Chuck’s Burger Bar
538 Yates St
Hours: 11am to 10pm daily
Phone: (250) 590-9866
ES: Chuck’s Burger Bar has come to town! Yes, this Sidney, BC operation is popular enough to have them decide to open up shop in downtown Victoria, on lower Fort Street. Don is the Burger King and when he told me about it, I knew we had to go there as soon as possible. For the basics, burger and fries for dinner, you can’t get any better than this! Or so I thought…
DK: There is an unwritten rule that any restauranteur would happily write down and staple to your forehead should you break it: never review a restaurant within its first two months of operation.
It’s a good rule. It takes a while for a team to build chemistry and deliver consistently. Can I tell you whether Chuck’s Victoria location is any good? Not yet (our visit occurred on their first full day of operation for fuck sakes). I will, however, speak to this newcomer’s potential.
Chuck’s holds more promise as a sports bar than a burger destination. Beaucoup TVs and two large, communal tables at the front of the restaurant create a solid environment for clowning the riff-raff that jumps on the Canucks bandwagon everytime a Swede with an orca on his chest manifests false hope.
ES: If the menu is to advertise wild mushroom it must go beyond the basics of what you can find at a grocery store. Adding black truffle oil is not enough. Yes, I am picky, but when I can taste what I have foraged in the hidden corners of Mt Doug Park or out in Sooke, there’s a meal of the kings! From time to time, the Root Cellar has limited supplies of hard to find varieties. These added textures can even pump up your average garden variety mushroom soup. The morel of the story here is that we will be back to see how things have changed since they opened.
At least their candied bacon are tops! I enjoyed both this aperitif and the burger. And you can customize your side. Instead of fries, it can be poutine as Don did. I made a double order by mistake because I was curious in their idea of adding mushrooms on top of fries. I took it home and found my addition of sauteed Chanterelle improved the taste.
DK: Menus can change a lot in the first few months of operation, so perhaps Ed’s mushroom desires will be met at a later date. One thing we can be sure of: Chuck’s will be focused on large (1/2 pound) burgers and “makes your hamburger a beautiful thing”-style topping options. I was hoping for more grease here, but no luck this time around. Next time I’ll ask if they use a standard 80/20 grind and opt for medium rare. If you’re down with customization you’ll probably dig Chuck’s.
Rating: “Feeling Optimistic”