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Primal Eats Vancouver: Romer’s Burger Bar

April 24, 2012

Romer's-Burger-Bar-Port-and-Stilton-Burger

I was excited to try Romer’s Burger Bar for a few reasons. First of all, I love burgers. Second of all, they use quality ingredients:

All-natural Heritage Farms range-fed Angus beef, natural Fraser Valley pork, turkey, free-run chicken or wild salmon flat-top seared for succulent flavour and juiciness.

And thirdly, they advertise their “Make mine green” option – i.e. you won’t get strange looks for asking them to skip the bun (although they do charge $0.75 extra for serving it with lettuce instead).

Their menu looked appetizing, with a variety of burgers to choose from. Being the sucker for cheese that I am, I eyed the Wicked Deadly Cheeseburger (with 5 cheeses), but decided on the Port and Stilton Burger (port-braised onions, creamy Stilton, fresh thyme leaves).

Right off the bat, I was impressed with the lettuce. I could see why they charged me the extra 75 cents. This wasn’t just a lettuce wrap-job. The lettuce actually resembled a hamburger bun. Which of course meant that I attempted to eat it as such with my hands, but unfortunately it fell apart. Perhaps it’s just my lack of skills – it’s been a while since I’ve eaten my burger without a fork. Regardless, I greatly enjoyed the concept of a lettuce bun.

Once I got over the excitement of the lettuce, I realized that the burger seemed rather bare in terms of toppings, and the patty itself rather small. And once I bit into it, I was further disappointed with the lack of any sort of flavor. Sadly, I found it bland. I had this feeling that maybe all the focus was so geared towards healthy and sustainable that they forgot to really give me the hunk of meat I came for. And considering how much lettuce I was eating, I felt like if vegetarians wanted to cheat with a burger, this small number would be just the ticket. Show me the meat!

My friend had the Righteous Rib Burger (thick-sliced applewood bacon, braised short rib, sweet onions, Gorgonzola garlic sauce, fresh thyme leaves), and also felt that it was lacking flavour and substance. Although admittedly, it looked better than mine.

Romer's-Burger-Bar-Righteous-Rib-Burger

The restaurant itself was fine – I checked out the Kitsilano location, and there’s also one in the River District (Kerr St.). Cool decor, decent service – no complaints there. But as much as I wanted to like the place, and as much as I support their use of quality ingredients, I don’t foresee myself returning. I go to a burger bar to get a big, juicy burger with lots of creative and flavorful toppings – and unfortunately, that wasn’t my experience.

Romer's Burger Bar on Urbanspoon

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Aaron April 25, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Wow, I’m surprised you found it bland with Stilton on it … that is one strong cheese. I also wonder if they choose to skimp on the meat portions because the higher quality ingredients cost them more.

At the burger place here in town (yes, we only have one) they, too, will serve it up lettuce wrapped if you like. The difference is that they put it in a ‘paper pocket’ instead of on a plate. Not that it makes much of a difference in terms of messiness though.

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[email protected] April 25, 2012 at 8:29 PM

What can I say, I can handle my cheeses :P Or, perhaps there wasn’t enough Stilton on it…. I really liked the way they presented the lettuce, top points for that. My picture doesn’t do it justice, but it was like a bun made of lettuce.

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