As a general rule, restaurants housed in broken-down busses are superb. Curtis’s Barbecue of Vermont is one good example. At the other end of the continent in the province of Alberta, Rocky’s Burger Bus is example #2. A 1960s-era urban transit bus long ago run aground in an industrial park at the southeast edge of Calgary, Rocky’s serves some of the best burgers in the West. There’s no indoor dining room here. Dining facilities are nothing more than a few scattered-around picnic tables painted red to match the bus.
Order your food by stepping up on a metal grate at the window near what used to be the driver’s seat. We recommend asking for a double hamburger and French fries. Then, expect to wait a while. Although it is casual in the extreme and frills are minimal, Rocky's cuisine cannot honestly be called fast food. Each hamburger is hand-pattied. It's extra thick so it takes a while to cook on the inside-the-bus grill (which exudes a devastating beefy aroma). Potatoes are cut and fried to order; and when things get busy – as they do at lunch when blue-collar pickup trucks and pinstriped Mercedes fight for parking space in the adjoining prairie grass – the French fry production runs behind demand.
The hamburgers are broader than the bun, cooked through but astonishingly succulent, with craggy black outsides that have crunch and savor like thick bacon. A single is a big sandwich. A double is a meat orgy.
"It's not the swankiest location in town, but if you are looking for a four-star hamburger, this old bus is the best place to go."
"A Rocky's double burger: for beef lovers' only. What you can't see in this picture is all the juice about to spurt from the patties as soon as they are bitten."
"Burgers' best companion: freshly-fried, rugged-cut French fries"
"The view from above Rocky's Burger Bus shows the industrial park that is its neighborhood. The high quality of the the quasi-mobile kitchen attracts people from all over the city as well as those who work nearby. (By the way, that's Jane and our friend John Gilchrist under the awning ... waiting for their hamburgers to cook.)"