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.