Saturday, December 10, 2011

Jawin' on Dem Airwaves With CBC Radio

CBC Burger Blog Invu

Well it took me long enough to get this online eh? On the Island rang me up about two weeks ago to talk about the recent explosion of burger restaurants in Victoria. This interview isn't nearly as entertaining as the one Guy of the Buffet Blog did about three years ago (if I can find it I might re-up it), but maybe you'll enjoy it anyway. The last 30s or so of the interview were lost in the recording process. They were totally boring anyway.

On a related note--we've been getting a lot of anonymous comments regarding Bigwheel lately. About 90% of them are useless because they bash the french fries, but make no comments whatsoever about the burgers. I'll make a Bigwheel trip sometime soon. Just waiting for them to iron out any wet-around-the-ears kitchen issues.

That's all for now. Apologies for the lack of reviews lately. My two biggest burger buds don't live in town any more, so I don't get out as much as I used to.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bigwheel Burger Teaser Menu

Check it out and get excited! Looks like they're keeping the menu niiiiceeeee and simple at Bigwheel. $13.50 for burger, fries and shake? Not bad. Not as good as the $12 they originally intended that combo to be, but not bad.

ps. Thanks to @VictorianFood on Twitter for originally posting this photo.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bin 4 Burger Lounge | Preview

The Heritage
add $1.50 for cheese

"Would you like that on a bun, or in a lettuce wrap?" Lettuce wrap? I hope this is just a question Bin 4 asks to weed out the losers. I hope everyone who answers "lettuce wrap" gets ridiculed until they are forced to leave through the back door. I know the EVIL LIFESTYLE SECTIONS of our national newspapers are trying to delude us into believing bread makes us fat and macarons are better than cupcakes, but burgers in lettuce wraps? THAT'S A BRIDGE TOO FAR MY FRIENDS!

Thankfully the last two buns in the kitchen had been saved for us. Apparently there are perks to being noticed as a burger blogger.

I won't offer a full review of Bin 4, as they've only been open a day, but I will say I enjoyed myself. "The Heritage"—topped with the traditional burger fix-ins, as well as a bacon aioli and some bold, 5-year aged cheddar—was actually grilled properly (check out that pink in the middle!) and definitely did not offend my palate. No real qualms with the brioche bun from Portofino either. The other burgers on the menu didn't look too overboard (bruschetta, avocado and back bacon is about as wild as it gets), and the elk burger special certainly looked interesting.

A month or two ago the TC popped a few questions to me about the recent burger joint boon in Victoria. They were curious as to whether or not I thought they'd all be successful, or if our burger market was about to become over-saturated. I have no doubt in my mind that Bin 4, Big Wheel, and Pink Bike will all have no trouble staying busy. They don't even have to be good. All these burger joints could be woefully mediocre, and they'd still be packed out. The options for truly superior dinner-hour burgers in this town are severely limited. It's nice to see new restaurateurs trying to remedy this.

VERDICT: I'll be back to check on Bin 4's progress. Assuming they maintain even the slightest level of consistency, they'll be just fine.

ps. Don't let the Earl's meets "hip cocktail lounge" vibe confuse you. Yes the waitresses are stereotypically good looking, and yes there might be guys next to you at the bar getting obliterated on tequila and muff divers, but Bin 4 does actually appear to care about burgers.

pps. Burgers at Bin 4 are 50% off every night after 9:00pm (you've gotta buy a drink too though).

Bin 4 Is Open!

Victoria's newest burger joint is live! They had a soft open last night, and the grand opening is tonight. Looks like they'll be open with regular hours starting Sunday. Still no menu/photos of burgers online.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bubby's Kitchen | 355 Cook Street | 250.590.8915 |

Deluxe Burger

My goodness gracious, what do we have here? I can't believe it. This burger is actually pretty fuckin' good. Look at that cheese up there, will you? It ain't sweaty, it ain't zapped to a crust: it's just straight up on a Goldilocks tip.

The Pemberton Meadows beef used for the patty? It's potentially the best B.C. beef I've ever had in a burger. I know that's a bold statement, maybe I need to double check it, but it was seriously almost Alberta good.

