy Jun 30, 2011 06:50 PM

          The difference between freshly ground the day you eat it versus ground in the recent past. At Smart Burger the butcher is in the store. Nothing more complicated than that.

          1. re: EaterBob
            SnackHappy RE: EaterBob Jun 30, 2011 07:04 PM

            But how does it taste?

            1. re: SnackHappy
              EaterBob RE: SnackHappy Jun 30, 2011 07:05 PM

              Fresh! :-)

              1. re: EaterBob
                Werzoth RE: EaterBob Jul 1, 2011 07:45 AM

                I enjoy Smart Burger very much as well. I live right near the first original location (which has now been changed to a restaurant, but same owner) and talked to the boss quite a few times.

                As EaterBob said, the AAA meat is ground by a butcher right in front of your eyes, so it is very fresh. Condiments are fresh as well, I especially like the spicy relish and the homemade dipping sauce for the fries. The homemade burger sauce is delicious as well.

                Too bad they dropped the homemade curly fries, I liked them.

                1. re: Werzoth
                  BLM RE: Werzoth Jul 1, 2011 08:58 AM

                  So the original Smart Burger location in Laval is changed to another restaurant? What type of food at the restaurant? My two Smart Burger experiences was at their original location.

                  1. re: BLM
                    Werzoth RE: BLM Jul 1, 2011 12:13 PM

                    It's called Braise & Houblon --> http://braiseethoublon.com/

                    You can see their menu on the website. I have not tried it yet though so I can't comment on it. It is the same owner though.

                    1. re: Werzoth
                      BLM RE: Werzoth Jul 7, 2011 09:20 PM

                      When you say same Smart Burger owner, are you saying same co-owners(Smart Burger is owned by 2 people)?

                      1. re: BLM
                        Werzoth RE: BLM Jul 8, 2011 04:55 AM

                        Hmm I've only ever seen one, not sure who the other is. I'm guessing yes but I couldn't say for sure.

                  2. re: Werzoth
                    SnackHappy RE: Werzoth Jul 9, 2011 09:17 PM

                    When it comes to burgers, AAA doesn't mean squat. Marbling is good for steaks and roasts, but burgers are made from ground meat. If you want more fat, you can just add some. I would rather have a burger made from B or D grade beef if it has more flavour.

                    Freshness is also quite a relative term. Freshly ground yes, but what tells you it's fresh meat? And what does freshness have to with flavour anyway? Dry-aged beef is considered to be the most flavourful. It's left to rot for weeks before getting trimmed out and cooked. How's that for fresh?

                  3. re: EaterBob
                    SnackHappy RE: EaterBob Jul 9, 2011 09:00 PM

                    I finally had the chance to try Smart Burger at the Carrefour Laval location. Five Guys has nothing to worry about. The patty is too lean and has very little flavour other than what it gets from the ride in the flame-broiler. The crumble factor is pretty good, though. The bun is decent if you like your burger on a ciabatta. Overall, I'd say it's a good fast food burger, but nothing exceptional. I would sooner eat at A&W.

                    I'm still willing to try the downtown location to see if they do things any better, but I doubt the meat will be much different.

                    1. re: SnackHappy
                      Werzoth RE: SnackHappy Jul 10, 2011 06:30 AM

                      I'm not sure why you say ciabatta; they use regular buns and they're not crunchy at all.

                      1. re: Werzoth
                        SnackHappy RE: Werzoth Jul 10, 2011 06:44 AM

                        My burger did not come on a regular hamburger bun. it was some kind of brown airy thing with a crispy outside that looked like it came from the health food store. Not a ciabatta per se, but that's what it reminded me of.

                        1. re: SnackHappy
                          BLM RE: SnackHappy Jul 10, 2011 10:21 AM

                          To me it's more like a home made regular bun. I was at their downtown Smart Burger location very recently.

                          1. re: BLM
                            BLM RE: BLM Jul 10, 2011 02:48 PM

                            I correct that. It's more like a Portuguese type bread. Personally I like their bread. Which I prefer Smart Burger or Five Guys burgers, I got to think about it(maybe need do a re-taste). I like the hot peppers of Five Guys, but I don't like how it's wrapped(it gets soggy very easily). They're both expensive burgers(for fast food).

                            1. re: BLM
                              SnackHappy RE: BLM Jul 10, 2011 06:34 PM

                              I agree about the bun. It's light and airy and it has thin crust. Portuguese bread is a good comparison.

                              To me a burger is about the meat, then the bun, then the rest. In my opinion the meat at Smart Burger doesn't cut it. It's too lean, has too little flavour and it's overcooked. It's also cooked in a flame broiler which is not my favourite way to cook a burger.

                              Still overall it's not that bad. I just don't see myself going out of my way to eat one.

