If you’re down with eating good burgers in Vancouver it’s very likely that you’ve heard of Robert Belcham’s famed ‘Dirty Burger’, which is served nightly at Campagnolo Upstairs on Main Street. It regularly tops “Best Burger” polls (serious ones) and even comes with its own secret add-on menu, which Scout contributor Ken Tsui thoroughly detailed here. Anyway, for a while now Belcham has tinkered with a new concept that is anchored by his love of burgers, and he made an arrangement this past winter to test it down the block at The American, which seats upwards of 150 people (as opposed to Camp Ustairs’ max of 32 people).
It was a pretty sweet and symbiotic deal. The American launched this past Fall with a basement kitchen but only vague plans for food, while Camp Upstairs was selling out of Dirty Burgers every night. So when they ran a simple burger menu as a pop-up on Halloween and saw that it went nuts, they started doing it on weekends. Its continued success led them to expand it to 7 nights a week in the new year, and its been sunlit uplands ever since. They’ve got it down to a science now, offering cheeseburgers, double cheeseburgers, poutine, kale caesars and veggie burgers every night. The short menu is unbranded save for a vague “RBDB” marker at the top, an acronym for “Robert Belcham’s Dirty Burger.”
That changes this week with the launch of Belcham’s new brand for the project. He’s calling it Monarch Burger. It’s a fitting name considering his Dirty Burger’s popularity and regal reputation.
Monarch Burger prides itself on its ingredients. Our beef is sourced from local farmers who pasture raise and tend their animals with care. We age our beef 45 days, grind it fresh daily and hand form every burger. We start each service with buns still warm from the oven; soft, delicate, and lightly browned with butter on our flat-top griddle. One thing that sets our burger apart from others is our ‘special sauce’. Don’t ask what’s in it… because we’ll never tell. Each burger is topped with hand torn, crisp iceburg lettuce, seasoned hothouse tomatoes, and our signature ‘bread n’ butter’ pickles.
Forthwith, the burgers at Camp Upstairs will remain “Dirty Burgers”, while those at The American will be consumed under the new brand. What’s the difference? Nothing except for the wrapping, and the myriad crazy stuff you can do with the Dirty Burger at Camp Upstairs…
Designer Marc Bricault came up with the logo, which sees a crowned cow holding a bejewelled flipper/sceptre. The new branding will be making its way into The American this week, rolling out on menus and burger wrappers on the night of April 28th. I think there are also plans for branded signage in the window. Either way, it’s a damn fine burger no matter how you wrap it. And if this is another step towards Belcham going whole hog into the burger business it’s cause for celebration — with burgers and beers, natch!