My god! Could it be? The Burger Blog bringing you a fresh review of a fresh new burger joint? After all these months? Don't get too excited, I promise you this will be the same old horseshit you've grown accustomed to from these eeeeeee-lectronic pages. Shall we start?
It's clear from the multitude of comments on this blog, and the personal accounts I've been getting from friends and family, that Big Wheel isn't what people were expecting. It begs the question, what did people think they were going to get from this place?
If you read any of the pre-opening interviews with Big Wheel, or followed them on Twitter, the taste of this burger should come as no surprise. It's simple, fresh fast food that tries to clone Shake Shack and similar beloved east-coast burger stands. I couldn't say if it's a successful clone, I haven't been to Shake Shack, but Big Wheel does serve up a good, albeit predictable, bit of meat and bun.
I think the predictable nature of this joint is what has upset people. There's nothing necessarily wrong with being a predictable burger joint, sometimes it's nice to know what to expect from your burger. The problem is somehow local meat-munchers envisioned something different from a place with such high-caliber names attached to it. Would it have been nice if Big Wheel was just an outlet for crazy Pig-style specials? Maybe, but what we've ended up with is good too.
To address a couple of the commenters from this blog; no Big Wheel does not taste a thing like McDonald's, and why would you ruin a burger like this by using anything other than American Cheddar? If anything, this burger could have used more processed cheese (I am a glutton though). I will admit it's a little cheeky to serve processed cheese at a place that champions the 100 mile diet on its website.
The patty is loosely formed using beef from Vancouver's Two Rivers Meats. Two Rivers is decent stuff, but I still say Pemberton Meadows is the best B.C. beef I've ever tasted. I'm going to go ahead and recommend getting a double here, just because the bun:burger ratio on the singles didn't quite look as good. Texture and consistency is nice, due to the fact the patties are loosely formed, but don't expect to have to wipe your chin after biting into this baby--it's not quite that greasy.
The bun is soft and sweet and the special sauce is good. If you're looking for a fast food comparison, I suppose this burger is somewhere between White Spot and a Wendy's Baconator. If you're sober I'd say it's better than those, if you're drunk maybe not.
Is this a great burger? No, but it takes a lot to be a great burger. I don't know if there are even five great burgers in Victoria. Big Wheel serves a good product that I'll be happy to eat again. I understand why people are disappointed though. It's not because Big Wheel's a bad burger joint. It's because we now have three dedicated burger joints in Victoria, and I'm not sure you can say any of them serve up the best burger in town.
VERDICT: If you're looking for a new king of Victoria burgers, this ain't it. What you will get is good, fresh fast food that should easily satisfy cravings.