VJs Drive-In is one of those Winnipeg institutions. The kind of place that eating at marks you out as a true Winnipegger. Which means, I probably wasn’t a true Winnipegger until about six years ago. Since that time I’ve also added Red-Top, Mrs. Mike’s, and Dairi Wip to enhance my Winnipeg burger Bona-Fides
During my time at L.C. Taylor & Co., one of my co-workers, John Platt, took me for lunch at VJs for the first time. On that occasion I had the fries and only the fries. Since then on most of my trips to VJs, fries are also all that I’ve ordered. Firstly, because they are incredibly good and secondly they are a meal unto themselves. Recently though, I decided to give the burgers and hot dogs a try.
VJs Burger and Dog:
I had just the basic burger along with my fires. Given the amount of fries, this burger is more than enough for a complete lunch. In fact, VJs is one of the few places where a basic burger and fries is almost too much food for one person. The patty is large, completely covering the circumference of the bun. The chili is good along with all the other toppings. This is the kind of burger you want to make sure you get the take out box to put it in, because it’s very juicy.
Next time around. I went with the double dog and fries. I like the way that the hot dogs are cooked here. They have a skin that requires a bit of a bite to get through, and are well-cooked inside, and nicely grilled outside.
The one thing to be careful of with the Double Dog is letting it sit. There’s a fair bit of liquid in all the toppings and the bun will get soggy fairly quickly.
This time when I was visiting, the little ordering space was rather empty, so it was easy to look in and see what was going on in the kitchen. Watching the food being prepared, everything is done by the handful. There’s no carefully measured, portion controlled service here. Fries are thrown into the deep fryer by the handful. The same is true of the lettuce, onion, etc. Plus, it is a generous handful. In fact if there are two dining one order of fries split between two still gives you plenty for your meal.
There are a couple of other features about VJs to take note of. If you’re not taking your food to go there are picnic tables that you can dine at. The resaurant is also cash only, which certainly helps to keep the lineups moving quickly. Finally, VJs is also a good late night choice, being open Sun-Thurs, 11am-11:40 pm and Fri-Sat, 11am-12:40 pm.