Monday, January 25, 2010

Redd's Pub (at Comfort Inn) | 3020 Blanshard Street | 250.382.4400

Famous Shameless Burger

"I hope you left two twenties in that envelope with the bill!" Well you can hope as hard as you want, cause you're living in a vaguely Eastern-European sounding older waitress dreamworld.

On the pretense of taking a friendly trip to Europe, this cheeseburger and I could spirit away to France—slowly building a love fostered by the awe-inspiring beauty of this, the most romantic of nations. After a few months I would become so beholden to this burger that the world outside our love would no longer hold any connection to me. Devastated family members (and scores of jilted lovers who have turned to self mutilation to deal with losing me) would call Canadian authorities asking about my whereabouts. The cheeseburger and I would never be found and, our trip coinciding with fatal Parisian race riots, I would be declared missing, presumed dead.

And when this incredible love affair was about to reach its end; when me and the cheeseburger are on a flight home; when I'm about to take that final bite and draw our relationship towards its natural denouement (cause it is still a cheeseburger, and I would be eating it slowly during the trip). When it seems we have given each other all there is to give, the cheeseburger could turn to me and say "I never told you, I'm a tycoon, and I've decided to leave you all my millions." All these improbable things could happen, and you still couldn't get me to leave a fucking 75% tip.

I'll admit that with the European love affair, this burger could be deserving of a large tip. However, in the classical setting it was served in... not quite.

The Famous Shameless is most akin to the type of burger you may find at a decent burger stand (i.e. at a park or on a wharf somewhere). The hand-made patty is a little overcooked, though I suppose not much more so than your average bar burger. Copious amounts of well melted cheese, and a decent mix of mayo, mustard and special sauce save what may have been an otherwise so-so affair.

The bun falls somewhere in the middle between "dry, crumbly and infuriating" and "soft and complimentary". The bacon and fried onions were more ineffectual than they could have been; the onions not particularly sweet, and the bacon closer to jerky (texturally speaking). Like its neighbour in style, the thick broiled burger stand burger, Redd's delivers a burger that will satisfy your cravings. None of the elements taste bad, but they could all taste a little bit better.

VERDICT: Gets the job done, but won't make you fall in love.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kan Yon Restaurant | Hope, B.C. | 800 3rd Ave | 604.869.2212


Kan Yon Restaurant and A&W: these were pretty much the only restaurants my dad brought me to for lunch as a kid. A&W was sweet because there was a big hill behind the picnic tables that me and my sister would scamper around on. No doubt these lunchtime excursions probably led me to my first full time job as an A&W employee: a job that was more about covering for autumn faced women who took smoke breaks every five goddamn minutes than it was about relieving cherished childhood memories. My memories of the Kan Yon aren't as vivid as those of A&W, but, unlike the dub, it's still sort of a special place to me.

The only thing about the Kan Yon I really remember vividly was the large, empty room you had to go through to get to the bathrooms. The place looked like an Eagles Hall, with all sorts of reminders of forgotten royals crowding the walls, and a dark, hollow feel. Nowadays the Kan Yon looks like more of a straight up diner, and is sadly missing the cartoony map of Canada paper placemats it used to have (the type with caricatures marking the capitals, like a giant pig sniffing at the CN Tower next to HOGTOWN in big letters).

Though I used to go to the Kan Yon on almost a weekly basis, this may be the first time I've ever had one of their burgers. Back in the day I was all about grilled cheese, or possibly some chow mein. I'm sure the grilled cheese here is still a primo American/white toast blend, and possibly a better option than the burger.

Highly reminiscent of White Spot, this burger package is adorned with red relish and a healthy amount of mayo. The American cheddar is melted to perfect molten status, and the patty is your standard pre-frozen fare. With its soft sesame bun and Spotesque construction; this burger can certainly claim comfort-food credentials—but don't expect to feel all American Graffiti about it. This is a relatively satisfying White Spot clone for the price though.

VERDICT: Why visit a BC Ferries cafe when you can go to the Kan Yon!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Slightly Off Topic: PtheG-Cheeseburger

I'm... getting... tha... single... cheessseburrgaaa

Video originally discovered at Nation of Thizzlam.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Sauce Restaurant and Lounge | 1245 Wharf Street | 250.382.8662 |

Sauce Burger
(add $1 each for smoked cheddar and double smoked bacon)

I thought I knew how I wanted to start this review—then I saw an ad for "The Girls of Sauce 2010 Calendar" on this restaurant's website and I got totally thrown for a loop. I was going to start this off with some sort of woebegone play-by-play of my New Year's Eve alone writing another silly burger review, but now I don't know what to do. Should I make some hacky "Hooters" joke? A tactless "puppy adoption" pun that will be totally hilarious cause funds raised from calendar sales go to Victoria Adoptables? Maybe I could just attack the hilarious "sexy/classy" glow-enhanced photo on Sauce's main page? Or should I just ignore the whole thing and just review this burger... yah let's do that...

The Sauce Burger is highlighted by a pub-sized AAA Alberta Angus beef patty that packs a cumin-y punch. My dining partner Jimmy thought the bun to burger ratio was a little out of whack, but I think the thickness of the patty overcame any slight lack of width that may have caused poor patty/bun interlacing. The strong cumin flavour that eminates from the patty is not something I have noticed in any previous burger outings, and actually works fairly well with the high-qaulity meat.

The problem is this burger is not built around that cumin flavour, and therefore is not as balanced as it could be. A condiment more complimentary to the flavour of the seasoned meat could be a great improvement over the thin swish of mayo that adorns the whole wheat kaiser. Other than that this is a pretty good bar burger: the cheese is melted to perfection, the bacon glistens in the candlelight like a fatty holy grail, and the bun is nice and soft. This is certainly a burger that's worth a look if you want something slightly different.

VERDICT: Room for improvement, but nothing to shake a stick at.