February 5, 2012
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Having had some fresh homemade burgers and oven fries for lunch today (before hitting the books), I was reminded, of several of the more upscale burgers I enjoyed over the past year. There were two locations stood out in terms of quality, and I’d figure I’d reflect on them here.
Zum’s is a restaurant in Waterton Lakes National Park and lunch and dinner menu that features everything from burgers to pasta and chicken. The ambience of the restaurant is spectacular; the atmosphere inside the restaurant is reminiscent of a friendly diner from the Great Plains, while the flower-filled patio has views of Waterton Lake and gives rise to a zen-like feeling. I was visiting Waterton Lakes on Canada Day, taking advantage of the complimentary admissions to take in the peaceful surroundings. Having spent the morning browsing the shops around the town, we came across Zum’s and decided to check it out for lunch. I ordered a Buffalo-style burger and fries (or at least, I think I did) and was impressed with the flavours and composition of the burger. While Waterton is a more reasonable distance away from home compared to Banff, the park evokes a sense of tranquillity that cannot be found in its more well-renowned cousin.
Later that summer, my PI invited the ESD research team to a lunch at Crazyweed Kitchen in Canmore, a small town 45 minutes from Calgary. He had chosen the location for its interesting menu; while a fair number of reviews note the establishment for its slow service, the food is nonetheless of an excellent quality. Conversations about almost every topic conceivable was were made as we awaited lunch- I myself had ordered a steak burger, which was, as per its naming, a medium-rare steak served on bread with a rich sauce and a side of fries. The fries came with (wait for it!) ketchup made in-house: compared to the standard ketchup, the in-house ketchup has a sweetness to it that contrasted with sharp chill flavor and complements the crisp fries nicely. After lunch concluded, we hiked along the Bow River and reached his residence, where Pizza and discussions about all things computational carried through the evening.
For no reason at all, the image at the very top of the page invokes the memory of my introductory Japanese class: my classmates initially pronounced ハンバーガー using the English pronunciation (IPA hæmˌbɜrgər) rather than the katakana ‘hanbaagaa’ during early exercises. In Japan, hamburgers can be served in a bun, called hanbāgā (ハンバーガー), or just the patties served without a bun, known as hanbāgu (ハンバーグ) or “hamburg”, short for “hamburg steak”. Japan has several local hamburger chains that serve local variations of burgers, including teriyaki burgers, katsu burgers (containing tonkatsu) and burgers containing shrimp korokke. More upscale burgers are served with avacado and Kobe beef.