Buchanan’s (Calgary) – A Solid Ball of Meat

After a great experience at Dairy Lane, recommended by a classmate, I have been in the mood for a good burger. Dairy Lane (319 19 Street NW, (403) 283-2497) makes a damn good burger, termed the DLB for $11.50.  First time I had it was at 8:30am for breakfast. That was a good day. I had to double check to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. Second time, 1 week later, it was just as good.

Buchanan’s is known for making gigantic and high quality burgers. Sadly, I am learning about this place too late. It used to be $12 for the same burger. It then rose to $15. Now it is at a staggering $18. Sigh.

Buchanan’s itself is reminiscent of a place I went to in Manhattan named Pastis. It kind of has a San Francisco harbour feel to it. It was pretty empty when we arrived. I always hate making reservations at a place that doesn’t really need them. I always feel weird walking in, seeing dozens of tables, and saying: “I have a reservation for two please…”

The burger itself is amazing. 1 inch thick at least. You can ask for it medium or medium well. When I asked about how they grind it up, the server said: ‘We ground them up this afternoon.” To me… that doesn’t quite sound clean. Unless you sear the steak first, then grind it up, you still have surface bacteria that are getting into the deep parts of the burger and hence, if you don’t cook it all the way through, you may be in trouble. However, Jules asked for Medium. I wussed out and got Medium well. From the picture, you can see that it looks well done regardless. My anxiety was unnecessary.

The burger had great texture and flavour. It was very well seasoned. Wasn’t particularly juicy but the gigantic pickle and tomato certainly made the burger moist. Monterey Jack cheese and Jalapeno spices highlighted this burger. The bun was the weakest link. A bit chewy. The fries were a treat, but a bit over-fried and too crispy. The coleslaw was interesting: probably the least sugary and mayo-ey I’ve ever had.

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So where does an $18 steak burger fit in? 33% more than the DLB, is it worth the extra cost? It is a solid burger but not something I could eat a lot of. I’d get this burger once every 2 months. I’d get the Dairy Lane Burger once a week.

Interestingly, they also serve lots of other meat (steak, lamb, ribs, fish, etc) but the prices are sky high. I kinda want to try it out… They also have a prix fixe menu with appy, meat, and dessert for $45. Still steep. I’ll stick to my burger thank you.

Buchanan’s Restaurant, 738 3ave SW, 403-261-4646 www.buchanans.ca

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~ by Russ on April 23, 2008.

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