Welcome to my first of three posts about our adventures during Le Burger Week here in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Burger Week is a competition of sorts which is participated in by many notable restaurants around town from all over the culinary spectrum.
My husband Darren, (in the above pic) being an amateur foodie, looks forward to this tournament of the taste buds every year and its one of the first city events that we enjoyed together after I moved up here last year. It gave me a great opportunity to get acquainted with my new city and its epicurean delights!
This year’s event did not disappoint in the least. From September 1-7, 59 different restaurants convened to offer up their finest burger creations but due to the limits of one’s digestive system, we unfortunately couldn’t try them all. Diners got a chance to rate each burger on a scale between 1 and 5 stars on the Le Burger Week website. We invite you to take a look at the first 10 of 29 entries that we thoroughly enjoyed with more to follow in future posts. Perhaps they might tempt your palate enough to join us next year!
The CC Burger
Confusion Corner Bar & Grill
In house ground sirloin/chuck beef patty, caramelized onions, smoked cheddar, pickled slaw and roasted red pepper aioli on a fresh brioche bun. Comes with house cut fries.
Darren’s critique: A solid effort. Love a charbroiled burger. It had some flair without overwhelming with too many scattershot tastes. I tend to grade high, but I gave this a four out of five stars.
The Ron Swanson Burger
The Cornerstone Bar & Restaurant
Ground brisket and chuck burger patty,
caramelized onion, cheddar, on a buttered soft, white bun.
Darren’s critique: Minimalism. Bringing it down to the basics of just being a very well done burger. A 60/40 brisket/chuck split, onions, cheese and bun. The key thing to bringing something down to basics is that they must be good. And it was. Also 4 out of 5 stars.
The Knife and Porker Burger
Black Rabbit Bistro & Lounge
Half beef and pork patty on a water bagel, house cured Canadian back bacon, swiss cheese, and spinach topped with a slow poached egg and hollandaise sauce.
Darren’s critique: Now, the first two had good ideas with great execution while this burger was a great idea with only decent execution. This was the most expensive burger of the day (and while that does not weigh heavy on the ultimate rating, it is a factor). The major flaw that came with this one was that the egg should have been done over easy or cooked a little longer. You know how when you do a sunny-side up you kind of have to take care of that runny snot bit around the yolk? Yeah, that. I liked the hash brown style fries as an alternative to the usual. This would have gotten five stars otherwise, but earned four stars as well.
The Orange County Burger
Red Angus Manitoba Beef Barbecued in a Ginger Soy Glaze, Fresh Orange and Grape Salsa, Candied Bacon, Balsamic Onions, Creamy Goat Cheese, Artisan Lettuce, and Sweet and Spicy Chili mayo.
Darren’s critique: Wow, where to start. Nothing worked together in this. The goat cheese was too creamy, pretty much like cream cheese with the heat of the burger pressing down upon it. I get what they were trying to do, pairing pork and citrus can be a great combo, but it just didn’t work right here. The tastes of this burger seemed confused to me, trying to be unique but not really bonding towards a common goal. One thing Nuburger always has going for it are good and fresh ingredients. A disappointment from a perennially good contender: 3 out of 5 stars.
The Jekyll and Lays Burger
Jekyll and Hyde’s Freehouse
6.5 oz 100 % ground chuck patty topped with Bothwell’s smoked cheddar,toasted Frito Lays corn chips, sirloin and turtle bean chipotle chili, and beefsteak tomato and greens.
Darren’s critique: Possibly the best burger of the night. While we had to get this one to-go, I made sure I had at least one bite of it in all it’s fresh glory. A cohesive plan well executed, a distinctive taste with a good combo of both flavours and textures. Well done. 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
The Chopped Cheese
Deer & Almond Restaurant
Ground beef grilled chopped with peppers, onions, and seasoning, covered with cheese slices, and dressed with lettuce, tomato, hot sauce, and mayo, served on a toasted hero roll.
Darren’s critique: Apparently the chopped cheese is New York’s response to the Philly Cheesesteak. There was definitely some prominent cheese going on with this one, but there were some things going on in here that I still can’t exactly place. There was a tiny bit of heat, but that may have been nothing more than some black pepper. The sauce had hints of a pizza sauce without actually being pizza-y. The shredded lettuce was a nice touch. This gets 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
The Double Banger
Miss Brown’s Pressed Sandwich & Coffee Co.
Manitoba beef patty, filled with house pastrami mozza, sitting on creamy coleslaw, local baby arugula, topped with melted provolone, house tomato ketchup, mustard, pickled onion, pickles, hoy mayo, all between a sesame & poppy seed brioche bun.
Darren’s critique: This one was definitely loaded. The first stuffed burger we’ve encountered. It gave off a real ham and mustard vibe even without any porcine involvement. Quite delicious though they should have shortened the arugula. A solid 4 stars if not slightly better.
The Peasant Cookery
3 beef patty with chorizo sauce, cheese sauce, chow chow and a white bun.
Darren’s Critique: The first bite of this made me doubtful immediately but it did get better on subsequent mouthfuls. While I do like the taste of chorizo, I found that the combo of these ingredients gave a more dark and foreboding experience than I was looking for in a burger. I liked the toasted bun. I gave it 3 1/2 stars but the wife really liked it so I kicked in another 1/2 on her behalf for a total of 4 stars.
The River City Brisket Burger
King + Bannatyne Restaurant
A House-Made Ground Chuck and Brisket Patty topped with River City Brisket, Gruyere Cheese, House-Made Sauerkraut and King + Bann Pickles all doused in Special Sauce and served on a warm Pretzel Bun.
Darren’s critique: Delicious. Nice choices all around for ingredients. Although if you were to see their picture of the burger versus this one, mine looks more like the ironic version of “Nailed It!”. The only detraction on here is their slaw or beet or whatever that red shit is was just a tad too sweet with some bites. A solid 4 stars.
Angry Tuna Sushi burger
Chosabi Asian Eatery
Rice bun, spicy ahi tuna patty, guacamole, tempura flakes, shredded lettuce, furikake
seasoning, spicy mayo, seaweed and asian love.
Darren’s critique: I was looking forward to this one as being off the beaten path from the rest. The rice bun was an interesting touch as were the tempura flakes adding a nice crunchy texture along with the lettuce. Seasonings were nice but, still, there’s only so much you can do with a slab of raw fish. 3 out of 5 stars.