Friday, November 30, 2012

No mystery meat patties at Moderne Burger

Moderne Burger on UrbanspoonNo big foodie outing this weekend, sadly, as I'm saving up to catch up with a bunch of friends parachuting in during the holiday season. I did, however, get out for a casual dinner at Moderne Burger. Dinner was at 6pm, and already the place was pretty full. Shortly after, there was a horde waiting at the counter, though tonight's downpour may have had something to do with it. Things settled down a bit shortly after, but when we left close to 7pm, the diner was still nicely full.

The decor is very bright and has a light art deco feel plus a touch of tiki bar with their palm trees. Overall, a very nice change compared to so many restaurants that like to dim the lights so much so that some of my foodie friends have to pull out their cellphones for extra light to read the menu. There's a buzz of conversation that can, occasionally, make you have to lean in closer to your dining companion to make out what they're saying.

Moderne Burger's steak patty uses "real steak". It ground from loin from a steer (not cow), no filler, no "mystery meat" or "miscellaneous meat", no salt, and estimated at about 15% fat, compared to 25% fat in a typical patty (according to our server). A basic burger comes standard with "hand-leafed lettuce", tomato, onions, mayonnaise, and "house sauce". The emphasis here is clearly on hand-made quality.
For a first-timer like myself, our server recommended simple non-overpowering add-ons so that you can taste the steak patty difference. In the end, I went with her suggestion of cheddar and bacon, and sure enough, there was enough room in there to clearly taste the patty, than if it were smothered with sauce. There was supposed to be "house sauce" in there as well, but that didn't seem to jump out at me.

Potatoes are "farm fresh and hand cut minutes after your order is placed", so if you're looking for pre-soaked and double-fried crispy goodness, this isn't the place and you might want to skip the fries to make room for a float or shake.

Shakes are standard size, with one shake glass full plus about a half in a metal cup. We were warned against the chocolate tonight because they apparently ran out and were making a reasonable facsimile using vanilla and something else. It definitely is worth chatting up your server!

Price wise, things can quickly add up if you're not watching since my slice of bacon and square of cheddar were $1.25 a piece, added to a 10.95 burger platter (burger plus fries). You can shave off about $3 if you skip the fries. Plus a creamsicle float at $5.35, the bill was $18.80 before tax and tip.
Overall, I personally still prefer a less traditional but more interesting flavoured burger, such as the delicious BBQ onion ring from Loving Hut Express. For sheer volume of food per dollar spent, I would recommend Loving Hut Express or The American Cheesesteak Company over Moderne Burger, both of which can serve up pretty good meals. If you are specifically looking for the classic burger and diner experience, then Moderne Burger works nicely. There just aren't too many retro-look-and-feel places out there anymore.

Service is friendly on the floor as well as at the till where you pay your bill. It's a friendly, comfortable atmosphere, and combined with the daylight brightness of the place, makes for a nice place to wake up when it's dark outside.

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