I’m definitely not a vegetarian. I do love my meat. But I don’t mind trying vegetarian food now and again, as long as it’s tasty. My latest venture into vegetarian food was at Tera V Burger. They are a small joint located in Kits, on Broadway, best known for their meatless burgers (they have vegan options available as well). I had their Smokey No Bull Burger, to which I added Baked Yam Fries and a drink for a combo. While I was ordering my burger though, I heard another customer asking the man behind the counter something about a microwave, and he was like “We only use our microwave once every two years to thaw out some gluten free bun”. Not to mock anyone who’s actually got Celiac’s disease, but I thought it was funny.
Smokey No Bull Burger + Baked Yam Fries and drink ($14.49):
Baked Yam Fries
Smokey No Bull Burger
Smokey No Bull Burger + Baked Yam Fries and drink
The burger consisted of a vegetarian pattie, and came with onions, swiss cheese, and barbecue sauce. With the combo, you get your choice of either a bottle drink or Jones soda; I went with the Jones. The pattie did not taste like meat, but was still very tasty for what was, and was flavourful, tender and juicy. The barbecue sauce provided a nice bit of sweetness and smokiness. The yam fries were crispy and had a nice sweetness; I did find them to be lacking in a bit of richness/flavour that fried fries have, but they were still tasty.
I quite enjoyed my visit to Tera V Burger. Even though their burgers don’t really taste like meat, they were still tasty. The staff was also quite friendly. This is certainly a joint worth checking out, even if you’re not a vegetarian.
There was once a graduate student (who has graduated the previous year) in our lab who, for a couple of years, would always eat A&W teen burgers for lunch. Apparently, he has done some calculations and determined that the teen burgers at A&W gives the best calories per dollar out of all the fast food chains. Now I haven’t checked the calculations myself (personally, I’d assume that McDonals would have the better deal), but I was quite a big fan of A&W in highschool: my favourite things to get were their teen burgers and onion rings. Having not visited this place for years, I decided to check out the UBC location recently after finding that the international food court was completely filled and had no seats. I had a Teen Burger with Root Beer & Onion Rings.
The burger contained a patty, cheddar cheese, bacon, and various veggies. The patty was relatively juicy and flavourful. I couldn’t reallly get much of the bacon or cheese. It was also on the smaller side (I’m not sure, but I think that they might have reduced the size over the years). The onion rings were kind of lukewarm, but still had a good crispiness and was not overly battered. I quite enjoyed the root beer (the only type of beer that I enjoy).
I don’t know if they have changed their burgers or if my memories were flawed, but I found the teen burger to be considerably smaller than I remembered and quite skimpy on the bacon and cheese. The prices were also a bit steep for a fast food chain (I don’t know how our former grad student did the calculations but I’m 100% sure now that McDonalds have the better calorie per dollar value). Overall, I do feel a bit disappointed by my revisit, but it isn’t a bad spot in a pinch.
During my recent to the UBC location of Pizza Garden, I passed by Vera’s Burger Shack and realised that it’s been some time since I’ve had a burger. Thus, I decided to visit the spot the next day. The place, for those of you that haven’t visited, serves customizable burgers as well as about a dozen “Hall of Fame” varieties, along with hot dogs and various sides (fries, poutine, onion rings etc). They do also have daily specials where, for $14.5, you get a burger (which changes depending on the day), fries, and bottomless drink. Since it was Friday, I had the choice between any of the burgers from Monday-Thursday specials. I got a Stinger Burger and also substituted my fries for Jalapeno Bottle Caps for an extra $3.
Stinger Burger with Jalapeno Bottle Caps ($14.50 + $3):
Jalapeno Bottle Caps
Stinger Burger with Jalapeno Bottle Caps
The burger came with jalapeno bottle caps & cheddar. The burger itself seemed relatively small, but was fairly thick and surprisingly filling. The patty was quite thick and juicy, and all the sauces and fillings made it quite flavourful. The jalapeno poppers were quite crispy on the outside, and had a nice bit of heat; it was a little lukewarm and mushy on the interior, however.
In the end, I do think that all the jalapenos might have been a bit too much (not going to go into details, but I did have regrets a few hours later). The burger was fairly tasty, although I do find their prices to be a bit steep for the type of restaurant. Personally, I do much prefer Red Robins, but I think that this is still a decent place for a burger.
