Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Taylor’s Crossing North Vancouver BC Canada

Is the humble hamburger the litmus test for food quality at that particular restaurant or pub? I mean, if you can't make a decent burger can you do anything else right?

I had a burger at Taylor’s Crossing a popular pub-restaurant in North Vancouver. Taylors is part of the Mark James group which owns and operates a number of well known pub-restaurants throughout Vancouver; the YaleTown Brewing Company, the Brewhouse Whistler, the Big Ridge in Surrey and the Flying Beaver in Richmond.

My burger at Taylor’s sucked. No question, less then a 3/10 and that's being kind.

I had the JalapeƱo Lamb Beer-ger a 10 oz patty topped with feta and tzatziki. Sounds good, but the 10 oz patty was more like a flat lamb meatball, all kinds of filler, I couldn't even taste the lamb. The jalapenos overpowered everything. The bun was hard and crumbly. They either forgot the tzatziki or applied such a thin layer that it was totally unperceivable.

I shake my head in shame for the kitchen and for myself for ordering this thing. I had a burger at Taylor’s a few years ago and I remember it not being very good, nice to see that they are still serving crap.

Now back to my original question. Does this hamburger scare me away from ever dining here or at any one of their other establishments in the future? Ya I think it does....sort of. I wouldn't go to Taylor’s for dinner but to be fair, I've read great things about the YaleTown Brewpubs chicken wings and I have had dinner at the Brewhouse in Whistler and it was OK. As great of an endorsement as OK is, I didn't actually have a burger, if memory serves I had the ribs, like I said OK. To be fair to the Mark James Group, I think I must do some more research, even if it means more crap burgers coming my way in the future. What I won't do for journalism. I'll let you know what develops but I’d definitely recommend staying away from the burgers at Taylor’s Crossing.

In case you are wondering why I gave this brutal burger a 3/10? They make really good beer.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Romer's Burger Bar. Vancouver BC Canada

My tip to check out Romer’s came from the Edible Vancouver Blog. Please read the review; I will be referencing the article.

In the review, seems like Debbra from Edible Vancouver loved the food but was a bit ticked off by some of the menu claims and the restaurant staffs general lack of knowledge about these claims and then further exacerbated by the delay from the restaurant in getting back to her and her questions.

In the comments section I see Jim Romer finally got back to Debbra about the source of their meats. She still seams a bit cranky though. To be fair, I would have been cranky myself, I like when restaurants can back up their claims. When I went in today and asked about the meat, just out of curiosity ;) I was given a glossy marketing piece from Heritage Farms Angus Beef. I’m always a bit sceptical by glossy marketing pieces but if you believe even a fraction of the stuff in the brochure, Heritage Farms is definitely a company to support.

By the way I can definitely vouch for Coiffi's on Hastings in North Burnaby. That’s my hood and I’m in that shop or shops, don’t get me started about their two locations two doors apart, at least once a week. The quality of their meats is extraordinary .

So Heritage Farms does exist and I have to tell you their beef tasted great. I had the  RIGHTEOUS RIB BURGER

All-natural beef, thick-sliced applewood bacon, braised short ribs, sweet onions, Gorgonzola garlic sauce, fresh thyme leaves

A solid 9/10. From the beef end, the flavour of the patty was tremendous and a fantastic burger all the way around. I look forward to tasting all their other burger creations. So, why not a 10/10? Even though the whole burger came together well and the flavours were wonderful there were a few nit picky things that could have improved the burger.

The beef together with the bacon, short ribs and onions come together in a savoury choir but either the gorgonzola was tasteless or too subtle. I didn’t even taste it. I didn’t even know it was there. But then, I suppose, all the other ingredients made up for lack of sauce.

The bun, beautiful brioche, tasted great, held up to the burger well but it was too big. Either make the patty bigger or decrease the size of the bun. Just up the street at Refuel is an excellent example of the burger with the perfect meat to bun ratio and a 10/10 burger to boot.

Debbra liked the yam fries, I ordered the regular fries with truffle oil. Outstanding, in fact, now that I think about it, I’m increasing my rating by half a point to 9.5/10 just for the truffle oil. Think about this for a second, who has truffle oil as an option for their fries? It’s little touches like this that get me all excited about good restaurants. As soon as I tell my friend Wei that Romber’s has truffle oil for their fries she will be driving in from Richmond immediately. And, I’ll join her there for another burger. I really like this place, you should check it out.