Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Everyone's a Critic.

A couple of boozehound friends of mine have recently fired up new blogs. Kait Cavers with Wine and Cheezies (booze reviews), and former Pub Blog leader Brendan Kergin with Brendan's Beer Adventures (pretty self explanatory, so far he's focused on BC breweries). I'm hoping at least one of these blogs devolves from measured commentary into photo-essays of piss-stained dramatic downfall.

Check 'em out!

Connoisseur Catering | 2512 Bridge Street | 250.590.3911

Bison Burger

Editor's note: Please enjoy this recent review of Connoisseur Catering's Bison Burger from sporadic blog correspondent Ed Sum! Must say I'm surprised to see him rave so much about the quality of this bison burger over the one at Pink Bike, considering where they get their bison, but I will admit that is one tasty looking burger.
CC is serviced by Hill's Foods, which supplies Alberta raised bison.

Y'know, when one gets tired of eating beef all the time, what other choices are there? Heaven forbid that'll ever happen, but if I had a choice of either farm bred bovine, or wildly grazing buffalo—gimme the latter as a Sunday treat and I'll be in dining at Connoisseur Catering more often. Imagine my delight the first time I meandered down Bridge St. rather than sped down in my car. I had to do a double-take at the corner sign which brightly read: wild buffalo.

If I hadn't already had lunch, I'd have been in that catering shop tout suite. Two days later: part deux—I'm there. For $10, I'm very impressed with the amount of meat that is in this burger. With onions, lettuce, pickles, cheese and bacon; I loved very bite, and this eating excursion took my taste buds a bit of time to adjust to.

The burger was very good without it being fancied up. The company name had me wondering if I was to get more than just a gourmet burger. While the lettuce was kinda soggy, I didn't let that bother me as I snacked away. From eating one type of meat which is basically grain fed, to another which loves grass, the difference is easily tasted (for a brief moment the thought of Kobe beef came to mind). Gamey is hardly the word to use. I thought I was biting into a soft, meaty, hash. That texture, dripping with a mayo-like sauce, took a little getting used to. It was like these wild creatures got more than their fair share of running the range. They got the royal treatment of pedicures and shoulder rubs before being slaughtered.

I guess call me grass-roots, but I may very well stop eating beef altogether in favour for this meat instead. The way it was ground up and made into a burger was unique. Add on cheese and bacon (you have to ask for it as extras) and this burger was no wimp. I got my money's worth in sheer volume alone. Spectacular would mean having this burger with fries. I can only imagine what the chefs here would do if they weren't serving a usual crowd of men in construction hats. Pomme frites anyone? I'm not talking about the usual stuff you find at any pub. Thinly sliced frites drizzled in peanut oil, with a garlic mayo on the side and a dash of red pepper is a far better option than the Yankee french fry. With that combo, I'd be hitting this place on a regular basis for sure.

Now give me a home, right where these wild buffalo burgers roam and I'll definitely be grazing here more often. Forget about going to Pink Bicycle for their bison, I'm coming here instead! And show up early. They tend to sell out fast.

**** out of 5.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pig Colwood: Andrew Augustine Aussie Burger Cellphone Photo Essay

Auggie took these pictures of Pig's take on the Australian classic a few weeks back. His comments to me were fairly short and sweet, "Pretty good, but the bun is fucking atrocious." Burger is topped with the standard Aussie accoutrements: fried egg, bacon, beets, cheddar, and ketchup.

I'm not sure if this is going to be added to the Pig menu as a regular special, but I haven't seen any mentions of it in their twitter feed. Let's hope it gets a recurring role, or even better—a starting position on the menu when the downtown store moves into its new digs.

Enjoy the photos.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Part of the Team

OMG GUYS! I have some very exciting news to pass along! We have been recognized by the press agent for the one and only Josh Ozersky: arguably the number one hamburger authority in America (George Motz is obviously pretty dope too).

Anyway check it out, I'm so honoured to be on this mailing list:

Dear Victoria,
Hey, we thought you might have interest in our "Cheeburger Cheeburger Rant" episode on Ozereky.TV from this morning.


"Returning from Chicago recently, I stopped at the Cheeburger Cheeburger outlet at the JetBlue Terminal at John F. Kennedy airport, and was immediately consumed with rancor and regret. These emotions seethed within me until, a few days later in my favorite coffee shop, they emerged in a voluble stream." --Josh Ozersky

We love The Victoria Burger Blog and would very much appreciate a link or mention!

Many thanks,

Laurie Pila Horowitz
Field Producer & Guest Booker

Thus ends our bragging about receiving a press release.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Burger Bash Vol. 2: A Journey to Joy

Our leader enjoys the first burger of the night.

Well the second annual Victoria Burger Blog Burger Bash has been and gone, and despite a minor snafu, the event was full of triumphant moments. The wilting tulips behind five of the original teams all backed out of competition at the last minute, leaving Team Stranglehold alone in the field. Thankfully Ed Sum and Eric Mueller stepped up to the plate to enter main course burgers for competition. Although Stranglehold were the only competitors to enter three courses, they did a masterful job of making this contest reflect the Burger Blog's unparalleled contributions to local burger culture. Thanks to Stranglehold, the other competitors, and all the friends and fans who showed up for this great event!

Big thanks as well to Pizza AllNite and the Little Piggy who provided prizes and critique! Thanks as well to Jimmy Nguyen who took some of these pictures.

