When people tell you their favourite burger place in Calgary, Naina’s Kitchen never makes the list. I had no idea that this place existed, until other burger bloggers brought it to my attention. Naina’s is located deep in the food Mecca that is Macleod Trail and its surrounding industrial park. Just off the corner of Ogden Road and Blackfoot Trail, it is easily passed over. Nobody would suspect this small, unassuming establishment to house so much taste within its walls. A couple of my friends were departing to go back to school, so we gathered together for one last decadent hurrah. Jenny, Leah and I LOVE to go out for meals together, because we are not afraid to go all out and order exactly what we want, even if it’s not the healthiest of choices. That’s why we’re friends.
Naina’s Kitchen is a brunch/lunch establishment, open morning to early afternoon Monday – Saturday. For full hours of operation, click here. Their focus is on comfort food, and that’s exactly what you get. Soup and biscuits, chili, sandwiches, and of course, the stuffed burgers. Naina’s serves a burger where, instead of toppings, they have stuffings. They range from the classics, like cheddar cheese and mushrooms, to the unusual, like pulled pork. And you can have as many as you like. Leah ordered her burger with swiss, bacon, sundried tomatoes and onions, and I had cheddar, mushroom and onion. Jenny was preparing for a big dinner so she opted for soup, salad and a biscuit. No big deal Jenny, but you will get a burger here! We placed our orders at the counter and sat down to await our meaty treasures.
The kitchen can get crazy at Naina’s as they only staff two cooks there. But I was surprised how quickly they brought our order out to us. Soon I was face to face with a burger I had been waiting to try since New Year’s. The curse of being the blogger at the table is that I have to let everyone eat before me so I can gather their initial reactions. This tortured me as Leah bit into her burger and declared that it was easily the best she had ever tasted. Her compliments of the flavourful patty, the plentiful stuffings, and the sharp tang of the mustard, just killed me! I waited for the quotes to slow down so that I could tuck into my own burger. And when I did, just wow.
I liken this burger to Chuck Norris, because it’s so awesome. This burger was so good I didn’t eat dinner because putting anything else in my stomach after this burger would roundhouse kick it right out. Ketchup cowers in fear of this burger, because it knows that this burger knocks ketchup flat on its keister. This burger is what sliders want to be when they grow up. But more specifically, the burger was juicy and the toppings retained their individual flavors. Ever ordered a cheeseburger and thought “Why did I pay extra for cheese because I can’t even taste it!” I have felt this frustration and it blew my mind that I could actually taste the sharp tang of cheddar amongst the salty, rich meat flavor, renewing my faith that the cheeseburger really is the way to go. These burgers were simply bursting with flavors and I ate it so fast, not because I was especially hungry (which I was), but because letting that flavor leave my taste buds was such torture, I figured it was easier just to keep enjoying it until there was none left.
If you read my earlier post about Clive Burger, I certainly waxed on about how great it was. There was eye popping, fist pumping, just a great burger. Eating at Naina’s though was a different kind of amazing. Clive Burger is flashy and hipster, with a lot of hype, so the energy naturally takes over when you sink your teeth into one of their creations. But eating at Naina’s was such a high, and why I got into blogging in the first place, because I found one of Calgary’s secrets. I have found the best burger in Calgary, and it’s at Naina’s. Though I give it a glowing review, I actually hope that not too many people read it because then the secret will be discovered and I’ll have to wait hours for one of these delectable marvels.