Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bin 4 Burger Lounge

Address: 911 Yates St (Harris Green parking lot)
Phone: (250) 590-4154
Price: $10-15
Notes: a new burger lounge with 'good bones'. Half-price burgers with a drink after 9.

Bin 4 Burger Lounge was the first of the wave of burger joints to hit Victoria this fall. To compare it to an existing restaurant, it is more in the vein (price and style wise) of the Pink Bicycle than anything else. The selection of hamburgers on the menu is diverse - beef, chicken, pork and vegetarian. Like pink bicycle, the toppings of a burger designate the type of patty that 'goes' with that option (although I am sure they wouldn't complain if you switched it up). Your burger comes with fries, potato chips, onion rings or salad as a selection of house dips. They have a gluten-free burger option, although the deep-fried sides are not celiac friendly.

The restaurant is located in the former chinese restaurant in the parking lot of the Harris Green shopping centre. It is a long, skinny L-shaped space, which makes for a bit of an awkward entranceway area but also allows for a large bar area with flexible seating for individuals and duos. They clearly had someone with some really classic interior design sense involved in the project - the signage and the wall decals and the upholstery are all adorned with matching modern stripes of grey, yellow, and white. It looks pretty classy, and adds to the 'lounge' aesthetic. Clearly they are filling a niche, as it has been packed to the maximum every time I have visited.

My sense of this restaurant is that it has "good bones" - the menu on paper is pretty strong, the style and aesthetic is good and the owners have heart and passion. There is definite room to grow, though. I've seen some rave reviews, but seen (and experienced) some less than impressive end results. Given a bit more time and persistence and opportunity for natural leadership to emerge within the kitchen and server teams the pressure for the owners to keep on top of every little thing will diminish. I also have seen on twitter that they have had quite a large number of equipment failures behind the scenes, which can only complicate things!

December 27, 2011
The customer service has bee the weakest point in my experience - and I have seen similar complaints from others on social networks. I think it is a victim of their own success kind of situation. The staff seem like they might not have a ton of experience (back in november they tried to squish five of us into a booth for four despite having a reservation and an empty restaurant...). There can be a bit of delay between phases of the meal.

December 27, 2011

Dirty Bourbon Burger via

I had visited back in November and had one of the chorizo-pork burgers and wasn't super impressed, but I like the texture of the beef burger much better. It is also possible to cook it with a little bit of pink in the centre, which is so much more pleasurable of a meal. The toppings were excellent - I liked the spice level and the onion ring was very good. The buns here are brioche buns, and are quite soft and squishy. I opted for fries on the side, which were a tad under-seasoned (but that's an easy fix!) and the curry aoli on the side.

My friend ordered the regular burger with the gluten-free bun which got rave reviews. I stole her house-made ketchup, as she wasn't interested in it, and it was super delicious. I would totally choose that as my side again although there is a massive list of potential dips which I do want to make my way through eventually!