The bun? It could have been toasted a little more, but talk about fresh. There aren't many burger buns in town that come fresher than this one (Aura and Pink Bike would be its closest rivals).

The sauce? It's a basil & shallot aioli that tastes great, but is probably better suited to fish. Either way, at least it was applied to the bun correctly (in big globs).

Have I given you enough information on this one? Yes? Ok? Great, now go out and try it.

VERDICT: I've had crushes on more Bubby's Bakery counter girls than I count. Now I have a crush on their burger too.

Update: Big Wheel Burger and Bin 4 Burgers

Bin 4 has set this Saturday as its opening date. Big Wheel plans to open in three weeks. Big Wheel is now on Twitter @bigwheelburger and Bin 4 has started building a website. Big Wheel also has a website here. Menu coming soon!

As always, you can probably take these targeted opening dates with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, a new era in Victoria burger culture is not far off.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Vancouver Burger Roundup | Nimby Burger | Save-On-Meats | Au Petit Chavignol

Damn dudes, it's been a while hasn't it? I apologise, but shit's been hairy. Life movin' at full speed and all that. Enough about me though, let's get into some Vancouver burgers shall we?

Nimby Burger | 2210 Cornwall Avenue | 604.734.3589 |

Nimby w/Cheese

When Nimby entered the Vancouver burger scene a couple years ago it was touted as an In 'N' Out clone. I've only been to In 'N' Out once, and it was years ago, so I can't really speak to that comparison.

What I can say is this is primo fast food. It's a thin, griddled patty, which is all good—thin is usually better in terms of maintaining juiciness. The pickles are exceptional, and exactly what you want as a topping in a burger like this. If I was to compare this to an American chain offering, I'd say Nimby is a more expensive—but better—Dick's.

VERDICT: It's not a world-beater, but you can't expect a whole lot more in terms of fast food. This one satisfies even if it doesn't necessarily surprise.

Nimby is now closed for the season, but you can get the Nimby Burger off the late-night menu at Local (which has the same address as the Nimby Burger stand).

Save-On-Meats | 43 West Hastings | 605.569.3568 |

Save-On-Meats Burger

Alright, so I'm not going to get into the entire history of Save-On-Meats. Let's just say it's a legendary Vancouver institution that has always been infamous for its burger. After 54 years mannin' the meat-grinder, the original owner decided to retire in 2009. Save-On-Meats re-opened this year with new owners, a new kitchen, a completely redesigned dining area, and a new burger.

Sadly I have no history with the old Save-On-Meats burger. From old reviews and pictures, I can see the new burger is drastically different from the old one: different bun, thicker patty, different condiment mix too maybe. The other big difference, as I understand it, the original burger was two patties by default. The new one is a single.

Wow, for a guy who said he wasn't going to give any history, I sure gave a lot of history. Right, review time now.

This one's a little odd, but I don't mind it. The BBQ sauce has a weird Branson Pickle vibe to it which makes this unit feel like almost more of a meatloaf sandwich than a burger. The bun is sort of muffiny in texture, but hey—it's all in keeping with the weirdness.

VERDICT: This burger has character, and I enjoyed it, but it's probably not worth standing in the Boxing Day Sale type line ups that Save-On-Meats seems to routinely have.

Au Petit Chavignol | 843 East Hastings | 604.255.4218 |

Cheeseburger $12
Add Lettuce and Tomato $1
Add Bacon $1.50

Ah, and now we get to the package the king of Vancouver burger review, Andrew Morrison, calls the best of the city (and I did choose my cheese and toppings based on his recommendations).

This is a tough one to peg down. I mean it's definitely good, but does it leap out and grab you the way truly memorable burgers do? You know when someone describes a chick you go to school with as "such a nice girl"? Everyone agrees she's arrestingly beautiful, does not offend your senses in any way, and makes you feel slightly better about yourself when she notices you. This burger is kind of like that. It tastes good, you can't really criticise it, and you feel better having known it.

The thing is no one ever really says, "HOLY SHIT YOU HAVE TO MEET THIS NICE GIRL! SERIOUSLY DUDE, SHE IS SUCH A NICE GIRL!" Everyone loves the nice girl, but no one's ever really fuckin' amped to see her. I mean she's great, but she's never going to be your best friend. That's the thing with this burger too—I don't think I could ever not enjoy seeing it, but I could never have the relationship with it that I have with my best burger pals. Maybe, like the nice girl, we just don't have enough in common. It's clean and I'm a fucking dirtball.

