UPDATE – August 2010: The Motoraunt has closed after 27 years. Owner Carol Reczka decided to call it quits after she faced several city-ordered upgrades and a monthly rent that tripled.

Motoraunt, Edmonton

This is what you get when you tear the engine out of a Cadillac Eldorado and hand-weld pieces of metal and whatnot to create a beautiful purple double-decker bus, but then not quite fulfill the dream of living upstairs while hitting the road to California.

Plan B: turn the bus into the Motoraunt and serve up Edmonton’s best — and arguably biggest — burgers for the next 25 years.

Motoraunt, Edmonton

Celebrating its silver anniversary this year, the Motoraunt has been in five locations around Edmonton including Jasper Avenue. The owner will bring out pictures if you ask. It’s been in this current spot the longest (13 years) but it’s not easy to find, tucked between Fort Road and Yellowhead Trail. And be warned, this isn’t exactly the swankiest neighbourhood.

Now, once you’ve arrived at the bus that’s surrounded by several ramshackle extensions, follow the path that leads to the sign that leads to the door. You can sit in the dining room (an addition) or upstairs in the bus’ second floor. Menus are large photocopies with your choice of all-day breakfast, hot dogs, sausage — and burgers that are big or ridiculously big.

Never one to turn away a challenge or the house specialty, Steph and Torsten (who insisted I try the Motoraunt) and I ceremoniously ordered the Monster Burger. The two-pound burger is the Motoraunt’s claim to fame. Behold!

Motoraunt, Edmonton

Motoraunt, Edmonton

This was one beautiful burger, people. It was loaded with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, and homemade ketchup on a great French loaf. The bread really made it sing, super-fresh but crusty enough to hold everything together. Apparently the 10-inch buns are picked up every morning from Safeway, of all places.

The Monster Burger comes with instructions. The owner told us to push it down with one hand while attacking it with a steak knife in the other. You have to cut it into pieces like a big layered cake!

Motoraunt uses 100% lean Canadian beef — and no salt and pepper or binding agents, like eggs or bread crumbs. The owner insisted that the beef stayed together because it was never frozen so it wasn’t all wet and goopy. I still think there’s a secret she’s not telling us…

Motoraunt, Edmonton

The Monster Burger is $19.95 ($23.25 with fries) but it can easily be split among four people. You can also get the “regular” sized Motor Burger ($5.95/$7.95 with fries) like Rick did but I still think he’s a wuss. (You heard me!) He spent the rest of the weekend telling everyone I ate a burger the size of my head. For the record, I only ate a quarter of it.

This is a great place for kids because there’s so much to look at and explore. I think the Christmas tree and decorations stay up year-round, there are little knickknacks everywhere and the TVs are turned way up for Oilers’ games.

The distractions come in handy because it can be a bit of a wait for food. It’s usually only the two owners at the most in the kitchen, but c’mon, you don’t come here for a fast, frozen burger, you come for the Monster.

Motoraunt, EdmontonMotoraunt, EdmontonMotoraunt, EdmontonMotoraunt, Edmonton

The Motoraunt, 12406-66th St., Edmonton, Alberta, (780) 477-8797. Open Tues.-Sat. to 10 p.m., Sunday to 8 p.m. Closed Mondays.

UPDATE – August 2010: The Motoraunt has closed after 27 years. Owner Carol Reczka decided to call it quits after she faced several city-ordered upgrades and a monthly rent that tripled.