Sherman's Food Adventures: Monzo


The burger scene in Vancity can only be described as "adequate".  Sure, you can grab some pretty good burgers here but I find the selection limited.  Between 2 Buns has always been a favourite of mine and unfortunately, Sirius Cravings is closing down at the end of the month (September 2023).  Of course there have been some great one-hit wonders that have come and gone (such as the Dirty Burger at Upstairs @Campagnolo).  The Pourhouse still serves up a great burger, so there are options.  However, we need more!  Well, let's welcome the latest entry from the Kitchen Table Restaurant Group with Monzo at Vancouver House.  With modern retro decor and an Italian flair, Monzo intends to capture the fancy of the gourmet burger crowd.  I was invited for a sneak peak of their menu.

I started off with their 16oz Chocolate Milkshake sporting premium Motoretta soft-serve and whole milk.  The result was a noticeable rich thickness that was creamy but still completely drinkable.  It was chocolatey and sweet but not overly sweet.  Being a fairly large size, the milkshake was quite filling by itself.  I tried to be conservative and not spoil my appetite, but it was so good, I ended up downing the entire thing!

For my choice of burger, I had the Bacon Double Cheeseburger with diced onions, sour pickles, American cheese and burger sauce.  Those smashed patties were cooked to perfection with crispy edges while still moist in the middle.  Even the cheese sported a crispy skirt.  The crispiness was further elevated by the bacon.  This was nicely balanced off by the soft toasted brioche bun.  Solid burger.

Being greedy, I also had the Chicken Milano Sandwich featuring the biggest house-made chicken cutlet you would ever see between a sesame brioche bun.  There was enough meat to do 2 sandwiches!  This was one crunchy cutlet with garlic aioli, parmigiano and arugula.  I felt the flattened chicken breast was not exactly juicy, but the ample aioli and cheese did help add moisture.  The sandwich ate quite well as a whole though.

The Bacon Double Cheeseburger was definitely delicious, but the King Monzo only helped amp things up with the addition of lettuce and tomato minus the bacon.  We found a sesame brioche bun subbing in for the regular one.  Now with the pickles and burger sauce as well as the American cheese, this had some Big Mac vibes but with higher quality meat that was moist with the same crispy edges.

Taking it another step up from the Bacon Double Cheeseburgers, The Wrangler added house BBQ sauce, aioli, charred onions, Swiss cheese and spicy pickled jalapeños.  There was the same crispy edge patties and also crispy bacon, but the addition of tangy sweet and smoky BBQ sauce provided layers of flavour.  Charred onions were caramelized and the jalapeños provided tangy spice.  Lots of flavour in this one.

Onto the sides, we got an order of Chicken Strips (choice of 3 or 5).  These were fairly large and featured juicy breast meat coated in a thin crunchy batter.   There was a choice of dips and we ended up with the honey mustard.  Personally, I would've liked to see something other than Heinz though.  Despite that, the chicken strips were solid and I'm sure they were on the menu to provide an option for those not wanting a burger (especially kiddos).

Of course we had to try the 2 main sides in the Beef Fat Fries and the Onion Rings.  I found the fries to be pretty good being crispy while enough soft potato texture left inside.  Naturally, being fried in beef fat, there was good aroma.  However, the star of the show was the onion rings as the batter was uniformly crunchy with tender sweet onions inside.  They tasted great on their own with any ketchup.

Onto dessert, we tried their Hand Pies fried in, of course, beef fat.  They were stuffed with apple and coated with cinnamon sugar on the outside.  So this was a sweet concoction, but interestingly, there was a real kick.  It felt if there was some chili powder in the mix.  Overall, I was rather happy with my meal at Monzo.  Burgers were good while the sides were solid.  Prices are definitely on the higher end, but unlike typical fast-food joints, things are made from scratch here with high-quality ingredients.

*All food and beverages were complimentary for this post*

The Good:
- Well-prepared burger patties with crispy edges
- Those onion rings
- Loved the high-quality milkshakes

The Bad:
- On the higher end of the pricing spectrum for burgers


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