Not your average burger and shake
If you haven’t already seen the over-the-top, extra indulgent milkshake trend circulating your Instagram or Facebook feed lately, you’re bound to see it pop up in the near future.
RE:GRUB, a modern burger joint based in Alberta, has been perfecting monstrous milkshake concoctions and delicious locally-sourced food, and now they’ve brought the fun to Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue.
“The reason we chose Whyte Avenue is because it’s a very creative and quirky neighbourhood,” says Jose Azares, the restaurant’s founder.
Having the new restaurant in a hip area of the city goes along well with the innovative concept of RE:GRUB. “The idea was to create an innovation hub,” says Azares. “The whole concept was to create something cool and innovative.”
When conceptualizing the restaurant, three different models inspired Azares. The upscale restaurant model, the burger joint model, and the food truck model, all of which have elements that came together to create what is now RE:GRUB. They have quality food, casual atmosphere, and creativity packed into one concept.
The ethically sourced eatery, as it states on their site, features unique burgers, fries, onion rings, shakes and more. The shakes, which come in mason jar style mugs, are stacked high with different toppings like cheesecake, donuts, cotton candy, and even mini pancakes, making them the perfect candidate for an enviable Instagram post.
Don’t count out the burgers though—they are just as interesting as the shakes, even down to the quirky names. “Cheesy” which features a deep fried cheddar cheese block, is one of the crafted burgers and one of the most popular on the ever-evolving menu.
“We have a section called crafted burgers, and a section called experimental burgers,” says Azares. “In experimental, we try new ideas, or ideas that come from fans or employees, and depending on how they do, we bring them into our crafted burger section.”
Having the experimental portion of the menu for both milkshakes and burgers allows items to get switched around and refreshed, giving customers a renewed experience each visit.
The set up of the trendy eatery works similar to that of a fast food shop where customers line up to order first, and then grab a table to eat and enjoy, but the food quality is far superior.
“We use grass-fed beef. We don’t use ground beef, we actually use brisket. We do everything from scratch, even our buns. Ninety five percent of our toppings we do in house,” says Azares.
The Edmonton menu is currently the same as that of their Calgary shop, however Azares says they have plans to change it and make every RE:GRUB location unique. “In one month, we’re going to have a brainstorming session here in Edmonton with some of our fans and employees, and we’re going to have a different menu,” he says.
With Whyte Avenue being one of the most popular areas in the city for eateries and nightlife, RE:GRUB is already showing popularity with lines down the street that will no doubt continue for the rest of the summer and into the fall.
“We knew it was going to be busy, but we didn’t know it would be this crazy. But it’s crazy good,” says Azares. “It’s been challenging as well because we’re not a group of investors that come from the industry. I can see this industry and concept from different eyes, because I don’t come biased.”
The original Calgary location has grown so popular they have included a “queue cam” tab on their website so potential visitors can see how long the line is in real time. There is also one in place for the Edmonton location, making it easy to see the best time to visit.
Azares reveals they have plans to expand further into Canada, noting they want to find the more unknown and unusual spots to open up shop.
“We want to make sure we go to different locations. We will try not to go to the typical places, and we want to go a different route from what everyone else does. One step at a time.”