I apologize ahead of time for the quality of the photos. The place was extremely dim and I didn’t have a proper camera with me *bows head in shame* … then again, I rarely have a proper camera with me XD.
Anyway, five weeks ago J and I went on a bit of an adventure and rambled along Stephen Avenue into Central Park, Central Park Library and… then we found ourselves at loungeburger. Actually, J had the whole thing planned out (or it sure seemed like he did) so we arrived at loungeburger right on time for our reservation and armed with a Living Social ($20 for $40). The place was cool, dim and felt like a trendy keep, as if someone had turned a castle guardroom into a bar for all the town fops.
At first glance the burgers seemed standard in price, until we realized that all burgers came a la carte and sides required a minimum of 3 more dollars. Huh. With our Living Social coupon though we were somewhat okay with the prices (but still not entirely!)
J and I ended up ordering two burgers and three sides. While the restaurant was almost entirely empty (there were two groups of two beside us) we waited for at least 20 minutes before the waitress took our order, and another 40 minutes before any food came. Conversation sure gets stale when you start taking turns with your dinner partner wondering aloud when the food will come.
Finally the food came. Hurrah. Jack had ordered a Big Kahuna burger (14.75) and waffle fries (3). While the burger was decent, the pineapple was a little disappointing (being very small and limp and therefore not prevalent). The taste overall was bolstered by the teriyaki mayo and bacon (bacon almost always saves the day) but J said without the pineapple he had been expecting, the burger was standard fare. The waffle fries on the other hand were pretty amazing, being hot and crisp and probably right off the fryer. They tasted similar to curly fries and I’m pretty sure the extra crisp is simply because the waffle cut allows for more surface area to be deep-fried (and subsequently saliva-inducing).
We ordered a side of kettle chips (3.5) too (more to get the most out of our Living Social) and those were tasty too, although with both chips and fries the quality was inconsistent. Some waffle fries were crisp and hot, others cold and slightly mushy, and it was the same for the kettle chips. Neither of us cared much for the dip that came with the kettle chips, since it tasted (and had about the same appeal) as an overly greasy mayo.
My burger came with a side of soup, and both were pretty tasty. What pleasantly surprised me was that my Black & Blue burger (12.25) had a good helping of blue cheese indeed, but the flavour of the blue cheese wasn’t so overwhelming that I couldn’t appreciate the taste of the meat itself. The barbecue sauce paired well with the rest of the burger and worked out surprisingly well with the blue cheese; the overall effect was a slightly pungent but sweet and tangy bite.
The feature soup (4) was even better, and turned out to be the star of my meal, being a carrot and ginger puree. There was so much ginger that the heat warmed my belly well over (just like ginger should be used), and I was surprised that the waitress hadn’t given more of a warning. In fact, she had completely forgotten to tell us what the feature soup was and only responded when we asked a last minute question before she left. Regardless, I appreciated the buttery sweetness of the carrot, plentiful use of ginger and citrus notes (I think they added orange juice to the puree, because that fruit usually pairs well with those veggies).
270 – 14 Avenue SE
Calgary, Alberta T2G 0L3
Pros: Food is well-done for the most part and decor is pretty chill.
Cons: Prices are higher than what I’d usually pay for a burger and yet the quality can be a hit and miss, as evidenced by the information above. The wait was ridiculously long combined with the waitress’ inattention wasn’t impressive.
If someone had another coupon, I might chance coming back to loungeburger. Their soup certainly beckons. Unfortunately that doesn’t determine a re-visit. The burgers aren’t amazing and the other sides are lacklustre, and for what else would you want to visit a burger joint?