Friday, April 25, 2008

Prairie Inn — 7806 East Saanich Road — Saanichton — (250) 652-1575

Belly Buster
$12 (+$2 extra for bacon)


Ah yes, The Prairie Inn: a place where legends are made, and little boys dream like men. Before going here I was led to believe the Belly Buster was a 1.5lb burger. Now having ate it, I would probably peg it at closer to a pound. Unfortunately the menu didn't mention weight, so I have to guess based on looks, and it doesn't look like a 1.5 to me.


Much like the Mountain Burger at Mrs. Riches, the Belly Buster has a rather ridiculous bun. It's a heavy sourdough number that suffers greatly from palling around in the fridge with the condiments, and neglecting to be toasted once removed. Guy actually cut the top off his bun because he couldn't deal with it (pictured at bottom of post).


Aside from the bun, the Belly Buster is a pretty solid burger. The patty is slightly charred, giving it that glorious campfire taste, and there's a pretty good condiment melange as well. I wasn't impressed with the $2 extra charge for bacon, but I will admit they gave me lots.

I do need to bitch a little about the ham though. Every time I order a burger with ham on the island it comes with paper thin slices. Thick cut that shit, or don't cut it at all! I know the papers keep saying we're headed for a food crisis, but we're talking burgers here — not pussy-ass fairy tutu kaiser rolls.


Despite cutting my chin on burger toothpicks, and worrisome signs of an island trend towards big buns on "big" burgers, the Prairie Inn was a fun trip. If they could figure out the bun issue, The Prairie Inn could have a real winner on its hands. I'll probably be back to try a burger with a more conventional bun.

Verdict: Don't believe the hype, but don't ignore this place either.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Darcy's Pub — 1127 Wharf Street — (250) 380-1322 — www.darcyspub.ca

Classic Beef Burger
$12+$2 for Bacon and Cheese


Darcy's Pub seems to be one of the few restaurants on Wharf Street that locals actually frequent. This may be due to the fact there's a popular club upstairs, but maybe there's something more...

...or maybe there isn't. Darcy's is a fun place with a casual atmosphere, but the food is pretty standard pub-fare.

I decided against going for the house "Sanchez Burger" (refried beans and salsa on a burger could go a lot of different ways) and went for the classic beef instead. It took close to an hour for the burger to arrive. That's just way too long: no matter how busy you may be.

When I took my first bite I was a little upset by the crunchiness of the top bun: it felt more stale than toasted. The menu led me to believe there was green relish mayo on the burger, but a surfeit of mustard killed most of the mayo flavour. There are some burgers that lend themselves well to heavy amounts of mustard, but Darcy's has meat that deserves a decent mayo.

The meat is what you'd expect in any average pub, and the entire package was sort of ho-hum.

Verdict: A middle-of-the-road kind of experience.

FYI

Just added my first solo post to the Victoria Buffet Blog. It's a review of Chai in Vancouver.

In burger news: Pizza Pieman is now closed. When I said earlier that Pieman was a chain, I believe I was mistaken. This development probably means Pieman is just a memory now.

Monday, April 14, 2008

First contribution to Victoria Buffet Blog is up!

My first contribution to the Victoria Buffet Blog is now up. A little counterpoint to Guy's review of Sabri's in Burnside Plaza. Check it out at www.vicbuffet.blogspot.com

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Red Robin — 800 Tolmie Avenue — Victoria — (250) 386-4440

Royal Red Robin Burger
$12


First off I need to apologise for the crap quality of some of the photos on this site. Sometimes you're trying to snag a quick burger pic, and it ends up coming out not so hot.


Now that we've got that out of the way: on to the review! Red Robin was voted Victoria's number one burger spot by the Victoria News readers last year (new list out in June). Although the readers of the Victoria News don't know shit, and their top burgers list was an absolute farce, I do enjoy Red Robin a fair bit. Processed cheese, meat that's just a little salty, and a semi-sweet bun go rather well together. The problem with this burger is a fried egg without a runny yolk. There's no point in having a fried egg on a burger if the yolk is solid. I love when the yolk explodes overtop of the beef, and cascades down until it is married to the other condiments.


