Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Pink Bicycle Redux

Pink Bike Cheese Burger
(add $2 for bacon and $1 for caramelized onions)

Time changes everything doesn't it? Well it doesn't change the fact that everytime I go to a party I come home alone and drunkenly listen to sad cowboy songs, but time does change burgers. It's been just over two months since we first stepped foot in the Pink Bicycle, and I am happy to say they have improved pretty much everything we criticized in our earlier review.

The patty of this burger, once rather over-seasoned and dry, is now seasoned lightly to highlight its rich, beefy flavour. The patty also appeared to be slightly thinner than the last time we were here, making it noticeably more juicy throughout. I am also pleased to say Pink Bike no longer skimps on the sauce. In their early days Pink Bike was obviously still working out the quantity of supplies they needed to get through the day. With that issue figured out, the burger is no longer timidly tapped with the sauce spoon; it is now dripping with delicious special mayo.

Poutine and onion ring portions are also much larger than before: both portions were easily twice as big as they were on our last trip here. Prices, another thing I complained out in the past, have been adjusted as well. Bacon is now a dollar cheaper than before, as is an onion ring side-dish substitution. As for new items I tried today; the caramelized onions had a wonderfully subtle sweetness that tasted great and didn't throw the the burger balance out of whack. The yam soup I had as a side was also excellent, and the portion very fare.

The only element of Pink Bike that has declined is their onion rings. Easily the best in town when they first opened, they were pretty soggy today. A small price to pay though when everything else was so good. The last time something improved this much it was Tom Cochrane going from Hang on to Your Resistance to Red Rider's Don't Fight It.

ps. I have to quickly give kudos to the Pink Bicycle for having a bison burger on its menu that is actually made from Vancouver Island Bison (I assume from the farm near Courtney). It's not easy to find burgers made from local meat. It's nice to see Pink Bike offer local patties at their place.

Guy Alaimo Chimes In!!!

I have to say: being recognized as the burger blog guys is a double edged sword. On one side, I felt strange eating at the Pink Bike today. There was an aura of discomfort and awkwardness that went beyond my natural bunglesome ways. On the flip side, almost everything I complained about during my first visit here, was fixed.

I think Donald says it all above, but for me, the best part was the addition of more sweet mayo. The burger as a whole was also juicier, and actually reminded me of a poor-mans Aura burger. Good job Pink Bike

VERDICT: Absolutely incredible turnaround from its early days. Probably the number two burger in Victoria now (not bad for something from a cook that used to work at "Local")


Trevor G. said...

Foreword/Spoiler: I absolutely recommend the Bison Burger.
I did the same as you guys... I went to the Pink Bike when it had only been open for a couple of weeks. I think then that I had built up the burger in my mind so it was a little bit of a letdown, but I agree with your first review. Today, however, was a whole 'nother level. I had the Bison burger (no direct comparison as I had the Classic Pink Bike last time) and substituted the BBQ sauce (which I was told was the Lime someting-something Bulls-Eye, and I hate Bulls-Eye) wor the PinkBike sauce. I ws a little worried that the burger was going to be dry,as I have had some overdone Bison before, but I should not have been. The burger was perfectly cooked. The patty was juicy and even had a bit of dripping going on. It was slightly salty, which was good, but other than that it seemed to be all Bison flavour. The meat was fairly coarse ground so that the patty kind of fell apart as you chewed. My first bite I was overwhelmed by meat flavour. It was amazing. The bun was slightly toasted and fresh, could have used more onion but I love raw onion on my burgers, and the Pink Sauce was just as good as last time (except in a larger quantity). Onion rings (for me) were much better than last time (as I sent back the first order since they were overdone, then the next order soggy and underdone)and easily the best I have ever had. I like that they add a little bit of spice in their batter that gives it some heat. I like the olive garnish but could do without the pickle as it was dry and tiny. All-in-all, this was by leaps and bounds the best bison burger I have ever had, and in memory, the best burger I have ever eaten. Way to amp it up Pink Bicycle.
PS: They were actually playing good music in there today, not that house/funk/crap that I have heard when in previously.

Trevor G. said...

Have you guys been to the Heron Rock Bistro in James Bay? I've never been for the burgers, but thier breakfasts are top notch (house made hollandaise is rare in this town of brunchers).

dk said...

yah I've been to Heron Rock a couple time, but haven't been back recently.

Tried the lamb burger years ago and it was pretty decent, but I remember their actual lamb entree being fairly bland. Definitely well below the standard other local restaurants have set for lamb.

Nonetheless it's still on my list as far as checking out the burger for review goes.

Alison said...

Hey, if this is the #2 burger in Victoria, what's the #1?

Any chance you guys are going to create a top 10 list?

Trevor G. said...

Just a note; the last time I was in Pink Bike, thye had a burger special that had cheese curds and gravy on it! I didn't get it and opted for their (apparently new menu add Fire Burger) and am regretting what a sloppy gravy-laden mess that would have been. Next time I'm in I will maybe ask if they can make it for me anyways... It would have been like an old diner Hot Hamburger Special; except good. Also, rode by the Gathering Place today since I read your review the other day. It looks interesting. I will have to suck it up and stop in when I'm hungry.

dreamweaver said...

A general comment here with respect to all of your reviews. You have lots of -- hopefully -- juicy things to say about the burgers, but what about the world's most natural complement to the burger. You can't enjoy a good burger without good fries. Most places fries will come with the burger. So how do those hold up? Do the best burger places also have the best fries. What about the virtues of thick cut vs. thin cut vs. Kennebec? Adding a commentary on this would be a great supplement to your reviews.


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