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Jim Romer re-invents burgers a là Kitsilano. Think local meats, artisanal cheeses and truffle fries.
Romer’s SoCal Burger: Fraser Valley turkey, avocado, tomatoes, watercress, red onion
Former Milestones executive chef Jim Romer has once again teamed up with Scott Ward and Wayne and Erin Holm (of Milestones fame) to create Romer’s Burger Bar in Kitsilano. But Romer’s Burger Bar is tricky to define. It’s half burger-bar, half sports-bar, half neighbourhood restaurant and half pure Jim Romer magic. That’s two restaurants for the price of one.
1873 West 4 Ave, Vancouver
As you’d expect with an eponymous restaurant, the food is what truly distinguishes Romer’s from other burger joints. Jim Romer takes great care to ensure that his food adheres to a certain philosophy, and that philosophy is “Keep it fresh. Keep it simple. And let the seasons be your guide.”
Implied in his motto is “keep it local.” All the cheeses (like the wedges in the Pork & Stilton burger) come from local creameries.
Don’t think that because you’ve been to a burger bar before you known what to expect. The watermelon and feta salad was a sweet and savoury delight, and I had to go for a second helping of the Truffle & Reggiano fries (the garlic fries were also delish).
In the immortal words of Rik Mayall, “it’s much more romantic in a booth.” Romer’s has deep red leather booths along the west wall, each easily able to fit at least eight people. These are great for privacy and hunkering down, while still giving everyone a view of one of the nine wall-mounted TV screens that are likely to be playing hockey or football.
For the more traditional bar crowd, there’s also a herd of high top tables and a horseshoe bar to belly-up to.
Downstairs, the Vault is a private dining room for up to 25 people. The walls are adorned with faux safety deposit boxes, and the two long tables are laid with white table clothes. You can even connect your laptop or iPod to complete the evening with your own choice of music or images. There’s no fee to book the room (yet), but there is a $400 minimum (between 25 of you that shouldn’t be hard).
Check out Romer’s burger of the month for November: Ground Lamb stuffed with port braised onions and topped with garlic spinach, goat feta and fresh thyme.