As I’ve stated in previous posts, I do try to keep an open mind when it comes to people’s food preferences. There are exceptions however, and one thing that I just CANNOT get behind are lettuce buns. Like why? Seriously, why? I consider myself to be pretty relaxed when it comes to things like “authenticity” (a term that I do not believe in when it comes to food). I’m fine with people putting their own spins are different dishes. But lettuce buns are just a ten steps too far. A burger with a lettuce bun is just not a burger to me; its an abomination. If I were running the country, I’d have the practice of using lettuce buns banned. People who order burgers with lettuce buns should be stoned…okay, maybe that’s a bit too much, but you know what I mean. And I know that you can make the argument that it isn’t any of my business and that it doesn’t really “affect” me the way other people eat, but that’s not quite true: I honestly die a little on the inside whenever I see a burger wrapped in lettuce :(.
Thus, when I went to Romer’s Burger Bar, there was no question on what bun I was going with for my burger. The latter is a popular oint with several locations around Greater Vancouver; the one I went to was their Kits location located on 4th Avenue. Although they are a ‘burger bar’ they do also serve a pretty good variety of casual pub fare and snacks. I got their Righteous Rib Burger as well as Romer’s Almost World Famous Drunken Doughnuts.
Righteous Rib Burger ($13.95):
Righteous Rib Burger (WITH ACTUAL PROPER BUN OF COURSE)
Meat in the burger
In addition to a beef patty, this burger contained braised short rib, maple smoked bacon, sweet onions, gorgonzola cream, and fresh thyme. I was quite impressed by the patty itself, which was tender and juicy. The short rib was a bit uneven, being tender in some parts, but quite dry and hard in some others, particularly around the edges. I really enjoyed the gorgonzola cream, which added a great juiciness and flavour and the brioche bun (because a real burger has to have an actual bun and not lettuce) was soft and fluffy. I did find the overall flavour to be a bit one note: everything was savoury and I could have done with a bit of sweetness to balance out the flavour.
Romer’s Almost World Famous Drunken Doughnuts ($8.95):
Romer’s Almost World Famous Drunken Doughnuts
Limoncello, maple whisky, and Kahula Nutella
This consisted of 10 small donuts that were dusted in powdered sugar, and were served with a trio of dips: limoncello, maple whisky, and Kahula Nutella. The donuts themselves were fresh, warm and soft, reminiscent of the mini donuts that you can get at PNE. The limoncello dip was similar to that of the curd in a lemon tart, and was quite thick with a wonderful tanginess. In all honesty, I couldn’t really tell the difference between the other two dips, although both were tasty, except that one (the darker dip, which is probably the Khula Nutella) had a stronger liquor flavour than the other.
I quite enjoyed the food that I’ve sampled at Romer’s. While I didn’t find their burgers to be mind-blowing, especially for the pretty steep price (quite frankly, I actually think Red Robins is better), I did really enjoy their doughnuts. The server I had was quite friendly, although not particularly attentive. All in all, not a bad place to check out if you’re craving a burger or some other pub fare (Proven fact: a cute innocent puppy dies every time someone orders a lettuce bun, so keep that in mind when you’re ordering your burger).
Summary: Food: 3.5/5 Price: 3.5/5 Service: 3.5/5 Overall: 3.5/5 Recommendations: Romer’s Almost World Famous Drunken Doughnuts
The one good thing about getting old(er) is that there are restaurants in Vancouver offering free food for your birthday. The past week I had the chance to visit Cannibal Cafe, which offers a free burger on the exact day of my birthday. This week I went to another burger joint, Red Robins, which actually offer a free burger that can be redeemed over the entire month of your birthday (you just need to sign up for their rewards program). Moreover, unlike Cannibal Cafe, which only allows the option of having their American Classic burger, Red Robins allows you to chose over a dozen variety of burgers. I went for their Royal Red Robin Burger.
