Sherman's Food Adventures: Romer's Burger Bar (Kerr Street)

Romer's Burger Bar (Kerr Street)

I've heard the complaints before...  "Why is he blogging about another chain restaurant, how many times do I have to read about White Spot and Cactus Club???".  Sure, there is some merit to that but really, not all locations of the same restaurant group are the same.  Grouping them into one post would be both unfair to the restaurant chain and potential customers alike.  Hence, I will continue to blog about different chain restaurant locations.  Furthermore, it also gives me a chance to try different items from the menu as well.  With that in mind, we headed the Kerr Street location of Romer's Burger Bar after Monday nite softball.

I've been to this location once before, but never have actually sat down to eat.  It is located near the water within the new River District development.  The location, building and patio are great selling points, however with that, comes the plethora of mosquitos and bugs which put a damper on things.  In terms of food, I started with the Crispy Wild Baja Shrimp ($11.75)  The shrimp were dusted lightly and were fried just right.  The meat had a nice snap while the whole thing was quite spicy.  Add in the chipotle dip and there was a significant lingering sting on my tongue.  For my burger, I went for the Port & Stilton ($10.25) which consisted of freshly ground Angus beef, port-braised onions, sharp Stilton and thyme leaves on a brioche bun.  For some reason or another, the brioche was quite dry (unlike the last time at the Kits location).  However, the beef was quite moist and meaty despite being cooked all-the-way-through.  The onions added a nice crunch and acidity while the Stilton was sharp as advertised.  I liked the flavour profile of the burger, as well as the meat, but the dry bun didn't do it for me.

I ended up sharing a The Best Damn Short Rib Poutine ($10.00) with Milhouse and Judes.  It was chock full of squeaky cheese curds which were still intact.  They started off quite cold and stiff though, yet warmed up after a few minutes.  The crispy and potatoey fries were drenched in a meaty gravy which was mild on the sodium.  Although the braised short rib was moist and soft, there was not enough of it.  Since I was super hungry, I decided to add an order of Fresh Chopped Garlic & Sea Salt Fries ($5.25) for myself.  Well, not only that, but Bam Bam's order was so intoxicating in terms of smell, I had no choice.  And yes, the fries were fantastic as they were super crispy and aromatic.  The plethora of fresh garlic tossed in not only added aroma, it made the fries legitimately garlicky.  Bam Bam had the Chorizodor ($12.75) which combined chorizo-spiced beef & pork patty with cheddar, pepper jack, Boursin, tomato, onion, avocado and diablo sauce.  Despite the large amount of seemingly flavour-packed ingredients, he didn't find it all that impactful.  Combined with the dry bun and the modest amount of meat to veggie ratio, the burger was lacking in his opinion.

Judes ended up with the So-Cal Free Range Turkey Burger ($10.50) which included avocado, Soleggiatti tomatoes, red onions, organic watercress and chipotle aioli. To her surprise, the burger had a significant spice level.  She is not a huge fan of spice, but for me, that would've been perfect.  As for the turkey, it was sufficiently moist (for the type of meat).  Ranger (making a cameo appearance) decided on the Spicy Jamaican Jerk Chicken ($11.75)  The meat itself was well-seared and pretty juicy.  However, the flavours were quite muted.  For a jerk chicken, it was bordering on bland. Once again, the amount of produce in the burger seemed to overwhelm the meat.

Hot Chocolate went for the Wickedly Deadly Cheeseburger ($11.75) consisting of 5 cheeses and Russian tarragon dressing.  With the combination of cheeses, there was a little of everything including savoury, spicy and smoked elements.  Rounding out the food, Milhouse had the Man's Man Burger ($12.25).  It included thick applewood bacon, amber ale cheddar, onion strings, smoked alder wood salts, tomato and whole grain mustard.  He generally liked his burger since there was ample ingredients that provided both texture and flavours.  However, the dry bun annoyed him a bit.  And this brings me back to my original point - not all locations of chain restaurants are made equal.  As much as I like Romer's, there was just something a bit off with this one.

The Good:
- Choice of interesting burgers
- Great waterfront location
- Really good house-cut fries

The Bad:
- A little pricey
- Kits location is better for some reason
- The mosquitos are an annoyance

Romer's Burger Bar on Urbanspoon