Ah Jesus, I'm using girls as metaphors for burgers again and making no goddamn sense to anyone but myself, let's just skip to the verdict shall we?

VERDICT: Impossible not to enjoy, but lacking the joie de vivre of the greaseball burgers I generally call my friends.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Moderne Boob Tube

Vancouver's Moderne Burger is being used as a filming location for Fox's new show Alcatraz. Look for Moderne on your TV screens sometime on a Monday night in 2012 between 9 and 10pm.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Yet Another New Burger Joint Opening Soon in Victoria

Mafia Burger opens September 8th in what was once the Traveller's Inn at 1961 Douglas Street (now it's the Capital City Center Hotel). They'll be using island beef from The Village Butcher in Oak Bay. Here's hoping they'll also be using bacon from VB neighbours The Whole Beast.

Here are some of the more interesting and exciting options that will be on their menu when they open:

Tarantino – Smoked bacon, cream cheese and….. peanut butter 12
The Godfather – Eggs benedict....on a burger. 13
The Capone – Peanut Butter, bacon, jack cheese, fried onion & battered jalapenos 13

Oh yah, they've also challenged DJs at the Zone to engage in a rap battle. Hottest 16 gets a burger named after them. Clever marketing ploy Mafia Burger. I salute you.

Here's Jon Williams entry in the battle.

Corner Cafe & Deli | 734 Aldebury Street | Esquimalt | 250.590.7997

Deluxe Burger
$8 (Combo w/Fries)
$6 (Solo)

As a kid, trips to Chilliwack were synonymous with Taco Time. Trips to Taco Time eventually became synonymous with stomach aches. Drinking cream sodas the size of killer whale tanks apparently isn't the best thing for your health when you're a 9-year-old. Whatever. Taco Time meat seasoning, Mexi-Fries and Crustos were the height of modern culinary achievement as far as my little mind was concerned. Fuck a stomach ache: load up the tray.

It is my history with Taco Time that makes me fond of this offering from Corner Cafe & Deli. A recent article on the eatery pointed to the burger as a signature item of the Ukrainian couple that run the place. Eastern Europeans must love their cheap Mexican fast food, because this burger tastes almost exactly like it was spiced with a package of Taco Time fajita seasoning. That might put people off, but I dug it.

What really makes this package great value for money is the fact it is cooked masterfully temperature-wise. You can't really tell from the picture, but there is the slightest shade of pink to the meat. Just enough to make a true burger lover happy, while not making the average idiot scream in horror because they think they're eating "undercooked" meat. Seriously people—restaurants that serve burgers in the medium range are not trying to kill you.

What else is there to mention here? A well-placed bit of pickle adds a bit of vibrancy to the unit (believe it or not), and the always crowd-pleasing American cheddar is present. The kaiser is nice and soft, and the mayo/red onion/lettuce mix is appropriately simple. I'd definitely go back for this one. Certainly near the top of the charts when it comes to cheapo Victoria burgers.

VERDICT: Easily better than Bimo across the street. I've got a mad Taco Time craving now though.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bin 4 Update

Looks like Bin 4 may be using Portofino Bakery buns for their burgers. I have no problem with this. They're also on Facebook now. I look forward to seeing pictures there of things I will be able to eat soon.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Marble Arch Fish and Chips | 3468 Tillicum Road | 250.386.7141 ‎


It may seem like little thought goes into a burger like the one at Marble Arch, but there is a very specific topping formula that burgers in this genre follow.

That formula is shredded lettuce+mayo+American cheddar+onion+burger relish. It's a simple formula, and it doesn't always work, but when it does you end up with a comfort food meal that's as classic as they come.

Thankfully the unit at Marble Arch successfully employs the well-worn formula unique to cheapskate burgers like this one. Why is it a success? Two reasons: salt and the bun. The pre-fab patty is generously salted when it's on the grill. I'm talking seriously generous. Like saying, "We'll eat me first," and then cutting off your legs and feeding them to your friends as you fight to stay alive after an ill-planned hiking trips gets you lost in the mountains for five months. Yep, it's that generous. But when you're trying to balance out the sweetness of burger relish, you need to be a little generous with the salt.

