Friday, March 20, 2009

Brasserie L'ecole—1715 Government Street—250•475•6260—

Brasserie Burger
Friday Night Only

Victoria culinary history has officially entered a brave new burger age. First a food network chef moves to town and adds a burger with a house made bun to the menu. Then the city is blessed with its first legitimate burger-centric restaurant in years (and the blogosphere hints at another haven for burger lovers being on the horizon). Finally we come to this: Brasserie L'ecole enters the arena with what is perhaps the only burger in the city made with a house-ground patty. Yes my friends; the burger has arrived in Victoria, and it is here to stay.

The burger at Brasserie is the first truly upscale unit I have encountered in Victoria. The use of a brioche bun follows a common trend amongst higher-price point packages. Brioche buns are often railed against over at A Hamburger Today, and after eating this burger I kind of understand why. In terms of flavour: the bun is good. The texture, however, is rather flaky and not as enjoyable for me as a nice squishy number.

Of course the most exciting element of this burger is the house-ground patty. I am not personally aware of any other restaurant in Victoria that grinds its own meat. The grind at Brasserie is a sirloin/brisket mix with a fat content of about 35-40%. The fat content is certainly a little greater than the norm, but it doesn't have a negative affect on the patty. It may not have been dripping copious amounts of juices, but it was nice and moist with a natural beefy flavour.

Finally a couple of words on the cheese and bacon: they are both exceptional. I actually had a vision of the pig from which this bacon was created while I ate it. I imagine the little fellow as a friendly, cartoonish piggy—striding to the abattoir with a twinkle in his eye, and a joie de vivre unmatched by even the most care-free, puddle-jumping school-girl. The wonderful bacon is joined by some delicious creamy raclette that really melds well with this unit.

The strengths of the Brasserie Burger lay in the fact that nothing about it is overdone. The patty is subtle and beefy, the cheese and bacon mingle masterfully, and the mustard aioli adds a sharp exclamation point to the whole unit. This isn't the best burger in the city, but it is unique and fairly priced.


It's good, but I wasn't impressed with the mustard (which tasted like blue cheese). The patty was a little dry near the end, and wasn't as juicy as the Aura burger. The weird-mustard—or blue cheesy— taste was not as overpowering as the Canoe Club burger (which I found almost atrocious), and the nice atmosphere makes up for the minor flaws of the burger. Brasserie is a very pleasant place to dine. The Maitre De even joked with us, saying "we've run out of burgers." What a tease!

ps. The fries were saltier than a glass of ocean water.

VERDICT: There are certainly better tasting burgers in the city, but none that strive as hard to mix a patty and toppings as individualized as this.


Marc said...

Burger has always been $21 - the $25 price came erroneously from LittlePiggy's review.

dk said...

Thanks. The review has been edited to reflect that.

Shermy said...

So what Vic burgers would you rate higher?

dk said...

Still think Aura and Pink Bike are better overall.