Food: Edmonton30 Apr 2010 06:07 pm

In recent years, the area around the University has exploded with dining options. I remember when it seemed there was just crappy chinese at Ho Ho’s in HUB, Earl’s (too rich for my student blood), Great Canadian Bagel, Gaya Korean, Sugarbowl (a bit too far) and Wendy’s to pick from. I used to do all night study sessions during spring exam season and would walk over to Wendy’s at midnight to grab some chili, lamenting there weren’t better selections in the area.

Well, there are now a multitude of choices including, but not limited to: Hudson’s, Sobey’s, Good Earth Cafe, Burrito Libre, and one of the newest members of the team – Rodeo Burgers. I stopped in on a weeknight to grab some burgers, and was pleasantly surprised with my burger.

It’s the mama burger joint, with the daddy burger being Hudson’s (prices at $11-20 a burger) and the baby being Wendy’s ($1.29-5 burgers), which are nearby. Prices at Rodeo Burgers run the $5-9 range, and they are also licensed, so they are a good midway between the two other joints.

It’s a nice place, renovated from the Chinese restaurant that used to be there and next to a Burrito Libre location. It was a bit reminiscent of a Chipotle restaurant, with wood floors and steel tables as the main features. The tables looked a lot like the ones from Grandma D’s BBQ (R.I.P) in the west end, actually.

They primarily offer lunch and dinner, but did have a large “coming soon” sticker over a breakfast section on their menu.

Rodeo Burgers makes a lot of claims. I’m happy to say they came through on many of these.

The restaurant offers a plethora of toppings including a few kinds of ketchup, raw and caramelized onions, bacon, fresh relish and even some odder things like jalapenos in cream cheese and guacamole. It’s hard to tell if their housemade claims are true on items like ketchup and sauces, but the fresh relish was definitely legit, so one would assume they have no reason to cover up.

I found the fries a bit pricey (in the New York Fries price territory at $4-5) but they looked substantial and fresh cut, as they say. I’ll have to try them next visit.

I got Mike the namesake Rodeo burger, and I got a modified Lonestar burger with spicy jalapenos in cream cheese. The ingredients were indeed fresh and delicious. The lettuce crunched instead of being limp in your mouth, and there were a lot of other toppings going on as well.

The bun was fresh, which makes a huge difference.

I suppose my only complaint would be that the patty itself wasn’t that substantial. It’s not necessary a problem, as you can upgrade to two patties easily, but it’s just something to be aware of. Hudson’s Burgers are meaty and big;  it is where I go when I need a BURGER. Wendy’s on the other hand is more of a light snack, for I often get the junior burgers. Again, Rodeo Burgers falls in the middle, with a thin style patty, but a lot of toppings. I feel that the toppings really shine, but almost overpower the meatiness.

I would return, especially for a quick casual bite for when I don’t want to spend an hour eating at Hudson’s.

Also, here’s a bonus. Mike does pottery at a studio just off Whyte Avenue. Next door, a space has been renovated to become this, what appears to be an Indian restaurant (possibly banquet hall?) called Narayanni’s. It is a block south of Whyte Avenue at 101 Street and 81 Avenue.


Rodeo Burgers
8525B 112 Street (across from the University Hospital)

website not working yet:

(coming soon)
101 Street and 81 Avenue

6 Responses to “rodeo burgers, edmonton”

  1. on 01 May 2010 at 12:35 pm Carol

    Thanks for the review and the pictures. I’m looking forward to trying one of their burgers.

  2. on 03 May 2010 at 7:13 pm H.Peter

    This will be my Saturday lunch. Someone on Chow compared it to In-N-Out….

  3. on 04 May 2010 at 2:34 pm kelley

    I went with a few friends from work and none of us were impressed. The size of the patty was the main factor.
    You are right thought – the topping are great. They are not enough to get me to back.

  4. on 06 May 2010 at 10:18 am A Canadian Foodie

    Good to know. I appreciate your candor, as always… and, have learned to value your opinion! 😉

  5. on 06 May 2010 at 4:17 pm kelly

    Kelley – I hear you. I found the meat got a little lost in the burger. The double patty is the way to go, but I know that not everyone is happy to pay extra for that.

  6. on 08 May 2010 at 8:35 pm habanerogal

    I didn’t even know about that place but did see the Narayanni’s the last time I was hanging out on Whyte. Had hoped to eat there but ended up at Tasty Toms, which brings us back to burgers, nice and meaty and home made. Mine was brie and roasted peppers.