As for the bun—it's the perfect match for this unit. You take a bite and there's no resistance. You don't taste bun when you bite into this unit: you taste burger. The whole burger. That's the key. In a burger like this each bite has to hold the flavours of every part of the whole. A bite too heavy on bun and condiments will be sickly sweet. A bite with too much patty is likely to be overly salty, and texturally unappealing.

So is this the best cheap burger in Victoria? Not quite. I'm a mustard man, and therefore I prefer the burgers at Lambrick or Carnarvon Park Little League, but Marble Arch is only a whisker's width away from matching what makes those burgers great. You can't expect a burger like this to win any awards, but you can't deny there's something undeniably enjoyable about such an unpretentious package.

VERDICT: Cheap? Check. Doesn't suck? Check. Actually fun to eat for a reason other than it being cheap? Check. That's a lot of checks.

Update: New Burger Joints in Victoria

Bin 4 Burgers—self described as "Victoria's first Burger Lounge . . . Local Owners - Using Local Products - Specializing In . . . you guessed it, GOURMET BURGERS!"—plans to open late September/early October in what used to be JB's Cafe on Yates (next to the Pizza Hut). Bin 4's burger maestro is Mike Ringland, who I assume is the same Mike Ringland of Sauce.

The thought of two new local burger joints opening here this fall is almost too exciting for me to take. And if that wasn't enough; Fatburger plans to open October 15.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Belated Brasserie L'Ecole Burger Update

As of approximately a month ago, the burger and fries are now a daily menu item at Brasserie. Thank god. I was getting pretty tired of all the best burgers in town being specials, or lunch only numbers.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse | 89 University Avenue | Charlottetown, PE | 902.892.5200 |

Canadian Bacon and Egg Burger

P.E. Island has a beef industry. Who knew? Well the cows for one—farmers too. I am not, however, a cow or a farmer, and therefore the P.E.I. cattle industry was completely unknown to me until recently. I'm glad I've been brought into the light.

I don't believe The Old Triangle entered the inaugural P.E.I. Burger Love sweepstakes this year. If they didn't, the amount of restaurants using local beef on P.E.I. is amazing (well over a dozen, most in Charlottetown). I made a brave attempt to try the burger at Merchantman Pub, one of the Burger Love winners, but the line-up was too long, and my sister assured me it wouldn't have been worth the wait (not only was the line-up long, but restaurants in Charlottetown seem to have notoriously slow kitchens).

The Canadian Bacon and Egg Burger is no award winner, but man is that local beef good. The char-grilled patty is a brawny bastard that heroically manages to mount an inspiring flavour rebellion against the shitty bun that acts as its oppressor. Repeatedly the patty is attacked by the devils of poor burger construction, but nothing can kill it: not a lack of condiments (mayo and mustard), not the largely unnoticeable Swiss cheese and back bacon (done peameal style)—nothing.

I'm not going to get all loopy and say P.E.I. beef beats what Alberta has to offer, but it makes a better patty than the majority of Vancouver Island cattle I've sampled. Too bad The Old Triangle's lil' soldier of a patty isn't surrounded by better troops.

VERDICT: Great patty, average burger.

ps. Dear Helen: Why did you take me to a chain restaurant to get a burger?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pig/Zambri's Burger Joint Has a Name: Bigwheel Burger

Times Colonist has all the details. Also an update on Fatburger, and news of a Burger King coming to downtown.

This quote from one of the Bigwheel proprietors is bang on:

"It would seem that there are a lot of places to go for burgers in the city, but for a really good burger, there's only a few," said Calen (Bigwheel) McNeil, one of the partners from Zambri's.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Confirmed: Gourmet Burger Joint Headed for Cook Street Village

Yep, these are exciting times we live in people! Zambri's is opening a gourmet burger joint in Cook Street Village where the old laundromat is. This little dream come true will be open in approximately three months if everything goes according to plan.

