Like a fish out of water, or a cow out of the pasture, LoungeBurger breaks the stereotypical burger experience: it takes this down-to-earth food and throws it into an ultra-hip bar to see what happens. LoungeBurger, located next to Stampede Park, is a hip burger joint that turns the burger into a fancy meal. I’ve read the head chef’s bio and I like it – A SAIT Culinary graduate who has spent his career in Calgary, and is now striking out on his own, like a mad scientist with burgers. Burger Buddies: Leah (star of such posts like Burger Inn and Rocky’s Burger Bus), Nolan and Tiffany. For Nolan and Tiff, it was their first Hamburger Pants adventure. Always good to bring newbies.
Lounges are typically reserved for upscale drinks, small appetizers, not a gut-busting meal. Here at Loungeburger, you can dress up for a burger and fries. There are two seating areas: the restaurant and the bar. The restaurant is classic: dark, wooden walls and low lighting, perfect for gathering. But if it’s a more uptempo experience you seek, then turn right into the bar, where Loungeburger actually hosts a DJ on occasion. Their drink menu is vast and varied, providing the perfect complement to your meal, or the perfect start to your evening. Speaking of drinks, Loungeburger has Q Water, a product pitched on the CBC series Dragon’s Den.
Ordering is no small feat at Loungeburger. There is no lack of choice on the menu, there are 15 “signature creations” and 14 different types of burger patties to choose from (One of which is a Kobe beef burger, at $18!). In previous visits, I have built my own burger. It’s the perfect opportunity to try out everything you ever wanted on your burger, and then some. I treat Loungeburger trips as a special treat, so be advised that you will be paying more for a burger here than say, at Boogie’s. To see a full menu click here. There are two different types of coleslaw to choose from as a topping! But no fried egg? Not impressed! How has the fried egg on burger NOT caught on in Calgary. So we all studied our menus intensely and made our selections:
Leah: Bleu Cheese Burger/Cajun Curly Fries/Red Pepper Aioli Dipping Sauce
Me: Southwest Burger/Onion Rings/Honey Dijon Dipping Sauce
Nolan: Lamb burger/Waffle Fries
Tiff: Vegetable Parmesan Burger with dill pickles added/Yam Fries
*These are all from the “signature burger” menu.
Leah was very impressed by the Bleu Cheese Burger. The bleu cheese was not overpowering, providing a rich flavor that complemented rather than overshadowed the burger. Leah said it was very important that Loungeburger used bleu cheese crumbles instead of bleu cheese sauce, which is a disappointment she has seen at other establishments. Nolan enjoyed the Lamb Burger, mostly because he was fascinated by the concept of eating lamb meat from Alberta (as if good lamb meat can come from anywhere else!) Once Tiff received her eggplant burger, she enjoyed it, there was a slight crunch to the patty, mixed with a subtle onion flavor and creamy texture of the eggplant. Her only complaint was that the eggplant patty was too soft to really provide a classic burger patty texture, more that it was several types of vegetables stacked on top of each other. My Southwest burger had all key ingredients to success, however, the jalapeños in the burger were fresh (seeds included), and their spicy slap-to-the-face flavor eclipsed the other flavors in the burger. And I’m no southwest expert, but when you say “southwest” I expect BBQ sauce. I love BBQ sauce, especially on burgers.
Finally, in a Hamburger Pants first, we ordered dessert. Not sure why we did that, we didn’t need it, but the dessert menu looked delicious! We ordered a feature dessert – the Triple Chocolate Cake, and the Blackout Torte. When the server returned with our desserts, turns out that the feature was a cappuccino cake, not a Triple Chocolate cake. Call me crazy, but when I order something and it isn’t there, don’t substitute it with something else! You don’t know what I like! That’s just a pet peeve, the dessert was delicious, but I don’t like people ordering for me. Portions are good for sharing, I would not recommend you take on a burger AND a full dessert.
As we left Loungeburger, I felt there was something left to be desired. Loungeburger has mastered the lounge aspect of their business, but not the burger. The food is ok, and the menu is creative. I would recommend trying Loungeburger for the novelty of an upscale burger experience, but not for a particular burger.