Friday, May 28, 2010

More New Victoria Restaurant Review Blogs

The local restaurant review blogs just keep sproutin' up all over the place. Your Restaurant Sucks started out with the mission of shitting on shitty restaurants, but has recently switched over to giving props to some of the better eateries in town.

Secondly its Ed Sum (of Nexus Newspaper and ghost-hunting fame) and his friend James' site Two Hungry Blokes. They just started a week ago, and already have three reviews up. The whole Asian/white guy thing gives them an almost live-action TC food blog vibe, but with more focus. Worth a read—especially if you're into sushi (Ed knows his sushi like fish know gills).

As far as the Burger Blog goes, here's what's coming up: I just quit my night job, so should soon have more time to check out some of the great Victoria lunch burgers that I have not yet become acquainted with.

...and in June I'm headed to Toronto to visit former co-conspirator Guy Alaimo. Look for some old-school style review postage in late June!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Seattle Burger and Burgerish Things Roundup

Ahhhhhhhhhh Seattle: home of the Ichiroll, Electron Boy, and a heck of a lot of great burgers. Sadly I only got to eat one on my most current trip to the land of milk and honey, but one is better than none! Here's a recap:

1. Palace Kitchen
2030 5th Avenue
(add $1.50 for bacon)

This puppy is rated pretty high amongst Seattle foodies, so I had high hopes pre-Palace nosh. My expectations were met (and exceeded) in some areas, but I've danced with better burgers in the Emerald City.

The Palace Burger is made using ground in-house Oregon Country Beef (of the chuck variety). I asked our waiter what grind ratio was is used, but he only replied, "the kitchen doesn't tell us these things." Which could mean one of three things: he's too lazy to pose my question to the kitchen; their ratio is some closely guarded secret, which could bring down the entire Tom Douglas empire if revealed; or, finally, the kitchen hates bald people and just refuses to talk to him about anything.

So without firm facts, I am left to hazard a guess, and I'd guess their grind is more lean than fat. The bun—which initially appears to be too big for the package, but is actually quite a nice fit—does a superb job of soaking up the juices that do appear. Given the medium-rare nature of this burger though, I found it a little too clean for my personal preference.

Aside from natural juices, the burger is served on an otherwise dry bun. This would normally pose a massive problem, but the beef is good enough here to stand more or less on its own. Without the blue cheese accompaniment it may be a little bland, but it manages quite alright with it. It may not be as good as a high quality Alberta beef, but I'd say it matches most patties I've had that use Island beef (with Pink Bike perhaps being better on a good day). The big difference here is the char that comes from cooking on an applewood-fueled grill. Really suberb flavour and crustiness around the edges.

The real winner in this package though is the bacon. Thick, crispy, succulent, worth leaving your family for—just the perfect compliment to this unit. Onion, lettuce, and pickle is served as a side to this burger, but I don't think you need it (I'm just not sure how much it would have added). Speaking brass tackily; there are better burgers in Seattle. That doesn't mean this one is bad though, it just happens to be in a class of big performers.

2. Cheeseburger Doritos (Snack Bag Size)

My initial thought was, "hmmm, more cheese and sour cream than cheeseburger," but then Auggie said, "Dairy Queen," and I knew he was right. That Dairy Queen cheeseburger flavour is even more apparent when you let these little crunchers sit for a day. Their sister flavour "taco" does a better job of replicating cheap taco flavour (think Taco Time spice mix), but I can't say the cheeseburger chips don't taste a little like a fast-food offering.

A while ago I was complaining to friends that since the loss of Hostess, the potato chip market has suffered from a lack of innovation. They quickly countered that the UK is still a bastion of innovation. I guess what I meant to say is Canada lacks drive in the chip realm. The advent of the pizza-flavoured chip is now almost two decades in the past, and was BBQ Chicken all that special a flavour? What I'm trying to say is I'd like to harken back to those heady days of the late 90's where flavours like Fries and Gravy were poppin' off the shelves like jumpin' jellybeans. At least we don't have to look far to see that shining beacon of hope for the world of gluttony: America. God bless her, and God bless Doritos for continuing to be the Reese's of the chip world—few other companies have made snacking more exciting than they.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Newish Lower Mainland/Vancouver Burger Blog

I have no idea what the name means, but I dig the content over at 2abpsslcpoassb Report. The writer commented here a while ago, but I didn't get around to posting about his blog until now. It's nice to see burgers other than the offerings from Moderne, Vera's, Red Onion etc. being reviewed in Vancouver. He's also done a few reviews of burgers in Victoria. Nanaimo too.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Pig Colwood Continue Burger Experimentations

I can't believe I keep missing all these incredible sounding burgers. You will remember a while ago Pig served up an Aussie Burger special. Now they've added to their specials stable with a Blue Cheese Bacon Burger, and (more recently) their own version of the infamous Fatty Melt. Thank god someone is working to bring the Southern Vancouver Island area into the modern burger era. Now I just need to catch up to one of these burgers (and one of the deep fried wagon wheels they've been serving recently too).

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

La Belle Patate Redux: La Belle Burger

La Belle Burger


This is just a great garbage-pail burger. It is the strength of teamwork in burger form. Is the beef great? No. Is keeping the guts of this lard-ass in between the tiny bun a Sisyphean task? Sure. Is it one hell of a fun, pleasure centre punching eat? You bet your hindquarters.

Piled high with bacon, mushrooms, fried onions, and La Belle Sauce (which consistency-wise is kind of like honey-garlic sauce, but flavourwise is like... maybe a very subtle bbq sauce mixed with mayo... honestly I was just mowing through this one too quickly to pinpoint flavours in the sauce) this burger weighs in at close to 2/3lb. As mentioned, it is obvious from the flavour of the beef that it is of relatively lower quality, but that doesn't matter a wit in this package. Just let that grease work its way through your heart, and up to your brain where your sense of manhood can ride it like a cloud: high above all your useless brain functions like turning sunlight into vitamin d and shit. Just drink a glass of milk mahfucka!

The La Belle Burger has a simple recipe, but it's tried and true: eating fat and salt=happy. There are many other equations for finding happiness, but it's a lot easier—though perhaps equally as heartbreaking as other options—to experiment with this one.

VERDICT: Take a chemistry field trip to La Belle and you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy National Hamburger Month America!

While we're busy waiting for lame-ass Victoria Day, Americans are doin' up the May celebrations correct with National Burger Month. I plan to celebrate by going down to Seattle in a few weeks and hopefully hitting up Lunchbox Laboratory. Happy happy!