This $4.58 burger tastes as good as it looks
3604 University Avenue, San Diego
When we put together a special burger issue a couple of months ago, it gave me a chance to revisit a few old favorites. It also forced me to realize that the price of hamburgers ain’t what it used to be.
Reliable six dollar burgers have become eight dollar burgers, and most of what I’ve ordered this year has cost double digits, even before adding a side of fries. And burgers are usually the cheapest entrée on a menu. I started wondering if there was still a low-cost alternative in this town that didn’t force me to endure the dive-thru of shame that is fast food. Which is how I found myself sitting down to eat at Canada Steak Burger.
Canada Steak Burger, still at it in City Heights
The place has a long history of slinging a hamburgers and gyros on the cheap. It’s about as old as I am and about as Canadian as bacon. While the cost of a four-ounce burger has gone up a buck fifty since Ed Bedford ate here in 2008, it’s still a scroungeable $3.99. Plus 59 cents if you want cheese.
That puts it on par with the price of another notable four-ounce burger: the McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. And if you upgrade to a fries and soda combo at either spot, it costs a matching $6.99.
The steak burger just tastes better. Not due to its “steak” designation, though I’m almost sure it’s a higher quality beef. First of all, they top the steak burger with lettuce and tomatoes in addition to pickles and onions. And while it can’t boast the Quarter Pounder’s sesame seed bun, I am 100% sure the steak burger’s seedless bun is better. It’s fresh, fluffy, and legitimately contributes to the eating experience.
I’m not pretending Canada Steak Burger my new favorite or anything — I also tried a gyro, and it didn’t do anything for me. But for the price I don’t think you can find a better burger this side of In-N-Out, and it leaves all the other fast food giants in the dust.