I’ve officially decided that Vera’s Burger Shack serves up the best fast food burgers in Vancouver. And I’d say it even gives most restaurants a run for their money. Vera’s is definitely in a completely different category from the likes of McDonald’s and Wendy’s. You’d think that its competition would be more along the lines of Five Guys, Fatburger, and maybe White Spot, but it blows all those out of the water, too. Their 6 ounce patties resemble “real” burgers, not those cheap looking pancake-flat patties you see at most burger joints. I’ve enjoyed Vera’s burgers for many years, but it was my last visit to their Kitsilano location that sealed the deal.
I pretty much always order the Vic: Double patty, cheese and fried onions. The only time I deviate from the usual is to occasionally order The Organic Burger or the Lamb Burger. But, since I’m not eating the bun, I prefer getting the double patty. Oh, and they’ll happily wrap anything in lettuce, which they do a great job of. I ate my last burger at the beach, wrapped in lettuce, straight out of the foil. It was messy, dripping with juicy goodness, but it stayed intact.
Speaking of juiciness, that’s why this burger was so amazing. The website says that their burgers are served slightly pink, which I usually don’t love when eating out. This burger managed to not be pink, while still being incredibly juicy. And it was massive. I couldn’t get over how delicious it was.
I don’t know if it was just the Kits location that makes the burgers exceptionally well or what. I’ve eaten Vera’s burgers at their Davie, Denman, and UBC locations as well, and while they were all great, this one was amazing. The only location that I didn’t like was Granville – terrible service and messed up the order. The service at every other location is always bang-on and they go out of their way to be nice. Oh, and one unique thing about the Denman location is that they always put my lettuce-wrapped burgers in an aluminum container so I can eat it with a fork and knife – very handy for eating it at English Bay beach.
If you’re looking to grab a burger in the Lower Mainland, I would highly recommend checking out Vera’s Burger Shack – they have locations all over, just check out their website. Oh, and don’t be tempted by the yam fries. Unfortunately, they contain gluten.
***UPDATE*** (5/15/12) Sadly, I have to update this review. That burger I had a week or so ago was so good, that I went and got another that same week. The difference was like night and day. My friend and I ordered the same thing both times. The first burgers were utter perfection. The second – oh my.
First of all, they weren’t even wrapped properly. When I opened the brown paper bag, I found the burgers falling out of their wrappers, which weren’t sealed or labeled. And the lettuce wrap job was even worse – it was basically a leaf of lettuce on top and on the bottom – no wrap job to be found. Now here’s the deal breaker: my friend’s burger was very pink, and mine was completely raw in the centre. I mentioned previously that I don’t love pink burgers when eating out at fast food joints. But I did end up eating all the pink stuff – which, in my opinion, was pinker than it should’ve been. I couldn’t, however, eat raw hamburger. So I ate around it, which resulted in about 1/4 of a burger patty in total being thrown out.
Between the burgers being messy and falling apart, and mine being raw, it was a really disappointing and crappy experience. I couldn’t believe that the burgers came from the very same burger shack as the previous ones (the Kitsilano location). Such a discrepancy is obviously unacceptable – the quality of the food shouldn’t depend on who’s working that particular shift, it should be consistent. I’m not going to change my rating of this place, or the original review – because it reflects that particular awesome experience that I had. However, as this update shows – although there’s great potential there, unfortunately, you can’t expect a reliably good burger… and if I were to write a review based solely on my most recent experience, well, sadly it would not be good.