Max’s Burger: Just What Broadway & Cambie Needed
I finally got to try Max’s Burgers this week. As I mentioned before, I’m not one of those high-class foodies that usually gets an invite to pre-opening parties or media events, so just like you, I had to wait until after Max’s Burgers opened to the public on January 23rd. I have to admit, this was kind of torturous.
As a big fan of Max’s Deli sandwiches, as soon as I saw the sign go up (while still in construction) on West 8th Avenue at Cambie, I got really excited. Max’s Burgers is located just across the street from Whole Foods and only a few blocks from my house, so I was constantly walking by, staring, and dreaming about those burgers. I figured if the burgers were anything like the sandwiches, they’d have it made. Waiting, waiting, waiting for the restaurant to finally open was agony: I love me a hot beef injection.
The menu at Max’s is unpretentious, which is exactly how a burger joint menu should be. While they have dogs, milkshakes, and floats, I kept my attention on the burgers. Their signature burger is the $9 Big Max. Clean and simple, this burger comes with a 5 oz. fresh Alberta chuck patty, lettuce, tomato, and Big Max Sauce on a brioche bun. A side of hand-cut Kennebec fries accompanies this basic burger. You can ask for “Max’s Style” (fried red onions) or for a chicken burger patty at no extra cost. You can make it a double burger for $3. Toppings, like cheese, bacon, or mushrooms, are an extra $1.50. Pretty reasonable for sure.
If you don’t feel like building your own burger, they offer a selection of “Fabulous Pre-Fabs.” When Big Man and I went we each ordered one of these specialty burgers.
Big Man got The British Columbian with bacon marmalade, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar and “the fixins'” for $12.50. Big Man really liked this burger, despite the fact that he said the bacon marmalade was “a bit much.” He said that the next time we visited, he would order the Big Max and add bacon and cheddar. He loved the patty, which he felt had a bit of a “kick,” and he also loved the soft brioche bun. Overall: thumbs up.
I got the Pushing Buttons with sautéed mushrooms, truffle mayo, swiss cheese, lettuce, and tomato for $12.50. I made it “Max’s Style” to add sautéed red onions, which complemented the other ingredients.
I found my patty to be a bit too peppery. Although Big Man liked this about the patty, I thought it slightly detracted from the flavour. The meat was high quality, so this helped. The truffle mayo, swiss cheese, and mushrooms were a perfect medley of flavour. The Total Flavour Package was a win (in spite of the peppery patty).
But, the best part of the experience was actually the fries. Wow! Normally, fries are the side dish. At Max’s, they are the star. Fried in beef tallow, these crispy spuds have a potatoey taste that socks you in the taste buds. When I walked past the kitchen and saw stacks of boxes of uncut local potatoes, I realized why. You just cannot beat local BC potatoes, freshly cut on site. You can’t beat it! The fries here are truly fantastic.
If I have one word of advice for Max’s Burgers, it would be to cut back a bit on the pepper in their patties. Other than that, it’s all a go. I will definitely be back to Max’s Burgers.* It fills a serious burger void in the area and I’m thrilled to call this place my local burger joint.
521 West 8th Ave.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1C6
*Note: So I did go back, like the next night. I had a Max’s Burger with cheddar cheese and fried onions. Again, the patty was a bit too peppery, but the burger was still very tasty. The fries were just as amazing the second time around. Here’s the kicker: we tried the strawberry and banana milkshakes and there were stand-out in the extreme. One of the best strawberry shakes that I’ve had in Vancouver, possibly the best.