Vera’s Burger Shack was first opened in 1977 in West Vancouver by Vera and her husband Frank. It changed owners throughout the years and they started expanding into different locations in 2000. Today, Vera’s Burger Shack has more than 17 locations to provide comfortable environments for customers. They have been voted “Vancouver’s Best Burger” for over 10 years. I visited their Vancouver location on Main Street near 16th Avenue.
Strength: Patties have strong smoky flavour
Weakness: Menu is a little hard to understand for first timer
Other Burger Joint
The signature color is Cow Pattern
Vera’s Burger Shack uses orange as their signature with a black and white pattern of from a cow. The main street location has a small patio in the front to enjoy passerby.
The interior has 26 seats and is divided into 3 areas. There’s a tall seating near the entrance, a row of tables on the right side of the store, and a bar area with 4 bar stool. The ordering counter and cooking area to the left naturally capture customer’s attention.
Sports Bar Wannabe
There are two flat-screen TVs in the store. A large one in the front portion of the store serves the high seating area and a smaller one next to the fountain drink machine for the rest of the customer. The location of these two televisions serves the L-shaped dining area. Vera’s Burger Shack do serve alcohol with their burger.
Flame-grilled burger made to order
The commercial-grade kitchen and hood fan is where most of the frying and grilling take place. It was exciting to see my beef patty catch on fire that gets close to 2’ high. I guess we can call it “flame-grilled” beef patty.
The usual suspect of burger toppings
There were two staff working during my visit. They were both friendly and good at what they do. The Asian guy multi-task and got my food served really quickly. The long-haired Caucasian server took a break for dinner and finished his meal within 3 minutes and got back to work immediately even when the restaurant wasn’t busy. He washed his hands thoroughly before going back to work.
Condiment and napkin box
There is a small condiment stand on each table accompanied by a napkin box. This is what you can expect in a good burger restaurant. Since burgers can be messy to eat, being able to grab napkins as we need them is really appreciated.
The Vera burger with a side of fries
My meal was served in a light tin plate with a piece of paper. The burger has a serrated knife stabbed through the middle to hold things in place. The freshly cut fries were prepared right in front of me but has a bit of a stale crunch to it. It is a large portion. The squeeze bottle ketchup from the condiment stand let me have as much ketchup as I want. The tin plate started to spin as I dip my ketchup which was quite annoying.
The Vera Burger
I ordered the Vera burger to get a taste of what the basic burger here tastes like. It was not as tall as many of the gourmet burger places I have been to, but still thicker than fast food burgers. Truth be told, this reasonable thickness is a lot more enjoyable for me than the over-stacked burgers in some places. I like how they decent weight, but also easy to handle. The reasonable thickness is greatly appreciated because I don’t have to worry about dislocating my jaws from eating the burger.
How does Vera burger taste?
Even at a reasonable thickness, the beef patty still takes up more than 1/3 of the thickness. The beef patty has a very good smoky aroma. It may look a little pink, but it is actually doesn’t have a lot of moisture in the meat. Luckily I asked for everything on my burger, so there are plenty of wet toppings to make up for the lacking moisture. The buns obviously have been toasted and it was warm to hold on to. Like I suspected, it wasn’t very messy to eat this burger. It is possible to eat it with 1 hand.
604 Food Critic Assessment
I like burgers. They’re casual, and they’re simple. The problem with burgers is their simplistic presentation makes people think they are easy to make. To many, a burger can seem unhealthy due to its association with fast food. If you think about it, a burger has all your carb, veggie, and protein covered. If natural and healthy ingredients are used, they are actually a very balanced diet.
Actually, it can be quite sophisticated. Take Vera’s Burger Shack for example, you cannot get the smoky charred beef patty without it being flame-grilled. It is a flavour not many places can duplicate. Their weakness lies in the unclear menu options. I couldn’t find a way to create a combo, so I didn’t even get a drink. My Vera burger with fries cost $13.07 after-tax. This price is very similar to Fatburger. The burger at Vera’s is slightly smaller, but they shine through with the flavour.