Sunday, October 19, 2014

Burger Quest 7th Outing

Friday was a very good day for the Burgerteers!
It was John's turn to drive so we headed North on Prolongation Paseo Montejo and he made a 'U' turn at the light at Campestre and pulled up in front of Pamplona Steak House.

We used their valet parking and walked up to the front door and entered.

Upon entering we found ourselves in a small alcove with a set of stairs.  The stairs went up to the restaurant.

From just coming in from the outside our eyes took a minute to adjust.
It had subdued lighting and my first impression, though I have never been in one, was that of a speakeasy.  It was kind of cool!

As we entered the room our eyes started to adjust and we could see that it was about a third full.
There were about five tv's with music videos playing.

We were greeted by a waiter who took us to the table of our choosing. We chose a seat over by the windows which are on the front of the building as we felt it would have more light to see the burgers and for the pictures, etc.

We got seated and the waitress was there to find out what we wanted to drink and to supply us with menus.

 We ordered our drinks and some guac. We further perused the menu and thought that there was a good variety of various dishes.

The waitress brought the guac and the drinks.  We commented to each other that for that much guac there weren't very many chips so we knew we'd need to order more.  
The guac had decent flavor but all of us like our guac a bit more chunky than the finely processes style that we were served.

I feel that I need to add a comment about the orangish colored sausa as it was very tasty with the guac and chips.  It carried some heat with it but it was very nicely balanced and the flavor was super.

We then ordered the burger and bun as we always do.  Just the the meat and the bun so we can check the quality before anything else is added.We're not sure if the waitress would have asked us how we wanted it cooked as it was ordered with that info being specified from the beginning.  

It arrived closer to rare than medium rare but that was fine with me and John and Reg went with the flow.  
We're not sure if the bun was on the dry side as you can see from the pictures because of the way we ordered the burger or what.  However the buns for the other burgers were fine.

The meat was very juicy, not dry at all, and the flavor was at the top of our lists in the first three positions to date.

Reg pointed out that the fries that came with the burger were leaving no grease on the checkered paper.  Their flavor was very good and not over salted.

Each burger comes with you choice of french fries, steak fries, or onion rings.  The onion rings had a great flavor.

There always seems to be some kind of order mistake and this time was no exception.  The meals came out as ordered except that I didn't order cheese on my burger but got it nevertheless.
Yes, I could have sent it back but one of the complaints that we had was the amount of time it took to get the meals as it was outside of a reasonable time frame.
I will say that by two fifteen or so the place was full up.  That leads us to one other minor complaint, and not that we are not used to it, was the amount of noise being generated.

Regardless, we all consider Pamplona Steak House a heavy contender in our "Quest"!

Here's a link you can cut and paste with more information.

FYI: A wee bit of added information just to be sure there are no misunderstandings about the "Burger Quest".
We do not get comped any food.  We do not let the restaurants know that we are coming.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Burger Quest 6th Outing

As with life the "Quest" gets steered in different directions depending on the influences that occur to the "Burgerteers" at any given time.

Recently, Reg (d'Artagnan) happened to be at a car wash and noticed that the next car to be washed had a window down.  He found the owner and the window went up and a friendship started.
It doesn't always need to be a life changing event that brings people together but just an act of consideration or kindness.

Today was d'Artagnan's day to chose and drive.    One of our members, Barry, fell ill and couldn't make it so the three of us set out after Reg picked us up.

As always no one knows where we are going except the person choosing and driving.  Today was no exception. 

When we turned off of Reforma at the bullring I remembered a restaurant that Debi and I went to many years ago with friends for steak.

We indeed pulled up at the same restaurant but I could not remember anything except that they had a great steak!

So allow me to jump back to the car wash for just a few seconds and say that the owner of the car was David Reyes Aguiar who is of the family that has owned El Tio Ricardo for the past 35 years.  David is the hefe!

El Tio Ricardo is in Colonia Garcia Generes on the corner of Calle 8 y 23 with the entrance on 8.  

It has a non pretentious and modern facade.

Upon entering we were greeted by one of the staff and the warm glow that only a wooden interior can provide.

There is plenty of seating for 60, approximately, in the dining areas we observed. 

There is a small salad bar that many were taking advantage of.

Now I will report to you what you can expect when you go here and not what we experienced and not that you will not receive the great service that we received but you didn't save the bosses car interior from getting soaked!  ;)

The waiter arrived and gave us menus.  He then asked what we wanted to drink.  We each ordered a beer and looked over the menus.

Here is their wine list and David admitted that it is not very extensive as they do not sell a lot of wine but they do sell a lot of steaks.

Moving along we ordered our "naked" burger as always.  I guess we'll need to basically assume that if you are eating burgers in Merida, few if any waiters ask how you want it cooked......the case this time as well.

Chips and salsa arrived at the table and they were tasty.

The burger arrived and it was "naked"...................

