Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Burg

In order to keep mine and CJ's food adventures fun and exciting, I suggested we have a random lottery draw every time after we go out to eat. I choose all the food places that go in the draw, and CJ has the honour of selecting one of the ballots. The very first place for the draw? The Burg (theburg4st.ca), located on 104th Street in Downtown.

104th Street in Downtown, better known as 4th Street Promenade is one of my favourite streets in the city. There are a lot of food places on this street as well as neat shops (such as Workhall Boutique). This is the street where CJ and I had our very first food adventure at Blue Plate Diner back when we were just getting to know each other. Therefore, this street and Blue Plate Diner will always be special to me. 

The Burg is in the Historic Metals Building located on the corner of 104th Street. You have to go up a short flight of stairs before reaching the entrance to this restaurant which opens up to a very large, bright interior. There are tall beams that reach from ceiling to floor, huge windows that overlook the intersecting streets, and brick walls that add to the industrial feel inside. So far, a beautiful, modern setting. I didn't take any pictures of the inside of the restaurant, so be sure to check out the Gallery on The Burg's website (or you know, take a visit there yourself ;)). 

CJ and I weren't immediately greeted by someone when we walked in - we did the usual awkwardly-stand-there-until-someone-helps-us thing. One of the servers then told us that it was actually self seating. A big sign saying "self seating" could've been useful, just saying. 

We chose a table in the corner on the further right hand side of the restaurant. I actually wanted a seat at one of the high tables that overlook 4th Street Promenade near the bar, but all of the tables were occupied. At least the lighting at our table was perfect for taking pictures! 

The menu.

At every table in the restaurant, there are a couple menus as well as a pad of paper where you can create your own burger. While The Burg specializes in burgers, they also offer a variety of unique appetizers, sides, salads, and desserts. Each burger is made of certified Angus beef, and a lot of their food (such as their fries and gravy) are made from scratch and prepared in house. I actually didn't feel like eating a burger, so I opted for one of their appetizers with a side instead. CJ naturally got himself a burger. 

Our drinks.

Of course, orange juice for me and iced tea for CJ. Our usual. We are always happy whenever a restaurant has these drinks. Another thing to point out is while they do self seating, it is definitely not self serving. Each server covers their own section of the restaurant. So once you find a spot to sit, a server will take it from there. 

Our food.

Our food arrived after only a few minutes of waiting. They were served on clean white plates, and considering the awesome lighting I had at our table I just had to take several pictures. I couldn't wait to dig in. 

Mac 'N' Cheese Balls.

To start off my meal, I went for a side of Mac 'N' Cheese Balls ($4). This is considered to be one of The Burg's Regular Sides, but they also offer Premium Sides as well. The Mac 'N' Cheese Balls are Panko crusted balls (but are really more like cubes) of elbow macaroni which is made with sharp cheddar, white cheddar, and cream cheese sauce. It is served with jalapeño queso dip. I really enjoyed the Mac 'N' Cheese Balls - I thought the macaroni and cheese inside was rich and creamy and contrasted well with the crunchiness of the Panko crust. The dip itself was just okay in my opinion... I felt it was a bit too cheesy. I think I would've liked it better if more of the jalapeño heat and spice came through. 

Chicken and Wafflettes.

The appetizer I chose were the Chicken and Wafflettes ($11). This dish consists of Southern fried chicken bites between two house made mini waffles, with a nice helping of green vegetables and Tabasco honey aioli for the sauce. This was definitely my favourite between the two food items I picked. I thought the chicken was moist and had that nice trademark fried chicken flavour to it. The waffles by themselves were just decent, but tasted amazing when paired with the chicken, vegetables and the sauce. I've only ever had Chicken and Waffles at Sugarbowl (a restaurant in the Garneau neighbourhood), but I think this smaller version at The Burg is way better. The miniature size of the waffles and the chicken bites make it more manageable to eat. I also appreciated that they didn't make the chicken bites too sweet, so that its natural savouriness would be the counterpart to the lightness of the waffles. 

"Oh Canada" Bison Burg.

Finally, CJ's pick for lunch: the "Oh Canada" Bison Burg ($15). This burger is made with a sage scented buffalo patty, green leaf lettuce, caramelized onions, melted Oka, maple syrup and Saskatoon berry ketchup on a toasted prairie seed roll. While eating, I noticed that CJ wasn't really making his usual remarks about his food tasting good. I asked him what he thought about his burger, and he said that it was a bit dry and wished for more sauce to be added. Even though he ate the entire burger and some of my food, I knew that he was still hungry afterwards. I guess he didn't find the burger to be filling. CJ and I want to find the best place for burgers in the city, but I don't think he would choose The Burg for that. 

The Burg is a great place to go for lunch if you're ever hanging out on 4th Street Promenade. The interior of this restaurant gives off awesome industrial, modern vibes - the perfect setting for catching up with some friends or family. They have a variety of seating as well, which include the high tables, regular tables, large communal tables in the centre, booths, and the bar seating. Even though The Burg specializes in burgers (hence the name), based on CJ's opinion of his food I don't think I would recommend this place if you're craving a burger. Perhaps more sauce would be the right fix? Definitely try the appetizers and sides though! I would love to come back to get the Chicken and Wafflettes again and maybe a side of Devilled Eggs for next time! 

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