Vera's Burger Shack - Main St
I always have mixed feelings returning to the Main Street area. One reason is that when I lived there about five years ago, it was not so trendy and hipster-y as it is now. It's become a little too popular these days. But I also have pangs of jealousy because there is so much cool new stuff that wasn't there before, like the new community centre and library, and all sorts of up-and-coming restaurants. Vera's Burger Shack is one of those places that wasn't there when we were around. So when we were in the neighbourhood and after unsuccessful attempts to visit Benkei Ramen on 5th (closed) and Lucy's Eastside Diner (too busy), we ended up at Vera's for lunch.
Now we had gone to another Vera's years ago but never actually been back for a while.
The restaurant occupies a place that used to be a cafe, as I recall (Pedro's Coffee?), and the interior feels a little like a worn old shoe. Not that the place isn't clean or anything (well, there were crumbs at our table...), but it had the feeling of being used too many times. However, the seats were comfortable enough.
The menu is pretty extensive, ranging from basic burgers, to specialty burgers, to hot dogs and sandwiches. The choice is pretty dizzying at first. Of course, the price of the burgers is just for the burger itself; the sides are not included.
I went for The Natural Burger ($7.89), which features organic beef. The good thing at Vera's is that you can customize your burger with whatever toppings you want; this time, I went for pickles, tomato, lettuce, hot peppers, and mustard. All in all the burger was good: the bun was soft but toasted, and the meat itself had a good flavour. The patty was juicy, if a little overdone and lacking in seasoning.
Shane got the Power Burger ($8.69), which featured a fried egg, fried onions, and cheese. This one was pretty good; the egg had an appropriately gooey yolk, and the whole thing was a yummy mess. Of course, with this kind of burger, the patty becomes second fiddle, which may be a good thing in this case.
Both of us shared a side of fries ($3.99 for the combo with drink). This was a disappointment. The fries were dry and had an unappetizing puddle of oil at the bottom of the basket. It just wasn't good, and it may speak to a lack of care in the preparation of the food. I mean the reason that a person would choose Vera's over McDonald's or some other joint is that they care about the quality of the burger, right? I'm not sure if we felt that difference, to be honest with you.
Will we return to Vera's? Maybe.
But would it be our first choice? No.