The patty pandemonium has come to an end. Or has it just been kickstarted? The Grid’s wildly popular Burger Week (May 30-June 3) upped the carnivore ante by issuing a glossy map of 24 hamburger haunts in last Thursday’s hotly anticipated issue. Eighteen of the mapped restos were offering $5 burgs in the company of “Platinum” (Barque Smokehouse) and “Black Tie” participants (ie: The Drake, Bestellen, Utopia, Brassai and e11even) who donated $5 from the sale of their upscale burgers to The Stop Community Food Centre. Today, (while I worked with a frown and missed the event) the propane paparazzi gathered at Artscape Wychwood Barns for slider samples and revelry with all the beefy contenders. Sigh.
However, I did my part in Burger Week and saddled up to my favourite go-to, The Burger Bar & Tequila Tavern on Augusta in Kensington Market. The $5 patty was dressed up for the cocktail party in Sriracha hot sauce and miso mayo. Wolfed back with a Nickel Brook spiced ale 8% cuvee and a pint of Sawdust City session beer, we heard angels sing on high.
As a loving tribute to burger week, here’s an uncensored and shameless look at some of the burgers that have made me blush as of late:
Gourmet Burger Company’s Aussie Burger: fried egg, pineapple, bacon, cheddar, GBC sauce, lettuce, tomato, 100% beef.
The Rectory Cafe (Ward’s Island): Ontario lamb with gorgonzola, brie and a generous smear of dijon.
The River Cafe, Calgary, Alberta: Olson’s Bison Burger. House-smoked bacon, brie, roasted potato.
Chez Victor, Quebec City: The Deer. Venison, brie, pears in a reduced red wine and rosemary jus, lettuce, maple mayo, mustard.
Gourmet Burger Company’s Mushroom Melt. Portabello and sauteed mushrooms, brie, mayo, lettuce, tomato. Heavy on the sweet potato frites.
Brazen Head, Liberty Village, Toronto. (Disclaimer: it’s no longer on the featured menu). Panko-crusted chicken breast with mango chutney and smoked bacon.
Phinley’s Diner & Dairy Bar, Stratford, Prince Edward Island: The Sticky Burger. Peanut butter and barbecue sauce with old cheddar and bacon–a surprisingly good marriage.
And, after this beef montage/homage, I bet $5 you’re thinking…I need a burger. Stat.
Find one in your radius and read everything burger in The Grid’s burgers-gone-wild feature. Most importantly, report back here!
Tell me what your latest and greatest burger love is.