Saturday, May 24, 2008

Pizza AllNite — 2714 Quadra Street — 382-9991

Bacon Cheeseburger
$8


Pizza AllNite is one of my favourite neighbourhood spots. Sure the prices have jumped a little over the years, and they don't have all-you-can-eat Tuesdays anymore — but they're one of the most humble, friendly (and tasty) pizza places in town.


Pizza AllNite updated their menu recently to include, amongst other items, burgers. Making a burger in a pizza oven is no easy task: burgers just aren't meant to be cooked in an oven. Pizza Pieman's demise could be partially attributed to their dryer than an Osoyoos sidewalk burgers.

Given my previous (albeit limited) experience with pizza burgers, I wasn't expecting a whole lot from Pizza AllNite. I figured this was probably a Bunsen Burger: just an experiment headed towards inevitable failure. Thankfully Pizza AllNite brings the same casual care to their burgers as they do to their pizza.


This burger is cooked inside a small cake pan, and manages to retain an incredible amount of juiciness. Not only is it juicy — it's also a thick, homemade patty. Housing the patty is a D'Italiano style bun: this offers a good bun:burger ratio, but it isn't quite as tasty as the pizza buns Pieman used to use.

Topping the whole thing off is a handful of cubed bacon and an incredible amount of cheese: the cheddar was actually oozing over the sides.

One more thing to note about this burger — the patty tastes remarkably like Wendy's.


Verdict: Surprisingly pleasant: a humble, homestyle burger I'd be happy to eat again.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fairfield Fish and Chips — 1275 Fairfield Road — (250) 380-6880 — http://members.shaw.ca/fairfieldfishandchips/

Cheeseburger
$8.75


If Red Robin is the #1 pick of the troglodyte hordes that cast their votes in the Victoria News' "Best of Victoria Poll" — Fairfield Fish and Chips is the choice of the more discerning Victoria burger fan. Many consider Fairfield to have the best burger in the city, and the myriad of newspaper clippings that wallpaper this tiny take-out are proof that many critics agree.

...so does Fairfield Fish and Chips live up to the hype?


I can't help but compare Fairfield to the city's other popular fish and chips take-out (Willow's Galley in Oak Bay). Fairfield offers a bare bones condiment mix (ketchup, mustard, mayo) which isn't quite as satisfying as the Willow's mix (they make up for this elsewhere though).

Fairfield uses much better beef than Willow's, and also pulls ahead by making some cute personal touches. The burger comes with thick slices of dill pickle, and a sliver of red pepper sailing on top of the condiments. Add fried onions to the mix, and bingo-bango: you've got a burger. The patty was perhaps left on the grill a minute too long, and maybe the bun could have been toasted a bit more, but these problems were barely recognizable.

Sadly Fairfield Fish and Chips doesn't offer bacon as a topping, and for some inconcievable reason there's no milkshake machine either. Space constrictions might explain the lack of a milkshake machine, but there's always room for bacon.

Verdict: Not the best in the city, but a pretty good diner-style burger.

Little Piggy Mentions Your Favourite Blogs

Popular Victoria restaurant review site "The Little Piggy" mentioned the Victoria Burger Blog, and the Victoria Buffet Blog in their "food news" section.

The Little Piggy is probably the best Victoria-based website there is, and the webmasters also run one heck of a bakery/lunch spot (I buy all my bread there).

Check out the mention here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Angus Burger: REDUX (The Final Word)


After Jordan Stout alerted me to this: The Most Retarded Burger Review Ever

... I felt the need to chime in on the Angus Burger. I want to believe that Jonathan Kay's review is a joke: an exercise in sarcasm so subtle that only fellow National Post writers can identify it... but sadly I doubt that's the case. He seems to think the Angus Burger is god's gift to burger enthusiasts. If Kay is only comparing this burger to other McDonald's creations, he may have a point, but I don't think that's where he's coming from.



So let's break down his review now shall we?

"I ordered my first Angus Burger with bacon and cheddar cheese. And when I say "cheddar cheese," I mean the real thing. At least, that's how it tasted."

- my burger came with one piece of bacon snapped in half
- the cheese tasted real enough, but it wasn't even close to melted
- truthfully; I might have preferred processed cheddar

"In fact, everything about this burger tastes premium. That includes the 100% Angus beef patty..."

- the patty tastes like beef: nothing else
- the patty was slightly dry, and barely seasoned (if at all)

"McDonald's has also given serious consideration to the vegetables. The tomato comes in meaty slices, and the lettuce is of the whole-leaf variety — unrecognizable when compared to the tasteless confetti-like substance they put in Big Macs."

- a burger with lettuce and tomato! Ooooooh perish the thought.

"There are two sauces served on the burger: a solid mustard, and a "savory garlic mayonnaise" that truly does taste like something you'd get on the side of your plate at a continental Mussels-and-Fries bistro. "

- it tastes like someone knocked a tin of garlic powder into the mayonnaise
- fine for McDonald's, even above average — but nothing high-class

"
The onions were so special, they deserve their own paragraph."

- the most head-scratching comment of the whole article
- they were red onions, not exactly earth-shattering here
-how fucking low are Kay's burger expectations?

"As for the bun, it is of the bleached-flour "bakery-style" type."

-as for the bun... it's at least an inch too narrow
- a cynic would say this bun was shrunk to make the beef patty appear larger than it actually is


FINAL VERDICT: I have to agree with Guy on this one: the Angus Burger is a poorly constructed, ill-fated attempt by McDonald's to enter the "steakburger" market.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Loghouse Pub — 2323 Millstream Road — Langford — 250-474-1989 — www.loghousepub.com

Pearl River Burger
$11


Every once in a while people start recommending burgers on the Livevictoria forums. Strangely the Loghouse Pub recommendation came from a "Best Restaurants" thread, and not the "Best Burgers" thread. I was completely oblivious to the existence of the Loghouse Pub, but figured the fat bastards that frequent the Livevictoria forums probably know a thing or two about eating in Langford.