We cut it and is showed a great meat to bun ratio................

We asked David about the meat and he buys his meat from Costco in bulk.  They cut their ribeye and new york steaks themselves.  They grind the meat for their burgers from the left overs after the steaks are cut.  If needed they'll grind a steak.

The flavor was very good and the bun was outstanding.  The meat leans more towards the lean side.  You can easily taste the quality meat used in making them.
David was very aware of what we were doing there after talking to us for a while (yes, he speaks excellent English) after we first arrived and he wanted to know what we thought.  We suggested raising the fat content in the meat preparation and changing the grind of the meat so that it would be a little less fine.  Being a little coarser would help to hold in the juice and make it hold together better.  Regardless a good burger.

We then ordered our burgers the way we like them.  The interior face of the buns were grilled....nice!  You can have raw or sauteed onions....nice!

Again, the bun to condiment and meat ratio was very good!

We also ordered one order of onion rings and one order of fries.

The batter used to coat the onion rings was very tasty....what us "Burgerteers" tend to expect.  Our only complaint was that they were a bit on the greasy side.  But better greasy than no flavor.

The fries had good flavor and the right amount of salt. However they were a wee bit limpy.  We thought that they needed to be in the hot grease maybe a few seconds longer.

Overall the experience was very good.  Would we go back....YES!
We arrived around 2 and shortly after the place started filling up.

There's also another reason to return and it is not burgers but steaks.  Everyone, well, most everyone was ordering and eating steaks and from what we saw they were mighty fine looking steaks.  Coming out on sizzling plates and the smells, well, you know!!!!!

FYI: You can bring your own vino providing it is not on their list and the corkage is 100p.

Here is the link to their fb page.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Burger Quest 5th Outing

Here are the results of the “Three Burgerteers” most recent conquest.

This outing was ever the sweeter for now we are all in attendance as we have been reunited with our brother d'Artagnan who winters here from Detroit. Welcome back Reg!

If I would mention to you "the land of bangers and mash, The Queen, Tower of London or the Crown Jewels” you’d know where I was talking about….right! Flying free over this country is a flag lovingly referred to as the “Union Jack” and its striking colors are known the world over and there is no mistaking it when you see it.

However for The Burgerteers, we were not looking for the Union Jack itself but more accurately for "UNIONJACKS" Luxury Burgers and Beer. 

 Now there is a connection with that wonderful country and our destination as the owner, Josh, is from London.

So this was our destination this week in our ongoing burger quest.

It was easy to find and very close to the City Center complex.We pulled into the parking area of the two story strip mall and our objective was on the lower level on the West end. Very easy to see!

There is seating for approximately 40 outside and 24 inside.

There is a small bar and the selection of beer is quite nice. I chose a Hobgoblin which I thought was very tasty. 

It was modern and clean and the service was good overall.

The waiter came to the table and gave us food and drink menus and asked what we wanted to drink. We asked him to give us a minute as there were a few things to choose from.  We looked the beer list over and ordered.

Here are the drink menus........

Here are the food menus.........

He brought the beer orders and asked if we were ready to order. We then ordered our first burger. Again I must say that there is just something odd that happens when you order a burger with bun and nothing else on it. As you know we start each visit to each new place this way so that we may better evaluate the meat and the bun. Well, this time we figured we had it nailed. The waiter spoke some English and we each went over the fact that we only wanted one burger to start and all we wanted was the burger on a bun. Carne y pan solomente….nada mas! So the four of us each took a turn making sure he knew. The two best Spanish speakers in Spanish and the other two in English. We knew we had it nailed this time!  Well, uh.......nope! For the life of us we just can’t figure out why it's so hard to get accomplished. 

Here’s what we got……..sorry I didn't get the pic as it was placed on the table but at least with the burger opened up you can see that it wasn't a burger and a bun only. 
Now don't get me wrong, the tomato was nice and fresh as was the lettuce and mayo, but!

We also noticed that he did not ask how we wanted it cooked. We all believe that this was a first for us!

Moving on, instead of starting over we asked if we could have a new bun which we were given as soon as it was warmed.  So back on track we hoisted up our sections and started eating. An extremely good flavored burger and three out of the four of us gave it a hearty thumbs up.  There was a comment that the ratio of bun to burger was off a wee bit with the bun winning out.

We asked Josh if he got the meat locally or what and he said that it is flown in from the US to Cancun and then transported to him.

So we then ordered our burgers. The waiter again didn't ask how we wanted them cooked but we told him and they came out to our satisfaction.

The burgers are pretty big and as stated before the flavor is very good.  As a matter of fact most agreed that this was their second favorite burger so far.

Now when the first burger, the naked burger, was delivered to the table it came to the table with fries.  These were good fries, crispy, soft in the center and just the right amount of salt.  
Most everyone saw what was called "Union Rings" on the menu, which was their name for onion rings.  The two burgerteers that ordered them were less than taken with them.  The coating didn't have a real distinct flavor so they were a thumbs down.
I ordered fries and got rings, I just left it go, and I too was not impressed by the rings.....but I will say that they were not real greasy

This pic was taken not to show you how sloppy we are but to try to show the diced cooked onions.

