Annnnd we’re back! It seems like only yesterday we were trying to fit Black Sheep’s beast of a burger in our mouths, and waiting in line for forty-five minutes at Vandal (my biggest regret of last year was trying and failing to get my hands on that Wake N’ Bacon!), but somehow Halifax Burger Week has snuck up on us again, and my body is ready.
There is around 140 options this year, which makes me a little nostalgic for the 59 burger year that was 2015. Not because I don’t love being surrounded by a plethora of delicious burgers, but it was just easier to decide which ones to try (I actually tried them all that year but that’s a whole other story). Luckily, restaurants were kind enough to fire up the grills a bit early for me so I could try out some of them ahead of schedule, and report my findings back to you!
For Part 1 of the 2019 Preview Series, I cover what HopYard, Little Fish, and Tempo will be cooking up, come March 28th!
(Also, if you haven’t checked out all of the #HFXBurgerWeek giveaways I’ve been doing over on Instagram (@lifeofburgers), be sure to go check them out and win yourself some Burger Week burgers!)
Burger: The Hip Hop – Two 3oz beef patties with gouda, beer gravy, Hop mayo, IPA pickle relish, tomato cider ketchup, Sugar Shack bacon, crispy ale-salt potato chips and shredded lettuce, on a classic bun
Price: $14 with $1 going to Feed Nova Scotia
When it comes to big burgers, having the right portions is key. There’s a lot going on between the buns of The Hip Hop, but the team at HopYard has found the right amount of each component, and managed to do it while incorporating lots of beer-inspired elements.
This burger has some big sweetness to it, and it actually works extremely well. The juicy beef compliments the Sugar Shack bacon, and creates a really nice sweet and savoury profile. The subtle beer characteristics of the Hop mayo and IPA pickle relish give the burger a nice little twist in true HopYard fashion. The Hip Hop is then rounded off with some ale-salt potato chips for a great crunch, and some beer gravy to keep things interesting.
This beast of a burger is messy. I’m talking three to four napkins messy. But don’t let that deter you. This burger is worth every single drip!
Burger: Surf & Turf – Beef burger topped with crispy jalapeño popcorn shrimp, watermelon, goat cheese, almonds and baconnaise
When I first looked through the Burger Week lineup, this burger was one that I was unsure about. I love the idea of shrimp on a burger (being breaded and jalapeño was an added bonus), but it was the watermelon that I wasn’t so sure about.
Turns out, watermelon is actually really good on a burger. It gave a really refreshing lightness to the overall composition, and when teamed up with the goat cheese and almonds, it brought a unique freshness to every bite.
The beef and shrimp played well together for the ‘surf & turf’ theme, and with some jalapeño added to the mix for a bit of a kick, this burger is not to be overlooked this Burger Week!
Burger: The Oxford – Beef patty topped with applewood smoked cheddar, sake-marinated pork belly, bacon, sriracha glaze and Nova Scotia blueberry pepper chutney
Price: $15 with $1 going to Feed Nova Scotia
The Oxford burger was another one I wasn’t sure I would like when it was revealed. I’ve had blueberries on a burger before and the sweetness didn’t work for me at the time. However, the addition of some mild heat in the chutney cut through sweet, and gave a more subdued blueberry flavour, which actually worked really nicely.
The beef patty retained both it’s juices and flavour which is always nice to encounter in any burger. The healthy amount of sake-marinated pork belly was tender and savoury, and it was a smart choice as I found it really tied the whole burger together.
This is the kind of burger that doesn’t need big, flashy elements to impress you. It uses a handful of components to create an interesting flavour profile that keeps you coming back for more. Definitely a solid choice for Burger Week!