Max’s Burgers opened up earlier this year but we simply haven’t found the time to try them out until recently. I’ve heard mixed reviews of the place but it’s always hard to judge just based on one review.
We came by for lunch on the weekend and it was relatively quiet. After walking through the door, the waitress instructed us to pick any seat so we choose a booth. I originally wanted to order a Root Beer Float but, as it turns out, their soda machine was on the fritz for a while so they weren’t able to make one for me. I thought it was a little strange that if they knew their machine wasn’t working… why didn’t they stock up on some bottled pop?
When Max’s first opened up, I heard that they served up a burger made of King Crab and I’ve been waiting to try it out for a long time. The “Hail to the” King Crab Po Boy ($14) isn’t exactly what you might expect. The 2 fried King Crab fillets are not actually made from the crab legs (I think I remember hearing that they were made from the leftover bits of the King Crab that usually gets wasted).
Alongside my po boy is a generous serving of tasty kennebec fries – quite addictive.
The King Crab fillets weren’t as juicy as I was expecting. Usually, if I order up an oyster po boy, the deep fried oysters are bursting with juices when you bite into them. These fillets were a bit on the dry side and I couldn’t really tell that they were made from King Crab. If you’re looking for some good King Crab eats, wait until the season starts in the beginning of the year (see some of our posts on Excelsior or Sun Sui Wah for Alaskan King Crab).
The burger on the whole wasn’t bad and I did enjoy it but it wasn’t as earth-shattering as I had hoped. The cole slaw served with this po boy was pretty good but it would have been easier to eat if they had cut the slaw a little shorter.
The Big Max ($10) comes with a 5 oz patty along with all of the regular fixins’ (shredded lettuce, tomato, pickles, and Big Max sauce). You can customize your burger with a number of different add-ons and we decided to top off the juicy burger with some mushrooms. As I mentioned previously, the fennel slaw was a little difficult to eat because the shredded pieces were a little too long.
All of their burgers are served on soft brioche buns that are baked fresh from a production bakery operating underneath their floors.
There were parts of the burger that were pinker than most people would feel comfortable with (especially with all of the e. coli scares lately). Max’s claims to always serve freshly ground Alberta AA chuck that they get from Tenderland Meats in Granville Island which should make their burgers relatively safe from e. coli.
I’m not an expert on the subject but I do enjoy eating raw oysters, sashimi, and the occasional beef carpaccio. If it’s relatively safe to order a steak medium-rare, why the big fuss over medium-rare burgers? I suppose we’ve just been conditioned in Canada that eating a medium-rare burger is like playing a game of Russian roulette.
I think it really comes down to the quality of the ingredients. You never know what you’re getting with a frozen hamburger patty (the meat from one of these patties could come from hundreds of different cows). I am in no way condoning eating a pink burger or affirming that Max’s burgers are safe from e. coli but if you’re still reading this blog, it turns out that nothing disastrous happened to me after eating their burger. My best advice, do your own research about the subject and if you’re uncomfortable with a medium-rare burger, ask them to cook it a bit longer.
521 West 8th Avenue