Because I take the Canada Line to work everyday, as I exit the Waterfront station I would see the banner sign of the Cannibal Cafe. It’s been a couple of months now and I’ve been expecting a somewhat more permanent fixture by this point. Nonetheless, when they’re selling a Groupon, I bought one to give it a try.
As we sat down, the menu cover said it’s soft opening, and the menu seemed to mirror what’s at the Commercial Drive location. I guess it’s not a temporary pop-up?
It was a Thursday evening and wings were on special for $5, so we ordered a pound of Cannibal Wings. They offer a few choices of flavour, and we went for the less typical Black Dragon wings. The Black Dragon is their version of a sweet & spicy sauce. I was expecting something like Thai chili sauce, but it had more heat to it. The wings were of decent size, crispy on the outside and moist inside. They weren’t heavily sauced but just enough to coat every bit of the wings. Flavours were really good. For $5 (originally $10.95), this was a very good deal.
For our mains, of course we went for the burgers. I was bad; I was Bacon Bad. I mean, how can you not go for this burger?! Bacon & cheddar stuffed patty, applewood smoked bacon, Canadian cheddar, maple bacon bourbon jam, roasted garlic mayo, lettuce, onion, tomato, pickle — it has my name written all over it! The Bacon Bad burger was just as good as the description sounded.
To start, there were four slices of bacon in this burger! The patty was cooked to a nice medium, so it’s slightly pink and juicy inside. With the melted cheese and stuffing in the patty, burger juice was just dripping all along my palms – I was going to take a picture after I took a bite but it was just too messy! My only complaint would be that the iceberg lettuce was a bit clunky to tackle in my burger so it was hard to bite into; otherwise, this was a burger that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Mr. ordered the Steve Martin “The Jerk”, which was a pork patty with jerk sauce. Pork patty could be dry but this was juicy and seasoned well. There’s a hint of spice but it wasn’t too spicy, and was cut through by the pineapple salsa. For an extra $2.95, Mr. added Onion Rings as a side, and boy were they good. The batter was more like a corn dog batter; it was dense but not too heavy nor greasy. The onion rings were big, nice and sweet. It didn’t take us long to finish the basket.
We made it pretty clear that we came here with a Groupon. At first I thought our server was a bit sharp with her attitude (thinking we’re cheapskate or something) but she slowly warmed up to us. She became attentive and came checking on us without being disruptive.
Overall the food was really good here; the burgers were juicy, wings were crispy and moist, and the onion rings were awesome. With two beers on the bill, this meal came to about $50, which we thought was a bit pricey for burgers. Luckily for us we saved a bit of money with a Groupon, so it became more reasonable. That being said, I saw on its window that they do offer a $12 Burger & Beer deal, so that isn’t too bad. I think this was a nice addition to the north end of downtown, bringing a casual restaurant to the otherwise formal business district.
The Cannibal Cafe
433 Granville Street, Vancouver