Le Burger Week 2023 gives a boost to special needs organization in Montreal
Each September I look forward to Le Burger Week (www.leburgerweek.com) for the opportunity to discover something new.
Le Burger Week continues across Canada through September 14, with over 600 participating restaurants. That includes 31 in Montreal. Bravo to Thierry Rassam and Na’eem Adam, who came up with this brilliant concept 12 years ago, as well as La Poutine and La Pizza Weeks. The two Montreal businessmen have unveiled an interactive gamified experience that allows participants to rack up points (called YUMS) and redeem them for burgers throughout the event.
For participants in Le Burger Week who are partaking in the Hambur-games, they will have the option to donate $1 to one three charities in their area when buying points or transactions for YUMs. In Montreal the beneficiary is Centre Philou, which supports children with a global developmental delay as well as polyimpaired young adults and their families by offering a variety of specialized services.
Those who wish to participate in the festival will also be able to vote for their favorite burger recipe on leburgerweek.com. With the added convenience of being able to order takeout through their exclusive delivery partner, DoorDash, Le Burger Week makes it easier than ever to support local businesses.
From classic cheeseburgers that ooze nostalgia to avant-garde gourmet burgers, Le Burger Week satisﬁes every palate.
This year I chose two restaurants to experience: BBurger and Patty Slaps.
Centre Philou fills a void in the community
I was very eager to learn more about Centre Philou, a charitable organization that offers specialized services for polyimpaired children and young adults. Rassam serves as treasurer and secretary for the Board of Directors at this non-profit so it was only natural that he nominated them to become a beneficiary of this year’s event.
“We were thrilled,” said spokesperson Amélie Talbot-Baudenon. “It is a nice opportunity to bring in additional funds and get valuable exposure.”
Rassam told me : “I have been treasurer and member of the board of Centre Philou for over five years. I am sympathetic to the cause, the organization's effectiveness and the people behind it.”
Located on Cote St. Catherine Road in the Côte des Neiges district, Centre Philou was founded in 2005 by Diane Chênevert and Sylvain Brosseau. They are the parents of a son named Philippe (Philou), who suffers from a severe form of cerebral palsy.
Today, Centre Philou provides services to nearly 200 families of polyimpaired individuals from birth to age 29, as well as a number of other projects that cater to adults up to age 40.
Someone who is polyimpaired has a severe motor deficit, resulting from early cerebral dysfunction, leading to extremely limited mobility and a considerable restriction of autonomy, combined with a severe or profound intellectual disability.
Working with a $2.5 million annual budget, which comes from government funding and corporate support, Centre Philou’s activities include respite, a school and daycare. Mental exhaustion, weariness, sleep deprivation, difficulties with siblings, lack of help, shortage of care options are some of the issues families with a polyimpaired child deal with. Individuals up to age 29 can stay at the Centre for one night or up to three weeks. “It gives the family a much needed reset,” said Talbot-Baudenon, adding that the children and young adults also benefit from activities during their stay
The alternative educational program of the Philou School is designed for polyimpaired young adults between the ages of 21 and 29. This program is offered in partnership with the Centre de ressources éducatives et pédagogiques (CREP) and the Centre de services scolaire de Montréal (CSSDM). Finally, the Philou Daycare offers a friendly environment and an approach adapted to the needs of each child.
For more information go to www.centrephilou.com
BBurger, with locations on Fleury Avenue in Montreal North and Côte des Neiges Road, is still a relatively new kid on the block. The former opened in 2017, the vision of co-owners and friends Mustapha Taha, Moustafa Sayed Ali, Hussein Atoui and Ali Douhayni. In February 2023 they expanded to the West End on Côte des Neiges, near Queen Mary Road across from the Metro supermarket. It’s a great spot, with seating for more than 60 people inside at tables and booths as well as a small seasonal patio.
The Double Smashed BBurger.
“We like to describe our restaurants as ‘fast casual’ since everything is made fresh, simple, Halal and reasonably price,” says Taha. “We stay true to our advertising; what you see on social media is what you get in your plate.”
Added Sayed Ali: “We saw a good opportunity. Sure, there are restaurants that serve Halal Shawarma, but not necessarily Halal burgers.”