But the flavor is the thing and this one had it!
Yes, we'd go back!

They are closed on Mondays.

Here's a link to more info about UNIONJACKS

Monday, September 22, 2014

Burger Quest 4th Outing

Hey!  We're back!  The Tres Burgerteers have reunited as the traveling is done for now and we're back on the trail of the best burger in Merida, Mexico!

It was Barry's turn to make the venue selection this time and since his choice actually invited us to stop by he thought it was a good idea.
So after Barry picks John and I up we head North once again.  Up Prolongacion to the glorieta at Siglo XXI where he turns right.
John and I have no idea where we are going but Barry has the directions written down and we are zigging and turning and all of a sudden we pull up and see the sign!  Now it's not a large sign as you can see so you must have your eyes peeled for it.

We park and walk up and I take a pic of my fellow Burgerteers with the sign.

At this point we turn and walk past the open door where we are greeted by a most cordial young lady who welcomed us to Canada Burger! As we look in we are very surprised at what we see.  

NOW* This is where I need to place a big asterisk next to all the rest of the information I will pass on.

To be sure there is no miss understanding the following information is given as fact....not a complaint in any way.
However, I have to say that the fb page does say "Canada Burger Food and Restaurant" which I think is a wee bit misleading!

Ok, moving on, as you can see it was a cart, a big cart!  The smells wafting around were mouth watering to say the least.  I knew I should have eaten breakfast!  LOL!

There are no tables to sit at but there are stools to sit and wait while your order is made fresh!

Yes, it is an order and carry out and that was the majority of the business that we saw while we were there.  I might add that it was a brisk business as well!  Only a few people sat on a stool and ate their burgers.

Sooooooo, not what the Burgerteers were expecting as we are retired dudes that like ac, cold beer and a table at which to sit.  That said we were there and we are not ones to shy away from things that are different and not what we were expecting. So we re-evaluated, adjusted and improvised and made do with what was available.
So we ordered the first burger as we always do, bun and burger only, cut into thirds and we dig in.  Due to the call in orders and the people waiting when we arrived we waited for about 25 minutes before we got the first burger.  Of course that's the way it goes with a carry out business.  Those that call in ahead have much less of a wait time!  Heck, it could have happened at a busy restaurant as well.  So I guess I'm saying that I'll be calling in the order ahead of time....oh, and you can place your order online as well!

Back to the burger, the flavor is wonderful, the meat is tender and very juicy and the bun is fine.  All three of us were impressed.

Because it is a carry out business everything that is served is in a carryout format.  Fries are in a styrofoam cup with a lid, the burgers are wrapped very nicely in what I might refer to as a non-waxed white butcher paper and those items are placed in a white paper bag.  Your choice of soda on the side.  I might add that they have Canada Dry Ginger Ale which I thought was very apropos!  However I had an A&W Root Beer!  Yum!

Ok, now for the last asterisk and actually the biggest asterisk!  If you look closely at the meat you may very well recognize that it doesn't have that beefy red color and that's because Canada Burgers are 100% Yucatecan pork!

Actually John pointed that out to Barry and I shortly after arriving and we all agreed that we'd have to make this a special report because we cannot rate it against the other burgers because they were beef.
Our research analyst, Barry, set to work on determining the definition of a burger because he thought the Canada Burger would qualify even with pork.  His findings did not agree with his hopes so we are not going to be evaluating the Canada Burger against the other places we have been or will go!  

With that said we will evaluate the burgers and fries we had.
Let's talk fries first....all of us agreed that we like our fries a little crispy and these fries failed to even get close to crispy.  They had good flavor but we have to give them a thumbs down.
The burgers were a completely different story.  None of us had ever had an all pork burger.  These burgers were great!  To be totally honest the meat is that good that we all agreed that the best burger we had there was the first one with just the meat and bun.  Juicy and seasoned perfectly.  It was a most awesome flavor!  Three thumbs up!

Last let's talk cost, we had the regular burger and three sodas, then three combo burger meals that included fries and sodas and the total was right at 280p.

We all agreed that we'd certainly go back but order ahead of time.

Canada Burger has it's own website and you can visit it to see their menu, prices, and you can also order.
They also have a frequent diner punch card!

We spoke to Scott, the owner or at least one of the owners and things are going well.  There is an expansion coming in the form of a sit down restaurant in another location.  He hopes to have things ready to go by the X-mas holiday.  Keep you eye on their website for further updates.

Here is a link to Google maps that is a better map than the one on their website especially if you are not familiar with the area behind Gran Plaza. Map link here

So until next Friday.....burger on dudes and dudettes!

Yours truly,
Tres Burgerteers!