Bin 4 Burger Lounge
911 Yates St.
Someone call 9-1-1, there’s a new burger place that just opened up on 911 Yates St…ok not funny, but what a great street address eh?
Victoria is quickly becoming a burger city, and why not? The burger is quintessentially North American, and it seems everyone has their own spin on the it, whether that be a classic style burger, gourmet burger, ethical burger, or veggie burger. Pink Bicycle, Bimo and Belle Patate, Big Wheel Burger, Jackalope Bistro, and Bin 4 Burger Lounge are but a few restaurants in Victoria offering the humble burger in gourmet and classic forms. Burger bars are hella trendy in the states, often showcased on the Food Network, Bobby Flay and Hubert Keller being two of the celebrity chefs known for their burgers.
Bin 4 Burger Lounge lands in the Deluxe/Gourmet burger category, similar to Pink Bicycle. These are competitive times in Victoria for burgers, chains versus local establishments, especially with the new Burger King opening up and FatBurger coming soon. Let’s see how Bin 4 Burger Lounge measured up.
The transformation of the space is impressive. I remember when it was JB’s cafe, and it didn’t look attractive at all. Now it has a feeling of Cactus Club and Ikea, which is a relatively successful aesthetic when it comes to trendy restaurants. All the servers are pretty young girls ( another Cactus Club- ism), but they didn’t have the attitude so they were more approachable.
We started off with a couple of drinks, I had a grapefruit mojito and JB had a gin and tonic. Although the mojito tasted good, I couldn’t taste to booze. Maybe I am becoming accustomed to my strong drinks I make for myself at home, but in a small tumbler glass I should still be able to taste the liquor. JB found the same with his gin and tonic, tasted watery. The next drink, I ordered a beer and JB ordered a double (almost 8 dollars I recall), so that we could finally taste the liquor.
For food, I had the aptly named “Mr. Bean” burger, which part of me chose of my childhood love for Rowan Atkinson. JB had the Wild Mushroom burger with fries and basil aioli dipping sauce. I chose the red onion rings for my side, with barbecue sauce.
Mr. Bean: chickpea and black bean patty with curry aioli,lettuce tomato and red onion and goat cheese.
The bun was nice, I think Irene’s bakery provides them to Bin 4. The onion rings were nice and crispy, but not very many of them. The barbecue sauce was O.K., but nothing special. The patty was fine, a bit heavy on the spices though. I’d give it a 6.5 out of 10.
The wild mushroom burger: JB liked the beef patty, but the wild mushrooms were a bit stemmy, and subsequently tough/chewy. But I like that they used wild instead of the usual button or crimini mushrooms.
Our server was friendly and professional, so I can’t fault the service. The space is beautiful too. The prices are a bit high, I don’t know why they do the half price after 9. Personally, I think making them a couple of bucks cheaper overall makes more sense. Otherwise they run the risk of getting a rush of people after 9 to get cheap food, unless they are encouraging more people to come later because it is a “lounge”/ late-night hang-out spot. I’m curious how long that will last.
The food was decent. I’m glad the chef shows some imagination and creativity. Also a lot of their meat is ethically sourced, which is always a great thing. There is a healthy amount of other options besides burgers, like lettuce cups, bruschetta, tataki, etc. I like that they make all their sauces in house. My only critiques were about the drinks, and just tweaking the seasoning on some of the food. But in general, this place has potential to be a long-standing fun place to hang out. I wish them well.