Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Campus Cafe — Camosun College Lansdowne Campus

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is an expansion of a review that will be featured in tomorrow's Nexus Newspaper. This version is a lot less over-the-top, but is worthwhile nonetheless.

Grade Eh! Burger
$3.79 (add $1.59 each for Bacon and Cheese)

The cafe at Camosun's Lansdowne Campus has gone through some major aesthetic and managerial changes, but it still gives the same half-assed effort behind the grill. Aramark may have taken over from Chartwell's as Camosun Food Services Provider, but the kitchen staff at the cafe has barely changed, and food preparation practices still leave something to be desired (the cafe serves baguettes now, but they don't even cut them in fucking half when they serve them to you). Aramark has claimed "quality of food will be improved" at the cafe, and that the cafe is "buying locally". That might be true of the new baked goods, but the quality of the cafe's burger certainly hasn't improved under new management, and I have my doubts as to how local this beef is.

I can't argue that the lettuce and tomato on this burger were fresh, but the patty hit the grill frozen and with hair on it. Now I'm not some lysol-loving light-in-the-loafers germ freak; hair is everywhere, it's bound to fall on food eventually. What does bother me is the fact the grill-cook used his bare hands to remove the hair from the patty. Given the fact the the grill is wide out in the open, this just shows a total lack of interest in presentation and shoots Aramark's rhetoric straight to shit.

As I said this is a frozen, pre-fab patty, but it isn't a terrible one. The flavour certainly won't rock your socks off, but add a dollop of mustard and this will match your average little-league baseball fundraiser burger. What really turns this burger into an insult to your tastebuds is the bacon. Now you'll noticed the picture above doesn't show bacon, that's because I learnt my lesson the first time I ordered this burger. The bacon I was given the first time I ordered the Grade Eh! Burger can only be described as akin to a fossilised scab. It felt and tasted as if it was a remnant of some paleolithic era of burger making at Camosun. Completely unacceptable, especially considering Aramark is trying to push their commitment to "healthy options" and "food quality".

As far as burgers go, absolutely nothing has changed at the Campus Cafe since new management took over. The one burger element that benefits the most from being fresh is frozen, and the bacon is old enough to remember the Red River Rebellion. What we've got here is a Chartwell's in sheep's clothing. Camosun is stuck with Aramark for another eight years, whether they like it or not, hopefully they'll make some changes to the kitchen in that time.

VERDICT: A $1.59 for rest-home bacon and grill-cooks who couldn't care less? That'd be a big fat passola thanks.


Mike said...

Wow.. those were the prices two years ago! And that included fries!

The prices now are insane! think $6.00 for the burger alone! Fries are an extra $1.50!

And Bacon/cheese? not even offered!

That is just the short order, don't even get me started on the $10 half plate of cooking school meals they serve.

I find it much cheaper to goto subway.

Anonymous said...

When they referred to "Buying Locally" they refer to just that Buying, North Douglas food distributor, gets its produce, beef and everything else from anywhere but the island. I'm afraid it is a case of multinational corporations buy from multinational corporation. Capitalism at it's finest. the food is not locally grown, but it is locally bought. Just as if I went to Wal-mart, and bought a Nike tee shirt, I'd be buying locally but the tee shirt would come from china. It's all bullshit!!

Joe said...

now 4 years later, they have realized they can charge over twice the price for the same burger! 'buying locally' is false advertising as mentioned above