Sherman's Food Adventures: White Spot (North Road)

White Spot (North Road)

White Spot? You might be wondering why I chose such a conservative, unadventurous place for dinner. Well, if you read my previous post on Aquarius Bakery & Cafe, you will know that it was certainly an adventure, in more ways than one. I know that I wouldn't be hassled at White Spot for taking any pictures, even if it is close to Cumpari's and Anna's (I had picture-taking problems there too). Besides, I had my whole family with me, I wouldn't want to be "arrested" (see Aquarius again) for taking pictures of food?!?!

White Spot has been a favourite of mine since I was a little kid (can you say Pirate Pack?) going to the Oakridge location when the Oakridge Centre was an outdoor mall! Yes, an outdoor mall... in Vancouver. Go figure... Rain! Hello? I also went to the original Granville location before it burnt down. Hmmm... Am I feeling old??? Anyways, now that I'm in Burnaby, I go to either the North Road or the Lougheed and Gilmore location. I'm not particularly enamored to either of them, but they are close to me. When I go to White Spot, it's usually for their burgers. Yes I know, they are not very big, there is waaaay too much mayo on them and the patties are kind of thin (even the Bigger Better ones). Well, for some strange reason, it reminds me of my youth (damn, I'm using that cheesy Iron Chef line again). There are very few things in British Columbia that have the appeal of a White Spot burger. It's messy; yet satisfying. Even their Triple-O sauce is not a really big deal; after all it's just hamburger relish. I personally wouldn't rate it against places like Moderne, Vera's, Hamburger Heaven, Fatburger and Burgers Etc. It's not the same type of burger. There's a certain "je ne sais quoi" quality to the food.

Now that I have completely confused you with my pathetic explanation as to why I like White Spot burgers, let me continue my rambling... The fries that come with the burger are really not even all that crispy, but I like them. Think of Moderne Burger fries, but soggier. They're really good with a side of Triple-O. Yes, it's heart attack on a plate. Viv always looks at me in disgust as I slather each fry with mayo and relish. Add a Classic Plate or have the Grill & Greens and you get treated to Zoo Sticks. Fried zucchini and ranch dip never tasted so good. Maybe get some Dippin' Chicken or a clam chowder for a starter. Too bad they got rid of the fried mushrooms - those were good! Instead of having a burger, there are the ol' standbys, the CBC (no not the TV station), Chicken Broccoli and Cheese or the Turkey Dinner. Don't go for the spot size, the regular size is more than enough. However, every time I go, some of my turkey slices are nuked beyond edibility.

Now here I come to rain on the foodie nostalgia. White Spot has gone through a few changes over the years which included the interior decor and the menu. They began doing theme features that celebrated different cultures and more recently; local celebrity chefs. In my opinion, do yourself a favour and avoid these dishes. They are not very good. Usually, they cost $15 or more and are not executed well. If you want Thai food, go to a Thai restaurant, not White Spot. If I'm going to spend $15+ for a meal, I'm going somewhere more authentic and not a chain restaurant. However, if you want a really messy, not overly big burger that is still reasonably-priced, White Spot is the place.

The Good:
- You know what you are getting
- Still one of the least expensive chain restaurants
- Good for families

The Bad:
- Hit and miss theme menus
- Expensive theme menus
- Why do they microwave their turkey?

White Spot
4075 North Road
Burnaby, B.C.

White Spot on Urbanspoon


Peter Justason said...

I liked White Spot when I used to visit Vancouver. Very predictable.

Sorry to hear you are having problems with taking photos of food. I think they add a lot to the blog. I have just started out blogging about food here in the US and so far have only received one comment at one restaurant. I guess I won't be surprised if it happens to me.

I enjoyed your blog. Take a look at mine.

Sherman Chan said...

Awesome Peter! Keep up the blogging, the visits will come! I'll follow your adventures as well.

KimHo said...

Now that I have been blogging, I have started to realize that for some restaurants, the redeeming quality is not the food. Instead, is the fact people feel comfortable with it, i.e., it is not for something adventurous, keep the kids "busy" with something and enjoy time with people you know. White Spot, Red Robin, Boston Pizza, heck, even McDonald's are those places. Heck, once in a blue moon I would go to a White Spot just for that purpose (despite I did not grow here in Canada). Good post!

Sherman Chan said...


I think you nailed it right on the head. The places that you mentioned are definitely not known for their "gourmet" food. Rather, it's a place that is predictable and comfortable. Excellent response! :)

Anson said...

Something I've always wondered...

Why is it called "WHITE Spot"?

Nat Bailey...don't see any connection.


Sherman Chan said...

Hi Anson,

I believe that they named it White Spot because it indicated cleanliness.

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