Between the Buns is a spring 2014 feature following the escapades of three, and sometimes four, burger lovers as they seek out the best in town.
After the initial disappointment of the first downtown trip the Between the Buns reviewers took — due to the overpriced and overhyped offerings at The Burg — our intrepid team bravely took another jaunt down Jasper Ave. to taste another selection. Encountering a burger menu that was varied, but maybe not varied enough, and a typical bar aesthetic that was familiar, but maybe not entirely pleasing to all, this week’s Between the Buns review took our writers to Pub 1905 to see how the patties at this little bar stack up against those in the rest of the city.
I’ll admit that my expectations of pub food are usually incredibly low. When I think of the typical pub, or at least the kinds that I usually end up drinking at, they’re dingy, dark and damp enough to make me worry what condition the food will be in when I order it.
While we were told that Pub 1905 would be different, I naturally had some doubt. After all, the atmosphere of the bar is exactly the same as just about any other bar you’d have a beer and watch the Oilers game at.
And yet, the food is something else. I ordered the Bacon Mushroom Swiss Burger, which consists of all the toppings you’d naturally expect from the name. This menu option did in fact exceed my admittedly low expectations. It’s a well-made burger, having just enough of each topping and condiment firmly compacted together without spilling over into your hand. The patty itself, while a little dry, is a delicious sirloin burger ground in-house. Even the fries were perfectly salted and served in a more than sizeable portion.
It’s easy to underestimate Pub 1905 when you walk in; I know I did. And I wouldn’t necessarily choose it as a cool place to hang out on the weekend or watch a hockey game, but if you’re looking for a good burger downtown, Pub 1905 will be one of your best bets on Jasper Ave.
There are no vegetarian burger options at Pub 1905, just as there are no words for the bitter pain of betrayal this discovery inflicted upon my spirit. The fact that such a beautifully designed and balanced burger menu — a menu that lists not only one, but two alternative meat substitutions for the choice of patty, between chicken or italian sausage — could so egregiously ignore this niche of burger cuisine that I exist solely to experience left me feeling devastated, mortified, and numerous other synonyms for “hurt.”
At first, I thought I’d made a mistake: I must have misread the menu. Surely, there was a meatless option to be found somewhere on here. Alas, when word finally came back from the kitchen, I took what small satisfaction I could find in learning that this was no mistake of mine. Nay, the fault of this tragic oversight lay squarely at the feet of Pub 1905. I was left with the option of either ordering the sole meatless sandwich they could offer me, a simple Veggie Panini, or storming out angrily into the street. But we had walked six blocks to get there, and I was in no mood to walk any further.
The panini was excellent. Beyond that, I can endorse this particular establishment no further.
With hearty helpings of onions, banana peppers and chipotle mayo, Frank’s Burger may not be the best thing for your breath, but it’s certain to satisfy any lover of spicy food.
The first thing you’ll notice when you pick up this burger is the overflowing amounts of melted cheddar and mozzarella cheese, which serves as the glue that binds the rest of the delicious ingredients together. Under the melted mountain of cheese, you’ll find sautéed onions, Frank’s Red Hot sauce, spicy banana peppers, jalapenos and chipotle mayo all topped off with a giant leaf of lettuce. As always, I take my burger with a side of fries. Although they were adequate, Pub 1905’s fries seem to be the standard restaurant fare and aren’t worth going out of your way for.
If you love spicy food, or if you just like pouring Frank’s Red Hot on everything you eat, Frank’s Burger at Pub 1905 is a must-try for any burger lover.
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