The Cheeseburger Under The Stairs

Way back in the heady days of 2010, I wrote about how I stared into the abyss of cheeseburger heaven/hell and how I’ll forever be searching for the perfect burger. With cheese of course.

Well I almost found it!

The thing with addiction and the perfect high, is that it’s pretty much always going to be ‘almost’.

Still, there’s this little place. I got this friend who tipped me off about it. It’s a tiny cafe and it’s literally under the stairs in an old building downtown. My friend said this, and I quote, “best cheeseburger in town.”

We just had to see about that.

So I looked them up. They had no website, but they had a number. I called from work and ordered 4 cheeseburgers for me and my homeys.

“We only have 2 left!”
“What? Ok. 2 cheeseburgers then. And a club sandwich. Our address is..”
“No delivery!”
“Fine. I’ll come to you. Where…”

*click* He hangs up on me.

Man, these burgers must be awesome.

I found the place alright. Enter the building, down the stairs at the far corner of the lobby. Down, all the way down to the basement where the chef greets me from behind the counter which wasn’t more than 6 feet long.

“You here for 2 cheese and a club?”
“Yeah, that’s me.”
“You look familiar.”
“First time here.”
“No, I mean from the movies.”
“No, definitely not.”
“Nah, you’re in the movies. Here you go. Gave you extra salad. We close now for the day.”
“Cool. Thanks.”

He wasn’t kidding about the extra salad. Fresh mixed greens, endives, nuts, tomatoes and green beans. Not what you’d expect from a tiny lunch counter. It was super amazing!

Ok ok. Here it is!

This cheeseburger was so good. So tender, so (almost) perfect. Was it veal? I can’t even be sure. But it had a slice of onion, 2 slices of fresh tomato and a big crisp piece of lettuce on it. AND, a nice thick slice of Swiss cheese melting off the top. Simple and delicious. I think there was mayo and mustard. I can’t remember anymore. It was also sliced in half like a sandwich. Cheeseburger sandwich if you will. I could go for one now.


Also, they’re only open during business hours, so if you go it’s:

Cafe Chateau
(514) 844-4934
1410 rue Stanley

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  • That looks amazing! You will have to bring some when you come down here this summer.

    We have a place near us called The Nook,, the service isn’t great but the place is filled with pictures from visiting celebrities. Last time I was there I sat at the booth that Barbra Streisand had sat at. Anyway, it burned down last month so no awesome burgers for a couple of months until the rebuild.

    This also reminds me of the little cafe we had in the basement of the building I worked at in Seattle. It was a little Chinese place with the best Mongolian Beef I have ever had. I don’t know if it was really beef, it tasted much better than beef but I was afraid to ask. They cooked on hot plates and the women who did the cooking were either barefoot or in flip flops. No one cared because the food was that good.

  • Mmmmm … that kinda does look like veal.

    I think some of those small take-out joints are probably the best. There was (is still?) a place in Toronto called – coincidentally – “Mike’s Munchies”! The guy who ran it was Asian and his “homeburgers” were great (bacon burgers with your choice of fixings, etc.). But you could not beat his chicken wings – they weren’t spicy, but they had a particular flavour to die for. I’m still trying to perfect that flavour.

    Dang, I miss Canada at times.

  • What kind of meat was it? Have you tried Typhoon? It’s around the corner from P&N’s place. Great cheeseburgers and they serve Guinness.

  • Anonymous

    That looks like some good chow. I literally mean chow, as is in the dog. I hear it’s quite tasty, and very popular in China.

    Or could be veal.

    Either way, who cares as long as the burger was good? It sounds good, and I intend to visit it next time I’m in Montreal (I’ll call first so you go on “vacation” before I arrive).

    By the way, I still haven’t made it down to Chee Burger Chee Burger. I don’t think it’ll be as good if you’re not there. Let me know when you’re ready.

  • It’s true, since I never asked them what kind of meat it was. But since I didn’t start barking at any point, it safe to say it wasn’t dog. That’s what happens you know, after eating dog. You start to bark.

    I’m so down with taking a chee burger holiday in Colorado. I’ll give you a heads up before I arrive.

  • Didn’t you read the post? I said I wasn’t sure, but it was possibly veal.

    Sounds good. CB’s at Typhoon, your treat.

  • There’s an Asian Mike??? We should call him AsianMike, written out just like that.

    Cool, here he is:
    And according to the map, right across the street from a Synagogue. I wonder if the proximity of the bacon burgers set off the bacon alarms.

  • It’s true that for some of the best tasting food, it’s better not knowing what went into them. This is reminding me of the jar of old oil my mom used to keep for making french fries. That oil got re-used for months on end until it was black. Or until the ambulances came.

    It would be awesome to cater the TB conference with Cafe Chateau cheeseburgers. I can picture the chef’s head exploding from all the excitement.

  • I can’t tell… what kind of meat is that?

  • Oh. Em. Gee! That sandwich looks divine. Happy new year!!

    To Nicky:
    Thanks for checking on me. it didn’t go unnoticed. i love you for that and i’m doing soooo much better. i’ll check you and the cheese later. i’m off to be ๐Ÿ™‚

  • If he ever lands on my blog, that’ll be his name! I doubt that he blogs much – his english wasn’t very good.

    Ha! You found it! Well, if you are ever in Toronto, you might try his burgers, but definitely try his wings. That temple is just around the corner but I knew many of its members that chowed down at Mike’s Munchies. There is no sanctity when there’s the smell of bacon in the air.

  • That burger looks awesome! There was a place in San Francisco in an alley called “Tamale Joe’s”. There was no sign at all, and you had to know what you were looking for, (or notice the long line of well dressed office workers waiting outside). Tamale Joe’s had hands down the most wonderful Mexican food on the planet. It was a no-frills place. Get in, get out. The waitresses spoke no English and seldom got an order correct. It didn’t matter. You took what you got and loved it. Unfortunately, somebody decided to rob Joe and shot him in the head. The restaurant closed. It was really a sad day.

  • I was just on your site yesterday and was ecstatic to see how much you’ve been writing! I’m glad to see your gorgeous smile back here and even happier to hear you’re feeling better! I have missed you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Linda, that is like, THE saddest story involving food I’ve ever heard. It sucks but this kind of thing happens all the time. At least you’ve got the memories of tasty delightful munchies.

  • Happy New Year to you too Roschelle, and welcome back!

  • Fine. It was squirrel.

  • Anonymous

    I thought Roschelle was dead. Sent her an e-mail asking her to let me know if she was dead, in fact, but she never responded. Scared me to death.

  • Anonymous

    I can show you around some if you’d like. People like it here. It’s a lot like Calgary, but warmer and less windy and less industrialized.

  • See those tongue marks all over your screen?… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • You know, I’ve always thought you look like a movie star. Remember that guy with the metal teeth in James Bond…?

  • Yep, and now I have to break out the windex ๐Ÿ™‚

  • *drool*

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  • Nonamedufus

    You know it’s always the little ma and pop places that have the greatest food. Used to have a cheeseburger place in the food court at 240 Sparks in Ottawa. I’d eat one every day. But the best I’ve ever had was at a little place on the road from Whitehorse to Skagway. Can’t remember the name of the place but it was both the biggest and best I’ve ever had.

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