By JULIAN STOUT
Well Balanced Nutrition:” quite a bold statement. Bolder still when printed in large block letters above the picture of a supersized burger on a brightly lit example of restaurant signage. Somehow I’m not entirely convinced. There’s something that seems almost too good to be true about those two going together. The sight of my own burger (which I strongly suspect of harboring an onion ring somewhere amidst its savory layers of meat and cheese), isn’t really helping. But I’m not ready to give up yet. Maybe the balance isn’t in the burger at all. Maybe it’s somewhere in the side order of garlic cheese fries. Welcome to Valance Burger: Very Delicious and Balanced.
The fact of the matter is that I hold at most only a passing interest in balance and nutrition; despite the best efforts of the good people at Valance Burger to draw my attention to it. I’m there only to indulge my interest in a good burger and nothing more, except perhaps a coke and some fries. Sure they may have the symbolic image of a scale above their doorway and offer menu items such as “a salad of a meal” for those so inclined, but who’s falling for it and who really cares? Valance makes a good burger and I would eat it even if it came with a Surgeon General’s warning.
Questionable marketing aside, Valance gets two things absolutely right: they have good food at a good price, and provide a comfortable are to sit down and enjoy it. Naturally their menu is focused on burgers. They menu offers what looks like the usual array of burgers, cheese burgers, bacon burgers and chicken burgers, along with more imaginatively named variations such as the Dracula, Mania andAutumn Squash Burger. The sandwiches can be matched with any of three sets, all including a drink and either fries, garlic fries, or chili fries. I also spotted at least three different kinds of hot dog and salads, spring rolls, crunch shrimp, and hot fish nuggets just to keep things interesting. Best of all no set will set you back more than 9,000 W.
The burgers come wrapped in a folded paper pocket, skewered with an oversized toothpick bearing the burger’s name at the top. The sandwich is substantial without being so large as to require either taking it apart or unhinging your lower jaw in order to eat it. The fries are of the crinkle cut variety and each order comes with more than enough of them. The restaurant itself is clean, surprisingly spacious, comfortable and simple which means there’s nothing to really distract you from the most important fact of all; the fact that everything just tastes right. Valance isn’t the kind of place you go to eat because the promise of “balance” drew you in, or because or because you’re just desperate for western food. Its somewhere you go because you appreciate a good burger, or feel that you should be able to enjoy fast food that doesn’t look or taste like it was designed by a team of efficiency experts and accountants (my apologies to the McDonalds Corporation). Valance is good stuff at a good price, and looking for an easy lunch or dinner, what’s better than that?
To get there, exit the PNU Station at exit three. Walk up the shopping street until it intersects a main road and turn left at Starbucks. Valance is about half a block down on the left side.