The Garage Burger Bar & Grill, Edmonton

For years I’ve heard that the Garage Burger Bar & Grill has some of the best burgers in town, but it was always one of those places that I meant to go to but hadn’t gotten around to a visit. The restaurant is called Garage for a reason – it’s located in a converted garage and is very simply decorated. Some may even say it looks a like a well used greasy spoon.

The sweet potato fries were tempting. And so were the many burgers listed in the menu. But then a chalkboard special caught my eye and instead I ordered the bison burger and french fry special.

bison burger and french fries

bison burger and french fries

The fries were cooked perfectly – crispy on the outside and thick. The burger had a generous amount of great tasting condiments and veggies. The cheese was nicely melted. I didn’t love it though. The bison patty was well done, dry and rather thin. The condiments and veggies overwhelmed the taste of the cheese. I admit I was a little disappointed. Bison is leaner than beef, and needs to be cooked more rare and/or add fat to the cooking process. That being said, I would be willing to go back, if only to try one of the beef burgers instead. Service was quick and attentive.

The Garage Burger Bar & Grill

The Garage Burger Bar & Grill

Garage Burger Bar & Grill
10242-106 Street, Edmonton

The Garage Burger Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

BLT Burger, Las Vegas

Later in the week we made a last minute decision to pick up some lunch at another “fancy” chef-owned burger place, BLT Burger located in the Mirage. This decision wasn’t fueled by a burger craving, but more as a way to erase (or at least make me feel better) about my not-so-hot experience over at the Burger Bar.

The “BLT” in the name stands for “Bistro Laurent Tourondel.” The atmosphere is modern and yet retro at the same time; each table had an old fashioned diner-style, and the servers were dressed in a casual uniform of BLT branded t-shirts with sayings on the back like “Tip waiters not cows.” Instead of hiding the cook-top, they treated the overhead vent as a display piece and have the cook-top surrounded by bar-style seating. (I didn’t take a photo but you can see the decor over here.)

We were seated right away because the restaurant, while busy, was quite large. They play their music very loud (probably to drown out the casino noises!), and our server was cheery and helpful.

BLT Burger placemat

BLT Burger placemat

This time, I was absolutely determined to have meat.

BLT’s burgers are a mix of Black Angus sirloin, short rib, chuck and brisket.They have a number of add-on toppings like portobello mushrooms, fried eggs, and homemade chili, as well as a number of alcoholic and non-alcoholic milkshakes.

I decided on the “Shaft’s Blue,” which was a grilled 7 oz patty served with Shaft’s Blue Vein Cheese, balsamic caramelized onion and mushrooms, with a big pickle on the side. And I ordered it cooked medium – which is something you can’t get at restaurants here.

Sweet potato fries and Shafts Blue burger

Sweet potato fried and Shaft's Blue burger

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Link time!

The Blue Pear sent around an e-mail saying that they will be offering a new “Baby Blue Pear” 3-course meal option (soup or salad, main course and dessert chosen from their 5-course menu). And, it’s only available for 5-6 pm reservations and Sunday evenings. No price was listed. (Edited to add: Price is $59, thanks to a post on Chowhound.)

Canadian TV food personality and cookbook author Laura Calder got a James Beard Foundation Awards nomination!

The Guardian’s Jay Rayner reviews the new Pot Noodle (instant ramen) flavour – doner kebab. Ew.

Serious Eats started an interesting series on reducing food costs and cooking meals with a friend (and using the results for later meals).

Choosy Beggars wrote about 5 ways to enjoy unwelcome beer.

Liane Faulder wrote about the Wecan Food Basket Society. Sounds like a fantastic idea that I would love to participate in, but their hours are all during the work day and there’s no way I could get to the locations which close at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m., or even drop off my order during their opening hours.

The West Michigan Whitecaps recently unveiled their new stadium menu, featuring a 4489 calorie, 1.66 pound burger. Can we all say heart attack?

And finally, a bit of promo on my part – the Serious Eats pizza blog, Slice, linked to my Famoso post.

Fatburger, Edmonton

One of the problems (and sometimes a benefit) of living somewhere that is not one of the bigger cities (Vancouver, Toronto, New York, etc.) is that you don’t always get local locations of big chain stores or restaurants.

I heard about Fatburger a few years ago when doing some research for a trip to Las Vegas, but didn’t have enough time to make it one of my stops at the time. So when I heard that the first Fatburger here had opened back in December, I put it on my “to-do” list.

The line up was long, even though it was a weekday and the location is at the edge of the city (next to Ikea), far from the tradional lunch time office crowds.

The place is designed to look like a retro 1950s burger joint, complete with a jukebox. All beef burgers are made with AAA Alberta beef, and everything looked like it was cooked to order.

Fatburger lemonade

Fatburger lemonade

The lemonade was from a fountain, but the restaurant provided lemon on the side to add additional flavour. Continue reading