Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Heron Rock Bistro | #4-435 Simcoe Street | 250•383•1545 | www.heronrockbistro.ca

Fat Buoy Burger $12 (add $1.50 each for Bacon and Cheese)

The linguistic history of Hope, BC is—tragically—rather undocumented. From "cleveland ducats" to "giver giver Fraser River"; some of my favourite slang has been bred out of the Gateway to Rainbow Country. There is, however, one term that stands above all others as the best word to ever originate from Hope: "chutter". Coined circa 2001 by local linguist Katie Henderson, the term refers to the act of pilfering street signs, lawn gnomes, election campaign signs, or other various public and private property that does not require breaking and entering to acquire (this can include anything from two-by-fours liberated from park benches to wooden water-slide name placards).

Dave Chutter
is a Nicola Valley-based rancher who ran in the Yale-Lillooet riding during the 2001 provincial election campaign. During the campaign over two-hundred Chutter campaign signs were lifted from lawns across Hope. It was perhaps the single greatest act of mischief of its kind in local history; and thus the verb "to chutter" was born. Dave Chutter went on to represent the Yale-Lillooet riding for a single term, doing us proud by serving as chair of the Committee of Development of the Provincial Noxious Weed Strategy. Meanwhile teenagers from Hope, Silver Creek, and Kawkawa Lake continue to commit multiple acts of "chuttering" every year throughout the Fraser Valley.

What in the world does this heart-warming bit of Hope history have to do with the Heron Rock Bistro? Sit back, relax, and I'll tell you! Heron Rock has the meat for its burgers supplied by Slaters Meats, who in turn gets its beef from 1999 B.C. SPCA Farmer of the Year Dave Chutter! SMALL WORLD YAH?

The beef has a soft texture, a light flavour, and is served in a package that is cooked somewhere between medium-rare and medium at Heron Rock. Housing the burger is an extremely soft and chewy (almost doughy) house-made bun, which is also served as an appetizer at the restaurant. The bun is sprinkled with the same rock salt/herb mix you may find on a very simple focaccia. I'm not entirely convinced that the texture and flavour of this bun matches the burger patty as well as another bun would, but I'll give it points for being a little different.

The bacon offered at Heron Rock comes from Hertel's Meats; a forty-year-old family run business that operates out of Port Alberni. I like the idea of using local (sort-of) products, but in this case it doesn't really add much flavour-wise. I've definitely had significantly better bacon at other local restaurants: honestly I found the price at Heron Rock a little high for what I found to be fairly average tasting bacon.

Though the bacon is underwhelming, the house relish that adorns this burger is a perfect match for the subtle beefy tones that emanate from the patty below. Coupled with the house relish is a dollop of mayo and that's it. It's a nice simple mix that really compliments the package well. Finally a note on the cheese: tasty and melted well. The kitchen has obviously spent some time developing this burger over the last few years (the bun is a change from before, as are some other elements I believe) and it shows: Heron Rock has done the Chutter name proud.

VERDICT: Nice to see a restaurant like this pay attention to a dish which is often treated as an afterthought at other similar venues: one of the better burgers in the city.


Murray said...

Bacon & Chedder arn't the only options for add-ons, there are also mushrooms, goat cheese, avocado, and a few other treats that can add a nice accent.
Moffet makes a wicked dill pickle cesar too.
H-Rock is money.

Trevor G. said...

I was excited about their burger when I went thre a few weeks ago. The burger patty was very flavourful. The color of it was less than appealing. It came in this grey(ish) color that made it seem like it had been steamed. There was no color or crust on the patty itself. Then the bun. It was the same bread that they give out as a before meal appetizer. While the bun may be good for that, it is a horrible excuse for a burger bun. It seemed undercooked and doughy; and once the beef juices soaked in, it became inedible. The bacon and cheese that I added contributed nothing to the burger itself. The burger seasoning overpowered the cheese; and the bacon seemed insignificant to the flavour. The best thing(s) I can say about this burger are that the flavour of the beef, which would be much better with some char, is very good and original; and that the tomato relish that Heron Rock makes should be put on every sandwich that I have ever again. The relish is the first thing I proclaimed about when I took my first bite out of this burger; though I won't be back for the burger specifically (also, steer clear of the steak poutine as the cut of beef they use is horrible and mealy).

dk said...

yah as I say in the review I think I more or less agree with you in terms of the bun and bacon, but I don't think they completely sabotage the unit. It's not perfect, but it's good.