Tastiness Factor: 7/10
Locavore Approved? YES- It is rare that you find a burger joint whose website main webpage cited words like "locally sourced", "sustainable" and "local farms". From their meat, to their buns, to their veg, this crew is dedicated to the local movement in Victoria!
Pink Bicycle was on the list of "must-go" joints when my mother was visiting me during my month of work in Victoria. Although she is not generally a big meat eater, she loves a good burger. I had heard of Pink Bicycle when I was in Victoria the year prior, and, with its dedication to local produce, I was keen on trying it. So after a drink at Clive's in the Chateau Victoria around the corner (recommended for a nice pre-dinner cocktail), we headed over to see what all the Pink Bicycle hype was all about.
Although Victoria still has its share of classic establishments, Pink Bicycle is a good example of how Victoria is beginning to gentrify. Compared to last year when I spent time there, there are an increasing number of "hipster" restaurants like Pink Bicycle popping up around the city. It can be identified by the retro pink bicycle in the front window. Inside, you will find a small space with a dozen tables and tall, high back comfy chairs (much better than your standard diner stools!). While it may be a bit more "upscale" than your average burger joint, it still feels like a place where you can go on a Friday night in your jeans and t-shirt. No pretension to be found!
Service is friendly and casual. We arrived at 8:45 (15 minutes before closing time), we were greeted warmly and never felt rushed. Our food arrived hot, shortly after we ordered.
Pink Bicycle has a daily menu board featuring cocktails (bacon Caesar, basil fizz), local beer, a "soup du jour" and dessert. The printed menu features burgers of EVERY variety from beef, to bison, to swine, to ahi tuna to halibut, as well as 3 vegetarian varieties that are equally creative. They also offer a selection of salads and sides that are available in meal-sized portions or as a side with a burger. In terms of drinks, there are natural sodas in addition to their alcoholic beverages.
We both enjoyed the beet and arugula salad as a side to our burgers. It was a pleasant surprise to find such a great salad at a burger joint. The spicy arugula salad was packed with goat cheese in light dressing A few more beets would have been nice but overall, it was well worth the extra $3 as a substitute for the house salad. And bonus- all the ingredients were seasonal!
I had the Moroccan Veggie Burger, one of the 3 vegetarian burgers on the menu. The chickpea patty was made with a flavourful combo of Moroccan spices and dates, and topped with red pepper and "mintro" sauce (which I am guessing was a mint-infused aioli?). The patty was hearty and packed chock full of Moroccan flavour but the burger as a whole was quite dry. I attribute this to the fact that the bun was WAY too big and took away from the patty. I would really recommend ordering the burger sans bun on a salad.
My mother ordered the staple burger, the Pink Bike Cheese Burger as she just wanted a good, old fashioned hamburger with no bells and whistles. It was said to come with a "pink bicycle sauce" but, just like my burger, the sauce was barely there and she had to ask for other condiments. Again, much of the flavour got lost in the huge bun!
Overall, my mother and I had a nice evening at Pink Bicycle. We enjoyed relaxed vibe and the hip decor, and appreciated the very creative and original menu. The burgers are good, but could be better with a more even ratio of bun to patty.
Overall, a quirky little spot that deserves a pat on the back for "going local"!