Burger Baron - a piece of uniquely Western Canadiana

I have loved Burger Baron since I was a kid back in the 1970s.  I have fond memories of my dad and I stopping by the little Burger Baron drive-thru "shack" that used to be on Harvey Avenue in Kelowna on the way home from ice fishing.  I wasn't much of an ice fisherman, but I was always a fan of the Burger Baron afterwards!  Cheap, simple, tasty food to warm you up after a long chilly day not catching many fish thru the ice.  I'm pretty sure my Dad took me there because back then, the basic burger was only $1!

And the tradition continues for me (Burger Baron, not ice fishing).  Every time I go to Edmonton from Calgary for pre-season junior hockey, I always stop by Burger Baron in Red Deer's "Gasoline Alley".  The last couple of visits, I was lucky enough to chat with Sal Kemaldean, who has been involved with Burger Baron since it's beginnings.

Sal & I at my most recent trip to Gasoline Alley's Burger Baron in Red Deer - Sept. 1, 2013

There is some serious contention and intrique around who the original "Burger Baron" was (see Calgary Herald story from May, 2013 and the Letter to the Editor in response to the article).  As a customer, I won't take sides on that debate.  (Although I do hope the parties involved can come to some reconciliation.)

Regardless of who is the "real original Burger Baron", I'm just glad that this piece of Canadian nostalgia can still be found all over Western Canada, and apparently is still growing! (A new location just opened in Okotoks!

You can still find Sal working the counter sometimes.  I hope I have the energy that he has when I'm in my 70s!   He is a walking talking history of the Burger Baron chain..  I think he told me that his cousin once owned the Burger Baron drive-thru "shack" on Harvey Avenue in Kelowna that me and my dad frequented after ice fishing (sadly it's gone now). 

I must say I love that his sign at the Gasoline Alley location says "Serving Healthy Food since 1957".  I think the definition of "healthy" has probably changed since then, but healthy or not, it still sure is tasty!

The list of Burger Baron locations tells you just how much it is part of the Western Canadian "fabric", yet it doesn't jump to mind as something "truly Canadian", probably because it's only found here - out West - far from the "centre of the universe".  Burger Baron is found in larger centres like Regina and Edmonton (8 of them in Edmonton!) too, but what makes Burger Baron truly Canadiana is that you find it in smaller "salt-of-the-earth" towns like
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Other Cantonese phrases useful at a restaurant

Manners / Requests

Cantonese Pronounciation Meaning
Lai ho mah. /  lei5 hou2 ma3Hi there.   (ni hao mah is the same greeting, but in Mandarin)
M'goi.Thank you (for service). Also "Service please!"
Doh jehThank you (for a gift / more formal).
Ding gwa gwa!Really good! (ie: Yummy!)
tIng1 yAt6 gin3
/ Chen yat gin
See you tomorrow!
sIk6 fan6Bon Appetit!
m4 goi1 mai4 dan1bill please (in a restaurant)
dzi2 gAn1napkin
tsoi3 dan1 menu
Mm chan lunch special
m4 goi1 (lœng5) wAi1 a table for (two), please
m4 goi1 lo2 (yAt1 fu3 tsa1) bei2 o5 can you please bring me (a fork)?

Table Items
Cantonese Pronounciation Meaning
Fai tje  / fai3 dzi2Chopsticks
tsi4 gAn1Spoon
dzi2 gAn1Napkin

Cantonese Pronounciation Meaning
Yut bui yeet nai cha.One cup hot milky tea
Yut bui dong nai cha.One cup iced milky tea.
Yut bui dong ga fey.One cup iced coffee.
Yut bui dong yeen-yuung.One cup iced coffee-and-tea (half & half).
Yut bui dong suh-oh2 One glass of cold water
Yut bui yeet nai cha.One cup hot milky tea

Other dishes
Cantonese Pronounciation Meaning
Yut wun jing sooy gow. One bowl of ONLY sooy gow (shrimp & mushroom dumplings) in soup
Yut wun sooy gow mein One bowl of sooy gow (shrimp & mushroom dumplings) with egg noodles in soup
Lai tong Daily chinese soup.
Ga lai hoi sin Curried (ga lai) seafood (hoi sin).
Yut deep gai lan. One dish gai-lan (Chinese broccoli with Oyster sauce).
Dao miu Snow pea shoots
Char siu BBQ pork (at restaurants with "hanging meats")
Yow gai Soya-sauce chicken  (at restaurants with "hanging meats")
Siu nap BBQ Duck (at restaurants with "hanging meats")
Siu yok Crispy-skin roast pork (at restaurants with "hanging meats")
Soy gao mein shrimp & mushroom dumplings in egg noodle soup.
Ga lay ow lam Curry beef flank
Gai lay gai Curry chicken
Fan Rice
Fun / ye fun Spahetti
Lo song tong Tomato soup
Lam gwa hoi sin Seafood with Japanese pumpkin sauce
Guang jao ho fan Beef with black bean sauce on rice
Si jiu ho fan Beef with pepper sauce on rice
Jah leung Chinese Donut with rice wrapper (and usually some small dried shrimp)
Yao dtsa gwai Same as jah leung, but just the donut – no rice wrapper
Dahn tsan Sweet crispy Chinese honey donut
Now Jap "bowl of guts" (actually translates to 'beef junk')
Dau fu fa blended tofu with sugar syrup (dessert) Great to settle the tummy!
Mongo bo dien Mango pudding (usually served with condensed milk)
Now bak yeep Steamed pork tripe
Chun gyun Spring Roll
Yo si chow mein ? with fried egg noodle
Som si chow mein ? with fried egg noodle

A great colloquial everyday Cantonese language reference can be found at

Dim Sum Dishes

Har gow - Steamed Shrimp Dumpling

Siu mai - Steamed Pork Dumpling

Cha so bow - steamed BBQ pork bun
(you can also get chicken buns)

Dja har gow - Deep fried shrimp dumplings with mayonnaise dressing

Foon gor - steamed seafood dumpling (shrimp / scallop)

Fung jao - Steamed chicken feet

Ga lai mak yu jai - Steamed cuttlefish
(usually curried)

Now bak yeep - Steamed pork tripe
Now jap yeep - Steamed beef tripe

Fried Beancurd shrimp rolls

Lo mai gai - sticky rice wrapped in Lotus leaf

San jook now yook - Steamed beef meatballs

Jai har - Ground shrimp wrapped around sugar cane

Yueng nai gwa - Eggplant stuffed with ground fish / shrimp.

Seaweed shrimp roll.
Regency Palace in Calgary does a Seaweed salmon-with-peach roll that is my favourite anywhere!

Sin-jyook-kyun - Steamed bean curd roll

Hack jui pai gwat - Black pepper beef short ribs

Si jiu pai gwat - Steamed pork spareribs

Gai bao - Baked chicken bun

Dai ji gao - Steamed scallop & shrimp dumpling

Yueng chang jiu - Green pepper stuffed with ground fish

Har chung fan - shrimp rice pancake (served with sweet soya)

Lo mai fan - No mai rice bowl.
Other Dim Sum items that I don't have pictures for:
Now Jap - "bowl of guts" (actually translates to 'beef junk')
Dau fu fa - blended tofu with sugar syrup (dessert) Great to settle the tummy!
Mongo bo dien - Mango pudding (usually served with condensed milk)
Now bak yeep - Steamed pork tripe
Chun gyun - Spring Roll

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