Despite the improperly prepared fried egg (in my opinion) Red Robin continues to be a pleasant experience. You know in Fast Times At Ridgemont High when Judge Reinhold describes All American Burger as not fast food, but good food quickly (or something like that)? Well that about sums up Red Robin: pleasant, but nothing to write home about. Alex "my dad went to Costa Rica and all I got was this Iguana t-shirt" Fachler gives it a smile and some thumbs.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Mrs. Riches "Mountain Burger" News Wrap

So, a few weeks ago it was coming down to crunch time to get a two minute news wrap completed for my Video 2 class, and I was forced to make a tough decision on doing a piece about the needle exchange or the mental health of Victoria's homeless population.
I know! Pretty damn cliche topics when it comes to doing a news story.
Since I know you're all sick of hearing about the needle exchange, I decided to do something a little different, so I took the school video camera up to Nanaimo and documented Donald's experience eating the "Mountain Burger", something I ate in 2005 (that's my picture on the wall near the end of the piece) and will never do again; and I'm pretty sure neither will Don.

The video posted below is the end result of hours and hours of labouring over a computer screen.

Please don't mind the half ass voice over I attempted, and enjoy!
video

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Willow's Galley — 2559 Estevan Avenue — (250) 598-2711 (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays)

Sunbather Cheeseburger w/Bacon and Fries

$8


Willow's Galley is a little fish 'n' chips placed tucked away in Oak Bay's Estevan Village. The Galley is famous for its fishburger, so I figured they must do a pretty good beef option as well.


This burger comes with not one, but TWO types of cheese. You get ample amounts of swiss and cheddar on top of a third of a pound of beef. The mix of mayo, sweet relish, and mustard resting underneath the patty is near perfect. This burger would be in my Victoria Top 5 if it weren't for the beef. The beef used is obviously of supermarket quality, and is not appropriately seasoned to make up for that fact. The lack of seasoning makes the beef disapointingly bland.

Despite this glaring flaw, I will head back to the Galley eventually. $8 for a 1/3 pound and fries is probably the best deal you'll find in Victoria. I'm looking forward to going back to try their Buffalo Burger, which is hopefully less bland than the beef.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

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The Pacific — 463 Belleville Street (inside the Hotel Grand Pacific) — (250) 380-4458 — www.pacificrestaurant.com

House Made Beef Burger w/Cheddar, Bacon,
Bourbon BBQ Sauce, and Garlic Confit

Fries w/Manchetta Cheese and White Truffle Oil

$20



Went down to The Pacific a week or two ago with Guy (who didn't eat, but did take notice of the buffet trays not yet removed at apx. 1pm). The Pacific's online menu made this burger look pretty appealing. Knowing that a team from the hotel had placed third at last year's Island Chef of the Year Awards made the trip even more exciting. In retrospect, I think that team was probably from sister restaurant The Mark.


I should note that this burger is only available on the lunch menu, as during the night this place gets a little classier menu-wise. I decided to go for all the extras, which made this burger pretty damn expensive. Cheese and bacon were a dollar each. The manchetta and white truffle oil for the fries was an extra four dollars. You are definitely paying for location when you eat at the Pacific: the fries are about one step away from McCain's (although the cheese and oil make them pretty tastey) and the burger patty looks suspicously pre-fab — despite the menu's claim to the contrary.


Generally I'm not a fan of BBQ Sauce on a burger, or even BBQ sauce in general, but The Pacific does a good job with their sauce. The garlic confit, however, is a different story. Its taste bore little resemblance to garlic, but major resemblance to mush.

Overall this burger was pleasing, but horrendously over-priced. It tasted like a slightly above-average backyard bbq burger, and I was pretty pissed off that they hadn't put more effort into their fries.

Final Verdict: not worth it; take a pass on this one.

ps. I just realised I'm 3 deep into this blog and haven't yet reviewed a place I would return to. That's going to change with the next review though. Willow's Galley coming up soon...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Welcome Guy Alaimo


I'm proud to announce that Guy Alaimo has joined this blog as a guest writer. Guy is the man behind the Victoria Buffet Blog. In this picture he can be seen enjoying (?) a Pieman burger.