The only way life can get better now is if Breaking Bad kills off Skyler.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Oystercatcher Seafood Bar and Grill | 104 Manson Road | 250.537.5041


Perhaps it was just the deliciousness of another Canucks seventh-game Stanley Cup defeat seeping into the burger, but this was pretty good fare coming from what could have easily emerged as a waterfront tourist trap. Whooo, did you get through that sentence without having to take too many breaths? Excellent! Now that I've made fun of my own sentence structure, let's zip through this review shall we?

Most idiots think bigger=better with burger patties, but Oystercatcher knows the truth is more=better. Instead of serving up a monster half-pound patty that would no-doubt end up dryer than death valley dirt, they give you two quarter pound patties. This allows for the same amount of gorging would a monster patty have been present, while ensuring the burger is not too dry. Clever n'est pas?

The bun:burger ratio may have been off, but at least that bun was toasted to perfection.

And that's all I have to say about that.

VERDICT: A decent nibble if you're on a June vacation to SSI

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Design

Somebody finally complained, so I finally changed the design of the blog. Goodbye turquoise night.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Burger Rumours

Hearing lots of whispers on Twitter these days. Gourmet burger lounge opening at Yates and Vancouver next to the Pizza Hut? Pig and Zambris co-running an eatery in the old laundromat space in Cook Street Village . . . possibly burger-centric?

All rumours right now. I'll let you know if any reliable sources confirm anything.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Salt Spring Island Organic Grass-Fed Beef

Night Owl Farm on Salt Spring sells organic ground beef for $5.25/lb. Supposedly they sell out quickly, but the sign advertising organic beef was still on their farm gate a few days ago.

Pig BBQ Joint | MacDaddy Burger Special


Pig's burger specials often walk a fine line between sinfully satisfying and just plain silly. The MacDaddy enters silly territory. Now normally if someone told me a Pig special was over-the-top, I'd simply dismiss them as a happy, well-rounded individual who doesn't need grease to hold together the shattered mess that is their self-esteem. In other words—a person who has no business eating this kind of food in the first place. So I'll understand if you don't trust me when I say this one is over-the-top.

Basically a variation of the PigMac; the MacDaddy adds pork belly and extremely generous doses of Pig sauce and honey mustard to the mac & cheese. It only takes half a bite to squirt an entire mac and cheese side-dish from the burger to your tray. Normally I would thank them for their generosity, but the glut of Pig sauce turns the mac and cheese into something somewhat revolting. Forgive me, but I like my mac and cheese to taste like cheese (I never did understand people who garnish with half a bottle of ketchup).

Hmmm, maybe I've touched on something here. Maybe this burger isn't over-the-top after all. Maybe removing the Pig sauce would make it okay. Or maybe it's even too much for those whose mental health depends on compulsive over-eating. *Sigh*, I guess you'll just have to judge for yourself the next time this puppy comes down the ol' Pig pipe.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Jackalope Bistro | 760A Yates Street | 778.430.5673 |

Apple Jackalope

The unwritten rules of food reviewing suggest thou shalt never review a restaurant that is less than a month old. That being being said, I'll try to keep this post more informational than critical.

Jackalope is a little square of a place located at the Yates Street entrance to what the punks of our fair city once referred to as "Piss Alley". You'd expect greasy drunk food in a place like this, but Jackalope is a tad cleaner than that.

All Jackalope burgers are made with buns bought fresh daily from Cobb's Bakery. The patty is formed from chuck which is bought from the grocery store (I'm guessing Market on Yates) and then ground in house. Eventually Jackalope plans to have a butcher grind their meat for them because the grinding operation takes up too much space in their tiny kitchen.

Adorned with Granny Smith apple, ranch dressing and cheddar cheese—this burger is at least unique. Ultimately, however, I think the patties here are better suited to the mustard and ketchup which is used on the Classic Jackalope. The patties retain a bit of juiciness (not sure what grind ratio is used here), but this burger is far from a gut-bomb. It's an interesting experiment, and Jackalope is off to an okay start, but a few tweaks are needed before they can be called a great local burger spot.

VERDICT: If we're lucky Jackalope will one day cement itself as the low-cost alternative to Pink Bicycle. They'll have to get through some growing pains first though.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

AHT Recognizes The Pink Bicycle's Poutine Burger

Congrats to Pink Bike for getting kudos from the internet's ultimate burger blog.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Finally Pictures of the Elusive Bugaboo Burger!

