Seniors: they want you off their lawns, they enjoy parking in intersections at the first sign of an ambulance, and they probably like this burger. As my dining partner Mr. Brendan Kergin suggested while we dined at Bistro Cache—only old people enjoy food this bland.
I was turned on to this 100-mile diet focused eatery a couple months ago by a blog reader who described this burger as, ". . . cooked perfectly, with a bit of pink in the middle, and soooo juicy." Such was not the case when I sampled it.
This is a smaller burger, probably in part because it shrinks a little during the flame-grilling process. That same process gives the patty its only strong flavour, and a slightly leathery exterior as well. The interior was about as juicy as your average burger in Victoria, which is to say not very. It certainly wasn't juicy enough to warrant spelling so with four o's. As for pinkness? Not even close: this one's all brown.
Taken as part of the overall package, the flavour of the patty was essentially unnoticeable. Even separately, this beef was strikingly lacking in boldness. I don't know if something in the aging process or style of grilling is to blame (I'm not sure what they grill with, but perhaps using Applewood or something similar would make a difference), but this is pretty boring beef. Certainly not what I expected from grass fed Cobble Hill steers. There is a subtle, clean taste that lingers within the patty, and is rather nice, but its impossible to find once it's slapped between a bun. You'd have better luck locating a duck in a dirt tunnel.
The crusty bun, however, is great if you nibble on it separate from the burger. It has a light, fresh feel that is rather pleasant. It would actually be a wonderful fit if their was a single taste bud tickler in this unit. The only thing that comes close to transforming this burger from food to meal is the saffron mayo.
When you are lucky enough to get a bite of this burger with a generous glob of the wonderful condiment, you really start to see some potential. The saffron mayo is like a kiss from Tinkerbell, and helps separate the flavour of the beef from the rest of the package. That separation allows for just enough dynamism to create a pleasant, albeit shy, burger. Unfortunately, the saffron mayo is used so sparingly that you rarely experience this sensation. Instead, the toasted bun acts like a sponge to a spill—removing any evidence to your tongue that the mayo ever existed as part of this package.
The overwhelming trend throughout our lunch was a feeling that we weren't tasting anything. As Kergin said, even the onion confit was indistinguishable within this burger. Maybe we caught Bistro Cache on a bad day, but I've had few other burgers that have had such a lack of affect, positive or negative, on my senses.
VERDICT: Not far from paper on the flavour excitement scale.