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Jun 29, 2011 08:23 PM

Smart Burger

(Note: This thread was split from a Five Guys thread at:


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

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  1. Has the downtown Smart Burger location opened yet?

    2 Replies
    1. re: BLM

      On their website it says it is now opened.

      1. re: BLM

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

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

        24 Replies
        1. re: SnackHappy

          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

                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

                  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

                    It's called Braise & Houblon -->

                    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

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

                      1. re: BLM

                        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

                    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

                    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

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

                      1. re: Werzoth

                        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

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

                          1. re: BLM

                            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

                              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

                                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

                        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

                          @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

                            "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

                              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

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

                                  1. re: williej

                                    302 Ontario E, the former La Paryse location.

                  4. 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

                      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

                        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. 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

                        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

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