Bonjour! Ca va?
Welcome to chapter two of our Burger Week 2016 adventures here in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Below are the next ten offerings that we sampled from the 29 restaurants we patronized during this event, with a total of 59 establishments participating. For those of you who followed chapter one of this story, after consuming 10 burgers in a just a couple of days, you’ll notice in this post that Darren’s critiques are beginning to get a bit cheeky. Too much of a good thing sometimes has that effect. Hahaha…. Enjoy!
The Kahn Kebab Burger
A Freshly Toasted Ciabatta Bun with a light spread of Hummus. Our Local Fresh Beef and Lamb Kebab Patty, Melted Mozzarella, Pickled Turnip Sauerkraut, sliced Cucumber dressed with a Harissa infused Garlic Sauce.
Darren’s critique: I like shawarma meat when I have it, but I only like to have it maybe once a year, like nutmeg at Christmas or anise at any point. I’m not a fan of chickpeas as I figure any food that has to try to trick you into eating it by claiming another cool name, like garbanzo beans, wasn’t good enough to begin with. (See also: eggplant/aubergine).
This was well done. Light soft bun, even though toasted, great patty and cheese and a sauce that brings the heat but with the coolness of the cucumbers for balance. Their best entry of the years they’ve been in it. 4 out of 5 stars.
The “Bite Me” Burger
The Velvet Glove Restaurant
Beef, chorizo and shrimp burger glazed with gochujang with pickled carrot, jalapeños and radish, sriracha mayo, arugula and crispy onions.
Darren’s critique: There was some heat to this, though not as much as the shawarma. I honestly didn’t pick up the flavours and textures as much as their description of the burger suggested. After analyzing the burger, the radish and crispy onions were nowhere to be found, so I’m not sure if I can trust other parts of it. It was tasty though. I’d say 2 1/2 out of 5 stars, but the mini-bottle of ketchup supplied raises it to a 3. Yes, I can be easily bribed.
Toukie’s Lounge in Club Regent Casino
Grilled 100% Manitoba ground beef and pork on a brioche bun topped with chili, tomatoes, caramelized onions, and house-made pickles. Includes your choice of two additional toppings: Thick cut local bacon, Bothwell cheddar cheese, Bothwell Swiss cheese, sauteed mushrooms, fried egg, or jalapeno peppers.
Darren’s critique: A decent burger. I always have to take off points for giving options on how you want it since there isn’t a standard experience for everyone to judge the burger by. There was some kind of spice on here that I still can’t place… or decide if I liked it. 3 out of 5 stars.
The ‘Got to get you into my life’ Burger
The Diner’s Grill
Fresh CAB chuck patty, signature sauce, Bothwell marble cheddar, thick cut bacon, sunny side up egg, house pickled beet relish & sesame chimichurri all served on a savoury beer bun with smoked butter.
Darren’s critique: I quite liked this one. The bacon was done excellently, the beet wasn’t overwhelming but helped cut the salty and savoury of the bacon. The egg wasn’t very noticeable but gave a little creaminess to the burger. No particular ingredient was overwhelming, instead they worked as a cohesive whole to give a pleasurable experience. 4 1/4 out of 5 stars.
Le Garage Restaurant
8oz Juicy beef patty grilled to perfection and covered in melted Brie cheese. Topped with a mushroom duxelles for a hint of red wine and cream. Crispy lemon onion strings, lettuce and tomato all served on a fresh warm bun.
Darren’s critique: A good burger from a perennially solid contender. The brie and mushrooms worked well together. While there wasn’t anything wrong with this burger, I’m not sure there was anything that really put it over the top either. 4 1/4 out of 5 stars.
The Bison Trail Burger
5 oz bison patty topped with cheddar, crispy fried onions, lettuce, tomato and bacon served on a garlic toasted kaiser bun.
Darren’s critique: I actually wasn’t looking forward too much to this burger as I’m not a fan of bison meat in general. I’ve had it a couple of times before and not been too impressed. I was pleasantly surprised by this one though as it didn’t have the off-putting quality of previous bison burgers I’ve had. 4 out of 5 stars for me.
The Triple Eh Burger
The Canadian Brewhouse
This handmade patty influenced by a Quebec specialty meat pie, uses both ground beef and ground pork and is seasoned with thyme, green onion, dijon mustard, allspice, celery salt, savoury, and cinnamon, garlic Sriracha sauce. Complemented by Jalapeño Mac and Cheese topped with fried onions
Darren’s critique: I like what they were trying to do here with making the burger into a kind of Manitoba-style tourtière. It came with a hot mustard to dip it in. The mac and cheese seemed very superfluous and deducted points for me. 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.
The Purple People Eater
Nuburger – Kenaston
Red Angus Manitoba Beef, Pickled Purple Cabbage, Spanish Red Pepper and Almond Romesco, Fresh Avocado, Creamy Feta Cheese, Roasted Pepper and Basil Aioli.
Darren’s critique: I was only able to have one bite of this when it was semi-fresh and thought on that bite that it was better than the other Nuburger location’s entry. Reheating this one made it absolutely inedible. 2 1/2 out of 5 stars.
Le Grand Gourmet Nip
A classic cheese Nip, doubled in size, with a 8 oz locally farmed, 100% Manitoba beef NIP patty, homemade roasted garlic and onion aioli, 2 slices of natural cheddar cheese, 3 slices of maple bacon, perfectly seasoned crispy onions and topped off with classic SALS sauce.
Darren’s critique: I was kind of expecting to just be tasting a larger sized Nip. Anyone worth their salt who lives here has tried a Sals’ Nip at least once. It had some of the nip taste (the bun, patty and sauce) but veered into a bit of a different direction that I thought wasn’t as good as a regular nip. The bacon was a little more to the chewy side than crisp, but that was offset by the crispy onions on top. You don’t want to overcrunch your burger. A solid 4 out of 5 stars. (Jen’s note: Not having been tainted by apparent memories of the “after last call” munchies at Salisbury House in the wee hours of long ago Saturday mornings, I thought this burger was FABULOUS!)
The Greek Burger
Santa Lucia Pizza
Our half-pound handmade ground beef patty flame broiled and layered with a creamy blend of feta cheese, sun-dried tomato, artichoke, spinach, and tzatziki sauce. Topped with cucumber slices, roasted red pepper, lettuce, and red onion.
Darren’s critique: This burger tasted exactly how I thought it would taste. It’s Mediterranean springtime on a warm day. Ingredients that I use in a Greek pasta salad (red onion, cucumber, tomato and feta) along with a bun, patty and the great tzaziki sauce. I enjoyed it. Points off for it being a regular item on the menu. 4 out of 5 stars.