There’s something beyond divinity when you bite into a good burger. No, not a greasy spoon burger that’s been defrosted and re-heated to death and makes you wonder if it’s ever even been close to real meat. A real juicy burger, where each bite creates a satisfactory melange of flavours, rendering you speechless, is the burger I sought.
I met such a burger twice in Ottawa. I am by no means claiming to have tried every burger in town, but these two have made an impression so much so that I bring them into conversation at every opportunity.
Each of these two burgers had a bit of a kick to it, in a different way. The first one, at Chez Lucien (Murray
St.) is a lady burger that, although meaty and voluptuous, offers more mature flavours. Yes, this burger’s patty is a happy home to brie and pear. It is gourmet style burger, with a pub-like touch. The flavours marry happily in your mouth. The melting brie is like the plastic cheese for adults. When you graduate from the kiddie table, to the adult table, you leave the bright yellow cheese slices behind in favour of brie. As the melted, creamy cheese covers the meat, it adds a hint of bitterness, which the juicy tart pear is quick to counter. The combination of flavours is something that makes a regular ol’ pub outing into a gastronomic experience.
The second burger is the burly, meat and potatoes kind of deal (sans the potatoes) at Atomic Rooster (Bank St.). It should be noted that the atmosphere of this joint is peculiar to say the least. The collective that
partakes in bevies here seems to be a throwback to a 1970s truck stop. Do not get put off by the somewhat frequent barflies occupying the wood. The burgers and the live music on Sundays, as well as the presence of a Scrabble board, are well worth it. The meat patties on the burgers are juicy and honest. No beating around the bush with these burgers. The juicy meat is then garnished with any variation of toppings that you choose to slab onto it. From choosing what type of cheese you want to giving it a hot hot kick with a jalapeno, or deep south-y’all-greasy-blanket with a bacon. This burger means business.