It’s official: the burger is the official sandwich of summer. Which is why Leah and I went to Angel’s Drive In to celebrate the arrival of my favourite season all year. Leah, my partner in creating Hamburger Pants, had been craving a trip to Angel’s Drive In and as I hadn’t reviewed the place yet, it was time to check it out.
We came to Angel’s on the perfect night: Classic Car Wednesday. Classic cars are throughout Alberta, however, finding them is a different story. In the parking lot, we were treated to a rare assortment of classic cars in the parking lot. That’s just the start of Angel’s retro vibe: Angel’s pays homage to the 50s diner: wax records on the ceiling, jukeboxes at the tables, posters of James Dean, you name it. The restaurant is not very big, maybe the size of an office break room, but every inch is dripping in 50s nostalgia.
Angel’s gets crowded for dinnertime, so Leah staked out a table while I went up to the counter to order. The Deluxe Burger, chocolate shake and a small poutine for me, while Leah opted for the Mozzarella Burger, fries and a strawberry shake. Check out their menu here. Turns out that when you place your order at Angel’s, you often place it with the owner, who mans the counter and the drive-thru window at the same time. A man with a sunny disposition, I’d definitely recommend striking up a conversation with him if you can.
As we waited for our orders, we had a chance to catch up on our lives, which is undoubtedly the best part of Hamburger Pants. I’ve eaten a lot of burgers, but the best part of the meal is the conversations I get to have with friends. Leah is going to grad school soon (congrats!) and I am trying to get back to school (good luck me!).
Our meals arrived, and though it seems small, Angel’s food sticks to your bones. The deluxe burger is a bacon cheeseburger with a “ketchup based sauce” (I suspect it to be a blend of ketchup and mustard, meh). Leah’s Mozzarella burger is mozzarella and a mayo-based sauce (way better than the ketchup-based sauce). Something about mayonnaise and burgers – the mayonnaise adds a creamy richness to the meat and cheese that ketchup’s sweet tang cannot. I’ll slather that red sauce on my burger at a barbecue, but sit me down at any restaurant and there better be mayo on my burger, and don’t be shy with it. The flavour of the meat was lost in the overwhelming tang of the ketchup and it was all I could taste. Not bad, but nothing to write home about.
Leah’s burger was covered with a melted blanket of mozzarella cheese, oozing out the sides. And with that mayo-sauce, her burger was definitely the better of the two. Leah said that her patty was flavourful, and that she was impressed by the amount and quality of toppings, especially veggies. As Leah says, there was no “wimpy lettuce”, wilted, floppy, gross stuff that has no place next to a savoury meat patty. Instead we were treated to a crispy crunch paired nicely with the seasoned meat and melted cheese.
Milkshakes were good, Leah says it’s the best milkshake in Calgary. I am holding out for better. The consistency was thick, a little too sweet for my taste. Leah’s milkshake actually had real strawberries blended into it!
My poutine was middle of the road. Anyone who has dared converse with me about poutine knows that I believe the best poutine in Calgary is in Costco (try it before you scoff). Angel’s poutine was all right, they were not stingy on the gravy (key) and there was plenty of cheese. The only problem was that they do not use cheese curds. This reminds me of my college days back in the States, where Americans believed the hallowed dish of poutine to be made with SHREDDED CHEESE. Bite your tongues! Trust me, it makes a difference. So I had some good fries with cheese and gravy, no doubt, but it wasn’t poutine. Sorry Angel’s.
All in all, it was a great trip to Angel’s, and if you go, I recommend going on a Wednesday when there are classic cars on display. Their food is good, nothing to go out of your way to see. If you were going to make a special effort for Angel’s it would be for the décor and classic cars, and the service. It’s a great way to discover what a great local community Calgary has. A perfect trip to start off my summer adventures on Calgary’s restaurant scene. Now it’s just a question if I need to switch my Hamburger Pants to Hamburger Shorts. Hmm…tricky…