1209 Douglas Street
Fatburger finally opened its doors in Victoria, and now a month past its grand opening, just how does it fare? For those hungry burger eaters who do not want to venture far from the offices, they’re better than their direct competitor that lies directly across the street. And competition will be stiff between them and Burger King.
When time is tight and I'm wanting to sate a burger fetish, these are the only two places I'd consider going to.
Against the gourmet burger joints, there is no comparison. Bin4, Jackalope and Mafia are safe from the invasion of the big corporations. They have tastier choices to support their product over the franchise operations.
But to rate these mass-market outlets banking on a name can be tricky. Since customers can order their burger customized (with a choice of mustard, relish, onions, pickles, mayo, lettuce and tomato) and pay for extras (like a specialty cheese, bacon, egg, chili, mushrooms or guacamole). But until there are more unique options, I can get most of these added flavourings elsewhere.
The Alberta beef they use in their burger patties has a good texture to it. I liked the coarseness of the meat. When I tried one of their burgers in December, I found a better love and attention put into the product. I could taste of peppercorn to one side of the burger. I bought my burger with nearly all the fixings, but unless Fatburger actually advertises what kind of mushrooms they use, this is one option I’ll avoid.
I can’t even call Fatburger spectacular. They’re definitely a step above from other chain operations with a price increase to match. But that’s about all they can do unless they make a local connection by getting some of the product from the farms on the island, or start adding peanut butter and takoyaki sauce as some crazy toppings.
A month after my first visit, I found the sit-down experience worthwhile. Most of the staff will greet customers with a smile and mention what the daily special is. I had to give the King Burger combo a try,. The meal certainly measures up to King status but none of the fixings were piled up as high as I would've hoped. It's bigger than Burger King's Whopper but far less tastier than I would've hoped. Some of that tender attention that I first encountered fell flat.
The tomatoes tasted sub-par and the steak fries are nothing special. I actually struggled to take a third bite. Even after sprinkling pepper and the speciality blend of spices I found on the rack did not help either any.
At least the presentation was nice. The greens were reasonably crisp and the bun, super soft. At $12.87 (incl. taxes) for a combo versus the $6.99 price tag for just the burger itself, I could have saved a few dollars. I may come back for a third time to see if a certain adage will come true. Otherwise, the burger wars in Victoria has nothing to fear from yet another chain along Douglas St. row.
3 blokes out of 5