Burger Burger Blunder Blunder
I think that I’m allergic to hype. Whenever I hear something sucks, I set the bar very low; then I am surprised that it doesn’t suck as (much as) I expected. Recent case in point: Wally’s Burgers. I had it years ago and didn’t remember it being very good. Others were not impressed with the reincarnation of Wally’s. Then I had it and thought, “This ain’t half bad.” On the other hand, whenever I hear something is going to be great, I seem to set my expectations higher; then I get disappointed when things don’t live up to my expectations. Such was the case with Burger Burger. What a let down.
Burger Burger seemed to be a hit on Urbanspoon. I really expected it to be good. I really did. And yes, you could say that it’s pretty good for the price. But a lot of fast food is pretty good for the price. That doesn’t mean you can just say, “This is good.” No, when it comes to Burger Burger, you must say, “This is good for the price.” As my husband put it, “This is on par with Wendy’s.”
Burger Burger reminded me of the Burger Bar version of Bon’s Off Broadway, which I call The Greasiest of Greasy Spoons. Except that Burger Burger had all of the grime and none of the charm of Bon’s. I wore flip-flops into the restaurant and with each step, the flip-flops stuck to the sticky floor until the moment at which my momentum overcame the glue of the grimy floor and then they released with a slap against the bottom of my feet. It sounded like sshhh-lap, sshhh-lap, sshhh-lap as I walked. When I used the filthy bathroom to wash my hands, my flip-flop actually suction-cup stuck to the floor and I tripped over and right out of the shoe. My bare foot hit the dirty floor and I cringed. “Ugh,” I thought, “Now I have to go home and wash my flip-flops and my feet.” All this I could forgive—yes, really—if the food was really good.
Big Man and I each ordered a Burger Special “A,” which comes with a 4 oz. patty with bacon & cheese or mushrooms & cheese, french fries, and a canned soft drink for $5.69. A deal for sure. Big Man went with the bacon & cheese, obviously, and I went with the mushrooms & cheese.
His bacon & cheese arrived and he was impressed with the bacon, as it was “better than Wendy’s” and “better than some restaurants.” But overall, Big Man exuded an air of “We drove all the way over here for this?” He complained about the greasiness of the fries. You can’t really tell from the pics, but these fries were dark. Big Man noted that the dark colour of the fries indicated not that they had been overcooked, but that the fryer was past due for an oil change. As he worked a grill or two in his younger years, I am inclined to believe him. The fries, after all, did not taste burnt to me.
My burger had pretty decent mushrooms, both in taste and quantity. The onions were not freshly cut and therefore had lost all bite and flavour. The shredded lettuce and tomato didn’t add much in the way of flavour either. The processed cheese was, well, processed cheese.
This is what Burger Burger does right: patties and buns. My patty looked and tasted very much like a homemade patty. The meat was quite tasty and not overcooked. The bun was super fresh and soft. Now some burger purists will say that the most important thing about any burger is the meat. What I am realizing though, while working on this Mission: Best Burger, is that what makes for a really great burger—in my humble opinion—can’t be boiled down to the individual tastes of the various ingredients. Rather, it is how all the ingredients come together to create a Total Flavour Package that really matters. Despite the good hamburger meat and soft bun, the Total Flavour Package was unremarkable.
I guess that is why I think the Deluxe Wally Burger was better. Yes, the patty wasn’t as good as Burger Burger, but it too had a soft bun, mushrooms, and processed cheese. Yet the fresh(er) onions and the “famous Wally’s sauce” helped to create a Total Flavour Package that was memorable in a way that Burger Burger’s burger was not.
I could see this being a popular teenage hang-out and there were, in fact, several teenagers eating there when we visited. If you live within walking distance, Burger Burger might serve as a great little hole-in-the-wall burger joint to frequent, instead of your run-of-the-mill fast food restaurant. If you don’t live in the area, however, I would not recommend making a special trip to try it. Despite the cheap price, it is highly unlikely that I will pay another visit to Burger Burger.
340 6th Street
New Westminster, BC