I’ve known of Boogie’s burgers for most of my life and it’s one of those places that I keep thinking I’d like to visit and never seem to get. I finally did get the chance to try the food here when I wanted to take the convertible out for a run and enjoy the nice weather.
Boogie’s has been around for a long time, since the late sixties as a matter of fact. This burger place was started by Gus Peiters, the same man who also gave Calgary one of its most beloved institutions, Peter’s Drive-in. This may be one of the reasons I never went for such a long time, it may have been in my mind that it would be the same food and so why not just go to Peter’s instead. I’m not sure if that’s the reason or not but at least I can now say I’ve been to both.
Located on Edmonton Trail and only a short drive south of Peter’s Drive-in We found that Boogie’s was quite busy for a mid-week and earlier than normal dinner. we looked over the menu while waiting in line and found that the offerings were much more varied than I’d expected, with a large number of burgers to choose from. Many of these burgers were quite unique with toppings ranging from the ordinary to the somewhat less so such as fried egg and even a hotdog.
We ended up ordering a Sam’s burger for Nancy and a Fay’s burger for myself. I’ve since discovered that these two burgers are named for the couple who ran Boogie’s for much of its existance. The Sam’s is a single patty with all the usual toppings in addition to a fried egg, cheese and Boogie’s house made red sauce. The Fay’s burger is also a single with fried mushrooms and onions, bacon and a mushroom sauce as well as the expected additions. We also ordered some of the yam chips, a small plate of onion rings and to drink a raspberry shake and a coke for me.
After ordering the fellow at the counter told me he’d have the food brought outside to one of the tables if we wanted to eat there. We liked the idea of dining in the sunshine and I told him that yes that would be great. I am quite surprised that they’d bring us our food considering how busy they were and this is a plus for boogie’s in my book. We paid and proceeded out into the sunshine to sit at one of the uniquely pinkish picnic tables provided.
Our drinks arrived soon after we’d sat down and the shake was quite good, not the cheap flavorless variety I’d come to expect from most places and similar to what you’d get at Peter’s.
We were finished the drinks long before our food arrived and while I generally don’t like to wait so long for something as simple as a burger it was nice out and since I’d read that every burger was handmade fresh as the orders come in I was okay with it.
When the burgers and sides arrived I was quite pleased with what I saw. The burgers were large and looked great, just what I’d hoped I’d see when I heard they made them to order. Both were well made and put together with care despite how busy the kitchen must have been, I do hate thrown together food and whether good or not will not be happy with any place that allows this.
The burgers came on amazingly fresh buns that were not the over-puffy or heavy ones I’m used to. They also seemed to be thinner than what I’d have expected and thus did not over-power the burger as so many do. I decided that it would have been good if I’d ordered a double patty, I didn’t do so as I was unsure of the size and didn’t want to end up with a huge monster that I’d have a hard time eating. These were not the huge thick slab of meat I thought I might find and were in fact much thinner than I’d have hoped for, rather like the fast food patties one finds at MacDonald’s but much larger in diameter. I found this to be disappointing.
Both of us liked our burgers but given that each was covered with a different sauce that was not in short supply we were surprised that neither of them had a great deal of flavor. My Fay’s burger was actually rather bland tasting, I could not discern the flavour of the mushrooms or the onions and the sauce could have been missing for all the impact it had. Nancy had similar feelings about her Sam’s burger. Between the thin patties and the lack of flavour we were actually disappointed in our first visit to Boogie’s.
The onion rings were the basic version that I’d had on countless occasions and while a little bit on the oily side were quite enjoyable. I’d hoped that I’d find that Boogie’s made their own rings as I’ve not had hand-made onion rings in so long I cannot remember. This, if it had been done and they were good would have made Boogie’s a favorite of mine even if the burgers were not to my liking.
The yam chips were also good and despite some being a tad chewy they were for the most part crisp, light and tasty. Unlike the rings these were perfect and one would be hard presses to notice any oil on them at all. As a substitute for regular run of the mill fries these were a nice change and I’m glad they are offered.
All in all I liked Boogie’s and while some of what we had disappointed me I would like to return and sample some of the other unique burgers to find out if what we experienced was the norm for this place. I may not go out of my way to visit but would say that they do offer good food that is made well. Next time I’ll have a double though.