Saturday, October 12, 2013

DeadBeetz Food Truck | Save on Foods Arena Parking Lot (1925 Blanshard Street) | www.facebook.com/deadbeetz


Mac Daddy Beef Burger
$9



This one's a bit of a head-scratcher. Two beef patties that look and taste suspiciously like supplier jobs, and a glut of pickled beets with no fried egg in sight. The patties are the most puzzling element here. Frankly I expected more from a place that makes such a great steak sandwich. As for the beets . . .

Generally pickled beets are accompanied by fried egg whenever they attend the ol' burger ball. Such is the Australian way. Beets can show up stag if they want, but they'll look out of place and the lettuce and cheese are gonna be over in the corner all, "Ooooo look who came alone and isn't dancing AT ALL." Then maybe they'll shout out nasty insults. And trust me, you do NOT want to be on the wrong end of a cheese and lettuce insult war. Those bitches are cruel as shit.

Right, where was I? OH YAH! I was reviewing a burger.

The Mac Daddy is a decent offering, but I can't help feeling a few things are out of place. Earlier in my burger reviewing career (if you can call it that) I may have gone wild for this package. Now I respect the homemade "golden arches sauce" (tastes a lot like the infamous "goop" sauce George Motz loves so much) and appreciate the effort to put a personal spin on one of the most well-known burgers in the world. A little more effort on the patties and better balancing of the beet flavour could make this a truly exciting burger. In its current form, however, the Mac Daddy is more curioso than culinary triumph.

VERDICT: You can have a spot on my dance card, but I'm not driving you home.







Saturday, August 31, 2013

Tartan Toque | 1507 Pandora Avenue (Stadacona Centre) | 778.265.9464 | www.facebook.com/TartanToque

Bacon Cheeseburger
$8


Oooo what do we have here? Is that a bacon cheeseburger? It is! And it comes on a custom bun! Well well, perhaps I should try it. I mean I'm here already and I do like bacon cheeseburgers. You go ahead and get wings though. I'm just gonna go ahead and do my burger thing! Hahaha, you know me!

Hmmm. Doesn't taste half bad. Is that custom bun sourdough? Kinda tastes like it. And there appear to be some breadcrumb binding this patty. Someone's been reading Gourmet Magazine! I'm just gonna have a few bites here while you're waiting for those wings. I mean what am I gonna do, sit here and watch my meal go cold!

Oh, looks like your wings are here. Are you enjoying them? Sooooooooooo messy! What's that? Oh yah my burger still tastes fine. I mean we have kind of a like relationship not a love relationship. Know what I mean? Are you almost ready to go? I'm ready to go. We'd better go get some exercise to burn off this meal. Don't wanna get fat! Hahaha.

VERDICT: Above average, below classic.

Baron Burgers | 9210 Rideau (Though It Roams to Other Locations Too) | Sidney BC | 778.678.7221 | www.facebook.com/BaronBurgers

Cheeseburger
$6


Tastes like Harvey's. I say boo, you say woohoo?

VERDICT: See above.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cronut Burger Thoughts

I sent our good friend Guy Alaimo out to review the infamous CNE Cronut burger, but it looks like Toronto Public Health got their before him. It appears a bunch of pussies got tummy aches after mowing their Cronut burgs and have now ruined it for everyone. Well that or Epic Burgers and Waffles have an E. coli (Ms. Coli if you're nasty) sitch on their hands.

If you're dying for an Alaimo fix and the news he won't be adding his Croburg thoughts here brings you pain, fret not! You can still get a little Alaimo in your life this Friday night at 8:30PST (11:30 Eastern) as he makes his network television debut on MTVs Losing It!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hawk's Nest Pub | Bamfield, BC | 226 Frigate Road | 250.728.3422


Bacon Cheeseburger
$14


Much more notable for its location than its burger; the Hawk's Nest is a bit of an oddity. The nest is perched on the second floor of a pretty dumpy looking motel called Bamfield Trails. A quick glance at the front of the building and you'd think the pub sign on the street corner was a canard. There is no awning marking the pub entrance, no "RIGHT THIS WAY TO BEERS" arrow to guide your way--the nest just sits there, hoping you'll find it if you look hard enough. Somehow we found our way in through the (unmarked) exit. It wasn't so much difficult to find as it was just odd that there wasn't a clearer path.

The Hawk's Nest backyard.
Anyhoooo, all this expository nonsense is just a way of padding this review. This burger is both inoffensive and unexciting. The patty is pre-fab and probably frozen. The unit itself is the same as myriad other pub burgers. It'll fill you up nicely, but it won't leave you wanting more. And that's all I have to say about that.

VERDICT: A kind of neat bar in an unexpected location, but the burger ain't worth taking a road trip for.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Chez Monique's | KM 45 (just south of Carmanah Lighthouse) | West Coast Trail | Pacific Rim National Park | British Columbia

Burger
$17
(add $2 each for cheese and bacon)


It seems everyone who does the West Coast Trail has an "I had the best burger of my life!" story that stems from their time on the trail. For some the best burger of their life is at the pub in Port Renfrew. Most West Coast hikers, however, will point to Chez Monique's as their best burger experience.



Don't trust these people. The average person, by the time they get to Chez Monique's, has been eating nothing but sand, mud, Clif bars and dehydrated meals for three days. In between sex dreams about the last attractive human being they saw on the trail--and paranoid "OH MY GOD WAS THAT A BEAR??" outbursts whenever a large man grunts somewhere on the other end of the beach at night--most hikers are daydreaming about "real" food. Chez Monique's is their first opportunity to get some. That's why this burger is so satisfying for so many, and why it's one of the experiences hikers rave about the most.



In reality, there isn't much to differentiate the burger here from any other burger you might get at your average family-friendly restaurant. The bun is garnished with light scrapes of mustard and ketchup, with a little relish added to the top bun. Cheese is melted well and probably comes from one of those Kraft half&half bags. The patty is an approximately quarter pound pre-fab number that is fine, but obviously far from fantastic. To sum up: it's just good enough. And good enough can be pretty good indeed if you've been sucking sand for a few days.

VERDICT: Make a point to stop by if you're in the neighbourhood, but don't charter a float plane so you can go in for an afternoon nosh.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Big Chains Wiped From Vic News Top Burger List for 2013

Victoria News released their annual "Best of the City" readers' poll results last week, and for the first time ever there are no fast food joints or off-island chains on the list.

Here's da winners:

1. Bin 4
2. Pink Bicycle
3. Bigwheel

So Bin 4 and Pink Bike maintain their positions from last year and Bigwheel knocks off Red Robin. Are these three spots the best places to get burgers in Victoria? I don't think so, but let's take a second to gaze upon the past and see how far we've come. Back in 2008 this is what the "Best of the City" list looked like:

1. White Spot
2. A&W
3. Red Robin

We've come a long way folks. Bin 4, Pink Bike and Bigwheel may not be the best of the best, but they are a fuckload better than A&W (girls: if your man ever brings you to A&W, steal his car and leave him in the parking lot). If nothing else, the Victoria News list indicates that burger lovers in the ol' land of flowers and old farts actually have options in 2013.

Now as I mentioned, I'm not sure the options they listed are necessarily the best ones. Bigwheel was pretty underwhelming on my last trip (although, like an idiot, I bought a single instead of a double). I haven't been to Pink Bike in ages because they're wildly inconsistent and the buns, though great, are kind of shit when it comes to providing good bun:burger ratio (I still stand by Pink Bike's daily soups as the most under-appreciated in the city though). Bin 4 consistently pumps out tasty burgers. Do they provoke wild excitation? No, but they satisfy more than 80-90% of the other burgers available in town.

So what's in my top 3?

1. Love Perogy
2. Love Perogy
3. Love Perogy

The Love Perogy is the only spot in town that serves up anything that even remotely resembles an authentic slider. In a sea of pretenders, they are the real deal. Aside from maybe Refiner Diner, which is still good even if the patties seem drier now than when the truck first opened, LP makes the only burgers in the CRD that I feel like eating every week. Bin 4, Pink Bike and Bigwheel are simulacras of burger culture. The Love Perogy IS burger culture.

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




Thursday, May 9, 2013

Flying Otter Grill | 950 Wharf Street | 250.414.4220 | www.flyingottergrill.com

Bad Boy Burger
$15


Like lemmings to the edge of a cliff, so to do Victorians scamper to sun-dappled patios at the first signs of summer. Except the lemmings don't eat cheeseburgers and sip IPAs at the bottom of the cliff. They explode like little rodent grenades. Or do they . . .

What if lemmings have discovered the secret to unwinged flight? They're not really committing mass suicide, they're just coastin' on some currents brah! Then when they get close to the bottom of the cliff they puff out their little cheeks and float safely to the surface. Once they're at the bottom all the furry little darlings enjoy a nice shandy and maybe nibble on some fries (twice fried, cause you KNOW that's how lemmings do brah). 

My question is: how long will it be before this evolutionary advantage is used against the humans who have laughed at lemmings for decades? HAHA YOU ALL JUMP OFF CLIFFS AND KILL YOURSELVES! DERRRRRR LERK AT MER ERM A LERMMING. Yah we'll see who's laughing when a lemming flies through your window and steals your television. WHO'S THE INFERIOR SPECIES NOW ASSHOLE!

All this musing about lemmings (Will they or won't they enslave the human race? Will they just be happy with petty theft? Is any flying rodent ever just happy with petty theft?) has me wondering: how would I feel if a lemming swooped in and stole Flying Otter's Bad Boy Burger from me? Well I'd probably yell out "OH COME ON!" and curse our intransigent government for not dealing with the lemming problem earlier, but I don't imagine I'd chase the little guy too far. 

The patty used in the Bad Boy is a better than average supplier job. Juicy enough, but with a bit of a manky flavour that often accompanies pre-fab patties (imagine what a crusty punk cow would taste like). The mankyness isn't totalllly offputting. If you eat at a lot of tourist traps you won't care (not that Flying Otter is a tourist trap). In fact you may think this is the best burger you've ever had. If you actually eat fresh, hand-formed patties though you'll be disappointed. 

I was able to slog through without it really bothering me that much. What did irk me was the co-mingling of sauteed AND raw onions. Go greasy or go fresh. Ya can't do both. It's silly. 

How does the Bad Boy match up against other patio burgers? Well it's certainly better than what Glo had the last time I was there (which was admittedly a long time ago). Better than Local Kitchen and Canoe Club though? It's been a while, but I don't think so.

VERDICT: AHHH stupid lemmings! Come back here with that bur-- ahhh forget it I'll just go somewhere else. 


Friday, April 12, 2013

Guy Alaimo Special 5th Anniversary Cameo Appearance

AWWWWWWWWWWWWW SHIT SON. Who's that over there on the airwaves, I can't hear real good. BOOM BABY! It's Guy Alaimo back freakin' out the normos who don't know how to handle people with personality.

Terry Moore and Co. over on CFAX-a-roony were jawin' about burgers this afternoon. After hearing some old dude drone on about how his wife enjoys White Spot, I figured things needed a little shaking up. So I asked Guy to place a call (he's always been more entertaining on radio than I am).

Anywayyyyyyy, here's the result. Look out for Terry letting out a very loud, very awkward fake laugh in order to cut Guy off before things get toooooooooo crazzzzy. Then the following caller drops' a "WHAT'S IN HIS COFFEE???!!" bomb. Ugh.



ps. Guy has a new blog. He's not talking about food (yet), but he does have a delicious new haircut I'm sure you'll all enjoy.

pps. For those wondering, consensus from CFAX listeners is White Spot is awesome and you should go there.

ppps. Terry likes Seaglass Waterfront Grill in Sidney, which actually looks like it might be decent.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Five Long Years . . .

Saturday marked the fifth anniversary of the Victoria Burger Blog. We said hello to the world on March 23, 2008 and posted our first review, of Mrs. Riche's Mountain Burger, on the 25th.

Since that fateful March day we have gone on to conquer local, provincial and national media and review approximately 200+ different burgers. Things aren't as active here as they used to be, but we aren't done yet (even though some of you would probably like us to be).

Thanks to all our readers--especially the few of you who still subscribe via RSS. Email vicburgers [at] gmail [dot] com for info on where to send anniversary gifts. The fifth year is wood or silverware, so send us a fork or a hunting decoy painted like a burger or something.


L'Authentique Poutine and Burger | Langford Canadian Tire Parking Lot | www.facebook.com/LAuthentiquePoutineAndBurger


Cheeseburger
$6


Just like your favourite teen drama; L'Authentique Poutine and Burger is back after a long hiatus. Will the cheeseburger get an abortion? When will everybody find out the poutine has started drinking again? And will Wilke ever come back from boarding school to rock out with Guitar Face again?


Questions, questions, questions eh? Howzabout some answers huh! Like how is L'Authentique doing after rising like a Phoenix from the ashes of a fire that claimed its old truck back in September? Doing a'ight as far as I can tell. Truck looks great and people are swarming it, but this is a burger blog--not a truck and patron review blog (maybe that's the next project).

L'Authentique's cheeseburger is a pretty spot-on A&W Teen Burger clone. The only difference is LP&B don't use a sesame seed bun.

Not much more to report here, other than the fact there is a poutine burger on the menu. Didn't get a look at it, but if they actually use full-size french fries and not shoestring fries (the wannabes of the fry world), it's likely better than the other pout burg offerings in the CRD.

VERDICT: Would go down nicely with a root beer shake.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Love Perogy | 2155 Sooke Road | 250.889.6890 | http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Love-Perogy/270641853633

Basic Burger w/ Cheese
$5

Cheese & Onion Slammers w/ Sweet Pickle
$2.50 each

Available 11:30-5:00PM Tuesday to Saturday


Adam's Grocery has its shirtless proprietor and stack of old VHS tapes; Doncaster its pre-Mulroney era Tom Collins mix and charmingly gauche Tic Tac containers unencumbered by freshness seals--but no corner store comes close to the excellence that is Colwood's Corona Foods.

Seriously, just look at that cereal selection. Not only do they have Pebbles, but also Cookie Crisp, S'Mores AND the highly elusive Churro cereal. This place isn't just a fucking corner store, it's an oasis of American cereal culture. They are also one of the last bastions of flavoured Bugles, and home to perhaps the best pop selection in the CRD (Mega Mart on Gorge being the only other place that even comes close).

Pictured Above: The Basic Burger w/ Cheese

I didn't think Corona Foods could get any better, but boyyyyyyyy was I "Dewey Defeats Truman" wrong. Now parked in the Corona lot is The Love Perogy-- a food truck which is possibly the only place in the CRD serving up real sliders.

Pictured Above: Cheese & Onion Slammer w/ Sweet Pickle

As A Hamburger Today has pointed out in the past: mini burgers are not sliders. So what separates the Love Perogy from all the shitty Victoria bar mini burgers masquerading as sliders? Wearing a mask on a stick doesn't make you fun and mysterious and putting a tiny bun on a bit of beef isn't the recipe for a slider. There's more to it than that.

The Love Perogy Basic Burger starts on the grill as a tennis ball-sized quarter pound of beef. Placed atop the beef is a mittful of onion. After a couple minutes the coquetish onion hat is smashed into the beef. Then you've got your seasoning, cheese and finally the bun put on top of the patty for about a minute as it finishes marinating in sweet, sweet onion juices. The slammers (or sliders) follow the same process (they're just smaller).

Despite liberal pressing on the grill, a bite into one of these burgers will leave your wrists enveloped in haute grease bracelets that will make you the envy of all your burger buds. The tantric entanglement of beef, fried onion, American cheese, pickles, mustard and ketchup is superb. New Jersey's legendary White Manna would be proud. ACCEPT NO IMITATIONS MOTHERFUCKERS! The Love Perogy is the only place in the CRD where you can get that classic slider taste.

VERDICT: The best, and maybe only, true sliders you can find in our area. Perogies are damn good too.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Burger News Roundup

Jackalope Bistro is under new management. The menu doesn't seem to have changed much, but the restaurant's name is now "Chef's Quest" and it's got a whole medieval theme. No word on whether or not the burgers are any better/worse than they use to be, though I can tell you the chef almost melted her face off recently.

Mafia Burger--the burger joint which is more roving menu than it is an actual burger joint--has moved from Soprano's to Temple. They're open for lunch from 11-4:30PM and have added/tweaked some of the items that were on the previous Soprano's menu. They intend to open for dinner service soon, if they haven't already.

Crooked Goose Bistro at Wilkinson and Interurban is now home to what I believe is Victoria's first (and only) foie gras burger. Eat Magazine reports The Crooked Goose Burger is a "blend of pork, grass-fed beef and foie gras." Reporter Gillie Easdon describes it as "feral, gamey, unusual and quietly extravagant." Given Victoria tends to pick up on other city's food trends 2-3 years late, you should have plenty of time to sample this one before the protesters start showing up.