I went to CHARCUT Roast House for lunch yet again. This time it was because my friend wanted to try the famous CHARCUT burger before the arrival of her baby. At the time we planned this lunch, we didn’t know about the launch of the Alley Burger Food Truck and my friend thought that she wouldn’t have a chance to experience the original Alley Burger once the baby arrives if it meant having to line up for hours late in the evening for it.
Having attended a Stampede breakfast that morning, I wasn’t all that hungry and was intending to get the Lunch All At Once $15 Daily Soup and Daily Sandwich set menu. The Daily Soup was Potato Soup topped with white beans and roasted tomatoes and the Daily Sandwich was tuna melt. Our server informed us another Daily Special was the Roast Chuck Sandwich. Since both my friend and I are not fans of cooked tuna, we both decided to have the Roast Chuck Sandwich. I was initially confused thinking that on this particular day for whatever reason there were two Daily Sandwich choices for the $15 set menu. When I proceeded to order, our server informed us that the Roast Chuck Sandwich was actually part of the $25 Daily Rotisserie set menu. No problem, I was willing to go for the $25 set lunch as in my mind, I was expecting a tasty sandwich made with flavourful, well-marbled beef chuck. My other friend ordered the Burger CHARCUT Style.
When my set lunch arrived, boy was I in for a surprise! The Roast Chuck was presented thinly sliced on a plate topped with a few leaves of arugula. There was nothing about it that resembled a “sandwich”, deconstructed or otherwise. The only carbs on the platter were the parmesan fries. Thinking that I heard wrong, I asked my friends whether they too heard our server call it a Roast Chuck Sandwich. Both my friends confirmed that was the case and it wasn’t just once that she called it a sandwich, she had repeated it multiple times. Sandwich or not, the slices of Roast Chuck was just ok. I was expecting it be very flavourful as chuck typically has a good balance of meat and fat. To my disappointment, I couldn’t taste much beef flavour. The roast chuck was well-seasoned (i.e. not bland) but there wasn’t a distinctive flavour I could pinpoint. Both my friends and I agreed that the Italian Porchetta that my friend had as part of the Daily Rotisserie set menu during our previous lunch at CHARCUT a couple of weeks ago was much more memorable than this Roast Chuck. Like the previous Daily Rotisserie lunch set with the porchetta, the Roast Chuck was served with a wedge of grilled lemon, a roasted garlic bulb, and some house made grainy mustard. While these helped to enhance the flavours of the porchetta previously, I didn’t think they had the same effect on the Roast Chuck. My Daily Rotisserie set menu included a side salad of Arugula and Hotchkiss Tomato. The salad was topped with crunchy fried onions and tossed in buttermilk vinaigrette.
The Burger CHARCUT Style ($17) was a definite winner! In between the brioche bun was a patty made with house ground sausage and topped with melted cheese curds and crunchy fried onions. My friend was generous enough to let me taste the burger. This was easily one of the best burgers I’d tasted so far. I loved the softness and butteriness of the brioche bun. The patty was so juicy and tender. I would definitely order this burger again. In fact, on future lunches at CHARCUT, if the Daily Specials don’t appeal to me, this will be my go-to item to order. In addition, if the Alley Burger even remotely tastes like this, I have a feeling I’d be going to their Food Truck on a weekly basis. I’m officially addicted now and can’t wait for the Alley Burger Truck to be up and running.
The chocolate chunk cookies inside the brown bag were perfect as always. The outside of the cookie was crispy while the center was soft and chewy. This is exactly how I like my cookies – crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. In addition to the bag of cookies which is included in all the set lunches, the $25 set menu also included a cup of coffee to go. I was really impressed with the quality and taste of the coffee. The flavour was bold and complex but not bitter.
CHARCUT is still one of my favourite places for lunch. The burger was what made this visit memorable. As for service on this visit, I think there is some room for improvement. Even though our server was really good at coming around to make sure our water glasses were always filled, I was not impressed with the whole miscommunication about the “sandwich”. I suspect our server was quite new at the job but for a restaurant of this caliber, I would hope she does a better job of explaining the food and managing the customers’ expectations.
CHARCUT Roast House
#101, 899 Centre Street SW