Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Santiago's Cafe — 660 Oswego Street — 250-388-7376

Bacon Cheeseburger

After a slight deviation we are back to red meat here at the blog. Thank you for sticking with us as we experiment!

Now on to the review:

Last night I moseyed on over to Santiago's in James Bay to check out a possible top 5 Victoria burger pick. Santiago's is a small restaurant specializing in South American and Spanish fare (some incredible nachos at this place). Being in such close proximity to tourist traffic, the restaurant has also realized the importance of slipping a couple American menu items into the mix.

The Santiago's burger is certainly not a menu toss-off, but it won't be entering my top 5 either.

The first time I had a Santiago's burger I was touched. Perhaps I was blinded by the sunshine smile of the jalapeno relish, or maybe I was just wet behind the ears. Whatever the case may be, my second soiree just wasn't as sensual.

The home-made, slightly charred patty tastes almost as if it was done on a BBQ: a definite plus. The jalapeno relish is a great personal touch, and they don't skimp on the cheddar jack, but some problems do remain.

Aside from the relish, this burger has almost no condiments. There's a dollop of mayo on the top bun, and absolutely nothing on the bottom (unless you count the butter added before toasting).

The condiment situation does not undo this burger alone though — that job is left to the bun. Santiago's uses a whole-wheat bun that is a horrible match to this burger. The bun is almost like multi-grain toast, and tasted like it would be more at home in a sandwich setting. Santiago's makes a noble effort with this burger, but some obvious tweaks are needed to make it a triumph.

VERDICT: Would be a great burger if it wasn't for the bun and lack of condiments.


Anonymous said...

The first time that we went there, we thought that we'd discovered a special non-tourist trap treasure.

The next time we went there, we realized that we must have been VERY hungry the first time.

Biligerent service. Pathetic need to control what I choose. I felt like I was at Wendy's or McDonald's. "What Drink?" "What Drink?!" Geesh, I haven't ordered the food the way I want it, yet.

Every time I think of this place now, I hear Radiohead's "The Tourist" in my head.

When I visit Victoria again, I'll save my tourist-trap money for Butchard Gardens or Miniature World, and dine elsewhere.

gorbynotme said...

It's Butchart Gardens, Anonymous!
And as for service, perhaps you just need to be a local - I've been doted on, not pressured, and it's anything but your Americanized version of fast food. If you felt you were at Wendy's or McDonald's I can understand your perplexity. Obviously, food for you is a no-brainer.
When you visit Victoria again, may I suggest you leave your prejudices at home? And if you need a suggestion for a good restaurant, or ten, drop me a line; I'd be pleased to help.