Finding Calgary’s Best Burger {Pilot}: Boogie’s vs. Clive Burger vs. Naina’s Kitchen vs. Roosevelt


Posted on August 20th, 2013, by Vincci Tsui in Calgary, Reviews. 9 comments

Cross-posted from Calgary is Awesome.

Calgary's Best Burger

“We’re thinking of doing a burger crawl,” my cousin Kevin told me one day over family dinner. B. and I were down with the idea of eating lots of burgers and comparing them, and by the end of the dinner, we changed our plan from a burger crawl to a complex mission where we would simultaneously buy burgers from four different restaurants, then meet at a central location for some side-by-side comparisons.

We attempted to create a blinded experiment by having just one person portion out the burgers, but in the end, because we revealed our locations to each other (to avoid two people going to the same place) and the burgers looked so different, everyone had a pretty good idea where each burger came from when it came to tasting. We did randomize the order that we ate the burgers in so that our scores wouldn’t be affected by fatigue/burgers sitting around.

Contenders

Single Patty from Boogie’s Burgers

Single Patty @ Boogie's Burgers

Ingredients: 100% Alberta beef patty, Boogie’s signature red sauce, lettuce, tomato and onion.
Price: $4.75
Boogie's Burgers on Urbanspoon

Hamburger (Clive Style) from Clive Burger

Clive Style Burger @ Clive Burger

Ingredients: 1/4 lb all-natural Alberta beef patty, Clive Sauce, lettuce, pickle, tomato, cheddar
Price: $7
Clive Burger on Urbanspoon

Nainalicious Burger from Naina’s Kitchen

Nainalicious Burger @ Naina's Kitchen

Ingredients: 1/2 lb beef patty stuffed with pulled pork and cheddar, topped with mayo, lettuce, caramelized onion and Granny Smith apple
Price: $13.50 (includes soup or salad)
Naina's Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Big Ass Burger from Roosevelt

Big-Ass Burger @ Roosevelt

Ingredients: 1/2 lb beef brisket patty, garlic mayo, greens, pickle, smoked brisket, beer battered onion rings, house mustard and ketchup
Price: $17 (includes fries, soup or salad)
Roosevelt on Urbanspoon

Criteria

We thought about rating the burgers on a scale of 1-10 on different criteria, but in the end, after discussing all the things we like to look for in a good burger, we decided to just keep it a subjective ranking, but with the criteria in mind. These included bun-to-patty ratio, taste and texture of bun and patty separately, overall taste, uniqueness, appearance and ease of eating.

Results

4th: Boogie’s Burgers

Single Patty @ Boogie's Burgers

This was unanimously the worst burger of the bunch. The thin patty was overwhelmed by the flavour of the fluffy bun and vinegary, relishy toppings.

2nd: Roosevelt (tied)

Big-Ass Burger @ Roosevelt

Despite being pre-cut for us, this burger was still very difficult to eat – I can’t imagine how anyone can take a bite out of it without dislocating their jaw. Tasters who didn’t like the burger as much found the batter on the onion ring had gone mushy by the time it came to eating the burger, and that the smoked brisket was not crispy enough. Those who did like it liked how flavourful the burger and its different components were – it was described as “mustardy”, “garlicky” and “unique”; I personally enjoyed the hits of fresh thyme as I ate.

2nd: Clive Burger (tied)

Clive Style Burger @ Clive Burger

Clive Burger makes a “good standard burger” with a good bun-to-meat ratio and flavours that meld together well, with none overpowering the other. The patty was beefy, but a bit thin and dry. Some tasters also said that it was salty. The bun was chewy, though a little stale-tasting. Some of us thought the small size of the burger meant that it may have been more affected by not eating it right away than the other contenders were.

1st: Naina’s Kitchen

Nainalicious Burger @ Naina's Kitchen

Naina’s was the messiest of the bunch – when I cut into it, it fell apart so much that I couldn’t get a good photo of it! The combination of beef and pulled pork made for a juicy, flavourful patty, with a soft texture and some charred bits. The burger wasn’t perfect though – some tasters felt that the cheese was overpowering, while others were put off by the sweet BBQ sauce and caramelized onions. Oddly enough, two of the tasters couldn’t tell that there was Granny Smith apple in it – the mish-mash of flavours and ingredients probably hid its distinctive tartness and crunch.

Obviously this was our first tasting, and we have lots to do in terms of refining our methodology (Should we not reveal our locations to each other? Should all the burgers have the same amount of meat?) and lots of burgers to taste! I’d love to hear from you – how can we make these tastings better and which burgers should we try? Leave me a note in the comments!





9 thoughts on “Finding Calgary’s Best Burger {Pilot}: Boogie’s vs. Clive Burger vs. Naina’s Kitchen vs. Roosevelt

  1. Fun!!! I hope you do another one of these (if you need any help eating the burgers, I’m totally willing).

    Maybe pre-print little score sheets so that you can see how everyone weighed in on each burger?

    • We did do score sheets (if by “pre-print” you mean “give everyone blank pieces of paper”). That’s where the comments in the post came from!

    • Great suggestion! We were thinking of having them as one of our contenders this round – will definitely include in the future!

    • Thanks for the suggestions, Bill! I’ve been to Chuckwagon Café but would argue that CHARCUT/Alley Burger’s burgers were better. Probably time to taste both again! Impossible to do side-by-side comparison if hot off the grill though – thoughts?

  2. Having a burger crawl needs to be done with dignity. Its not Wendy’s or Burger King eat them hot and fresh to figure the real mccoy

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