The Loghouse Burger Menu reminds me of the late, lamented Logan's Pub Menu. Before their menu change, Logan's was easily the best burger spot in Victoria. With a twinkle in my eye, and a hole in my stomach, I scanned the Loghouse menu. After some soul-searching I settled on the Pearl River Burger.

Bleu cheese and bacon are a match made in heaven. Put them on top of 6oz of home-made beef patty, and you've got one of the best burgers in the capital region. Thank god they keep things simple too. After seeing so many ill-fated bun experiments, I was happy to see Loghouse go with classic sesame seed.

My only qualm with this burger was the amount of chipotle mayo: it needed about a dollop more.


Loghouse Pub offers seven different beef burgers (including a swiss burger with a wicked brandy peppercorn sauce) and a number of chicken and fish options too. Not only do they have an incredible number of menu options, the quality is excellent. A lot of places could take cues from the simplicity and TLC Loghouse projects.

Verdict: Easily one of the best in the region. A must-see if you're ever headed through Langford.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Guy Alaimo being interviewed on CBC 8:15AM this Friday!

Founder of the Victoria Buffet Blog, and member of the Victoria Burger Blog team, will be interviewed this Friday on CBC. Guy will appear at 8:15am on the program "On the Island".

Tune into 90.5fm in Victoria for what's sure to be a rousing discussion. You can also listen online at http://www.cbc.ca/listen/#

Fast Food- McDonald's Angus Burger

Angus burger with cheese and bacon
$5.99 + tax

Watching T.V the other night, I took notice of something that I'm sure many other Canadians caught notice of as well; new McDonald's commercials advertising a brand new "Angus" burger. Being fat, I grabbed the keys to my parents car and hit the drive-thru and ordered the burger which came in a rather large container, about the size of 2 Big Mac containers side by side.

Over the past few years, many fast food restaurants you know and love have tried to push Angus and Sirloin into your belly. Burger King introduced it's line of steak burgers. Harveys has had one for a long time. A&W even tried to entice people with an angus burger. As all the fast food chains battled it out for sirloin supremacy, McDonald's waded in the wind and took some time before deciding to release their version of the recent fast food craze.

The anticipation was making my heart stop, so i cut to the chase and opened the sucker. First thing I noticed was it's lack of aroma. It smelt like any other ordinary McDonald's burger, just this one is a 1/3 of a pound. For an over the top eye popping t.v commercial, $6.50 in gas and $5.99 plus tax just for a burger, my dreams of a new McDonald's treat were shattered.



Picking it up with both hands, I took my first bite: tasteless. The patty was bland and boring. The only thing livening it up was the soft ciabatta bun, bacon, lettuce, red onion and real cheese. If it were not for the mayo, we would have had a toss out the window on our hands. But alas, like it always does, mayo saved the day. If I had to come up with a creative writing description for McDonald's brand new "Angus" burger, it would be called the "Barry Bonds of Big Xtra's", or just the Big Xtra on steroids.



Will I return to this burger? Heavens no! Big Mac's are half the price, and actually have something called...whats it called again? Flavour? In the end, eating the Angus burger was just a little more thrilling than drinking Brita filtered water.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sidney Pier Bistro — 2550 Beacon Avenue — Sidney, BC — (250) 655-4995

Cheeseburger
$12


I biked out to Sidney a few weeks ago in the hopes of finding a place called Big Burger. Unfortunately, despite VIHA claims to the contrary, the place didn't seem to exist. I found a closed Japanese restaurant, and pangs of disapointment in its fabled place on fourth avenue. Having already visited the infamous Woody's Grille in the past, I decided to see what else Sidney had to offer. After toying with the idea of going to the diner with all the cow paraphenelia on the walls, I decided instead to visit the pier.


The laws of the world generally dictate that anything you eat on a dock, or a pier, will taste better than its land-based equivalent. The Sidney Pier Bistro, home of an award winning chowder, should have been no different — but oh boy was it shite.

As you can see in the picture above, this burger came standard with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle. The bun to burger ratio was fine, and the bun itself an average one. The meat was confusing though: it tasted like some sort of hybrid between a Calgary Stampede Burger and a McDonald's Sausage Patty. On paper that might sound exciting, but in practice it just fucks with your tastebuds. The whole time I was eating this I kept thinking, "What the hell is this, this doesn't taste like beef...is it beef? Did this come from a cartoon abatoire?" Perhaps this wouldn't have been so bad if they hadn't tried to jazz it up with a house mayo.

MESSAGE TO BURGER COOKS: If you're dealing with a shitty, pre-fab meat patty of questionable taste — DON'T USE HOUSE MAYO. House mayo is reserved for real meat, or at least a pre-fab that tastes like real meat. Anything else needs to be accompanied by mustard and chopped onion, with a little ketchup. Look around you and you'll see this is the standard.

Verdict: I definitely won't be going back, even if they give me 21 questions ketchup packets again.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy Hamburger Month?

May is National Hamburger Month in the U.S.

I have no idea when Canada celebrates Hamburger Month (or if we do). Anyone know?


ps. happy hamburger month to all americans

EDIT: I found a Saskatchewan newspaper that mentioned national hamburger month back in 2006. That's good enough for me! I'll try to think of a special way to celebrate the month.