It’s FINALLY Halifax Burger Week eve, and soon restaurants across the city will be packed full of people looking for that next great burger, all while contributing to Feed Nova Scotia.
Over the last few days, I’ve been sharing some early looks and insights into some of the burgers being offered this year (you can find the previous burgs in Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3), and I have three more for your consideration before the festivities get underway. Check out the the burger options from Black Sheep, Relish, and Vandal Doughnuts!
(Also, if you haven’t checked out all of the #HFXBurgerWeek giveaways I’ve been doing over on Instagram & Twitter (@lifeofburgers), be sure to go take a look and win yourself some Burger Week burgers!)
Burger: Three Little Pigs – Spiced Oulton’s pork, pancetta, chicharron, fried egg, smoked Beemster, chimichurri, on a sesame seed bun
Price: $18 with $3 going to Feed Nova Scotia
For the past two Burger Weeks, Black Sheep has gracefully slid it’s way into my Top 3 for the AMAZING burgers that they created (it’s worth mentioning that those are also the first two years that they’ve been in Burger Week). Because of this, you could say I was more than a little excited to get my hands their 2019 burger.
Well folks, they’ve done it again.
Starting with that top notch pork patty, that was both seasoned and cooked to perfection, it created a juicy, flavourful bite every time and kept you coming back for more. The pancetta added a nice mildly salty layer to the burger, and my tastebuds could not get enough of it! Rounding out the pork trio, the chicharron comes out to play and shows everyone how a nice crunch should be implemented in a burger.
On the not so meaty side of things, there’s a fried egg, which is always welcome on my burgers, and a green chimichurri that brings a burst of savoury freshness into the mix. Add some sharp and creamy smoked Beemster, and the whole burger comes together into one perfectly executed dish that, in true Three Little Pigs fashion, huffed and puffed and blew me away.
Burger Week hasn’t even officially started yet, but I’m going to go out on a limb and confidently say that this burger is going to be one of my favourites, hands down. I don’t know what kind of burger magic they are conjuring in the kitchen at Black Sheep to have such a strong burger game (I’m looking at you Stephanie Ogilvie), but they better be well rested because I know that this is one burger I’m going to be recommending to people all week.
Burger: The Wack is Back (AKA The Trademark Infringement Burger) – Local beef, pickles, onions, lettuce, cheese, relish, and a secret sauce, all on a Fancy Lebanese Bakery bun
Price: $6 (or $10 for the Double Wack)
Never in the history of Halifax Burger Week has a single burger had so much legal trouble. The Wack is Back AKA The Big Wack AKA The Trademark Infringement Burger made burger news back in 2017 when it received a cease and desist from a certain golden-arched fast food chain. Even with all that scandal, that didn’t stop this burger from becoming a fan-favourite, so much so that it’s back for 2019!
If there’s one thing that Relish knows how to do, it’s make a solid burger. The Wack is made up of pretty classic components. You have your beef patty (or they’ll swap it out for a veggie one), pickles, onions, lettuce and cheese. But where Relish turns this burger from good to great is in the sauces. There’s the signature beet relish that is a tasty, earthy spin on the classic condiment, and then there’s also the mysterious secret sauce. While no one knows what makes this sauce so damn good, it takes no prisoners and satisfies every single tastebud.
This classic version of this one is available for $6 during Burger Week, but if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, for $10 you can get yourself a Double Wack (I’m not sure if it has an official name but this is what I’m calling it). Double the beef, double the sauce, double the awesomeness.
Burger: The Birthday Sex – Glazed doughnut bun with rainbow sprinkles, 5oz beef patty, melted cheddar cheese, spicy chipotle sauce, mixed greens and crispy bacon
Price: $9.50 with $1 going to Feed Nova Scotia
Vandal Doughnuts completely rocked Halifax Burger Week last year with their Wake N’ Bacon burger, and drew a long continuous line of burger hungry Haligonians that wanted to get their hands on the doughnut-burger hybrid (I myself tried and failed on two occasions to get it, but fell victim to the dreaded ‘sold out’). This year they are back again with a sweet burger treat.
On paper, it is almost unbelievable that this list of ingredients could make a delicious burger. The sweetness from the doughnut against the spicy chipotle sauce just doesn’t seem like a good team-up. However, Vandal managed to come up with the perfect combination and portions of each item, and created a burger that works exceptionally well.
The beef is juicy, the cheddar is melted, and the bacon is crispy, but where this burger shines is in the pairing of that unlikely duo that is the glazed doughnut bun and chipotle sauce. The sweet and spicy back and forth of the two is like a choreographed dance, each letting the other have their moment in the spotlight, and at times coming together to create a unique and addictive flavour.
It only makes sense that this would be the last burger of the 2019 Preview Series, as it does have that dessert quality to it, but I am pretty confident that this will be a lot of people’s first stop. Whether it’s out of curiosity, fear of missing out, or just the knowledge that Vandal knows what’s up, nobody isn’t (or shouldn’t) going to go all Burger Week without trying The Birthday Sex.