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!

Friday, August 1, 2014

"The" Burger Quest third outing

Well, it's Friday and the three burgerteers were back out on the street checking out another establishment that touts a great burger.

Today was John's turn to pick and to drive and after being picked up we headed North on Montejo.  It's always fun trying to figure where the person whose turn it is is taking the other two.  So out past Gran Plaza, we go.  Then past Liverpool and further North.  We get to the Dytzia exit and he turns and goes under the highway and Barry and I both are thinking he is going back to Las Americas cause he talked the AA guys to open early.  LOL!  No chance!
John then continues back out onto the Progreso Hwy and Barry and I both say at about the same time "The Road House"!  John smiles and says "yep!"
So we pull in 

and mosey towards the front door where we are greeted by a very nice young lady that opens the door and invites us in!  I might add that she speaks very good English.

There are two adjoining rooms with a total of about eight tables and two bar areas.

Very clean and of course a biker feel and theme to the place!

The owner came to our table and greeted us and suggested that we try their own beer which is brewed just for them and it is a weizen style beer.

Well hey, when in why not.  It was good if you like the weizen style and on a warm know the kind of days I'm talkin' about, a weizen can be delightful.  

Then it was time to order the first burger.  Now as you remember every time to date when we order the first burger sin everything but meat and the bun we have received more than we asked for. 
We order it and again we ask for medium rare.
The young woman that met us at the door and the manager/owner were there telling us that we had come to the right place for the best burger.
She takes the order and repeats it to us and seems to understand what we are doing.  
We finish our weizens and then order something more to our liking...dark....and the burger arrives...................

Now, not only is the burger only meat and the bun, you can see that it is also cut into three, I repeat, three pieces.  Zowee!!!!

The burger and the bun are big and round but

the burger is not cooked medium rare and the bun is a bit to much for the burger as I think you can see from this picture.

Now don't let us give you the wrong opinion, our issue was with the bun to burger ratio not the bun itself because the bun, which a bakery makes especially for the Road House, had a very good flavor.  It may very well be the best bun to date!

The meat is Angus according to the owner, it is shipped in to them and they make/press their own patties there in the kitchen.
The flavor was fine but not great.....almost seemed to refined.  It just wasn't ringing our bells.

Next up it was time to order our burgers of choice!  They arrived and they looked very nice!  But, yes another but, the amount of wedge fries seemed a bit on the lean side but it was a big ass burger.

We all agreed that the added makin's improved the burger but it just wasn't holding its own compared to the others so far.

Again we all agreed that we certainly wouldn't have sent the burger back or not eaten it but we are very doubtful that we'd go back just to buy one.  But it wouldn't stop us from going back and trying some of their other dishes!

The Road House is on the left side of the Progreso Hwy shortly after you go under the Periferico.  You can see it easily as you are heading North to get to the Dytzia turn off where you can turn back and head South (back towards Merida) on the Progreso Hwy.

Just a heads up, the burger quest will be on hold while there is traveling accomplished so don't give up on us and please stay tuned.  We'll be back in the saddle a little after mid September.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

"THE" Burger Quest second outing

As the old saying goes, "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry" seemed to be with us on our Quest yesterday.

Each Friday in the afternoon we take turns choosing and driving.  This was my week so after picking up Barry and John I headed for Angry Angus out in Fracc. Las Americas. I had looked at their fb page and thought I saw that they were open at 1 PM.  Well, for those that have been there before you know that that is correct but just on Saturday and Sunday.  They open at 7 PM through the week.
Of course as will be said way too many times during this quest, old guys, retired, plenty-o-time so no set back is devastating in any way.  Options abound when it comes to burgers.

The option that presented itself was Salamanca Grill.
We noticed it on the way to AA, no the other AA!  So it was a likely stop to see if they serve burgers for lunch.
Now some may ask, "why would a well known steak restaurant not sell burgers for lunch?"  Well, never take anything for granted here because things are not always, shall I say "what you might expect!"
Many of you probably know about the La Rueda steak houses.  If you don't you certainly should!  I know of two of them.  Regardless both are open for lunch.  The one out on Ave 2000 aka 128 is open for lunch but doesn't serve burgers until they open at 7 in the evening.  The other in Emiliano Zapata Norte cooks burgers outside during lunch but they can only be purchased and carried away.  No eating burgers inside until they are served in the evening.  Just another one of those great mysteries that keep us intrigued here in Merida!