Thanks to Colin for the pictures. Bugaboo is just off Highway 19A in Qualicum Bay. I'm unaware of the landmarks that surround it.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

More on "Undercooked" Meat and Law

This is a great post on where to get burgers cooked to order in Vancouver. There's also a robust conflab in the comments section re: law and serving burgers rare or medium rare. Consensus seems to be their is "no language in the books explicitly barring the serving of raw meat," but "each establishment needs to address the method preparation of any raw meat specifically in a written document that they have to submit to the health authority . . ."

Fort Street Cafe | 742 Fort Street | 250.382.3130 |

The Fort

A reader of this blog once requested I spend more time discussing whether the burgers I was reviewing were over/undercooked. In Victoria, it's safe to assume that at least 2/3 of the restaurants you go to will at least slightly overcook your burger. This is not the fault of the restaurant, it is the fault of the consumer.

Give a burger with even a hint of pink to someone in Canada and they'll probably think you're poisoning them. Thus the tendency for some restaurants to overcook their burgers. Despite what you may have heard, there is no BC law against serving rare burgers. BC Food Premises Regulation simply states: "Every operator of food premises that processes food must ensure that the food is processed in a manner that makes it safe to eat. " Granted Health Canada repeats the mantra "your burger's done at 71"—a cooking temperature that will yield a medium-well/well done burger—but there's no law I know of in BC that says you HAVE to cook to that temperature. I'm not aware of any local bylaws that designate meat cooking temperatures either. Please let me know if you find one, I'm willing to admit I'm wrong here.

Anyway, this is all just a very long preamble designed to set up the statement that the Fort Burger is slightly overdone. I won't hold it against them too much—it's something to be expected in this town, and perhaps this country, and it probably speaks to the preference of a lot of casual burger eaters. Doesn't mean I have to like it though.

The patty itself is a 6oz homemade number that is just a tiny bit sausagey, but not disgustingly salty. This burger's really all about the Cambozola cheese. It absolutely dominates this unit. So if you're a Cambozola fan, you'll probably dig this one, if not, you won't.

The burger comes on a roll. It's a decent one, but I prefer a super squishy Portuguese bun if I'm going to eat a burger on a roll. The condiment mix is highlighted by something called "Frelish", which is basically your standard burger relish.

There's really not much else to say, but I will provide some Fort Burger history. An old menu picture posted on UrbanSpoon suggests this burger used to come with bacon and blue cheese, and it used to be just nine bucks. I can't tell you which incarnation was better, and I'll hold myself back from making any assumptions.

VERDICT: Succumbs to the same pratfalls of many other local burgers, but manages to be a little above average.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Burger-centric Bistro Open on Yates: Jackalope Bistro

This place just opened days ago. Dem doors be yawnin' 'til 3am on weekends and looks like prices are all $10 or under. In the words of the Onion AV Club . . . we remain cautiously optimistic.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bugaboo Burger's | Qualicum Bay | 6010 West Island Highway (19A 5min South of Lighthouse Country) | 250.338.3568 (?) (No Review, Just Info)

I've been sitting on these photos for quite a while now, as I was hoping someone would also send me a picture of the burger itself. Sadly that hasn't happened yet.

The cart has just reopened for the season, so I figure now is as good a time as any to finally post these pics.

Looks like a cool place. The signature burger is a beef patty topped with havarti cheese, grilled green peppers and "19A sauce". Sounds like a winner. I hope to give it a try sometime this summer.

ps. Thanks to Jaimie and Colin for the photos.

FYI: Relish Food and Coffee

Unfortunately their burger is not a daily menu item.

Wish I Went to Colwood Today

Doritos. Awesome.

FYI: This is the Franchise Burger from Pig

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jaws Be Yappin'

A lengthy conversation has started over at Reddit as to where the best burger in Victoria is. Most of the answers are predictable, though I am pretty surprised to see Paul's Motor Inn on the list. I haven't dined at Paul's in a good six years, but they easily had the worst food in town back then.

