Two buns, a patty and your vote: Van Foodster's Burger Challenge

November 5th - November 30th

Photos by Kelly Jean Marion -- @kellyjean247

I would be impressed with anyone who ate all of the twenty-nine different burgers being offered for Van Foodster's Best Burger Challenge. It is doable, but that's more than a burger a day! With the variety of creations, however, at least you wouldn't be bored.

Vancouver Chefs were eager to partake in this challenge, assuming that the burger on their regular menu is already the best or wanting to test their creative culinary skills.

There is something for everyone, from Dundarave's Ocean Wise Halibut Burger and Fish Cafe's Blackened Salmon Burger Extraordinaire to Ace's Coffee Rub Burger and Tap & Barrel's PB&J Burger. If you're a fan of EPIC MEAL TIME check out Catch 122's bacon wrapped sirloin patty. If you love Vietnamese subs try Chef Simon McNeil's Pork and Shrimp Banh Mi Burger at Dockside Restaurant. And if all you really want to do is see how wide you can open your mouth try Society's massive and messy Meat Sweats Burger with an onion ring, pulled pork, bacon and a fried egg atop a prime rib beef burger.

The sky is the limit when it comes to these burgers as there were no constraints given to the chefs. The Rumpus Room even did a Breakfast Waffle Burger!

With less than a week left you still have the opportunity to get your hands messy and dig in to some of these burgers whether you crave a jumble of ingredients together or like to keep it classic.

I went on a mini media tour where we sampled the creations of Chef Travis Redpath of Max's Burger, Chef Megan Martin of Luke's Corner Bar and Kitchen and Chef Peter Gray of Whet Kitchen and Bar. 

MAX's BURGER

This burger has your standard ingredients: cheese, bacon, iceberg lettuce, tomato, red onion and a pickle. But are they really that standard? The 5 1/3 ounce beef burger patty is sourced from grass-fed and grass-finished cows and made in to a patty that is dry-aged for thirty-five days. Due to the high-quality meat they choose to season it simply with only salt and pepper. No Montreal Steak Spice or dried garlic for these guys.

The meat is complemented with a flavorful Armstrong semi-soft Amber Ale cheese and  two slices of herb-crusted smoked bacon. Without these two ingredients it wouldn't have had the wow-factor that it warranted. They didn't skimp out on either and a had a bite of bacon in every bit that I took. Cooked crisp but still flexible this was some delicious bacon. 

Throw all that into their fresh onsite-baked brioche bun smothered with their signature Big Max sauce and top it with shredded iceberg, two slices of tomato, red onion and a pickle and you've got yourself a scrumptious burger. Thor Diakow and Joe Leary seemed to enjoy it so much that they devoured the whole burger, knowing very well that they had two more burgers to taste afterwards. I was tempted.

Max's Burger

The side of freshly chipped french fries cooked in beef tallow were cooked perfectly and super addicting with the truffle mayo. And I'm not a fry person. 

Local ingredients were the focus of this burger, obvious by their beef supplied by the Honest Butcher, their cheese from The Village Cheese company, their bacon from Woodland Smokehouse sourced from Gelderman farms in Abbotsford and their BC Kennebec fries.

Bartender, Marc Smolinski, whipped up a Pomme De Terroir to go with Trevor's burger. 

Pomme de Terroir, Max's

This was a seasonal variation of the whisky sour with roasted gala apple puree, bosc pear shrub (drinking vinegar), local bitters, Canadian whisky and R & B Brewing Raven Cream Ale. The dried apple garnish was a nice touch to the refreshing beverage. 

 

LUKE's CORNER BAR & KITCHEN

Luke’s focuses on New American cuisine & Southern hospitality, striving to be your friendly neighborhood restaurant while also bringing an upscale dining experience.

Luke's Burger

Chef Megan Martin spent two months creating the only vegetarian burger in the Best Burger Challenge.

"Anyone can make a great hamburger but to balance the texture, taste, consistency and 'cook-ability,' of a great veggie burger requires patience and skill," she said.

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