We found this out the day John and I returned to La Cabana Sonorense for steaks.  We both figured that La Rueda would do a killer burger.  So I stopped and john went in to see.  FYI: John is our official "burger checker outer" (BCO) so he is sent in to recon any time we're not sure.  It's good to have an official BCO along on the quest!

Moving on......we pulled into Salamanca's parking area and sent in our BCO.  I mean no sense we all get out of the ac car and go see when you have a BCO!  LOL!

After a minute or two he returned and gave us the high sign.  Barry and I get out and we all go in and sit down.

 Things looked new and spiffy and a waiter was there immediately.

As you can see it wasn't busy when we arrived but about 45 minutes later a few more tables started to fill.

So it was time to order the burger after we ordered our beverages of choice.  

Then this is where the miscommunication comes in.  Now I know we have just started this quest but to date no one understands that we want a burger cooked medium rare on a bun and nothing else.  Huh?  Say what?
We can only figure that when we tell them that they either think that we are old loco gringos or we're messing with them.  And even though we are sure we have told the waiter exactly what we want in Spanish, (solo carne y pan, sin cebolla, sin lechuga, sin tomate, sin tocino, sin queso, sin habeneros, sin ketsup, sin mayonesa, y sin mostaza....nada mas solo carne y pan!) that between us, him and the cook, well, something gets lost.  The waiter asks if we want it cut and we say yes....tres piezas.
The cook, once seeing the order, has to be in the back thinking that the waiter has had to of totally gone off the deep end and has screwed up the order because when and who, in their right mind, has ever ordered a burger on a bun and nada mas?  Simply unheard of and he/she isn't going to send out any burger naked!  No!  No!  Not on their watch!

Ok, now to all that you have to add the fact that there are three guys sitting at a table ordering this one, only one, very non conventional burger to be divided between them.  Yet another huh from the waiter?  WTF?
Yes, we explain as best as possible that we will each be ordering a burger after we eat the first one but that seems to get lost some where along the way.

So as the order is placed with all the "sins" the waiter, as he is walking away, I hear him say "solo?"  I look at Barry and John, whom by the way are the Spanish speakers.......way, way better than I, and I say I think there will be an issue.  They protest at my suggestion as it was made perfectly clear what we wanted.

So we're talking and drinking our chilled beverages as the burger arrives.  As the waiter sits it on the table the melted cheese is oozing and the bacon is sticking out at weird angles from all four pieces.

We all look at the burger, then at each other and we start laughing and start scraping off cheese and bacon.

After the cheese and bacon were removed we tasted and commented and feel that the burger is very good.  The burger was pre-made/pressed and came to Salamanca frozen according to the waiter, Alex, that replaced the first waiter after he didn't show up again.  Loco gringos!!!!

We then ordered our burgers the way we like them........

Our combined thoughts were that the burgers were very good but the toppings were too slight for the size of the burger.

Two out of the three buns didn't seem real fresh and were dry.  Of course we are talking about the top of the bun since the burgers are very juicy and the bottom of the bun was soaked.

The meat was cooked to everyone's satisfaction.

Two of us thought the fries were just a wee bit over cooked and the other thought that they were spot on.

None of us three burgerteers would have sent our burgers back but all agree that La Cabana Sonorense holds the edge.

Would I go back to Salamanca for a burger.....indeed!

We were burgering at Salamanca Grill on Calle 74 in Fracc. Las Americas.
There's another one on Calle 28 No 401 x 35 y 37 in Col. Emiliano Zapata Norte.

On a different meat note I will add that if you haven't been to Salamanca for a steak then you are without a doubt missing out on a wonderful experience, imho!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

In quest of "THE" burger in Merida!

You know how different subjects come up in conversations with your friends when you're just sitting around BSing.........well, a few weeks back John, Barry and I were sitting at a downtown coffee house sipping our ground beans of choice and someone remarked, "who do you think has the best burger in Merida?"

Well, without getting into the details of that conversation let me just say that we decided that we would go on a quest to find the best burger in Merida.

Yes, yes, I know....who says it's the best, I may not like what you like and how do you compare, etc, etc

Well, after some discussion we decided that we'd play it this way: each Friday one of us will choose a place to go and that person drives and picks everyone else up,

upon arrival we order one burger medium rare with nothing on it and have it served on their standard bun. (the standard bun thing is only important if they have a special bun which is doubtful) We then cut it into three equal pieces and we each eat a third. During the eating process we discuss. comment and judge.