                              1. re: SnackHappy
                                nextguy RE: SnackHappy Jul 11, 2011 05:30 AM

                                Two weeks ago I tried the Smart burger for the first time and this past Friday I tried a Five Guys. I preferred the Smart burger meat and bun but Five Guys has better toppings. The Smart burger meat is less juicy but just found it had a beefier flavour. I also thought that it was better charred. The bun was also multi-grain which I prefer. I liked Five Guys. I thought it was a good burger but the meat and bun were just not as good. I also preferred the fries at Smart. I was not a big fan of Five Guys fries with or without their cajun spices.

                      2. re: SnackHappy
                        atlantic20000 RE: SnackHappy Apr 15, 2012 08:21 PM

                        I won't be surprise if it did come from a health food store. I catch the owner bying romaine salad at iga and use it. I have a friend that work there before and told me that he does it often. Also he does put fat in his meat. I don't eat at places that offers false advertising.

                        1. re: atlantic20000
                          Werzoth RE: atlantic20000 Apr 24, 2012 07:56 PM

                          @atlantic20000 : You can see them making the burger patties right in front of you by the butcher. From the big piece of meat all the way down to the patty. I've never seen them add any fat, so no idea why you're saying this.

                          1. re: atlantic20000
                            SnackHappy RE: atlantic20000 Apr 24, 2012 08:14 PM

                            "Also he does put fat in his meat"

                            Isn't that a good thing? If you're going to serve your burgers well done, they better have some fat in them.

                            1. re: SnackHappy
                              kirkcoleman RE: SnackHappy Jul 23, 2013 06:53 AM

                              Have not tried Smart burger yet - but I wll try the downtown one. Have you guys tried Uniburger ! That is fast food burger heaven! Best tasting burger in town !

                              1. re: kirkcoleman
                                SnackHappy RE: kirkcoleman Jul 23, 2013 07:06 AM

                                I agree. Uniburger is great. It's a strong contender for best fast food burger in town.

                                1. re: SnackHappy
                                  williej RE: SnackHappy Jul 23, 2013 09:30 AM

                                  What area of town is it in?

                                  1. re: williej
                                    EaterBob RE: williej Jul 23, 2013 09:44 AM

                                    302 Ontario E, the former La Paryse location.

                                    1. re: williej
                                      SnackHappy RE: williej Jul 23, 2013 09:46 AM

                                      It's on Ontario near Sanguinet in the old La Paryse digs.





                  4. b
                    berbatov RE: EaterBob Jul 2, 2011 12:20 PM

                    Will Smart Burger cook a burger rare? I know Burger de Ville has a similar concept, that is, grinding their meat fresh daily - and when you ask them for a rare burger, its actually rare!! Praise the lord!
                    Since smart burger grinds it freshly too, anyone have experience ordering their burger rare?

                    Burger de Ville
                    5282 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC , CA

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: berbatov
                      Werzoth RE: berbatov Jul 2, 2011 03:26 PM

                      Hmm I've never asked so I'm not sure if they do it or not. I'll have to check next time. I can understand medium rare but rare? That seems a bit extreme to me.

                      1. re: Werzoth
                        BLM RE: Werzoth Jul 2, 2011 10:53 PM

                        Pretty certain, there's no way you can order a rare burger at Smart Burger. Also no to medium-rare burger. Otherwise the server would of asked you how you like your burger done. So far only been to their original Laval location, when they first opened.

                    2. t
                      Tzenaki RE: EaterBob Jul 30, 2011 02:34 PM

                      I'm a fan of SmartBurger. I was a fan of it when it first opened on LaBelle and I"m a fan of the downtown one. I think the meat is fresh and very delicious. I tried the Five Guys in Laval a few weeks ago and I was less than impressed. I'd rather have Smart Burger any day.

                      I've been reading some of the replies here about FG vs SB and I think the ones that say that FG is more "juicy" might be comparing "greasy" to juicy. However, Five Guys wins in the fries debate. BIG TIME. I love the Five Guys fries.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Tzenaki
                        humbert RE: Tzenaki Jul 30, 2011 10:47 PM

                        I actually really enjoyed the fries at smart burger because they come with some tasty dipping sauces, if I recall correctly one was a basil mayo and the other a red pepper or other red sauce of sorts...very good. The burger is a lot simpler than at 5 guys...maybe less American in style? Smaller with less topping choices and no bacon or double patties. I could go for a 5 guys burger with "smart fries" right about now :oP

                        1. re: humbert
                          Werzoth RE: humbert Jul 31, 2011 05:56 AM

                          You can add bacon if you wish at Smart Burger by the way, along with many other condiments =) You can also choose how many patties you want. The other sauce is a "dried" tomato sauce (tomates séchées), it is my favorite as well.

                      2. j
                        jay_81k RE: EaterBob Jul 30, 2011 02:41 PM

                        Ironically Ive only had the vegetarian burger at Smart burger and I enjoyed it.

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