Quest for Beef with Burger Club Winnipeg
The Burger Club Winnipeg
The first rule of burger club: burgers are made of beef.
That rule is more like the holy grail of Burger Club Winnipeg, a collection of burger lovers who have made it their mission to find the city's best burger.
The eaters/burger testers are friends, co-workers, and friends of friends of Tim Turner, an engineer who started the club about two years ago.
The group meets at a different restaurant about once a month, sometimes more often, to taste test a new burger. There are about 30 or so members. They score each burger based on quality, flavour, assembly, quantity and presentation. The restaurant is scored on its comfort, service and price.
They maintain a comprehensive website listing, ranking and critiquing all the burgers they've tried at Winnipeg restaurants. They even post spreadsheets detailing scores. It's the city's most comprehensive resource for the burger scene.
On a recent Tuesday, Peg City Grub joined the club at Chaise Café and Lounge in St. Boniface to scarf down The Frenchman, a spicy beef burger with arugula cheese curds and a fried egg on top. Others tried The Behemoth, a beef burger with grilled onions and mushrooms sandwiched between two grilled cheese sandwiches loaded with smoked provolone, bacon and jalapeños.
A third burger, The Super Burger, was constructed with ground in house AAA hanger steak stuffed with haloumi cheese topped with bacon.
Being a guest at a food club is a great way to get to know your fellow Winnipeggers. Within minutes of sitting at a table of strangers I became a "burger buddy" with April Wozny. We cut our burgers in half, my Frenchman and her Behemoth, and shared with each other.
At the table, burger club members discuss taste and flavour, criticizing sandwiches that fall apart or have too-crusty buns, for example. The burger is serious business here. Catching up, personal conversations also slip into table talk.
As for The Frenchman and The Behemoth: both were serviceable burgers that had yummy elements and fell a little short in other areas. I like a regular bun; no foccacia or grilled cheese business. Grilled onions, mushrooms, bacon and a spicy cheese are toothsome additions to any burger. All burgers were served with fantastic shoe-string fries and a yummy house salad. Despite the photographic evidence below, both the salad and fries made great supporting characters to the burgers. But I was there for the meat, not the veggies.
Burger Club Winnipeg is a fantastic resource for locals and visitors to the city. Check out their website for great advice on Winnipeg's burger scene.
In the meantime, the title of Winnipeg's best burger currently goes to Sonya's, a no-frills, Elmwood diner that's been in business for decades.
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