Saturday, October 25, 2008

Haultain Fish and Chips — 1127 Haultain Street — 250-383-8332

Plain Burger w/Cheese

I've started to notice a disturbing trend at local Fish and Chip restaurants: deluxe doesn't mean shit. Maybe I just don't understand burger lingo as much as I think I do, but to me deluxe means a major upgrade. I'm talking at least some cheese (and ideally bacon as well). Unfortunately to the menu manipulators at Haultain Fish and Chips (and Brady's as well) a designation of deluxe means you get lettuce and tomato. Is deluxe just a word used to fool yuppies into thinking they're ordering a status symbol? Because there is certainly nothing "deluxe" about lettuce. A slice of lettuce couldn't be deluxe if it wore velvet robes, dipped itself in gold, and got knighted by the queen. That being said, on to the review....

So obviously I didn't order the deluxe; I went with a run-of-the-mill cheeseburger. The bun is a chewy number akin to what is used at fellow chippery Fairfield Fish and Chips (and come to think of it, pretty much every other chippery in town) but that's where the similarities end. The patty at Haultain's is a thoroughly disappointing pre-frozen number: we're talking dryer than the back of an armadillo in Texas. Haultain's marches the usual soldiers out to deal with this problem (namely mustard, onions, and American cheese) but they don't help too much. The staff might be friendly enough to spill your guts to, but I won't be telling any secrets to this burger anytime soon.

VERDICT: Try the fish and chips, read an old National Geographic (another tell-tale sign you're in a chippery) but don't come here looking for a burger.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Robvious Blog Watch/Restaurant Watch

The Robvious blog I mentioned in our last post has just posted another update regarding a possible new burger-joint. He seems to be pretty serious... this could get exciting.

I have doubts about him being able to find an island beef farm that is willing and able to supply enough meat for a succesful burger-joint (given the fact that most beef farms in the area seem to be fairly small, and a number don't raise cattle year round)... but it sure would be awesome. There's a decent sized beef farm in Courtenay (and a Bison farm as well) if a person could get them to supply Victoria, it could be do-able.

I want him to be open today.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Island Burger News

As I was searching for mentions of the burger blog on the internet, I came across this post.

This is what particularly sparked my interest:

"I want to open a burger place–good burgers seem to be lacking in most places, Victoria is no exception. When a decent burger place opens and word gets around, line ups are the norm. While we agree that ingredients and quality should rule, style is a point of discussion. I’m kind of a burger shack type and C. is more the Moderne Burger type.

We drove out the Saanich Peninsula to check out a burger joint that we heard was for sale –strangely it was closed for the holiday, so we couldn’t sample it’s wares. Looking thru the windows we agreed the place itself is a bit too fussy and kitschy for our taste and the location wasn’t ideal.

Still it was a nice drive and not a waste of time at all."

I have no idea what the joint in Saanich is, but pretty exciting to know that someone is considering opening a true burger-joint in the area.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Guy Alaimo Eats a Burger... ON FILM

In lieu of a review, here is a video of blog contributor Guy Alaimo eating a burger.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bacon Hamburger Fatty Melt

Today I celebrated election day by creating a burger that I found here.

It's a double burger that uses grilled cheese sandwiches as bun layers.

You will need:

1. 3 grilled cheese sandwiches
2. 6 strips of bacon(at least)
3. 2 beef patties
4. Condiments of choice.

First you should cook the bacon fairly well then scrape them off to the side of your frying pan before chucking on a couple of your favorite beef patties. I went with a local company called Glenwood Meats because they were the only frozen patties at my local grocery store, and they ended up being fairly good tasting patties.

Let the frozen beef cook on medium to high heat for a few minutes before removing the bacon that you corralled off to the side of your frying pan. Flip your patties after they cook on one side, then put the uncooked grilled cheese sandwiches on the pan, preferably on-top of the bacon and burger grease; this way you don't need to butter the bread, but you still can if you want.

The grilled cheese sandwiches shouldn't take long to cook, so pull them off before the burgers fully cook. Lay one grilled cheese sandwich onto your plate, add any condiments you like, then lay the first patty down. Lay the second grilled cheese sandwich on top of the patty and then lay another patty down. Finally, lay the final grilled cheese sandwich on top of the second patty and viola.

