Off of the top of my head, I could probably name a variety of different burger joints in Montreal’s downtown core. Unfortunately, I can’t really do the same for Vancouver. However, on a failed lunchtime excursion to Ajisai Sushi Bar, TamTam suggested that we instead pay a visit to the Red Onion nearby instead.
With their signature red onion hanging above the doorway, the Red Onion has been serving up burgers, fries and other such fried comfort foods to the Kerrisdale community for quite awhile. We went in the mid-afternoon, so the restaurant was completely empty – a little awkward. The waitress wasn’t extremely attentive though, but perhaps that’s just because we didn’t look like we had that many needs.
For whatever reason, the top of their (or should I say leur?) menu had a charming little French twist to it. I thought I left that all behind on the other side of the country!
The houseplants sitting on the tables by the windows gave a real home-like feel to the restaurant, which is decorated quite casually with splashes of red everywhere.
On a touch of unoriginality, TamTam and I both ordered their signature item: the red onion hamburger. I ordered mine with aged cheddar and sautéed mushrooms while he chose just the mozzarella. Unless you’re a fan of the raw version, I would definitely recommend getting the onions sautéed to avoid overpowering the taste of the entire burger. Apparently neither of wanted a side-order.
Well, first thing’s first: this is a hearty burger. The contents may seem like your standard fast food fare, but it’s the main component of a burger, the patty, that sets actual burger joints apart. Their patty is advertised as being a third of a pound of “never frozen, hand-shaped” goodness, and this certainly came through with the taste. The beef was moist and juicy, although it could have been a little thicker. The taste, however, was indeed there. With their own mustard sauce and a healthy amount of cheese, these ingredients combine together to make a pretty good burger.
Keep in mind that I wouldn’t recommend this for first dates, people with civilized eating habits or those with small mouths. If you’re going to eat a burger, you must be prepared to disregard the aesthetic consequences and attack it one gargantuan bite at a time.
Afterwards, I had the impression that the burger kind of came and went. In consideration of the patty, it was certainly above what one could find at McDonald’s, but it lacked something else to really give it that “oomph” factor. Would I say that the Red Onion had the best burger ever? I’m not extremely sure about that, but I can definitely see why this creation is enjoyed by many of the locals. After all, big eaters like me would never be able to reject an artery clogging combination of ground beef, cheese and bread.
Conclusion: Andy ate a fair amount.
The Red Onion
2028 W 41st Ave.