I've heard nothing but good things about Moderne Burger, and since we were both in the mood for burgers, my partner and I headed down for a late lunch.
We were seated right away, and the ambiance was pretty cool...sort of minimalist for a 50's diner, but the music was great and the vibe 'fit'. The menu is also minimalist - it's *exclusively* burgers (your choice of steak, turkey, veggie, or salmon) and whether or not you want fries. That's it!
I got a steak burger, and my partner got a veggie burger. The price doesn't seem too bad at first blush at $10.95, but then you read how naked the burgers come: completely unseasoned, with just lettuce, tomato, and burger sauce. Want cheese, bacon, mushrooms, onions, dipping sauce for your fries, etc.? $1.25 more each, please! Add a couple of (essential) goodies on to your burger, and suddenly looking at a $15 meal without a drink.
I ordered a malted chocolate shake (also steep - $5 for the shake, and another $1 for the malt), and my other half got a vanilla root beer. The root beer was GREAT - the milkshake wasn't bad, but I was expecting a heck of a lot more for a $6 milkshake. Not very malty, sort of runny - not *bad* per se, but certainly not as good as you'd expect from a six-dollar shake.
After a fairly long wait (considering that it wasn't all that busy) our food arrived. That was the last time we saw either of the waitresses, too. The fries were good - skin-on, and a huge portion. The burger looked good, but after my first bite I knew that the menu wasn't joking when it said they used "no seasonings". It was bland and boring and completely devoid of flavour - I've had frozen burgers from Superstore with more kick. After a few bites I ended up disassembling it, eating the tomato separately, and putting ketchup, salt, and pepper on the patty to try to revive it (all to no avail).
My partner's veggie burger was a LOT better than my steak...it actually tasted like more than the cardboard box it came in. I only had a nibble of it, but he definitely made the better choice of the two of us.
We finished our meal and sat for about ten or fifteen minutes waiting for our bill before the busboy came by, took our plates, and let us know that we were to go up to the counter to pay (neither waitress came by to check on us during the entire meal). $40 for a two-burger lunch seems pretty steep to me, especially considering the lackluster service and underwhelming food.
Again, there was nothing *wrong* with the food - it's just when you're paying Cadillac prices for a burger, you're a little disappointed when they hand you the keys to a Hyundai on a plate. We certainly won't be in any hurry to head back!