If you plan on eating this burger take a few hours to relax after. I ended up falling asleep face first in bacon grease and woke up with a mouthful of stomach acid, so be careful. This isn't something you should be eating before that big date!
Go ahead and make yourself a Bacon Hamburger Fatty Melt. They taste great.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Aura (Laurel Point Inn) — 680 Montreal Street — 250-386-8721 —

Point Burger

Lunch Only (11:30AM-2PM)

I've been craving a date with this burger for over two months. Aura first peaked my curiosity when I discovered they had brought a Food Network muckity-muck, and a bunch of his buddies from Calgary into their fold. As if news a celebrity chef was making burgers in Victoria wasn't enough, the Aura menu also revealed the kitchen was using a house made bun to house its burger. Does anyone else in Victoria use a house made bun? I fucking doubt it. So after months of daydreaming about this burger, does it live up to expectations?

Fucking rights it does. The Point Burger makes the offering down the street at The Pacific look like a McDonald's focus group reject. The pre-formed, premium Alberta beef patty retains a surprisingly bold flavour, and is delightfully juicy as well. The texture and flavour of the mushrooms is magnificently subtle, and the house made bun is —thankfully — light (if a little too small for the patty).

The menu lists bacon as a topping, but I didn't notice it (probably because it was hiding in small chunks under the cheese). The only condiment on the burger was a house mayonnaise, which appeared to have been mixed with a smidgen of Dijon. There was just enough mayo to enhance the overall flavour of the burger, but not overpower the patty.

Despite a glut of toppings, you are never brought too far away from what is a truly wonderful patty. This is beef that tastes like beef, and its flavour is only enhanced by the patty's mayo and mushroom pals. I really wish this burger was offered on a dinner menu, because it pretty much blows away everything else in town. I still have a few lunch burgers to try (including a great sounding number at Blue Crab) but right now Aura sits at the top of the heap.

ps. As if the burger wasn't enough, this place has a fucking incredible hand dryer in the bathroom. When I stuck my hand in it I felt like Bill Paxton in Twister.


I think the last time I saw our waiter was four years ago outside 7-11, and we almost got into a drunk fight. Maybe good burgers create friends, because we talked like I had save his family from certain death. This is the best tasting burger I have ever ate in my life. The juices were dripping like crazy, the mayo was expertly mixed with the bacon and mushrooms; it was just fucking incredible.

This is what sixteen dollars should get you. According to places like Moxie's and Earl's, sixteen bucks gets you a dry and tasteless patty with a buttered bun. The Laurel Point Inn does it right. Every new bite was as savoury and delicious as the last: the good times never stopped rolling.

For the last month, every time I saw Donald at school he would mention the Aura burger, and how much we needed to go. I remember one week I couldn't muster up the cash to go, and it was like watching somebody find out they have cancer. Well, Donald is one for building up hype around a burger and having it come through. I think a second visit to Aura is long overdue, and it's only been four days.

VERDICT: I'm having a hard time thinking of a better burger in Victoria.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Shag's Fish and Chips — 2656 Quadra Street — 250-381-2656


(add $0.80 each for cheese and bacon)

If you're going to eat at Shag's, make sure you order to go — because if you don't you'll be stuck in a weird bus-station/family kitchen style atmosphere that isn't exactly enjoyable. Sitting behind me at Shag's was a lonely old woman who felt the need to comment on everything being said at the table across the room (regardless of whether or not anyone was paying attention to her). At the other table was a group that appeared to have some sort of blood-relation to Shag's. Their group was led by an annoying fat-faced child that wouldn't stop talking about hip-hop dancing and how she was probably "really bloody" when she was born.

But anyhooo... on to the burger...

The burger at Shag's is pretty yawn-tastic. Bland, likely pre-frozen patty, thin fast-food style bacon, and a pretty boring condiment mix. On the bottom of the bun you've got your red relish (which is a condiment that really needs to be coupled with others to be affective) and on the top is a whisper of mayo. The bun is a pretty decent D'Italiano style kaiser. It tasted fine, but it was ripping at the seams a little. I hate to think what would have happened to it if this burger was at all greasy. Shag's has obviously added this burger as more of a toss-off menu item than anything else. This is easily the least of the (albeit very few) burgers in the Quadra Village area.

VERDICT: Don't bother with this one — go to Pizza All Nite instead.