Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Belaire Restaurant | 151 Vermilion Street | Princeton, B.C. | 250•295•7711

Combo Burger

Editor's Note: Please enjoy this, the latest review from our Fraser Valley/Interior/Mainland Burger Blog correspondent Miles Bissky. You can find his last review here.

On a recent trip home from the Okanagan I had a hankering for a classic diner style burger. I was just approaching Hedley and thought I would have better odds in Princeton (although I did notice a diner at the gas station in Hedley which could have a decent burger—maybe next time). Anyways, I arrived in Princeton just before noon and ignored the A&W and drove down the main street.

There were a few Chinese Canadian style places, but they usually have sub par burger offerings. After feeling slightly let down that I wouldn't find the perfect place, I decided to go to the Belaire Restaurant. My wife and I had been there last summer but I think we only had Jalapeno Poppers and a sandwich, which have now been removed from the menu. We walked inside and the interior of the Belaire felt akin to an ABC (or any other generic family-style place). It has a clean, but incredibly bland, beige interior. I thought I was going to have to make do with a frozen patty with a leaf of dry romaine lettuce to accompany it. Fortunately though, as I got the menu, I read the words “home made patty". Of course this doesn't mean that it's going to be great, but at least more interesting than a grilled western family ice puck.

I ordered the Combo Burger: mushrooms, cheese, bacon with the usual suspects from a deluxe burger (I added raw onion). They also had an Applewood Smoked Cheddar option which I considered, but I was feeling more like a classic. The burger arrived and the patty was extremely asymmetric for some reason, I guess they wanted to boldly announce it's home made origins. The patty was quite salty, although not too salty and gelatinous—similar in theme to the 'Chinese style' burgers that DK has mentioned before, but not to that extreme. In fact I really enjoyed the patty even though it was slightly unusual.

The bacon was nice and crispy and they went with a green relish, where I usually go for a red, but the green worked well in this setup (they also had shredded iceberg lettuce and pickle). As a side note: many of my favorite burger joints which have gone downhill over the years used to use shredded iceberg, but now often opt for a whole leaf of either leaf lettuce, or romaine—which pails in comparison to iceberg. This burger actually reminded me quite a bit of the Home Restaurant burgers pre-1996, as it had similar characteristics (including being charbroiled).

The burger's structural integrity was a bit difficult to maintain due to the oddly shaped patty, and stiff and angular bacon. The burger also came across as a tiny bit greasy—probably due to about 30% too much mayo. However the bun was up to the task, and the fact that it was toasted nicely helped it stand up to the burger. All in all this burger was extremely satisfying and was a surprise given the surroundings. I would have expected this burger from a place with cigarette burns in the arborite. The french fries as well were quite good, they did suffer from what my dad believes is a lazy fry cutter, that is the little nubs of potato get tossed in the french fry press without much care and strange 1-2cm fries mixed in amongst the normal length fries are the result.

VERDICT: If you are in Princeton and need a burger I would definitely recommend the Belaire: just wear a jean jacket and roll up in a 1983 Mustang to compensate for its too clean style.

1 comment:

morningaftershow said...

next time I'm in princeton... it shall be enjoyed!