Sunday, February 10, 2008

The weekend of burger. . .

It started Friday night when I inexplicably had a craving for burgers.

It's not that usual for me to get a hankering for a good burger. Usually, once I get a craving for them, having one burger just about kills the craving until the next one. Thinking back, I usually get one -- maybe once a year? Something like that: burgers are not really part of my everyday food repertoire.

TS sent an email re Splitz Grill on Main Street. That would be our first stop. We rounded up the folks and headed to Main Street a bright Saturday afternoon to partake of their burgers. On their website, they tout themselves as being "home of the best burgers." They have a writeup on their site on how customers line up for a taste of their burgers.

This is an aside.

While I do not doubt the veracity of their claims, I find myself skeptical when I hear people hyping themselves too much, albeit indirectly, by writing it up as customers claiming them the best.

Still. I figure that if the food's good enough, there really is no need to tell everybody how good it is. Yes, it's called marketing -- and marketing is a smoke and mirrors game, often trying to disguise the fact that there's nothing there. Come on, when a restaurant says that their food is "fresh," should I worry? Why do you need to tell me it's fresh? I am assuming the ingredients are fresh, but then they have to go ahead and try to reassure me that everything's "fresh." Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

Back to the burgers.

I had the Splitz burger with red onions, lettuce, and the Splitz sauce. For all the hype, it was quite a mediocre burger, kind of bland, lacking in flavour. Although the patty was a nice size (not too thin, thick enough to be juicy), I did not get a big, bold, beefy flavour from it. It just tasted like nothing. The Splitz sauce really did not have any kick to it. They said it had horseradish and it may indeed have had horseradish, but they put so little of it on the bun.

The fries were nothing to write home about. Just generic, standard fries. I had to douse them in ketchup. (For me, ketchup is a fry's red badge of shame. Good fries, for me, do not need anything but salt.)

Verdict: Probably would not return to the restaurant, since I can't find anything that good to return to. My burger: 3 out of 10.

I don't know what TS's rating for her Splitz burger was, but her email to eatingclub made the Splitz vs Vera comparison and alluded to our disenchantment with Vera's burgers the last time we went there. (We last went to the Cornwall Vera's probably a couple of years ago, before they started opening up Vera's Burger Shacks all over town.)

Lunch time Sunday rolled around and I was getting hungry. In fact, I almost fainted at Costco. Being the klutz that I am, I hit my head on the handle of the shopping cart, getting up from a crouching position of putting cases of drinks on the bottom level. I blacked out and didn't know where my glasses were. Costco is so dangerous!

So I suggested to TS that we have Vera's, because they have a location that's quite convenient for us, on Granville and 67th. TS hesitated, because she didn't want burgers anymore, but I said that we should just have one more burger so we can "close the book" on Vera's. I appealed to her sense of journalistic fairness, because our experience of Vera's is already two years old, and things might have changed since then. They might have gotten better, that is.

So she agreed and we went to have the Vera's Power Burger, with the patty, cheese, fried onions, and fried egg. I wanted this burger to be delicious to satisfy my burger craving once and for all.

Well. The denouement.

The burger was not that good. I expected to taste all of the components, but the whole was just very generic and very bland. The patty was not well-flavoured and even the egg was flavourless. The burger was just blah.

Had a side of fries as well. With ketchup.

Verdict: until the next burger craving, a year from now. Vera's burger: maybe 2 or 3 out of 10. It didn't really differ much from the Splitz burger. Both of them were very generic.

In conclusion, when having a craving for burger, the best way to satisfy the burger craving is grilling a couple of burgers at home. Our last burgerfest was very good: we just bought some burger patties and cooked them over a charcoal grill. Yummy! I love the taste of burgers over charcoal grill. Nothing beats them. Our toppings were quite delicious as well: the last time, I had burgers with fried egg, and the yolk dribbled down to flavour the patty. YUMMY!

These two burgers just took up space in my tummy with nothing to show for them. The burgers are quite a hefty size, so I feel like I've overeaten. I don't feel very well, from all that meat, the white bread, and the potatoes.

Oh well. Live and learn.

[added February 11, 2008 by ts:
Speaking of burgers, Moderne Burger is supposed to be close to re-opening. Hopefully it will fill the burger void. I guess we can only wait and see.]


  1. Vera's has so gone down hill in the past couple years. It's flavorless and lacks any effort. What I was disgusted about was reading the OWNERS immature responses to another food blog where they just said that they were not impressed with Vera's. I will never give that rude man a penny. If you want to read it it's on under the burger category.

  2. It's just not "great" in any way. After eating the burger on Sunday, the feeling was regret: "What a waste of stomach space."

    So, I guess we can definitely "close the book" on Vera's. You guys should thank us for sacrificing stomach space! ;D

  3. Wow.

    I've gone and perused the eatvancouver site, on Jessica's suggestion. Here's the link.

    I can't believe the personal attacks flying just because of one statement.

    I understand how having your food attacked can feel like a personal attack -- so I can sympathize -- but at the end of the day, it's food and it's people. People have different tastes and preferences.

    Live and let live.

  4. Burger King is still the best!! Whopper Wednesdays at 1.89 each. I buy a dozen of these at a time. It's flame broiled so it tastes like it's from a barbq. Try it and you will not be disappointed. Even you do, you've only wasted less than a Toonie. :-)

  5. Moderne Burger is so by far the best burger in town- don't even put them in the same sentence with that mush from Vera's- ick! The buns are great, the meat is hand made and they are made to order- no one comes near them!

  6. anon:
    Haven't had the chance to try Moderne since they closed. Will have to try now that they've finally opened.


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