Best Burgers (Fast Food, Chain, Non-Chain)
Hey, all this talk about White Spot and Moxie's got me inspired to start this thread.
For My money, the best burger from a national fast food chain is at Wendy's (vs. McD's, BK, DQ, A&W)
Regional FF Chain: White Spot Triple O's
Local (Calgary) Independent FF: Boogie's Burgers
Sit-down Chain: White Spot/ Chili's
Local (Calgary) Sit Down: Buchanan's
Overall: Buchanan's followed by White Spot
I can't really extoll any national chain burger, but as Wendy's was my first job in high school I can say that they use refrigerated, not frozen, patties, and they can (on a good day) approximate a decent home-made burger. I like Harvey's for toppings, but there is something really wrong with their meat- it doesn't taste like real hamburger.
Regional fast food- Does Fatburger still count? I think so- then yes fatburger. I love their burgers.
Indie- I don't think anyplace in Calgary can really touch Burger Inn. My one visit to Boogies was big disappointment, especially with the owner being close to tears at how going non-smoking is killing his business. Nothing can kill business at a really good burger joint. Nothing.
Sit-down chain- Well, White Spot is mostly sit-down, so it gets my vote! The chicken "burger" (a sandwich really, with a whole breast, not ground chicken) I had at Moxies last week was superb.
Local sit-down- I found buchanans very good but a little too softball-sized to be really perfect (spherical burgers are always too dry, to be cooked safely). I've never had a real luxr burger in Calgary, with foie gras and all that, but have at home- with burgers we bought at St Lawrence Market in Toronto, vacuum packed, ground duck with foie gras- absolutely spectacular.
The "filet mignon" burgers at M&M are pretty awesome as well.
Overall- well, I'm from the Chicago area so my heart belongs to either White Castle or this weird local custom (at places like Madvek's in Hammond Indiana) that make burgers with crumbled ground beef- there is nothing quite like it.
In Calgary, I guess the best burger I've had was at Fatburger in Deerfoot Meadows. But I haven't had many "bad" burgers.
I can't believe that you can't order a burger RARE in Calgary. I refused to believe my husband...and kept trying over and over...and then I realized that no one was even asking me how I wanted my burger.... Can someone explain what is so different here than in the states that a rare burger is against the law?
My vote for best burger is in my backyard...because it's the only place I can get it red and juicy... and HOVEN FARMS organic meat has proven itself safe and delicious....
If anywhere is serving rare burgers in Calgary that I don't know of...please tell.....
You can get a rare burger at Buchanans. Typically, only a place that grinds it's own meat will do that, since they have controlled the source of the ground meat. Finer establishments with burgers will also likely serve rare as well (places like the Living Room, Wildwood, etc...).
I found the rare burger at Buchanans to be a bit soft... prefer medium rare... a bit firmer on the outside, warm and bloody on the inside.
You might be able to get one at Murrieta's. I ordered a medium rare burger at Murrieta's in Edmonton, since I always ask for burgers to be cooked less and fries to be cooked a bit more. They obliged and the patty was fine but the bun could not stand up to it and after about three bites I had to start using a knife and fork.
A decent burger is a rare thing, which is sad because it is so basic. The most common problems are the meat being too lean and too densely packed, the bun being styrofoamy or not up to the task of enclosing its contents, and the condiments being out of balance both in amount and position. I like it when I can build it myself.
I thought it was illegal anywhere, especially in the US after the deaths from salmonella at Jack in the Box, to not sell burgers that were well-cooked. I've not been asked how I want to my burger anywhere, in the US or Canada, in many years.
Maybe places that grind their meat a la minute do offer "done-ness." I agree that dried out, well-done burgers are crap.