Saturday, January 31, 2009

La Belle Patate—1215 Esquimalt Road—250•220•8427


Cheeseburger w/Bacon
$7



Once upon a time a Quebecois dude moved to Victoria and couldn't find a good smoked meat sandwich. He opened a restaurant in Esquimalt so that people could eat good smoked meat sandwiches and other Quebecois cuisine too. Skip forward about two years and the fairy tale continues as I, Donald Kennedy, went to said restaurant to eat a cheeseburger.



I must say I was pleasantly surprised when I chomped down on this burger (as I lounged care-free in Esquimalt's memorial park). When you order this package "all dressed" you get mustard, green relish, onion, tomato, and what tastes like 'slaw. The 'slaw flavour was so different from what I am used to, that I had to pause for a second while mangeing. It took about two shakes before I realised this interesting addition was in fact making my lunch experience fun, as opposed to uncomfortable and weird. The 'slaw flavour mixes in pretty well with the mustard, providing a condiment mix that is well balanced and refreshingly unique.

The beef patty isn't exactly dripping in juices, but it tastes pretty decent. It is also formed just a teeny bit loose, allowing its flavour to mingle nicely in your mouth with the other burger elements. The bacon and American cheese are placed on the bottom bun (a la Fatburger) and both have that wonderfully comforting flavour that is oh-so common among superior diner burgers. The bun is soft, and ever-so-slightly chewy. As for the size, it is in perfect ratio to the burger, and holds everything together in supreme fashion. Imagine Fairfield Fish and Chips, but better.


VERDICT: Unique, satisfying, changes internal weather patterns.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

hey. you should try the rathskellar burger at the rathskellar german restaurant downtown

John said...

Hi, great blog! Found it after checking out AHT. I'm in the Tacoma area, and get up to Victoria (family) 1-2x/year, and Vancouver 2-3x/year, so this blog is essential reading! One question, how was the poutine there?

dk said...

The poutine was pretty darn good. The curds were a little waxy, but the gravy was excellent, and the fries appeared to be hand-cut.

Where's your favourite place for a burger in the Tacoma/Seattle/Washington area?

Thanks for checking out the blog.

John said...

Excellent. La Belle Patate is now on my 'must visit' list when I get over there next. I was in Kelowna last weekend, and had a poutine with shredded cheese (cheddar and mozz, I think)...I didn't think I could not eat a poutine, but this one was n.g.
As regards burgers here...FatBurger is the best of the 'chains'. I haven't developed an appreciation for Dick's (maybe because I'm not a native) One place to try is Etta's Seafood (I know, seafood), but the burger there is excellent. Pricey, as restaurants will do, but solid. http://www.dishola.com/dishes/view/2620

dk said...

Fatburger is a great chain, I usually hit up the one in Vancouver when I'm there. You have to get the King Burger though, because the smaller Fat Burger is generally a lot less juicy. I like Dick's, but more for the prices and ambience of the Capitol Hill location than the actual burgers.

ps. Thanks for the Tacoma suggestion

John said...

Whoops. The Etta's Seafood suggestion is Seattle. It's part of the Tom Douglas restaurant 'empire', more of a 'cuisiney' type of restaurant. However, he does the basics (burgers, breakfasts) darn well. Etta's is right by the Pike Place Mkt. I found the reviews from your Seattle trip, excellent! I'm going to hit Zesto's at my earliest opportunity.

Anonymous said...

as a quebecois myself i today went to the belle patate and had my hope all pump up about having myself a REAL POUTINE LIKE THEY DO IN BACKEAST...QUEBEC...but i found myself being served a sloppy bunch of fries drowned in bad gravy in a cardboard plate..wich get really gewwy...that was ok to me until i asked the management if a could get a takeout container ...the owner to respond about the price of the above mention container...and i need to mention that i gave them a tip for service i dint get...bottom line i had to trow my so call good poutine in the garbage because the owner cant afford to give a takeout container for a 11 $ poutine....fuck the belle patate....costco poutine is better then this

Anonymous said...

belle patate suck tabarnak...no service too expensive...if i could sale potatoes the price he is charging i would drive a mercedes...the greddy manager can give away a damn take out plate...the costco poutine is way better...i know poutine j en mange dans mes reves

Anonymous said...

I found this blog and i was pretty surprised with the comments left on May 31st by Anonymous. I'm pretty sure i was at La Belle Patate when all this went down. What i saw was two gentelmen that look like painters eating poutine outside, when one could not finish his poutine he came inside to ask for a take out container, the manager reached to grab one while mentioning to him that next time he can ask for his poutine to be put in the take out containter right from the begining so that it cuts on cost and on garbage. The men flipped out and left complaining. First, being born and raised in Montreal myself, the poutine at La Belle Patate is by far the best on the west coast and even better than most places in Montreal. Way superior than Costco fake curds and over salty beef gravy. Second, if his poutine was so sloppy and terrible why would he want to take it home to eat it later??? Anyway i just had to write down what i actually saw that day, its abvious that the 2 comments were left by the same persone at 10minutes interval at 1am so he was probably drunk and still bitter. Also this is a burger blog so i think we should stick to burger related stuff.

ben said...

haha,
i've had the owner ding me for a quarter or something for a container there too....it didn't really ruffle my feathers but you can see how it could piss a person off: i've never experienced a doggy-bag charge anywhere else in my life! the belle patate is awesome and i continue to return (i'm definately trying an all dressed burger next time) but come on, guy! charging for take-out containers is laughable, man. bush league psyche-out stuff.

Anonymous said...

Being from Montreal, I know smoked meat...What they sell La Belle is pastrami and not real smoked meat. This seems to be typical of all places in BC that profess to sell "Montreal Smoked Meat"...I guess it's prohibitively expensive to bring in. But the burgers, fries and Steamies are awesome! Best Burgers in town are at the 4 mile pub...

Anonymous said...

Yup...Someone should tell this guy (who is supposed to be from Montreal) that we are not all idiots here in Victoria...Get some real Montreal smoke meat or stop advertising that you sell it.

Anonymous said...

I was born and raised east of Montreal. La belle patate is the closest I have experienced here on the west coast. It is expensive if I compare to Montreal but what the heck, Its the price to pay to live in Victoria. The owner would get more regular customers if his price were lower.
taste 4.5 / 5
service 3.5 / 5
price 2 / 5
cleanliness 3/5

duquette le montrealais