8224 104 Street NW, Edmonton
The Next Act is a small pub right off Whyte Ave. They just recently won the “best burger” title from Avenue Edmonton in March of 2015. I’ve been here a few times already in the last couple years and I’ve always left satisfied. They also have a food truck, and are run by the same people as MEAT that is just next door. In an interview, co-owner Mike Rebalkin said the secret to their burgers were that they are made fresh daily with salt, pepper, garlic, onion, Worcestershire sauce, hand-pressed, and cooked to order. Anyways, it was a beautiful spring day, their patio just opened, and I decided to come here right before heading out to the driving range with my friend, Jamie.
Every other time that I’ve been here before, it was always completely packed. The wait for a table was usually only 10-15 minutes, so it wasn’t too bad. This occasion, we sat up at the bar since that’s all that was available at the time. The staff there are all very friendly and chatty. It definitely has a good vibe and wholesome feel to it. It can get a little bit loud, but I don’t really mind it. I decided to start off with one of my more favourite choices, a nice crabbies ginger beer.
For those who have never had Crabbies, it’s a ginger beer. I find them really light and refreshing, and goes great along with your meal. There’s the original flavour, orange, and raspberry. I find the raspberry one to be a little bit on the sweet side. For those who don’t really like the taste of beer, this is a great choice because it’s almost like drinking a pop!
For my meal, I decided to go with the PB&J burger with a side of their house salad. I usually opt to get their house salad as a side because I find it so fresh and packed with flavour. It was kind of cool sitting up at the bar, I could kind of peep into the kitchen to see what was happening, and the dinner rush there is so crazy. I really commend them to being able to keep up with such a high volume of people! The burger was served on a fresh bun. It was really soft and fluffy. The last time I got the PB&J, they were really generous with the amount of peanut butter and bacon jam. This time it seemed like I got a little bit less but nevertheless, the burger was really good! I really like the texture of the crunchy peanut butter. The bacon jam was nice and sweet, and a really good addition to the burger. The house salad is mixed greens, pea shoots, almonds, grapes, strawberries and topped with a housemade white balsamic honey vinaigrette. I really like this salad because of all the different elements it has. Every bite of this salad has great flavours. The grapes, strawberries and almonds all go great with the greens, and everything is brought together by the honey vinaigrette. It has a nice sweetness to it and overall, I think it’s a great salad.
Jamie decided to go with the smoked chicken sandwich with fries and the jalapeno garlic mayo. They get the smoked pulled chicken from MEAT next door, and it’s served with melted brie, spinach, and a cranberry jalapeno chutney. Again, served on a really soft and fluffy bun. The smoked chicken was really tender. I actually think I might have liked this more than my own burger! The jalapeno chutney went really nicely with the smokiness of the chicken. The jalapeno garlic mayo was really heavy on garlic and delicious. Usually I don’t find jalapeno mayo’s very spicy, but the one at The Next Act definitely packs a punch! It’s really good, and I’d even dip or spread some on my burger.
Overall, I’d have to say The Next Act is definitely one of my favourite places to grab a bite to eat. I like how they are open really late on the weekends. It’s a nice a cool place to hang out with friends, and I really like how food is one of their number focuses. Other honourable mentions would have to be the tequila lime chicken sandwich. It’s a tequila lime glazed chicken breast with bacon, guacamole, jack cheese and jalapeno garlic mayo. It’s definitely my favourite sandwich. It’s nice and fresh and their guacamole is so smooth and savoury! You can check out their menu here! http://www.nextactpub.com/food-menu. This place is definitely a good place to try so give it a chance if you’re in the neighbourhood!
Quality of food: 3.9/5