Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Canoe Brewpub | 450 Swift Street | 250•361•1940 |

Aussie Pub Burger

Any burger with more than four toppings requires the work of a skilled architect to save it from being a blight along the main street of the menu it resides on. Thankfully the person drafting burgers at the Canoe Club, for the most part, knows his craft well.

There are a number of key decisions made here that prevent this burger from sliding into the pit of despair that other "house special" packages have found themselves in:

Decision One: The Egg

More times than I care to remember I have been stuck with a hard fried egg on my burger. If I have a fried egg on my burger, I want the yolk to cascade over the meat patty like holy water baptising a newborn. If the egg doesn't serve a duel purpose as topping and de facto condiment... well it just has no purpose being a part of the unit at all. Canoe Club does things right here by serving up a delightfully runny egg with its package.

Decision Two: Beets and other Vege Toppings

Luckily the vege toppings here are used sparingly enough that they don't allow this burger to spin widely out of control. Most importantly: the beets are cut thin. This allows the flavour of the beets to linger within the package, but at no time does the beety essence seem overpowering.

Decision Three: Condiments

A refreshing understanding of burger dynamics is on display when it comes to the condiment factor here. The house mayo in this burger is used quite sparingly—but that's ok in this unit. The burger is already rendered slightly sloppy from the egg yolk, and any additional lubricant would no doubt send a slippery beet flying into the face of your dining companion. Sometimes, for the greater good of your burger, you must fly in the face of recognized conventions.

Other Thoughts:

The hand formed patty used in the Aussie Pub Burger comes from Quist Farms in Cowichan. The number of restaurants in town using island beef are few and far between, so certainly some kudos are in order for Canoe Club keeping things local. The flavour of the beef is more subtle than it is rich and bold, but it's still pretty good. I do have to agree with Monday Magazine's assesment of the patty though: it could use something to punch it up a little. As for our other friends: the bacon and cheese are both great, and the bun is a fresh and excellent companion for the patty. This is a well crafted burger with very few faults: easily one of the better pub options in the city.

(burger vogueing courtesy Paddy: chime in courtesy Christabel)

If there was ever a burger to unite VicBurger and the Little Piggy; I think the Aussie Burger is it. A frenzy of toppings, I'd never ordered it before, but was always intrigued by its indulgence.
To me this burger is all about the egg. I agree, the runny yolk is key and complimented nicely by the slightly crispy edges of the white. In a breakfast context I would complain that the egg was cooked at too high a heat, making it tough, but the firmess assists the egg in holding it's own with the beef. The yolk, breaking as you crack through the first bite of burger, is almost obscene— dripping out of the sides of the bun and on to your fingers.

Happily, the bun is adequately constructed to take on the heaping mound of condiments (which is important since they're a pretty moist lot). Speaking of which—the beet. I like the beet, but I could almost handle a little more beetyness. I find it a little overwhelmed by the egg and the bacon.

All in all, I'd say I'm a convert to the Aussie burger. It kind of reminds you of that promiscuous, drunken friend, that is sometimes a little embarrassing at parties, but you love nonetheless and wouldn't want to change.

VERDICT: Definitely one of the top ten burgers in the area. A minor tweak or two and this could easily slip into the top five.


Bix said...

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Please email me.

dk said...

Can't email you if you don't leave your email address.

If you're real and not some bot, then let me know.

Steve said...

Wow, that sounds great! I have to say, I'm much less intrigued by the egg than by the beet. Love beets, but never really considered them on a burger before.

Anonymous said...

The burgers at Canoe are universally overcooked. Yes, we have to be concerned about ground meat being cooked thoroughly, but they don't have a proper cooking method down at Canoe. What they need to do if they are going to serve a well-done burger they need to incorporate a panade into the meat to keep it moist and juicy. If the cook at Canoe reads this, he'll know what to do. Other than overcooking, Canoe has all the right ingredients for a great and tasty burger.

Anonymous said...

The Canoe Pub has some of the most disappointing burgers I had ever seen/eaten. The meat was overcooked and the topping were sparse. I've had better burgers on the ferry.

Team 4 steaks and a carrot said...

We just enjoyed this burger a few weeks ago, and we would agree that Canoe does a pretty good job in the drafting of their burgers. Any possible slippery messes that could have happened with this burger remained contained within the bun. The egg was perfectly cooked for the purpose of burger adornment and the beets were a great addition. We also like that the beef comes from Quist Farms in Cowichan. Local food is an important aspect of quality menu items. The thin crust pizzas were also delicious. We also ordered the 'tasting fleet' so we could have a nice four oz glass of each house made beer. This was a great choice. We recommend Canoe for burgers and beer any day.

I LOVE YOU said...


evision said...

nyrB said...

The one and only burger I ever had that the Canoe Club was atrocious. The meat was overcooked and flavourless, the bacon underdone, and the whole thing had the consistency of a brick.