Team Stranglehold's Buffalo Buffalo Mini-Burger: bison patty topped with Louisiana Buffalo Sauce, blue cheese, and bacon.

Another view of these beautiful mini-burgers.

These mini-burgers were the grandest innovation and triumph of the night. The Burgizza was outstanding, but these puppies are restaurant ready, mouth-watering morsels that could easily beat out many local pub offerings in terms of fun and flavour.

The Rise Strangler lurks behind celebrity judge Christabel Padmore of The Little Piggy.

The Mueller Burger: beef patty infused with onions.

Celebrity judges Christabel and Paddy Padmore.

Future Thisiswhyyourefat cover-boy "The Burgizza".

A 60/40 blend of beef and Italian sausage; stuffed with mozza, salami, and prosciutto. Topped with mushrooms and green olives; served on mini pizzas.

Ed Sum demonstrates the noble art of burg-gitsu. HA PUNS.

The Sum Burger grillin' in the pit.

The Sum Burger: garlic and chili pepper infused patty topped with avocado and housed in a cheese bun.

Team Stranglehold dessert burger: The Bacon Double Cheesecake! Two cheesecake patties, a layer of maple smoked bacon drizzled with maple syrup on a blueberry scone.

Burger bashers bashin' away.

Grand prize winners Team Stranglehold!

Team Stranglehold examine their new cast-iron frying pan!

Second prize winner Eric Mueller descends into a psychedelic maelstrom fueled by prizes from the Little Piggy (garlic mayo, chili paste and special relish!)

And the night ends with a gorgeous fire; symbolising the power and unpredictability of the Victoria Burger Blog!

Final Contest Standings:

1. Team Stranglehold (Ty and Glen)
(winners of $30 gift certificate from Pizza AllNite and a 12" cast-iron frying pan)

Buffalo Buffalo Mini-Burgers
Bacon Double Cheesecake

2. Eric Mueller
(winner of a condiment grab-bag from The Little Piggy)

Mueller Burger

3. Ed Sum

Sum Burger

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Nexus Burger Blog Profile

Nexus was kind enough to help us celebrate our second anniversary by running a profile in this week's issue. You can read the profile here. Thanks to Nexus and Erin Ball.

Abattoirs and Local Meat

From today's Globe and Mail: an article on abattoirs in BC. Actually quite similar to another recent article from the New York Times.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ferris' Oyster Bar | 536 Yates | 250.360.1824 (SPECIAL 100th REVIEW 200th POST BONANZA!)

Half-Pound Burger
(add $1 each for cheese and bacon)

WELL WELL WELL. It would appear we have some milestones on our hands! Not only is the Ferris' burger the 100th burger the blog has reviewed; this is also our 200th post, and we recently passed 100, 000 page views! Yes, we are truly rocketing into our third year of existence with astonishing aplomb. Just check out that homemade t-shirt that says "Keep it 100 Y'all" with 100 spelled out in burgers! THE TRILLEST BURGER BLOG ON THE INTERNET. Yep, that's us. Now let's get on with this review shall we? I'm going to start with a piss story.

So I'm pretty sure a friend of mine had a big part in our fair city's decision to install all those galactic looking urinals all over downtown. Please indulge me as I share with you this stunning folk tale.

So a few years back this buddy of mine was a complete raving alcoholic. Like really bad. Like comically falling over fences, end zone spiking cellphones in fits of frustration, and suicide attempts bad. So anyway; one night he's downtown, all fucked up, and he has to take a piss. He's on Yates Street, but he probably really has no fucking clue where he is—so he enters what he thinks is the alcove of a closed business. Unfortunately for him though, this business is very much open, very much has customers inside eating dinner, and very much has a bit of a gap underneath its door. He is pissing outside the doorway to Ferris'.

As the processed 5 Star Whisky exits his body it begins to enter Ferris' and a large pool of piss starts to creep towards the feet of restaurant patrons. Eventually someone comes out and asks him what the fuck he is doing. Recognizing he has just taken a nice long piss on the floor of a busy restaurant, my friend is mortified and offers to mop up. So, all fucked up, he grabs a mop and starts cleaning up his own piss from the floor of Ferris'. And this, I believe, is why we now have downtown street urinals.

But what does this have to do with burgers? Absolutely nothing, but this is our 200th post... so we've gotta whoop it up right? Anyway, let's talk about this burger now.

It used to be Ferris' was just about always mentioned in the same breath as 5th Street whenever you asked for a burger recommendation in Victoria, but not so much anymore. I don't know if this is simply because burger culture has evolved rapidly in Victoria over the last five years, or because for a period of time Ferris' was pitching out some really dry boring patties. The last couple of times I've dined here I've been REALLY underwhelmed by the burger, but I'm happy to say the ship appears to be righting itself.

Yes the flowery shaped sesame seed kaiser (which is new I think) is rather unwieldy, and a bad match for this burger, but the rest of the package works. The half-pound patty may not be dripping with juices, but it isn't shriveled and dry either. The seasoning is simple, probably nothing more than a little salt and pepper, and the flavour of the beef is on-par with what a good burger should be. The flame-cooked nature doesn't hurt anything either.

The general construction is classic (though variations are available): house mayo, burger relish, red onion etc. compliment the package well and keep everything in balance. This burger didn't get my endorphins running like another, much greasier number did later in the night, but it still pleased me. I wish I had more to say, but that's it really. Good ingredients make a good burger. The bun doesn't work, but otherwise this is still an above average offering for our city.

VERDICT: Within the top thirty percentile I suppose.