Next we each order a burger the way we like to eat a burger. There's no sharing this time as we all seem to not agree on the best toppings for a burger.

We eat our burgers and make comments as we feel the need and then decide what we think. Obviously this second tasting is for our own decision making process and carries no weight with the other judges.

Needless to say my blog report will reflect our opinions of the plain burger and bun.

If there are any “WOW” factor statements at any point for either burger I’ll let you know!

Ok, so let me start with one of our first stops on our quest! La Cabana Sonorense located on Circuito Colonias about 50 feet from Ave Aleman. So if you are headed out Aleman (sort of NE) turn right on CC and it will be on your right in about 50 feet, err, 15.3 meters.. They have three parking spaces to the left of the stairs if everyone parks correctly. It is very well signed………...

just look for the red bull with horns and the flame above its head.

After you go up the stairs it opens into a nice space with a good amount of seating in both the main room and......

the smaller room off to the left where we decided to sit.

It was spacious, clean and Pedro, the owner was at the table in a few seconds.

I might add that the beans on the plate of beans w/chips and four sauces he brings to the table are totally some of, if not the best beans I have ever had here!
We ordered our burger to share, ate it and we were very impressed. The meat was fresh and the patty was hand made. It was cooked to a perfect med/rare. Very juicy and it had a most awesome flavor. Absolutely delicious! No doubt a heavy contender and a force that will be hard to out do in our quest, imho!

Then we ordered burgers made to each of our specs and zowee! We were even more impressed when we got to bite into our individual burgers!

The fries were also extremely good but could have been just a wee bit more crispy. However there were none left on the plate.

I believe that we would all say that if you want a great burger you should not miss the opportunity to stop by La Cabana Sonorense!
BTW: the cost of the four burgers was 260p total.

On a side STEAK note, John and I went back a few days later in order to have a steak. It was part of one of our BDOs (boys day out) things we do from time to time. We like it and the wives like us to be gone! LOL!

Anyway, this visit was due to with the wonderful impression we got from our burger visit.

We talked to Pedro about the different cuts and after speaking with him John ordered the Ribeye and I ordered the Vacio. Pedro thought the Vacio had the best flavor and he was spot on! Both were cooked to perfection which was med-rare for John and rare for me.

The Ribeye was very good but John commented that it was a hair too lean as he likes them with a bit more fat/marbling in them. The Vacio (flank steak) was superb! Stupendous! A flavor that was over the top and very tender.

So I'd have to say that LA Cabana Sonorense is a must stop for any carnivore out there in Merida!

This will be a fun quest!  Stay tuned!

Check them out on fb @ La Cabana Sonorense

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Outback after 8+ years

A very special friend of mine, Gary Thomas, has his birthday today and he is really into gardens, plants, ponds, plants, and fish, and lots-o-green stuff.....oh did I mention plants?

He is just a breath away from achieving his Master Gardener's Certificate up on the Outer banks in NC.  He lives there with his lovely, Pammy whom I might ad has possessed a piece of my heart since we first met!
Oh, and they were the best man and woman at our wedding in 1974.

Well I thought it might be a good idea to send him some pics of our garden for his Birthday.
Debi saw me taking pictures and she asked what was happening and I told her that I thought it would be cool to send Gary some pics for his birthday.  She then suggested that I do it as a blog since we had promised a few other people current pictures of the back area of the casa.  Once again she was right on!

To remind some and introduce the starting point of Debi's Garden to others I have started with a couple of pics of when we bought the house 8+ years ago.
Debi has the green thumb and the vision which has grown into visions and the pictures I am posting will show her garden as it is today.

So here you go Gary I hope you find this post an enjoyable Birthday present and whomever else casts their peepers upon it I hope you enjoy it as well.

March 2006:
Standing just past the end of the pool and taking the picture towards the back wall of the property....

Similar shot today......

March 2006-turning around and taking a picture back towards the house.

Similar shot today.........

Ok, here's some picks of what's in the garden now.

These are some pics of the kitchen garden named because it is right outside the kitchen door.  The tree is a sour orange.

So that's about it!  Hope you enjoyed it my friend!  Happy Birthday!  Oh and always remember, mi casa es su casa!