Royal Red Robin Burger (free for Birthday, $12.99 regular):
Red Robin Royal burger
This burger came with a beef patty, bacon, fried egg, cheese and mayo. I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed this burger. The patty was quite juicy while the bacon, cheese and mayo provided great flavour. The fried egg was served with a runny yolk and of course, being the clumsy idiot that I am, I ended up spilling the yolk all over my lap on my first bite. The bun was soft and fluffy; I do wish that they could have toasted them though. The burgers are served with a side of steak fries (you can also get salad or upgrade to onion rings, yam fries etc). I did not get to eat much of the fries however. I’m trying to watch my figure…
…Seriously, did you believe that? No, the truth is, I was trying to save some stomach space for…
Mountain High Mudd Pie (currently $6, $7.99 regular):
Mountain High Mudd Pie
Mountain High Mudd Pie
This consisted of a large pile of chocolate ice cream, a layer of fudge, vanilla ice cream, a base of crushed oreo cookies and was topped by whipped cream and served with a drizzle of chocolate and caramel sauce. This was essentially like one of the ice cream cakes from DQ, and like those cakes, my favourite component was the layer of fudge in the middle. I did find the ice cream to be a bit icy, but still tasty. I quite enjoyed the chocolate and caramel sauces; I would have preferred if they had drizzled it over the actual cake though and instead of on the plate as it a bit hard to eat. Although not really a “mountain” it was quite a big portion, and probably shareable (of course, being the pig that I am, I ate the entire slice myself). Normally, this cake is goes for $7.99, but it appears that they are currently on special for $6.
I really enjoyed my visit at Red Robins. Their burgers were very tasty, and their regular prices are already more than reasonable; however, considering that it’s both my birthday and that they currently have a promotion for their mudd pie, I got my entire meal for just $6. The service was also very good: the server that I had was friendly and professional, and the food came quite quickly. I seriously recommend checking this place out, especially if you sign up for their rewards program.
Summary: Food: 3.5/5 Price: 4/5 Service: 4/5 Overall: 4/5 Recommendations: Gourmet Burger, Mountain High Mudd Pie
There are two things that I’m in denial about: 1) my age and 2) I’m (probably) lactose intolerant. Unfortunately, I was forced to confront both realities this week. Lemme explain: it was my birthday. Now, being the cheap Asian that I am, I decided to make most of my depressing situation as a jobless loser who’s at least seven years too old to be still living with my parents by redeeming some free food. One restaurant in Vancouver that offers free food on your birthday is Cannibal Cafe, a burger joint located on the Drive. They provide you a complimentary American Classic Burger (which normally runs for $10.95) with the purchase of either a drink or a side. Of course, I decided to get both, and got a side of Onion Rings to go with my burger as well as an Oreo Milkshake.
American Classic Burger (Free on birthday, normally $10.95):
American Classic burger and Onion Rings
American Classic burger
American Classic burger
This consisted of two 3oz patties, American Cheese, ketchup, mustard, mayo and L.T.O.P. (lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle). This was a simple, basic burger that was done quite well. I normally don’t like beef patties, which can often be dry, but here the beef was actually reasonably moist and juicy. The bun was toasted, and crispy around the edges while soft and fluffy in the interior. The cheese and condiments provided great flavour. Although the burger was not very large, it was quite tall and I actually couldn’t fit it into my mouth (insert dirty joke here): I had to remove some of the vegetables in order to eat the burger.
Onion Rings (Side, $4.95):
I loved these. The batter on the onion rings looked thick, but was incredibly light and crispy, and stayed crispy even when they cooled. It was served with a side of Chipotle Mayo, which was creamy and had a nice bit of spice. I was a bit disappointed with the portion: there were only 6 onion rings present.
Oreo Milkshake ($7.95):
I have to admit, I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed the milkshake didn’t contain any crushed cookie bits. It was still very tasty however, with a great chocolate and vanilla flavour. It was quite thick, and you have to wait to allow it to melt a bit before being able to suck it through the straw.
Unfortunately for me, I appear to be lactose intolerant, and the milkshake did cause me more than a few uncomfortable hours. Not that I’m going to be stopping anytime soon though: I didn’t learn my lesson from the massive amount of ice cream from Rain or Shine not long ago, and I’m certainly not going to turn down ice cream the next time it’s offered to me. Stomachache aside, I had a pretty good time at Cannibal Cafe. The food was quite good. While I got a good deal since the burger came free, I do find their regular prices to be a tad pricey: most of their burgers are currently going to $13-15 without any sides. In terms of service, the waitress I had was very friendly; however, I do feel that they appear to be somewhat understaffed: there was only one person in the kitchen when I went, and some of the tables did take a while to receive their food. All in all, I did quite like this place, and I think it’s definitely worth checking out for some classic American fast food.