Saturday, June 4, 2011

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.

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