Restaurants & Bars

Delux Burger Bar, Edmonton

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Restaurants & Bars

Delux Burger Bar, Edmonton

Bob Mac | Jul 13, 2006 01:37 AM

Ever since Urban Fare left its fancy "digs" in Edmonton's Crestwood Shopping Centre apart from another abortive attempt by Debaji's to set up shop the space has been left empty.

Relatively recently the free-standing building has been subdivided into bays, one of which is currently occupied and apparently doing very good business is a Cobs Bread bakery, another is to be occupied by Cameron Meats, a third is empty and the fourth at the east end has been open for a couple of months or so as the Delux Burger Bar.

It is owned by the same people who operate Luxe Steak House [formerly Chance]in downtown's Commerce Court and the south side's Century Grill.

I stopped on a couple of occasions when picking up bread at Cobs and there was a line-up so I gave it a pass. On the Monday following the Canada Day week-end my wife and I dropped in mid-afternoon. We obtained a table with no wait.

It is a nice, modern, airy and cool room...just as well given the sweltering heat that afternoon. Banquettes down two sides, the middle with a number of higher tables and chairs with some additional tables toward the front.

There is also a smallish patio off the entrance. I am not sure how many people it can hold.

The bar itself is beautiful, lots of tile, quirky swirling, wave-like pattern toward the ceiling with five or six perches.

We ended up at one of the banquettes. It may just be me but I hate banquettes [with the possible exception of the one at Vancouver's Cru on Broadway]. This one unfortunately was no exception. The back was not one piece but rather stretched the length of this wall at about the height of one's shoulder blades. As a result no support for the small of the back...yep, a pain in the back!

The menu is broken down into Starters & Salads, Burgers, Carts, Dessert and a Kids Menu. I expect that it remains the same from opening at 11:00 a.m. through closing.

The "Burger of the Day" was salmon.

We elected to start with the Shrimp Popsicles [10] and I ordered the Organic Field of Greens [5].

Also available were Century's Lollipop Chicken Wings [9 1/2], crispy drumettes accompanied by a spicy sambal plum dip, Lobster Nachos [15], "Pie In The Sky" Burger [12 1/2], a 12 oz burger with toppings on a custom baked pun sliced "pie style" for sharing, Beet Salad [10], with candied pecans, goat cheese, etc., Tomato & Mozzarella Salad [9], what it says plus basil, avocado oil, Delux Signature Salad [13], fresh lobster, madarin and apple segments, pecans, grapes etc and a Teriyaki Chicken Noodle Salad [11 1/2], grilled chicken breast, julienne veggies, soba noodles, sweet sambal vinaigrette.

The shrimp popsicles arrived accompanied by a garnish of some pretty "tired" looking greens. Not too surprising perhaps given the weather.

They were supposed to be Red Bull & pomegranate infused and coconut encrusted. They were the latter, in fact all that I could taste was the dark, chewy coconut. No infusion of anything.

The shrimp themselves were not particularly good. Crisp without a nice texture or flavour. Almost like they had been skewered frozen and then deep fried and removed when the coating could not stay in the deep fryer any longer. They were accompanied by what was described as a mango lime mayo.

The Wild Tangerine's "Shrimp Lollipops" with Wasabi Yogurt are much better in comparison.

My salad was fine. A large portion of the same type of greens that had been used as a garnish but these were fresh, nothing wrong with them. The sliced tomatoes that came with them were not as good because although they were nice and red and looked ripe, they were tasteless. The salad was overdressed with what was otherwise a white balsamic vinaigrette. That was my miscue however as I usually ask for the dressing on the side as I know most places tend to "drown" the greens.

For our burgers my wife opted for the Grilled Chicken Burger [9] and I the Delux Burger [11].

My wife said the the grilled free-range chicken breast was fine topped with roasted peppers, carmelized onions, the usual other toppings and a sundried tomato basil mayo on a ciabatta bun.

Mine consisted of 8 oz of Black Angus beef apparently infused with blue cheese and topped with similar condiments along with wild boar bacon on a toasted ciabatta bun. When the burger came it looked a little dry with more the texture of meatloaf than a burger. However, although it was not dripping with juices, it was quite tasty and certainly not dry. The bacon was good as well. Did not really note the blue cheese but that may have been intentional.

Both also came with a big chunk of pickle skewered into the bun. Our waitress did not know the brand but confided that a regular, the "pickle guy", gives her heck that they have not gone the kosher pickle route. I don't know about the "pickle guy" but I thought these were quite good.

Other burgers available were the "Out of the Water" burger, Ahi Tuna [12 1/4], Garden Burger [8 1/2], Urban Classic [9] 8 oz beef paddy topped with 3 cheese blend and a Delux Grilled Cheese [7].

As sides we had ordered a "cart" of mixed fries and sweet potatoes and another of Stella Artois battered onion rings. Both were $6. The onion rings were the best thing we had during the meal. They were outstanding. Big sweet rings in a very light, almost not there batter.

The name comes from the fact that they literally were served in a small replica grocery cart.

Serviceable wine list recognizing that they are not after the fine dining crowd. Had a decent bottle of Peter Lehmann [sp?] cab from the Barossa. Better beer list if you are so inclined.

Several options for dessert including a Banana Split [7], Dad's Classic Root Beer Float [7], Pie [7] and a Cheescake Burger [8]...chocolate cheesecake, raspberry sauce and whipped cream inside a warm brioche.

However, we were oh too full especially from all of the carbs to even think of something else.

Eating here was one of those funny situations where you neither particularly enjoy it nor had a bad experience. The following day my wife commented to me without prompting, "Not sure about that place, I would not rush back".

Agreed. OK...great onion rings, nice ambience, good "young" but competent and friendly service. Overall I would say that it is fair. If wanting a burger in this area, I probably would end up back at Earls before Delux.

May fit the bill for a difficult area and its regulars. Allegro is in the same strip mall, Picolino's is just down the street and Ralph Maio's Il Forno which used to be in the same mall before its renovations is not too far away.

We might go back if someone wanted to try it but it would be my suggestion.

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