About an hour south of Calgary, there’s a magical red barn that serves what I like to call Epic Meaty Burger Deliciousness (EMBD). Ok, so the red barn might not be magical (it’s just a barn, after all), but the Epic Meaty Burger Deliciousness is alive and well in that place. So much so that it currently holds the crown for “the place that serves my most favourite burger.” It’s just a shame that it’s so far away.
We made the pilgrimage to Turner Valley on a sunny autumn afternoon, having heard of this place from numerous people. It’s also been featured on You Gotta Eat Here (and rightly so). The drive down was actually quite pleasant and made for a fun road trip – just the perfect distance to travel in search of good food.
We made it near the tail-end of their day (closer to 1:45 pm) and discovered that the place was relatively quiet. It might have been good that we’d beaten the lunch rush (I hear it gets pretty crazy on the weekends). We sat near the window with the sun spilling in. The interior of the red barn is what I’d like to call eclectic and a throwback to what I like to describe as Cowboy-esque diner-slash-quirky cabin. It actually felt super cosy and warm, like you’d expect of a small town restaurant, where the community comes together to catch up and share in each other’s presence over plates of delicious food. During our visit, a few other visitors came and went and they were all addressed by name. I love that sense of community and of a place having regulars.
And you know what they also had? Those plain, white nondescript coffee mugs that are commonly found in old school diner type places, which took me back to my teenage years of skipping art class to go sit in a local restaurant drinking gallons of coffee with my girlfriends. I mean… I did no such thing as skip art class. I was a model student!
Just to be a pain in the ass – because I have issues with cheese and most normal sauces – I opted for the House Burger without the cheese, mayo, mustard, and relish. Sure, I could’ve just gotten the regular burger with easier omissions, but what fun is that? Mark, he who eats pretty much everything, also got a House Burger without being a high maintenance diva. Served with a heaping pile of perfectly salted, crispy fries, this burger looks nothing short of spectacular.
Just look at the thickness of the all-beef patty, piled high with grilled onions, mushrooms, and perfectly crispy bacon. For those that know me well, I’m particularly picky about the crispness of my bacon (has to be wall-shatteringly crispy – as in, if I threw it against the wall, it would shatter into shards of bacon glass). This bacon passed the test with flying colours. The burger itself was so juicy and tender, with beautiful charred bits on the surface to give it that extra bit of texture and smoky flavour. This, my friends, is burger perfection.
I happily devoured everything on my plate and was stuffed to the brim. If not for the distance, I’d probably eat here at least once a week. Our server was super friendly and quick to keep refilling the coffee mug of my youth (because how could I not get coffee and reminisce about the good old days?). With our bellies full of EMBD, we made the trip back to Calgary and vowed that we would return again soon on another sunny afternoon.
105 Sunset Blvd
Turner Valley, AB T0L2A0
Phone: (403) 933-0003