Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Red Robin. Maple Ridge Canada

Red Robin. Maple Ridge. BC.
A long day working, 5PM, I find myself in Maple Ridge, hungry and a few hours until my next appointment.
Not familiar with any great burger places in Maple Ridge I stroll into Red Robin. I haven’t been to Red Robin (RR) in years. It definitely brought back memoires from many years ago during my university years when RR was a weekly hangout. It doesn’t look like much has changed. I remember the burgers being pretty good and they still are. For a chain joint, RR makes really good burgers….way over average anyway. I had the Guacamole Bacon Burger - Zesty guacamole and three strips of hickory-smoked bacon with melted Swiss cheese, onions, lettuce, tomatoes & mayo. This burger is a solid 8/10. Everything is fresh, everything tastes good, the patty was surprising well cooked, not overdone, but the guace comes out of a can, the bun has this wonder bread texture, like it can stay fresh a for a year and the whole thing sort of startles that line between a gourmet burger and fast food. All in all it works and they deliver a perfectly decent burger.

BTW, can anyone recommend a great burger place in Maple Ridge? So far RR is the best I’ve tried in this part of the world and that’s a sad thing.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Refuel. Vancouver BC

Refuel, Dry Aged Beef Burger.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have my very first 10/10 burger. I never thought I’d give a perfect score but this burger was just that good. Was it a perfect burger? I don’t know. But it was really really good…..and different.

But a warning: This is not your standard, lettuce, tomato, onion and all the toppings piled high type of burger. This is a simple, beef, cheddar, bacon and bun burger that’s all about the flavour of the patty. Refuel grinds their own meat and they keep it somewhat courser then you would expect so the burger had this steak like texture. And, because the meat is ground in house, the patty can be cooked to a centre pink perfection. Gorgeous, the flavour is out of this world.

My first impression when the burger was placed in front of me was mild disappointment. The size of the burger is relatively small. But this is deceiving. Once again it’s all about the patty. The patty to bun ratio is about 50/50. The patty was a generous size but because of the optics of the bun it looked small. Have you ever had a burger where the bun is absolutely huge and the patty and everything else gets completely lost? This is absolutely not a problem here. Believe me, this burger is big enough. Unbelievably rich, it was almost difficult to finish…almost ;)

I highly recommend checking this place out. Last time I was here the restaurant was called Fuel and it was much more high end and pricy. Since then the economy got in the way and the restaurant was forced to rethink its brand and its menu. I’m glad they did because they managed to keep the flavour of the food and the specialty of what they offered and translate that into a more relaxed neighbourhood type of eatery. Refuel is right now, my favourite restaurant in Kits.

By the way, the fries were equally outstanding. They are fried in old fashioned beef tallow instead of the standard vegetable oil. The flavour is a throwback to what fries used to taste like before we got all concerned with cholesterol and clogged arteries and all that scary stuff. A time, come to think of it, when most people were not fat.

And just for a bit more indulgence check out the Piggy Puffs with Bbq spice.