Friday, November 28, 2008

Pink Bicycle Gourmet Burger Joint—1008 Blanshard Street—250-384-1008—www.pinkbicycleburger.com

Pink Bike Cheese Burger
$12
(add $2 for sub. Onion Rings)
(add $3 for Bacon)



Is a brave new burger era being ushered into Victoria? With the opening of Pink Bicycle Gourmet Burger Joint, and utterings of a high-quality shack-style burger joint being in the works, could burger be the new box?

Pink Bicycle has garnered a lot of attention in the two short weeks it has been open; showing that Victoria is dying for a good burger joint. It's a bit of a reviewers sin to pass judgement on a new restaurant so early in the game, but I had to give this place a try. So far early reviews have been mixed, and the question still remains: will Pink Bicycle be a yuppie curiosity, or a mecca to all burger lovers?


I'm going to break down this review by ingredients:

Bun:

In a stroke of genius, Pink Bicycle gets their buns from right next door at Bond Bonds Bakery. This ensures a fresh, tasty, sesame seed bun, and probably saves them a bit of money on delivery costs. The bun is cut in a way that makes the bottom a little hefty, which is sort of unnecessary when the burger is lacking in juices. This is a small point though, honestly this is a great bun, and a smart choice.

Patty:

When I heard tell of a new gourmet burger joint in town, I had visions of patties ground and formed in house, but that isn't the case here. Patties are hand formed, but the beef is not ground in house. Pink Bicycle gets their beef from Neptune (apparently the only local supplier of AAA Certified Angus Beef). The quality of the beef is beyond question, but is lacking in juices, and perhaps over-seasoned.

Whereas other joints like Moderne Burger in Vancouver shun all seasoning, in order to show off their beef, Pink Bicycle has surprisingly gone the other way. The patty (crispy outside, soft inside) tastes rather meatloafy. By no means does the patty taste bad, but it could be tweaked to be more hamburgy, and less sandwichey. The seasoning is quite good, but does end up competing a little with the taste of the beef.

Various Accoutrements:

The bacon wasn't worth three dollars, but it wasn't necessarily worth leaving off either. The special mayo was excellent, but in the future I will ask for a little more. Not much else to mention; the cheese and lettuce were fine, but couldn't compete with the intense flavour of the patty.

Other:

The onion rings here are easily the best in town, and should never be skipped. The poutine was light on the gravy (possibly because they were running out), but has the potential to be great.

ps. Word on the Yorkshire Burger is that it will probably be a sporadic Friday special.

pps. I know you read this Pink Bicycle (because you noticed us in your restaurant) so please alert us when the Yorkshire Burger is on the menu!


GUY ALAIMO CHIMES IN!!!!!!!!


During my eight or so months with the burger blog, no burger has been more anticipated for review than that of the Pink Bicycle (save maybe Aura), and apart from some minor, personal quibbles, the Pink Bike cheeseburger is pretty good. The bun is very interesting. It feels like your eating bun tops, and it's a little crusty, but nice and fluffy on the inside.

The beef itself was seasoned well, as every single bite unleashed a furry of garlic and rosemary into my mouth. The bacon was expensive(3 dollars extra) but it's taste balanced beautifully with the beef. I felt like it could have used some more of that red peppery mayo, because at times the burger as a whole tasted a little dry. Luckily the taste of the rosemary, garlic and bacon made up for this. I was a little confused at times during my meal because It was hard to notice the cheese, but that might have been a good thing.


VERDICT: Early on, it's hard to give a definitive verdict, but it's a noble start for Pink Bicycle. They aren't yet the best in town, but I'd put this burger above the Canoe Club Short Rib/Blue Cheese Burger.

It's nice to finally have an entire restaurant in Victoria devoted to burgers. Hopefully they continue to grow and improve.