Romer’s Burger BarPosted: 04/09/2012
Pickles has this joke that Sherman is my god. Who is Sherman, you ask? He’s the leading food blogger in Vancouver. I find that Sherman has a clear and enjoyable writing style, and also that he really does go on many “adventures”. His list of visited restaurants ranges in location from downtown Vancouver to Ladner to North Vancouver, from high-end fine dining establishments like Le Crocodile to cheap eats like Meat & Bread. He also seems quite comfortable with walking into a restaurant he’s never heard of before and enjoying a meal alone. Sadly I don’t share the same sense of adventure or spontaneity.
The only spontaneous meal I remember in the past couple months was to Romer’s Burger Bar on West 4th with Samantha. We happened to be walking down the street and complaining about how hungry we were (as I always am…)–and we just decided to grab a bite. I’d never been to Romer’s before, but I’d heard and read about it on various food blogs (including, of course, Sherman’s Food Adventures). Sam and I settled into our seats and ordered our burgers.
I decided on the So Cal Turkey Burger. I’m not a huge fan of turkey…in fact, I’m not really sure why I ordered this. Maybe it was my Californian roots–although I’m a Nor Cal girl through and through. The burger was comprised of a soft, spongy brioche bun enveloping a ground turkey patty, fresh avocado, tomatoes, onions, watercress, and a spicy mayo. I probably should have stuck with beef. The ground turkey patty was…mealy? Pickles, who’d visited Romer’s previously, had warned me against ordering a non-beef burger, and I should have listened to her advice. I would have preferred a turkey breast rather than the patty, which simply did not work texturally. That being said, I liked the other ingredients in the burger. The veggies and avocado all tasted fresh, and the brioche bun’s sponginess comfortingly reminded me of the buns at In-N-Out Burger from my beloved California.
Samantha wisely chose a beef burger in the Magic Mushroom Burger, featuring an Angus beef patty with portobello mushrooms, goat cheese, arugula, and caramelized onions. She commented that the patty was juicy, but oddly crumbly. Also, she enjoyed the addition of goat cheese, which added flavour, but that the arugula was too bitter and overwhelmed the other ingredients. Unlike me, she did not enjoy the brioche bun, being that it was too thick and a little too dry.
We shared a sider order of Sea Salt Fries, as the burgers here don’t come with any fries at all. We thought this was a decently sized portion for four dollars. Despite the name though, the fries were not very salty and even a little bland. Many of the fries were very short and, therefore, difficult to eat, being that they were too short to hold in one’s hand. Another problem I had with the fries is that the server provided no separate dish for the ketchup. It’s not a big deal that I had to squirt the ketchup on my plate, but it seemed odd that the waitress didn’t even acknowledge it. The fries, however, did come out hot and crispy.
So, Romer’s. As a final verdict, I didn’t enjoy my burger, although I guess I shouldn’t have strayed off the menu and ordered a non-beef one. Still, for $10 for just a burger, I would expect something a little more. Or at least include a side of fries with each burger! Our bill totalled to around thirty dollars after tax and tip. Although I suppose they were “good” burgers, I didn’t find them worth the price we paid. That being said, obviously Kitsilano is an expensive neighbourhood, and based on my reading of other food blogs, Romer’s has earned favourable reviews from many. Perhaps this was just one bad experience? If there’s a next time, I would definitely try a beef burger.
Service-wise, I was pretty impressed. The waitresses were friendly and efficient, and refilled our water many times. I liked the general ambiance of the restaurant, not at all snobby but still a clean and modern space. Maybe on our next visit we’ll try some of the other burgers and be more impressed!
Romer’s Burger Bar
1873 West 4th Avenue