Friday, July 3, 2009

Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub | 308 Catherine Street | 250•386•2739 | www.spinnakers.com

Highland Beef Burger $12
w/the works
(bacon, cheddar, mushrooms) add $4


The burger at Spinnakers Pub is kind of like the girl next door; in a way—she's just like every other girl you've ever met. Yet something about her keeps you from brushing her off when she says hello.

The charbroiled patty, with its faint barbecue flavour and red pepper aioli/malt vinegar and tomato relish adornment, conjures up memories of a million chipotle mayo/BBQ sauce addled packages before it. It's not the same as those other pub burgers though—it's better. From the beer-braised onions, to the island raised highland beef patty—everything at Spinnakers is done just a little better than how its done at similar island pubs.

The aforementioned patty is juicy enough to allow a couple of grease globules to drip onto your plate, and is seasoned subtly enough to let you appreciate the superior tasting beef. The thing that really ties it all together though is the bacon; the wide-bodied slices offer the flavour needed to allow the herbed kaiser roll and its contents to live in harmony. The bacon is definitely an essential add-on here: the burger would be fine without, but you'd certainly sense it was lacking something.

VERDICT:
A step above the rest, and another sign that using Vancouver Island beef in your burgers is far from impossible.

9 comments:

More_Cowbell said...

Just curious to know why you dont seem to comment ever on the quality of the cook job of a burger. Some of the pics I've seen of reviewed burgers look burnt - plus we've all had the undercooked burger with pink inside to complain about. Maybe this is a deliberate choice to focus on the burger recipe rather than critique the cook who happens to be working that day?

PS: Love the blog and keep it up! (I also recommend the Smith's burger although it isnt as good as it once was).

dk said...

Pink doesn't necessarily mean undercooked, and grill marks don't necessarily mean overcooked.

I have never been asked (in Victoria) how I would like my burger done. By default they generally come medium to medium-well. If I get a really dry burger, I think I usually mention it.

Happy_pats said...

Downright shame you dont get asked how you want it. If you did, would you choose medium-rare?

Good write-up, as usual. Still waiting for the Canarvon Park review.

dk said...

I'd probably choose medium.

The Carnarvon Park review was meant to be part of a bigger project that unfortunately didn't come together this year. Because of the failure of that project, you aren't likely to see a Carnarvon review for at least another year.

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.

Cheers!

Trevor G. said...

That bacon looks so good. Nice and thick and meaty. It looks like actually wraps around the patty. Personally, no mushrooms on my burger though; just some nice raw red onion.I fully agree with you about the chipotle thing. I wish restaurants would stop marketing chipotle as some sort of extravagant condiment/addition on their menu. Maybe 15-20 years ago, but not today. Oh yeah, and I tried Homer's out in Sooke a week or so ago. It was really good. Theb patty was nice and loosely formed and fresh, appropriately greasy; and the bun was a perfect match for the burger. Don't even bother with the Pothole fries though. They ended up being a soggy mess after all the toppings were on them. Heads up as well; my parents went to a place in Sooke (on the main drag) called The Edge. The owner/chef worked at Sooke Harbour House for 15 years apparently (my mum and dad chatted him up) and he grinds all his meat in-house and sources everything locally. My parents said he rubs his burger with some sort of paprika blend then grills it; and they said it was a delicious burger. I went there on Sunday, but he was closed. Let me know if you make a trip out there or want to make a trip out there as I'm intersted to see what he is up to in terms of food.

dk said...

yah got tipped off to The Edge a while ago and we're planning on making a trip out there very soon

Dude at Edge actually makes his own bacon. Smokes it for two days.

Trevor G. said...

Wow. you don't see many people willing to put the effort into making their own bacon; especially considering that there is a couple of good butcher shops out there. Let us know how it is.

Anonymous said...

Spinnakers food has got a lot better over the last few months and I found out why. A former line cook at the Empress has taken over the kitchen.

This may be a burger blog, but with a good cook, everything a Spinnakers is tasting a whole lot better these days. And do any of the local brew pubs make better brews?