Can anyone confirm they've turned it around?

ps. Dear Reddit Users: A tuna tataki burger is not a burger. Neither is a vege burger. These are just sandwiches that look like burgers. Don't be fooled by false marketing!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pig Burger Special Roundup: Week Ending April 15th


My first experience with a downtown Pig burger special, and it's a bit of a fuck up. Luckily Pig is good enough to fuck up and still be enjoyable. The patty was clearly overcooked, but at least it was overcooked in that dad-forgot-to-check-the-barbecue kind of way that tweaks as much fondness as frustration.

The hot sauce gives this one a flavour similar to the Buffalo Buffalo mini-burgers which were served up at last year's Burger Bash. Mac and cheese and dill pickle? It works as a curiosity, but it's no triumph. Probably the least exciting Pig burger special I've had to date. Wasn't horrible though.

Rio Grande Burger

Based on the name, I was expecting this to be a Bobcat Bite clone, but it's something much different. The pulled pork is overkill—its texture and flavour smother the beef patty—but this was still a fun eat. A pretty fantastic substitution for self-worth. The green salsa was a simple, fresh highlight. Most of the toppings were corralled effectively enough by the bun, but I was left with a salsa, tortilla strip, cheese and pulled pork salad at the end of it all. That's ok. A bit of shrapnel on the plate just means you're having fun.

VERDICT: Pig Colwood is the pricier, better burger bet.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lunchbox Laboratory | 1253 Thomas Street | Seattle, WA | 206.621.1090 |

The Smoker
$14 USD

My God. It's so soft. It's so soft it could make rubbing your face against fresh laundry feel like cheek-surfing three miles down a gravel road after being knocked off a motorcycle by a pterodactyl. I want to use it as a pillow.

My friends all look at me. Waiting for me to say something, breathlessly leaning forward in anticipation of a critique. They pester me as their own meals go cold. This is what you get for dining with women. They don't understand me. They think I'm just having dinner. The truth is I'm finally on a first date with a burger babe I've been watching from the shadows for ages. Silently salivating over for years. We're locked away in our own imaginary room, getting ready to make love while my dining partners pound at our door like drunk teen girls trying to get into the bathroom at a house party.

The kobe/chuck patty meets my lips and I start to question if kobe beef truly is the insufferable fad I always thought it was. They say when your heart's on fire, smoke gets in your eyes. In this case it's smoked pepper mayo, and it's gettin' all over my taste-buds. It's not the loveliest flame, but it's more than enough for a one night stand. The copious amounts of mayo, havarti and onion ensure our affair is a messy one. Six pieces of bacon adorn this little mama. That's the average for a babe at Lunchbox. The honey-cured strips are so good you'll wish the average was double that.

It's tough to give a post-coital review of my encounter with The Smoker. She was a great time, one of my best, but I still have eyes for other girls.

VERDICT: It would be hyperbolic to say The Smoker is perfect, but she's the closest I've come in quite some time.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Now We're Three Years

Zoo-E-Mama! The Victoria Burger Blog is now three years old! Sure, we barely post anymore—but we're still in the game!

Expect a new Lunchbox Lab review sometime soon. I also plan to hit Mole and Relish sometime in the nearish future.

While you're waiting for fresh Victoria Burger Blog content, check out this newish Vancouver blog. Certainly nice to see the Vancouver Burger blogging scene finally take off.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Christie's Carriage House Pub | 1739 Fort Street | 250.598.5333 |

Crunch Burger

Can we all agree adding chips to a sandwich makes it infinitely better? Toss some Doritos into a ham sandwich and you'll be whistlin' dixie for days. The same is generally true for burgers, although the chip/burger combo becomes much more enjoyable in a BBQ cookout setting.

Despite the lack of charcoal pits and styrofoam cups; the chip infusion is a welcome alteration to the Christie's "Classic" burger as well.

The rippled Lay's give this number a much needed second texture. Take them away and you've got a bun and burger patty that are similarily chewy, and almost indistinguishable from each other texture-wise.

If only they could make that patty stick out a little more: perhaps then this burger may tweak glittering recollections of past chip-sandwich glory. Sadly, as is, there just aren't enough levels of diversity in this baby to make it truly exciting.

