Friday, March 18, 2016

The Diner's Grill: 4.3/5

Diner's Burger
Score: 4.1
$9. Special: $13 inc. fries and a beer

BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger
Score: 4.4
$7. Lunch special: $10 inc. fries and a canned drink

Reuben Burger
Score: 4.4

What better setting to celebrate Burger Club’s 100th review and 5th anniversary than a family owned diner with no less than 10 beef burgers on the menu. The Diner’s Grill, in its out-of-the-way location at 405 Turenne, has been a favourite destination since it was the Riviera and later Mark’s the Spot. In June, Chef Joshua and partner Yang started their own restaurant, and the first thing Josh did was replace the 4-burger grill with a 20-burger model.

When I contacted Josh to make a supper booking - Friday is the only evening they’re open - I told him there’d be about 30 of us. "Well, we only have 38 chairs, so if you get much more than that it’s going to get a little cozy." Josh thought it would be better to give us a private booking for the evening and dutifully let his regular patrons know through The Diner’s Grill (TDG) weekly newsletter and Facebook page.

The 4 person tables were arranged into two long rows, complete with little placards welcoming Burger Club and describing the specials. Yang was our server for the evening and she made the rounds taking food orders and bringing drinks as our group continued to arrive. By the time all of us had gathered, Yang could definitely have used some help. Her parents lent a hand in kitchen. “They’re free labour!” she joked.

Hot ‘n Spicy Burger
Prices are quite reasonable and the Friday (and Saturday) deal is the namesake Diner’s Burger with fries and a beer for $13. “Great value!” Most of our group went for the special, and a few ordered the popular BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger - often the Wednesday lunch feature with fries and a drink for $10. Some of us perused the regular menu and ordered the Reuben Burger - the real star of the show. Josh joked that when Yang and his baby arrives this summer, prices will need to jump 25% :)

The Harvest bakery buns were “soft as a baby's derrière”, fresh and delicious, but were a little challenged to keep their structural integrity with the juicy assemblies. For the Reuben, the stack of patty, grilled corned beef and sauerkraut made a mockery of the bun. Napkin ratings spontaneously appeared on the little review slips with the Diner’s Burger getting a 3 and the Reuben a 6.

When we arrived Josh had just finished cooking a mountain of bacon and I was salivating before reaching my seat. It was like walking into a bakery for a carnivore. Everything’s made fresh at TDG, and the fries are cut from Russet potatoes, par-cooked, chilled, then deep fried. They were soft on the inside, crispy on the outside, brown and delicious.

The 4 oz, Angus chuck beef patties are fresh with nothing mixed in. They’re squashed thin, cooked and seasoned on the grill with a nice crust. The very definition of a diner burger patty. In a trend we’re seeing more and more of, a number of the beef patties had some pink in the middle. If this isn't for you, be sure to let your server know. Just about everybody commented on how good the beef patty tasted and that the seasoning was just right. Now, a 4 oz. patty may be big enough for some, but if you come with an appetite you’ll definitely want to make it a double and as any burger lover knows, two thin patties are better than one thick one. It’s twice the crust! Pro Tip: If you order the special, ask to make it a double.

Geoff scribed this review for the Diner’s Burger: “The Diner's Grill is a pretty innocuous looking store front in an industrial park, but the food inside was worthy of notice. Only enough seating for 3 dozen and we filled 3/4 of it for the special 100th review\5th anniversary. The fledgling rock 'n roll memorabilia on the walls is neat, like a hard rock cafe light. The burger was the signature, copious bacon and melted cheddar with a nicely seasoned patty. Wasn't the biggest, but a double would've been too much for my plate, especially with the size of the poutine that came on the side. Real curds! Very good.

Dani customized her Diner’s Burger with extra bacon: “When my burger arrived I had 5 strips of bacon. It looked like a bacopus!

The Reuben was a very juicy, messy burger but had good flavour balance. Russ scrawled “Every component was filled with flavour. The bacon, the patty, the corned beef, the sauce... Didn't hold together very well. It presented as a tower of Swiss.” Cary added “Very tasty burger, with a napkin count for how messy. Tons of corned beef DRIPPING with BACON!

Karen had the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger and wrote: “The bacon was crisp and super tasty. The burger was crusted on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside, while the BBQ Mayo complimented perfectly lending juicy deliciousness to the burger overall.

TDG offers 4 different poutines and they’re *huge*. Thick beef gravy and mounds of real Quebec cheese curds accompany the fries and you can get bacon, pulled pork, or corned beef & onions on top. Cary wrote “The bacon poutine is WONDERFUL however, you should share it. Friends do not let friends poutine alone!

Newbie Bernhard enjoyed TDG: “Nice they closed the shop for us. This gave a much better experience than the industrial location suggested. I liked the beer\burger deal. Chef takes pride in his burgers, and provided an above average diner experience.

The Diner's Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato