Thursday, July 18, 2013

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

(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.


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Sandra Difelice said...

Does anyone know if Chez Monique is back up and running? I know her boat was badly wrecked in a storm.
Hoping to see Monique again this summer :)

Unknown said...

Did you get an answer on this? We are hoping to see her in a week as well

West Coast Trekker said...

Did you get an answer on this? We are hoping to see her in a week as well

Anonymous said...

Bit late for you two, but as of August 23 2016 Monique was slinging burgers on the beach.