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 | www.nimbyburger.com
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 | www.saveonmeats.ca
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 | www.aupetitchavignol.com
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.