Where’s the Beef: Rodeo Burger

Before Pecha Kucha 8, Mack and I met up with Brittney and Shauna for dinner at Rodeo Burger. I had been looking for an excuse to hit up the campus burger joint, and an event at the U of A was the perfect justification.

The bold signage, declaring the restaurant’s commitment to using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, and dedication to from-scratch goods (including their bread, patties and toppings) was eye-catching. But the red and black colour dynamic and hokey “Western”-themed font lost me, but then again, I’m much more attuned with the diner sensibilities of Fatburger, probably the closest burger joint comparison.

Rodeo Burger

Interior

Service was friendly, and the cashier was quite patient with us as we waded through the options we had available to customize our burger (19 included in the basic burger price of $4.69). I ended up with a burger topped with bacon and cheese (at $1 more) and caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato and ketchup (included). Mack chose the Western burger ($5.69) topped with mustard, southwest sauce, sautéed mushrooms, bacon, guacamole, green chillies and caramelized onions, and we both upsized with fries and a drink.

Our order didn’t take long at all, our meals ready for pick up at the front counter in no time. I loved the presentation of the shoestring fries, spilling over the paper cup into the basket below. Mack had chosen the “seasoned” variety, which, unfortunately, needed more seasoning. My sea salt version was tasty, but under salted for my taste.

Rodeo Burger

Burger and fries

As for the burger? The patty was thin with not much inherent flavour, surprising because they are custom-made for them, a claim that usually signals the expectation of something more substantial. Brittney’s complaint was that her patty did not fit the bun at all, again puzzling since they bake their own bread as well.

Rodeo Burger

Mack digs in

My grievance was the composition of the burger – typically, ketchup is used as a “binder” of sorts underneath the top of the bun. Here, the ketchup was underneath the patty, resulting in slippery lettuce that would not stay put.

Rodeo Burger

My burger

Rodeo Burger recently had a “free burger day” in support of the Salvation Army, and I do respect the fact that they, unlike other fast food chains, support area producers. And though I would return to Rodeo Burger if I was in the neighbourhood, I’m not sure I would go out of my way for a visit.

Rodeo Burger
8525A 112 Street
(780) 436-4375
Monday-Friday 11am-11pm, Saturday-Sunday 11am-10pm

11 thoughts on “Where’s the Beef: Rodeo Burger

  1. When I went, my friend’s bun was cold and soggy.

    I consider Rodeo Burger pretty low on the spectrum of burgers available on campus. Marco’s Famous in SUB is still the best.

  2. I have to agree with TCH. The best part of the hamburger is that you have the choice of adding more meat. While many may find the single patty small, adding an additional patty takes it to a new level. Think – Ordering a double cheeseburger at McDonald’s compared to a standard cheeseburger. As well I imagine extra salt is just a reach away for your fries.

    I have to say, I enjoy the variety of toppings and that you can get caramelized onions!! Plus, their veggie burger isn’t half bad.

  3. Hmm, prob’ly just me but I’m leaning more in the direction of Burrito Libre(next door from what I hear). Actually what I’m really leaning more toward is Tienda Latina on the corner of Argyll & 99th street. Had a pretty decent sandwich from them, that I doctored the last few bites of with a homemade habanero/garlic veg. spread. And an internet aquaintance gives their Torta two big thumbs up-inexpensive, delicious & filling. So next time I’m buying Chipotles in Adobo sauce, Chorizo sausage, etc I’ll be getting a Torta to go!

  4. TCH – good to know for next time! Buns were good, but I guess I didn’t notice anything spectacular.

    Carson – maybe they had an off-day?

    Chris – I guess it’s an option to double up, but for a first visit, I usually go with the standard burger as a baseline. And if the patties were made so everyone should order two, shouldn’t they recommend it, or change their standard burger to a double? I take your point about the salt though – I was a lazy diner.

    Darrell – I’ve seen some posts about Tienda Latina (on Twyla’s blog I believe). It does look like a great little find!

  5. Dude, clearly you have not been to many gourmet burger joints lately. Rodeo Burger is a quality burger with an amazing amount of toppings. You don’t feel like sh*t an hour after eating it like most places and you get what you pay for. If you and Mich weren’t satisfied with the normal patty you should just up it for $2. I am all the way with The Celiac Husband’s comments this place is the best in edmonton, probably AB hands down.

  6. Sharon – Not an off day. I work very very very near by and tried it and they are over priced for what it is. The day I went it was completely empty and yet they still managed to screw up my order (they forgot to give me sauteed onions that they charged me for) and the patty was salty and thin.

  7. When I went, I had some sort of burger with guacamole on it. Probably one of the best burgers I’ve ever had.

    You said the fries were under-seasoned, but when I went I got whatever their regular fries are and they had plenty of seasoning – almost bordering on overseasoned.

    It IS pricey though, but on a long lunch break it’s a great place to go.

  8. I work in the health sciences complex and honestly, the U of A hospital cafeteria makes better burgers ! The rodeo is way overpriced for what it offers.

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