A simple concept the Big Wheel Burger team has taken great care mastering, they've turned fast food into a great modern dining experience.
One of the first people I called when I decided to jump in to the world of self-employment, was Calen McNeil. A partner in Zambri's, The Guild, Big Wheel Burger and other non-food related businesses, I'd pitched him coffee a year before, and kept in touch. I also spent a great deal of time eating at Zambri's when I moved to Victoria, and sucking back Big Wheel milkshakes.
There's a tremendous amount going on here, from local hormone and antibiotic-free grass-fed beef being freshly ground each day, to almost everything being made in house. They have a great vegetarian burger, chop salad, and delicious fries. Classic shake flavours with fun features, the December egg nog is a favourite, as are the fresh fruit versions in summer. It's a quick meal with a great atmosphere. Check out the secret menu for some pretty crazy options.
Cook St. Village is where Big Wheel started, now they're expanding to Saanich's Gateway Village across from Uptown Shopping Centre.
On a trip last year to New York, we ate at Danny Meyer's Shake Shack a few times, who share similar values with Big Wheel. They've executed it well across many locations, and the few we went to or happened by, were filled with people looking for an alternative to the big guys. What Big Wheel has done in Cook St. Village is similar. I imagine the new location coming this summer will extend that for Big Wheel Burger.
I love the vibe at Big Wheel.
With a great corner spot in Cook St. Village, a warm bustling interior greets you with vintage inspired furniture, great lighting, a simple large menu board (so you can read it from the back of a quick moving line) and tons of signage talking about their sustainability initiatives. A small, focused menu includes burgers, hot dogs, specials, (the new location will have a chicken burger added to the regular menu), fries, salad, deep fried pickles and desserts. Grab a soda, milkshake, craft beer or glass of wine, and wander over to the bench or bar seating at the windows that run the length of the room, a table in the front, or the Adirondacks out on the patio.
It's often bustling with locals, families, and laughter for a feeling reminiscent of coastal California.
They've done a great job attracting a fun crowd and serving them well. Jason, the GM and a Partner in the business, often cruises the room clearing tables, talking to customers and asking after your experience. An authentic fine dining touch that's very well received.
If you go in uniform (from Ambulance to baseball) on Tuesday, you'll get 15% off your bill. I love this. Watch Twitter for specials, like a spicy Hawaiian burger with ghost pepper sauce and grilled pineapple, or a mint chocolate chip milkshake, with house made cookies on this week.