Delux Burger Bar (Magrath)
14111 23 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T6R 3T7
When I learned that Delux Burger Bar was closing its West Edmonton Mall location, I was disappointed. I'd visited several times in the past, and it became my go-to spot for a burger fix. However, as they closed the WEM location, the finishing touches to a new location were being made in a space at Magrath Market, formally occupied by a Wok Box. Delux Burger Bar, a Century Hospitality-owned chain, offers burgers and fries in an atmosphere more akin to an Earl's than a Five Guys. The prices reflect that, with burgers ranging from $10 for a basic 7oz heritage angus cheeseburger to $20 for an 8 oz kobe, and sides available a la carte.
I was greeted by dimmed lighting and a blue color scheme familiar to me from the other locations, and I was initially quite impressed with the the renovation of the space. However, as we squeezed past others to be seated, I quickly realized the layout was quite tightly packed for a non-bistro restaurant. The tot at the adjacent table was able to reach across the very small gap between us and touch my guest, and even our waitress commented on the challenge of serving in such close quarters. While waiting in the inevitable washroom line up (there is only one washroom for each sex) another patron commented that restaurant just has too many seats for the space available. I've got to say that I agree.
Clockwise from top: Kobe burger, cookies 'n' cream, fries
As I've come to expect from my visits to the other Delux locations, the food was delicious. My kobe beef patty was juicy and flavourful, and combined with bacon, cheddar, and a big onion ring, made for a very satisfying burger. Delux's fries, freshly-cut, crispy and accompanied by an addictive chipotle mayo are some of my favorites in the city.
While it's difficult to fault a restaurant for attempting to maximize seating in a tight space -- and I'm glad business is doing well -- I felt the comfortable dining experience at the old WEM location fit Delux's concept and helped justify their pricing. Perhaps when the new Magrath spot is less busy it feels more spacious, but, during my weekend visit, it was notably cramped. That being said, I did enjoy the food, and will return in the future, but likely not until the novelty and crowds subside.