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Going back to basics at Whistler's newest burger joint, BOOMBurger

Restaurant with roots in P.E.I. offers classic, fresh-to-order burgers

When it comes to the wide world of burgers, it seems the hot trend in recent years has been to go bigger and bolder.

Whether a dusty diner or high-end eatery, creating an elaborate gourmet burger has become all the rage, with chefs wracking their brains and pantries to pile the most exotic ingredients they can find onto their patties.

But with food, as with many things in life, sometimes a less complicated approach makes all the difference.

So it's refreshing to see a place like BOOMBurger, which officially opened June 20 on the Village Stroll, focus on serving up delicious, traditional fresh-to-order burgers without all the bells and whistles that have enticed the rest of the industry.

"We're definitely not about big gourmet burgers with hummus, sprouts and all that stuff on it. We're directed more towards the old, traditional burger," explained co-owner and general manager Peter MacSwain. "We're keeping it simple. We know what we do well and we do it the best we can."

The first location set up shop in Charlottetown, P.E.I., in 2010, first as a seasonal burger joint catering to the flock of summertime tourists. But as word-of-mouth spread, BOOMBurger's popularity grew and the shop began operating year-round.

The Whistler location, nestled in the Bear Lodge, is the second for the P.E.I-based owners, one of whom also operates the popular Cow's Creamery, and MacSwain explained the impetus to expand BOOMBurger into the resort.

"We knew with Cow's being in Whistler for 15 years, that it was seen as a good opportunity and a good market for the quality of food we're looking to deliver," he said.

MacSwain and his fellow owners are also putting a couple of Cow's products to good use that they hope will help them stand out in Whistler's already busy burger scene.

"The Cow's Creamery where they make the ice cream expanded not too long ago, and with that expansion they went into cheeses and butter as well," he explained. "So with the cheeseburger you're getting the aged cheddar cheese, which is a high-quality cheese and has won several awards across Canada. We're also incorporating the Cow's butter into our toasted buns, so that adds a good flavour as well as helping to hold the bun together better."

Beyond the restaurant's traditional burgers, which you can have as a single or double, and smothered in smoky bacon and aged cheddar if you so choose, there are a couple all-beef hot dog options as well. MacSwain also pointed to BOOMBurger's fresh-cut B.C. fries, made from a recipe perfected at the original location in P.E.I. — the unrivalled Canadian king of spuds (sorry, Pemberton). Try them with a dash of sea salt, sprinkled with zesty pepper or as a classic poutine. But if you're really hungry, MacSwain recommended the hearty BOOM Poutine, topped with bacon and a chopped up all-beef patty, grilled mushrooms and onions.

"We have a couple French Canadians that work at BOOMBurger, and they said it's the best poutine in Whistler," MacSwain added.

Outside of the sesame buns, the menu is entirely gluten free, MacSwain said, and the health-conscious set can also opt for a lettuce wrap to go with their burger. There's also a couple vegetarian options, like the grilled cheese and grilled veggie sandwich.

That's it, that's all: Fresh, quality ingredients that harken back to the burger of yesteryear all served up in a friendly setting.

Sometimes simple is better.

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