Let’s talk deals. I don’t care where you come from, everyone likes paying less, especially when it comes to food. So today’s post will talk about a bargain burger joint that I frequent: Bootlegger’s. Our basketball team, Razzle Dazzle of the Fantazzmanglers goes there for post-game drinks/snacks anytime we’re in the area. This is because, every Monday, Bootlegger’s runs three specials: dry ribs, tacos, and burgers. The burgers are only $9 (it used to be $6) and it’s a standard burger with your choice of two toppings: bacon, cheese or mushrooms.
A fellow Razzle Dazzler, Steve, has always wanted to “be on the blog”, so one Monday night, we agreed that we would blog about Bootleggers. Thanks for feeding my ego Steve, you made me feel like a big shot. Steve and I have been hoopin’ it up, drainin’ buckets and shootin’ treys for the last two years, and it was finally time to get his two cents on the burger scene here in Calgary.
So, we both ordered burgers. I got the Monday burger (with cheese and mushroom) and Steve elected the Jalepeno Jack burger. But Steve believes that too much spice can ruin a burger, and originally asked for the jalepenos to be left off, which, naturally incited some good natured ribbing by the rest of the team. I don’t remember the exact words, but it basically hinged around manliness and being able to tolerate spicy food. I have to agree with Steve: a little heat can enhance flavours, but excess spice is only ordered to show off in front of onlookers how tough one is. Too much spice can ruin a burger just like too much garlic can ruin….well…anything! So, under the weight of peer pressure, Steve bravely retracted his modification and left the burger as is.
Bootleggers is a great place: it’s low key, not overly busy on a Monday, but the staff is friendly and attentive. It’s conveniently located next to one of our weekly basketball gyms, and they give a discount for Calgary Sport and Social teams (if you have your card!).
We got our food and Steve immediately remarked that “the garnish is lovely”. He’s right: it’s a bargain burger, Bootleggers wasn’t obligated to bend the pickle spear into a crescent moon and spear a grape tomato in the middle, and I appreciated the extra effort. Unfortunately the rest of the burger was, frankly, average. It was exactly what I expected to get out of a discount burger: it was hot, not overcooked, and the portion size was decent. Steve and I both noticed that our ketchup use was a little higher than what we would like it to be. Ketchup use is inversely correlated to burger quality: the more ketchup you use, the less you are enjoying the burger. In the end we both agreed that our burgers were satisfying, but nothing special. The only thing I do want to rave about is that Bootleggers grills their buns with garlic butter. The result is a crunchy grilled cheese bread bread texture and is so amazing.
Now I hate to leave you with such an underwhelming review of one burger special, so let me tell you where I think is the best bargain burger in Calgary (so far): Fergus and Bix. This little Marda Loop darling puts their classic burger on special every Monday for $10. Not only is their burger delectable, but $10 also gets you a pint! The burger is “hand packed & ½ lb beef patty, char-grilled to perfection. served with fresh tomatoes, lettuce, red onions and No. 3 burger sauce”. Cheese isn’t included, but it’s worth the extra $1.50. The best part is the bun: I don’t know where they get them but they’re delish. Finally, cap it all off with the included pint from their wide selection of delicious craft draft, and I’m in heaven. This is the best burger bargain running. Am I wrong, then comment below and I’d be happy to undertake your delicious challenge. Until next time, stay hungry my friends.