A friend of mine were indeed impressed as we feasted upon BBurger’s entry in Le Burger Week. The Double Smashed B Burger Style is topped with cheddar cheese, their delicious house sauce, pickles and onions. It was outstanding! So were the crispy fries. I also ordered the smoked meat poutine; saving most of it for lunch the following day. That too got good marks from me.
This may be a counter-top restaurant, but all of the burgers are made from fresh Halal meat each day.
Four happy partners at BBurger.
There are four steps to a BBurger visit: pick your burger (Halal beef or chicken), then your condiments, sauce and extras. There are seven different poutines and a small kids menu. You can dine in, pick up or order delivery if you are in the zone. They also are available for catering.
While there are no immediate plans to add a third location, I can see that this is a winning format that would be appreciated on the West Island, South Shore and Laval somewhere down the line.
The BBurger location on Côte des Neiges has easy access at the front door for wheelchairs. There are a number of tables where someone in a wheelchair can comfortably enjoy their meal.
Le Burger Week also introduced me to a virtually brand new restaurant called Patty Slaps, located downtown. There I tried their entry, simply known as Le Burger, made from grilled AAA Canadian Beef. This juicy eight ounce burger comes from freshly ground meat each day. Your taste buds will revel in the interplay of textures, from the melting yellow cheese to the tantalizing smokiness of the bacon they bake in-house. The satisfying crunch of onion rings pairs perfectly with the crispness of their signature crunchy fries, creating an adventure in every bite.
As I savored each mouthful, the sharpness of red onion, the crunch of lettuce, and the burst of tomato came together in a flavor symphony, orchestrated by the velvety touch of their daily crafted aioli sauce, made from eggs, butter and fresh garlic, plus the zesty notes of tomato relish, crafted from the freshest tomatoes. Oh yes, the burger sits atop a daily baked pretzel bun, adding that extra dimension of flavor and texture to elevate your burger experience.
A delicious burger and fries at Patty Slaps.
“Le Burger represents an enhanced evolution of our beloved Bacon Blaze burger, crafted with the intention of offering our burger aficionados the opportunity to savor and provide their discerning verdict,” Brand Marketing Stategist Melina Yousefi noted when she greeted me at the counter.
There is a self-order touch screen system with fully customizable items, which then gives you a QR code to check on the progress of your meal.
Patty Slaps opened last June, in the busy neighborhood of Concordia University. There are five co-owners: Keyvan Moradi, Hamed Massoumi, Mohammad Mehmanchi, Atthar Ahmadi and Ehsan Baghaki. They have big plans to expand across Canada and beyond within the next five years.
Other offerings include: the Psycho Patty, Crunch-A-Delic, Truffle Shrooms, Triple Trip and Bacon Blaze. There are also poutines.
Patty Slaps opened last June, in the busy neighborhood of Concordia University.
There is seasonal outdoor seating.
Who is Patty? She is a fictitious female character who is accompanied in illustrations by PUC (Patty's Unemployed Cousin). Very clever indeed. There will be animations introducing them in the near future
The interior of the restaurant, which can seat 70 people, is still getting some finishing touches, so Melina urged me to come back for another look when the renos are complete.
There is easy access for a wheelchair at the entrance and places to enjoy a meal inside. If you are coming by car, keep in mind that Ste. Catherine is not an easy spot to park or even stop.
Patty Slaps is located at 1449 Sainte-Catherine Ouest. Log on to https://pattyslaps.com/about.
More on Le Burger Week
Beyond serving up yummy patties, this renowned food festival aims to uplift local restaurant communities across Canada by shining a spotlight on the passion, dedication, and artistry that pours into each bite. These restaurants and culinary wizards are given carte blanche to let their creativity run wild and craft the most drool-worthy burgers that will leave taste buds begging for more. By participating, they gain unparalleled visibility, attract new customers, and become part of a community that celebrates their craft.
“I am thrilled to witness how this festival has grown into a powerful force of support for our local Canadian restaurants,” said Adam.
From the start, our mission has been to celebrate not only the love of burgers but also the culinary artistry and passion that our local restaurants bring to the table.” added co-founder Na’eem Adam.
As in previous years, at the end of the festival, burgers in each city will be crowned champions in various categories. From the coveted title of "Most Popular in Canada" and the regional distinction of "Best By Province - both voted and decided by the festival-goers themselves, to the discerning "Judges Choice," the ﬂavourful
To learn more about Le Burger Week, please go to https://leburgerweek.com. Participating cities include: Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Saskatoon.