VERDICT: Fond childhood memories not quite being teased out by this unit.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Office Lounge | 759 Yates Street | 250.590.5253 |

Beef and Cheddar Burger
$10? $11? I forgot to write it down, but it's in that neighbourhood

This is a bit of a White Spot clone, albeit a fairly satisfying one. The tomato relish/aioli mix is what gives this offering the Nat Bailey air which anyone who regularly dines with their grandma/on BC Ferries is familiar with. That's not a bad thing, it's actually rather comfort providing.

The bun selection here is perfect: a light and squishy number, with a hint of focaccia flavour, that stands in good ratio to the 6oz flame-grilled patty. Most of the burgers in our fair city would be greatly improved by switching to this bun, or one similar to it.

Don't have much else to say about this burger. It truly does taste almost exactly like a Triple-O—just fresher and for a different scene.

VERDICT: White Spot with a skinny tie.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Willie's Bakery | 537 Johnson Street | 250.381.8414 |

All Beef Burger
(add $1 for cheese)

Lunch Only

Is there any greater victim of its own success than the hamburger? A dish so popular that every restauarant within a 10 mile radius of an American tourist is compelled to serve it. Willie's is such a restaurant. A place that seems to be serving its burger more out of compulsion rather than love of the meal.

The homemade half-pound patty is quite sawdusty, with a sweet and timid honeyesque flavour that likely comes from the onion that is mixed into it. The bun, advertised as a homemade ciabatta, tastes as if it has been sitting on the shelf for at least a day. The lettuce is fresh, but do I need the whole head? No, no not really. I don't really know what else to say. No amount of home sauce could have saved this one. Just a real sad tasting affair.

VERDICT: Stick with the pancakes.

ps. For history's sake, I suppose I should give the old ingredient list for this burger which dates back to the heady days of late 2009:

A homemade ½ lb patty with BBQ sauce, mushroom, lettuce, tomato, onion,
pickles, mustard & mayo served on a sourdough bun.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sliders Cedar Hill | 3115 Cedar Hill Road | 250.595.2624 |

The Stampeder
(add $1.50 each for Cheese and Bacon)

I couldn't have expected less from this place. Oh I know that's unfair, but come on—3115 Cedar Hill Road has changed tenants more times than Disneyland has had parades. Turns out I'm the dick though—but you already knew that—cause Sliders ain't so bad.

Sure the cheese is melted into oblivion—to the point where it looks like the Toxic Avenger's face—and yah the bacon was a bit slouchy, but I still enjoyed this burger. The patty has a thin, griddled shell that contains a glut of Alberta Angus with just a touch of that Chinese-Canadian consistency I have become so familiar with. I'm sure others can't stand the gelatinous style of the Chinese-Canadian patty, but I've kinda grown to enjoy it. Perhaps these patties prey on my nationalistic side—they aren't quite right, but they seem to be unique to our country. It should also be pointed out that the patty at Sliders is not nearly as Jello-y as the one at Gathering Place. The fact Sliders gives a nod instead of a full-on head bang to the Chinese-Canadian style is what makes it kinda lovable despite its faults. Worth a look.

VERDICT: Whaddyaknow, they don't suck.

ps. I didn't order sliders, but from what I could see at other tables, Sliders was, just like every other place in Victoria, serving mini-burgers, not sliders. Few, that enough dismissive commas for you?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger

This short film is being screened during the Victoria International Film Fest next month. It is described as "a children's fable about the power of advertising, the meaning of life and ultimately the test of a mother's love."

Let's all hope the cow's dream comes true and he becomes a burger at the end.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Olympic View Golf Club | Forester's Bistro Bar | 643 Latoria Road | 250.474.3673

Olympic View Burger

There may be something here eventually, but at this point we're stuck with a burger that isn't fully realized. The AAA beef patty is like that kid who never goes to school, and is but a hen's tooth away from flunking out, but he draws really wicked pictures of naked ladies and wizards and shit. You know he's got talent, but dude just isn't trying hard enough.

The slightly underachieving patty is a real shame, because it's supporting cast isn't so bad. In fact if the cheddar/mozzarella cheese blend didn't taste so cheap, this would be a pretty good burger. Oh well, not everyone can be valedictorian right?

VERDICT: A few steps from true success.