Restaurant Review: Black Betty Burger & Winebar

>> Tuesday, June 5, 2012

It’s always hard to watch restaurants close, especially Sociale since we always found ourselves wondering over for happy hour drinks during the week and lingering at the bar on the weekends. There were definitely some good memories there. Yet at the same time I was really excited to see a new burger restaurant open in the downtown core with the promise of gourmet burgers served along side some great wine. So it really didn’t take me long to find myself pulling up to a table at the new Black Betty Burger and Winebar.

Atmosphere: A top level where it’s more casual and laidback and a lower level with trendy contemporary surroundings.

Price Range: Mid $10s - $20s

Food and Wine: Since it’s a new burger place I knew I wanted to try one but the appetizers jumped out at me and my dining companion because we both really like avocados…add in tempura and we were sold. The Avocado Tempura came stuffed with Dungeness crab, bits of red onion and arugula. It was very creamy and the sweet crab flavour was noticeable, the spicy sriracha sauce was a nice addition. However, I was looking for more crunch, which would have added a nice texture to the dish. This was more evident when we went back for our second piece, it was a bit heavy and a nicely toasted baguette would have really helped.

For the burgers I had to try the Tahini Tuna, featuring a blackened seared ahi tuna steak, still slightly rare (the only way I like it), with avocado, crispy onions and arugula. It was drizzled with a tahini soy aioli over a herb ciabatta bun. I really like the combination of the soy aioli with the sesame and tuna, which are tried and true asian flavour combinations. It definitely worked here. The burger was light and the bread held up well against the sauce and toppings. The avocado added that much a nice mouthfeel to the burger and contrasted nicely with the arugula.

My friend ordered the Kobe burger, made with kobe beef topped with creamy brie cheese, arugula and a honey truffle Dijon sauce. I had a quick bite and her burger was very flavourful and juicy. The beef wasn’t dry and the truffle flavour really brought out the earthiness of the dish reminiscent of mushrooms on top of burgers.

Our sides of the Sweet Potato Fries and House Salad were of a good portion size. I am a sucker for sweet potato fries and devour them no matter where I get them. These were no different! The salad was fresh, the vinaigrette not over powering, a nice healthy side if you wanted to keep things light.

For dessert, we got the Red Velvet Sponge Cake with cream cheese icing and an extra side of vanilla ice cream (I believe all desserts should come with it…and I mean all of them). When I eat sponge cake, I expect it to be moist and fluffy. I found this one to be dry and crumbly, not what I expected. The ice cream helped but I noticed that after a while I just started eating the ice cream and left the cake behind. The overall flavour was a bit lacking and I didn’t taste much cocoa or chocolate and the cream cheese icing was a bit hard. It just felt like the cake had been sitting in the refrigerator for a bit longer than suggested.

I tried a couple of their wines that night, starting with the Altos De La Hoya Rose. It was a nice wine to start off the evening and would be good for the summer patio, with light citrus notes reminiscent of a sparking wine without the bubbles. My second glass was the Dona Paula Malbec a good overall wine, medium bodied with hints of berry and spices, minor oak aromas with a sweet lingering finish.

My Pick: Tahini Tuna

Overall: It’s nice to welcome a new burger restaurant to downtown Calgary. Even better that it’s only a couple blocks away from work, making it much easier to access versus some other places that have popped up around town. I just need to keep in mind to go there for their burgers and wine, and maybe leave the dessert behind the next time around.

Black Betty Burger & Winebar
606 1 St SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 265-4230

Black Betty Burger & Winebar on Urbanspoon


David Haas June 7, 2012 at 11:49 AM  

I have a question about your blog, do you think you could email me?

lylaburns123 May 2, 2013 at 2:53 PM  

Oh wow, this food looks DELICIOUS! I want to find a place for wine in Calgary since we will be visiting there this summer. That Red Velvet Sponge Cake looks especially appetizing right now!

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