Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mandalay Bay Steakhouse, Richmond BC Canada

Mandalay Bay Steakhouse

Just another burger with a view. And not a bad view at that, sunny day sitting on the deck enjoying lunch with a view and a burger. In this case an Angus Beef Prime Rib Burger, 8oz , lettuce, guiness cheddar cheese tomatoes, onions and mayo. A pretty good burger but not as nice as the view. Lets call this one a respectable 7/10 with room for improvement.

First off, get rid of the giant generic Safeway style kaiser bun. I don't care if it's a massive 8 once patty the bun is way too big and smothers everything. As my good friend Tom Arnold said when discussing his ex-wife Rosanne; "Even a 747 looks small flying into the grand canon". You get the idea.

And please please please, major pet peeve, do not overcook the patty!

Everything else was pretty good. No major complaints. Nice upscale eatery.

Nice touch on the half potato and half sweet potato fries.

Pick a nice sunny day to head out to Steveston, sit on the patio and have a burger. All in all a nice way to spend lunch. Only problem is dragging my ass away from the patio and back to work.

Monday, July 26, 2010

City Square Grill. Duncan BC Canada

I never thought I would be reviewing a burger in Duncan, but here I am, out for lunch with customers from work. It’s always nice to go out with locals who usually recommend a great place I would never find on my own. This time it was the City Square Grill, a nice cozy modern restaurant in the heart of Duncan BC. The menu looks like it has an Indo Canadian fusion thing going on. A couple dining companions order great looking grilled seafood salads and loved them. One ordered the fish burger. It looked good; she gave it an 8/10. I of course ordered the regular burger. Or in this case the City Square Grill Burger (Half Pound Sirloin) with Caramelized Onions, Bacon and Cheddar Cheese. Everybody always gets totally confused when my burger comes to the table and I take my camera out to take pictures. Weird stares for sure until everyone learns I have a burger blog and then the conversation becomes quite animated. Everyone offers their suggestions and the table volume level increases to an excited buzz. Nice.

The burger was pretty good, a solid 7/10. But truthfully, I’m really starting to get tired of the “pretty good” burger. I find that at a lot of places this is what you get. The burger looks good, has all of the right fresh ingredients and yet…something is missing. A good 8 oz sized sirloin; hand packed in house and then thoroughly overcooked. So much potential, it’s a shame really.

A day old bun, even toasted makes a big difference in taste. Toasting doesn’t help; the only thing that happens is the burger disintegrates in your hands.

No juice. How does this happen? Great ingredients and a dry burger. Mindboggling.
In the end, the burger is edible, decent even, but there is just a little something something missing.

Just goes to show that making a truly outstanding burger is not easy. Those that do, my hats off to them. Those that don’t please take a step back take an honest assessment of your offerings, figure out the details and keep on trying. I’ll keep on eating. Although next time at City Square I might try something else.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Nourish Garden Cafe at Glendale Gardens. Victoria. BC Canada

After a stellar recommendation from Vicburger for Pink Bicycle, my new favourite burger place in Victoria, keeping in mind, favourites tend to change quickly but at least for now.

I once again took their recommendation and visited Glendale Gardens. What I experienced was totally unexpected. Straight off, I do not like this burger. It was just weird. The best way to describe their burger is like going to a "foodie" friends place for dinner and having them try to impress you with a totally "out of the box thinking burger".

The bun, ciabatta, sort of? It had a cornbread like texture, the bottom layer was soggy. The patty, OK so the patty is from Quist Farms, a local natural hormone free meet producer, good, but it also had a weird texture and colour. It looks like they added some sort of filler which I couldn't identify. I had a few bites of just the patty, since my bun disintegrated anyway, and it was quite tasteless. "More filla no thrilla" Sorry but as you can tell not my favourite thing. I did like the way the burger was barbequed on an outdoor grill accessed through the kitchen window. Like a said more like a burger you would get at wanna be chef friends place. To be fair I think this burger would go over big with a certain crowd. Maybe the grey-haired set, I don't know? I know I didn't like it, maybe a 3/10 maybe lower?

Don’t let me dissuade you, go and let me know what you think. This burger is unique and you might like it. The owner and operator seemed nice and genuine; let me know if it is worth a second look. I'd like to support this place, but for now sadly no.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Pink Bicycle Gourmet Burger jont

I love The Pick Bicycle. Thank you to VicBurger and friends in Victoria for recommending this place. This is a small, homey, downtown joint specializing in phenomenal burgers. This is my new favourite burger place in Victoria. Until of course, the next favourite comes around.

How can you not like this:
Experiece burgers on a whole new level.
All ingredients are sourced as close to home as seasonally possible to ensure freshness and to encourage sustainability. Local organic meats such as organic Island Bison and Seabluff farms organic lamb and mutton are featured. All dishes hand made daily and all oils used are top quality and trans fat free to ensure taste and health. Soups are made daily from ingredients sourced from local farms.

We care about our local food producers and your health!

I had the Metchosin Mutton, Sea Bluff Farm’s naturally raised mutton lightly seasoned and topped with Little Qualicum Gruyere & lime mayo. I added the sautéed leaks.
As I was eating this burger, all I could think of was wow. I don’t think that you can make a better burger. Seriously, there is nothing you can do to improve this burger. Everything comes together perfectly. 10/10 Wow. Feed yourself, feed your soul. Definitely check this place out in Victoria.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Skol Pub. Gabriola Island, Canada

The Viking burger, a double slab monster, bacon, cheese, sautéed mushrooms, more raw onions (nice touch), pickles tomatoes, lettuce and a mayo dressing.

I'm going to call this the "so close yet so far burger"

Here's the thing; Replace the whole wheat bun with a nice white toasted sesame seed bun. Are you kidding me? This burger has enough cholesterol to kill a white lab mouse instantly dead and it comes with a whole wheat bun. I shake my head.

Take the two tasteless salty pieces of previously frozen meat like product and replace it with a nice 8 oz, fresh natural ground, cooked to a perfect pink centre. Then put it all together, forget this open faced presentation stuff. Wrap the burger in a burger diaper and bingo an instant winner. The Viking burger could be close to a 10 but sadly currently a 6/10. Once again a very mediocre burger while waiting on a ferry.