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Meat Orgy vs. The Burger Institution

There is a pretty good chance that Calgary has the best fast food burgers in the world, as we should given that most are made with the best beef in the world. The question is, who has the best burgers in Calgary. There are many contenders, Peter’s, CB’s, Rocky’s Burger Bus, and so on. While I haven’t been to CB’s in a long time, there are two contenders I remember going to as a kid with my father, Rocky’s and Peter’s.

Peter’s is the Calgary Burger Institution. Around since 1963, lineups used to stretch 30-40 people deep, four lines at a time. The drive through was always lined up with cars, and parking was scarce. The service was always quick considering the volumes, most likely due to the cash only policy. The secret to Peter’s success was the high quality burgers, the special sauce, and the practice of giving just a little bit more than the guy down the street (1.5 patties on a single burger), but something has changed. The lineups are not as long as they used to be, the buzz isn’t the same, and no one really knows why.

Last time I was up there we did not have to wait at all, and given it was a nice day on a Saturday, right at lunch time, things should have been different. I don’t know for sure, but I felt like my burger had a little more bun, a little less meat, and a little less something special. It almost seems as though the new owners thought they could save a little money, and make a little more money, by making little changes that no one would notice. Its obvious however that those changes have been noticed, even though no one can put their finger on it.

I personally love Peter’s and will continue to love them, but I think they have lost the title of Calgary’s burger king. I think the new champion of Calgary’s burger scene is Rocky’s Burger Bus, where they serve not only the biggest burger in Calgary, but likely the biggest burger most of us have ever eaten. In fact Gourmet Magazine dubbed Rocky’s burger the “meat orgy” it is so big. At almost two inches thick, the thing is a beast, and one of the most delicious no frills burgers I have ever eaten. With just relish, mustard, and onions topping this amazing burger, the beef speaks for itself instead of letting fancy sauces or ingredient do the talking. Furthermore, this is one place a lineup still exists, and they take more than just cash. Not to worry about waiting though, with upwards of 50 burgers at a time on the grill, the output is quick, even though these burgers take substantially longer to cook than your typical fast food patty.

There is no doubt in my mind, Rocky’s is the hands down winner in this burger war.

What do you think? Is there another burger joint that can take the title?

Happy eating,

Nolan

Rocky's Burger Bus on UrbanspoonPeters' Drive-in on Urbanspoon

2 comments

  1. Five Guys just opened in Deerfoot Meadows. Give them a shot. They started in Washington DC and grew to be Zagat’s #1 burger in America.

    p.s Their fries are great, but never order a large unless you have a whole family to feed, they always dump an extra large scoop in the bag for you.

  2. Stu my friend, been there three times this week. You are absolutely right, one of the best fast food burgers I have ever tasted. In and Out is good too, but not available up here in Canada.

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