loungeburger, Calgary

Less than a month into its existence, loungeburger has surprisingly few kinks and a lot of juicy burgers, as I wrote in this week’s Metro Calgary review.

The Kobe beef burger ($20) is worth the hefty price tag, with a tender wagyu patty, Applewood cheddar and horseradish aioli.

The pretzel bun is a thing of wonder. A glossy dark brown top with a dense, delicious flavour, it doesn’t get soggy and to the husband’s delight, prevents everything from slipping out the back and sides.

The Alberta slider trio ($11) is a good sampling with 2 oz. AAA beef, elk and bison mini-burgers. The last was particularly juicy, paired with mushrooms and cheddar.

Here are some thoughts I couldn’t fit into the Metro article:

  • We didn’t think the wagyu beef would be worth the higher price, but after comparing it with the AAA beef patty at the same meal, it really was more tender and juicy, and had a bit more flavour.

    I’m guessing the advertised Kobe beef isn’t actually purebred from Japan (which would cost a fortune), and is rather Japanese Wagyu cows crossed with Canadian domestic cattle and produced here.

  • While burgers are obviously the highlight, the menu has not abandoned people who might be in the mood for something other than meat on a bun. There’s a handful of salads, about a dozen appetizers and even fish tacos.

  • The dark wood/beige booths/soft lighting reminds me of Moxie’s/Earl’s/Milestone’s. It’s modern enough, but you can see some rough edges and pencil marks left on the drywall in some areas, no doubt a sign of the rush to open by Oct. 1 and hockey season.

loungeburger, Calgary

There are big, flat-screen TVs and really loud, thumpy music in both the lounge and restaurant sides so I’m not sure what the point is in dividing them.

As someone who likes to hear my dining partners, I’d prefer to have the music turned down in the restaurant. Otherwise, I would have chosen the lounge. Or a rave.

Also, not sure it’s such a good idea to play the same three techno-ey/bass-heavy songs on repeat.

And while I’m on the topic, what IS this? (Actual recording from the restaurant)

Music rant over. Bottom line, music bad. Burgers, very good.

UPDATE – Oct. 22, 2009: I’m pleased to report that loungeburger has fixed its thumpy music issue. On a return visit, the music was at a normal background volume and the tell-tale construction leftovers have been fixed.

This time, I discovered that the creamed mushrooms make for a fantastic topping, and their delicious onion rings are rolled in a honey batter before being deep-fried.

I’m also impressed with the comment left by loungeburger’s manager below, addressing some of the concerns I raised on my first visit.

loungeburger, 270-14th Ave. S.E., Calgary, 403-250-2747. Open Monday to Wednesday 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Thursday to Saturday 11 a.m.-2 a.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Loungeburger on Urbanspoon