It’s not every day you find a restaurant who draw their inspirations from some of the most iconic movies of all time. During burger month, Sami Medani and his partners have opened up their menu to include a brand new secret burger. We spoke to Sami about Montreal restaurant Burger Royal’s journey, just as they open up their second branch. You can also check out all the awesome burgers here.
“The concept of Burger Royal started with me and my working partners – all three of us are huge burger fanatics. My love for burgers started at a very young age. I used to travel all over the world with my parents and my brother. My brother and I would rate every hotel based on their room service hamburger. We have a whole book at home with all the ratings. I’ve been into cooking for almost 18 years now and I’ve always wanted to open a restaurant. My love for burgers came hand in hand with that.
We aim to be a farm-to-bun restaurant. All of our meat is local and fully traceable and we get it all from one farm: ‘La Ferme Nordest’. No hormones, no antibiotics — and there’s no middleman. Custom beef is delivered to us twice a week and we work with a local artisanal bakery called ‘Le Fermentier’. They bake organic bread for us using flour from Quebec. Both our milk and dairy comes from ‘Le Triche Agneau’; a local independent dairy company.
When we first opened 5 and a half years ago, it was a bit scary for us because we didn’t know if Montreal would be open to paying a little more for an ethical burger. We’re happy to see that people are indeed willing to do so. It’s been a successful 5 and a half years!
We take a lot of inspiration from Quentin Tarantino. A lot of our burgers are either named after him or his movies. We try to use his movies as a theme to try to build the burger around. If you take the Pulp Fiction burger, for instance, it has guacamole, pickled jalapenos — so we try to keep it as a Southern Californian style burger. Our Desperado burger includes tortilla chips — it’s a Mexican style burger. So a lot of our burgers were built after the name, rather than the other way around.
For the Burger Month special’ we’ve created the 375 Burger. I tried to think of how I could make the burger as ‘Montreal’ as possible. We already had a poutine burger on our menu, so I took it up a notch by topping it with a homemade onion jam made with local maple syrup and apple cider vinegar, along with maple-smoked bacon from Quebec. In addition to that, it comes with hand-cut fries, cheese curds and gravy, all sourced locally from Quebec.
We’ve actually just opened a second venue in Old Port. Our aim now is to continue growing, steadily but firmly. Every step needs to be taken carefully so that we can have a solid foundation for each location that we open. We’ll see what the future makes of that!
Burgers are of course my favourite food — but I also love sushi and Italian food. You can’t eat burgers all the time… right?”