Jonathan Dresner, who is behind the concepts of Notre Boeuf de Grace and Pigeon Café, has another winner on his hands in Burger Fiancé.
Dresner is a partner in two plant-based restaurants, Hello 123 and Kupfert & Kim, with Mark Kupfert and Daniel Suss. During the “shutdown” days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kupfert & Kim location in Old Montreal had to close its doors temporarily as nobody was going to the area. That is when chef Félix Gagnon stepped in and came up with the Burger Fiancé concept, a cross between Notre Boeuf de Grace and its “cool” burgers and Hello 123’s vegan offerings. They rebranded the Old Montreal storefront with a joint burger theme in the spring of 2021 and business took off almost immediately. In June 2022, a second spot opened on Sources Blvd. in Dollard des Ormeaux, which I recently visited.
I am neither vegan nor necessarily a fan of plant-based food. But I must say that the Fiancé Burger that franchisee Steven Murray brought me was so well assembled, that I honestly could have been convinced it was meat. In fact, this house smashburger included veggie bacon, onion rings, cheddar cheese, sautéed mushrooms and red pepper, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, and fiancé sauce. It came with a side of waffle fries, a staple at Pigeon Café.
“For vegan food, it is all in the prep,” Murray told me of the taste of the burger. “We work very hard on flavor and texture. The taste is very rich.”
I went to the West Island location at 6 pm on a Saturday in August and sat at an outdoor table. It was remarkable to see the number of people coming in to dine and take advantage of take-out and of course, there were plenty of delivery app drivers as well.
“The response by customers here has exceeded our expectations,” Murray said.
For dessert, I had a Brownie à la Mode and again, wow this being vegan could have fooled me. It was served with ice cream, chocolate syrup and caramel.
They have an interesting selection of sodas: cream, orange, bubble gum, cotton candy and more to come.
There are also vegan hot dogs, chicken and pulled pork, as well as salads, cauliflower bites and more. The menu is on their website. Dresner said to expect more comfort food down the line, such as pizzas.
Burger Fiancé is located at 417 Notre-Dame St W. in Old Montreal and 3627, boul. des Sources in Dollard. For more information go to https://burgerfiance.com.