Burger Baron, maybe as Albertan as a burger can get. Serving burgers out of randomly shaped buildings since the ’50s, you can now find dozens scattered around the province. I’m not sure what the exact claim to fame is, but with so many fancy gourmet burgers popping up, the Baron has somehow managed to weather the storm and keep pushing forward.
Burger Baron #15 is located 20 minutes south of Edmonton in the city of Leduc. It’s strange shape would be impossible to miss, so combined with it’s location on the main drag, it’s a perfect spot to stop. Pulling up to this location, I wasn’t even sure if you could walk in. There were cars in line for drive thru, but it took me a minute to notice the side door. Walking in, I realized most of this odd shaped location is used up by kitchen space. I was standing in a space no bigger than a twin bed I would think (4 feet by 6 feet).
It was a tight squeeze as a couple was already in the building, but with the menu right near the door it made things a bit easier (I didn’t have to stand in the way). I quickly discovered that the man taking my order was the son of the man who created Burger Baron. A bright, and friendly man who combined with the two other customers gave me a bit of Burger Baron history. This might not be for everyone, but I really like hearing a success story from the original family. Especially when you consider how passionate there are. It brought a smile to my face.
Asking for a suggestion, I was told that the Mushroom Burger is the specialty and that’s where I should start. I should say, I was leaning towards the Pomo with its slice of grilled pineapple, but I was told to start with the mushroom. Everyone in the shack suggested I add cheese but not bacon for it’s true taste, so that’s the path I took. Fries and onion rings make up the usually sides (they also offer tater tots), and after hearing the potatoes were supplied by the local Hutterites and hand cut on site, I was sold.
I think I could have stayed to chat all afternoon, but eventually my burger was ready and I was out the door. Opening the paper bag, I discovered a bag of skin on fries that looked delicious and a hamburger bag which was stapled shut. Seriously, when was the last time you had a sandwich bag stapled. Classic! The fries were good, but were hit and miss with regards to crispness. Some were soggy and some had bite. I love skin on my fries, so that was a pleasant surprise. I should also note that salt was included in the bag, as the fries were lightly seasoned (if at all).
The burger was next, and opening the package I discovered a massive burger. Well at least I thought it was a massive burger. See, the slightly warmed bun was huge. I could barely see any of the interior offerings from first glance. Taking off the lid, I noticed a tiny patty topped with grilled mushrooms and a slice of cheese. A you can see, in the two minutes it took to open the bag, this combo of cheese and mushroom goodness had become quite runny. The patty itself had a great char, something I enjoy, but was quite dry. This shouldn’t come as a surprise though, because the patty’s are so thin. I can now see why the quad patty order is quite common. In fact, I was told some people will order 8 and one guy even ordered 16!! There was a mushroom flavor, but it was somewhat lost in the now liquid cheese.
This experience left me thinking that Burger Baron is something you should try at least once. Tasting, and looking, like nothing you would find at your local restaurant, this greasy spoon hamburger is in a league of its own. Which probably explains why it has such a following. Can burgers with a dash of homemade love ever be a bad thing.