Hunt for the best: Burgers of Burnaby campus

Let's see how these meat stacks stack against each other

Written and photographed by: Gene Cole

 A&W

What? The Double Teen Burger

Price? $7.99

This fast food company is not exclusive to SFU, but it’s a beneficial starting point for this spread of reviews, because A&W doesn’t make an inherently bad burger. Its beef is decently sized, despite being somewhat dry without its condiments, sauces, and unexciting fast-food cheese. Its veggies (particularly the lettuce and white onion) don’t add a lot of flavour, but they make for a nice crunch and texture. The biggest issue I could think of is that the bacon strips are rather small and unsubstantial, but that isn’t unexpected in a fast-food burger.

     Altogether, it’s a fully acceptable burger, and if there weren’t other places to get one on campus, I would never feel bad ordering one. However, it’s hard to justify a walk to A&W for its burgers when there’s access to more interesting and memorable burgers nearby.

     Rating: 2.5/5

    Club Ilia

What? The Graduate Burger

Price? $15

You might not consider this restaurant a burger outlet, but rather a place for plated dinners and alcoholic drinks. However, within Club Ilia’s wide menu, the burgers fit in fairly well. The Graduate is a clean, pub-style burger, held together by a bun that’s hard on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The veggies definitely make up most of its mass, but the beef is wide and flavourful enough that it doesn’t feel like a steep majority. Its veggies also seem slightly fresher than the other burgers reviewed here, benefiting from restaurant standards.

     The biggest disappointment is the caramelized onions, which felt tasteless enough that I’d forgotten them halfway through my meal. It definitely isn’t high-class, and perhaps not worth its higher cost, but it’s exactly what you’d expect to see accompanied by cocktails at a nice restaurant.

     Rating: 3/5

CaliBurger

What? The Cali Double (featured image)

Price? $5.99

As a burger joint, CaliBurger is an oddity, being both highly unique and substantially mediocre. The burger is very thin and tall, making it difficult to eat when removed from the snug and aesthetically pleasing half-wrapping it’s served in. Much of the height is due to the veggies, which are fine, but definitely overshadow the beef. The cheese also deviates the most from the other burgers I’ve reviewed; it’s thick, has a powerful (but not unpleasant) flavour, and is melted to a point where it feels more like a sauce.

      The one part of the burger I can confidently describe as positive is the grilled onion, which adds a good layer and texture, but otherwise the sandwich feels more unusual than specifically good. I’d hesitate to call it bad, but its atypical style makes me not feel a desire for more.

     Rating: 2.5/5

    Junction 65

What? Double Bacon Cheddar Burger

Price? $8.79

After taking the place of what used to be Triple O’s, it’s both surprising and relieving just how fantastic these burgers are.

     Here you have a crisped bun that tightly holds an exceptionally large burger, where the surplus of good beef takes up most of the mass and flavour. Its lettuce and tomato aren’t exceptional, but they add a smooth crunch to the sandwich, helped further by some pickle slices. The cheese is an unexciting, pre-sliced square like the others, but it melts onto the patty really well and nicely fits the sandwich. To top it off, the bacon is surprisingly prominent and properly chewy in exactly the way I would want it to be on a burger.

     Altogether, it makes a sandwich that’s satisfying in a way the other burgers on campus fail to accomplish.

     Rating: 4.5/5