A burger to die for

It’s not all about the pickle, but it helps

When I was little, my dad used to say that there was nothing that tasted like a homemade burger.

Since spring has officially “sprung” and the days of grilling on the deck can now begin, I thought I’d usher in the season with a burger tribute.

Although Daddy did make a mean burger with special spices and just the right amount of charring on the grill, some of the reason for that great taste was the choice of toppings.

We had garden lettuce and homemade mayo and mustard and cheese and onions… it was awesome, really.

Whenever you go out to a fast food place the burgers never even come close to looking like their “pin-up” counterparts from advertisements – they are the sad, soggy cousins; the wallflowers that could not dream to hold a candle to something so vibrant.

(Well,OK, so maybe fresh crunchy lettuce and a slice of ripe tomato isn’t as appealing as a girl in a swishy dress, but you get my point.)

Everyone has their favourite burger joint, depending on all kinds of elements. I remember on summer holidays finding out that my cousins swore by the special sauce that White Spot used on their burgers.

Our part of the family was not a fan of any “special sauce,” but I never thought then that made us burger snobs. I only realized later in life that coveting a special independent joint was something not everyone did.

Perhaps it was part of my prairie roots – the chain restaurants were not prominent where my parents came from. When we lived in Calgary, it was Peter’s Drive-In that had not only great milkshakes, but also the best burgers (if my Dad wasn’t making them, of course).

When I lived in Kitsilano in Vancouver in the ’90s, there was a nostalgic place called the Moderne (Burger). My Dad and I and the rest of the family, depending on who was available, shared many nostalgic lunches over heaping plates of home-cut fries and cheeseburgers there.

You could even drink your milkshake out of the steel container if you wanted.

Here in Kelowna we hadn’t found such a place until recently. Now, we can happily report that we have discovered another independent joint with a cool name: The Burger Baron, in Rutland.

If you blink as you round the corner of Highway 33 and Rutland Road you will miss it, but if you pay attention you will notice the rather steady stream of people wandering in hungry and going away happy.

Do take note: this is not a fancy place. The cutlery is plastic, and the choices on the menu are simple. The most complicated part is deciding on whether to add cheese or bacon or mushrooms.

But the burgers are delicious, the lettuce was green and crispy, the tomato was juicy, and they have pickles… what more could you want out of life?

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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