Burger Cravings at Cactus Club Yaletown

Crusty Chicken Sandwich

This post is about burgers, but first…. a Geeky Intro: 

According to research conducted by Technomic … Canadian burger consumption is on the rise once more.

“Burger consumption has benefited from an increased emphasis on quality and sourcing, particularly as it relates to domestic beef, as well as operators’ ability to adapt the classic burger to modern demands through menu development,” explains Anne Mills, manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “Going forward, routinely innovating with new flavours, particularly sauces and premium toppings, will be key as expectations continue to rise for unique burgers.”

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • 36% of consumers have a preferred restaurant that they almost always go to for their burger occasions (up from 30% in 2015)
  • 40% of 18- to 34-year-olds says it’s very important that restaurants offer burgers with new and unique flavours, compared to 22% of older consumers
  • 56% of consumers say it’s very important that they can customize burger toppings

Aside from ‘toppings’, I would say just being able to customize period. That’s definitely a ‘modern demand’ that’s HUGELY in demand now, thanks to diners with intolerances.

  • Are you Gluten Free? No Problem – we have GF buns.
  • Are you Lactose Intolerant? Neverfear! We can hold the cheese and provide non-creamy toppings instead.
  • Do you want a lighter option but also really want a juicy burger and feel conflicted? Easy! We can swap out the fries for a side salad instead.

It’s so versatile and user friendly for customers that dine in group.

So easy to successfully implement on the production side, i.e. the kitchen.

No wonder we’re seeing burgers make a resurgence on menus, and that customers are loving it and aiding to its sustained growth by ordering them more often!

My stats:

  • 99.9% of the times that I eat burgers with my boyfriend it is because of some prompt I gave earlier in the week. Either that I had eaten one already, or mentioned I’m kinda craving one, or mentioned the word ‘burger’ at all really… haha

We’ll either order-in or go somewhere nearby that can cater to my boyfriend’s GF needs. That place is more often than not – Cactus Club in Yaletown. I’m not one to really like chains, but Cactus Club sure does make my life easier when I want to enjoy an ‘eating burgers’ experience with someone.

You know… that feeling of ‘OMG this is SO DELICIOUS, and decadent. Glorious and Sinful’. A Food Orgasm.

So this is what happened last Saturday night when we dropped by Cactus Club.

He got the Feenie burger (GF bun) with yam fries (substitution) and I ordered the Crispy Chicken Sandwich with regular fries.

We were all in.

Burgers at Cactus Club Restaurant

Both dishes were created by Chef Rob Feenie (who in 2005 became the first Canadian to win on the show ‘Iron Chef America’). Even award winning chefs are putting an effort into branding their signature burger experiences.

  • The Feenie Burger: smashed certified angus beef, sautéed mushrooms, aged cheddar, smoked bacon, red relish, mayo, ketchup, mustard
  • Rob’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich: spicy panko-crusted chicken, swiss cheese, sambal mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion

Worth every bite.

 

RawBar / The Lobby Lounge at Fairmont Pacific Rim

Torched Wagyu Salad

When I moved to Vancouver 10 years ago I was truly overwhelmed by all the Sushi options in this city!

Going from three known locations in the tiny little Island I grew up on; a posh Resort Spa restaurant for date nights (my initial Sushi introduction), a convenient Marks & Sparks near work for pre-packaged lunches, and a new restaurant chain in the Entertainment district for appetizers….  to a city with over 600 options was intense.

No joke, there are hundreds upon hundreds of establishments catering to all budgets, ambiances and tastes. Vancouver is the sushi capital of Canada, if not North America… so it’s only fitting that my first restaurant “review” be on a recent Sushi experience.

RawBar at the Fairmont Pacific Rim has been around since 2013 and is Vancouver’s first 100% Ocean Wise sushi destination. Innovative and sustainable seafood is something I can get behind! Additionally they make great cocktails, and the lounge is elegant yet relaxed.

100% Ocean Wise Restaurant

You’ll be served by beautiful servers wearing crisply tailored suits/ billowy ankle length evening dresses, gush at the odd cute dog being walked through the lobby by a hotel guest, and finally be seduced by the cosy live music that is always available anytime I visit the lounge.

To start we ordered some gin based drinks: the Lucky Negroni (gin / sake vermouth / bitter bianco / grapefruit peel) for him and Spruced Up (forest gin / sherry vermouth / yellow chartreuse / absinthe / pickled spruce tip) for her.

Cocktails at RawBar Lobby Lounge

Ahhh spruce tips… what a nice Pacific North West Spring touch! Both my boyfriend and I have been coming here for cocktails for years and the bartending talent always deliver.

We then ordered a sprawl of delicious food:

  • Torched Wagyu Beef Salad – featuring wagyu beef, greens, onion, nori chips, yuzu kosho vinaigrette
  • Jalapeño Kampachi – featuring masago, mango, onion, avocado, scallion, micro greens, jalapeño, radish sprout
  • Sable Motoyaki Roll – featuring kabayaki cured sablefish, avocado, chilis, warm motoyaki sauce
  • Lobby Lounge Roll – featuring rainbow-rolled albacore tuna, red tuna, wild sockeye, yellowtail, avocado, shiso leaf, dungeness crab, cucumber, yuzu kosho glaze

Food at RawBar Lobby Lounge

Everything was divine and very Instagram worthy (love the orange chopsticks) …. but ultimately the Sable Roll and Kampachi were my top favourites.

Jalapeño Kampachi

If you are looking to connect with a friend over drinks and appies or enjoy a chill dinner date with your partner, I think this lounge is a fantastic choice on a week day/night, thanks to its solid food, great drinks, relaxing atmosphere and nice selection of seating options (high tops by the window, sushi bar seating to watch the chefs/ bartenders, cosy armchair seating around a central fireplace).

If you’re looking for a more lively ‘see and be seen’ experience, then the weekend is your best bet! It’s usually pretty packed on a Friday/ Saturday night.