Halifax Burger Week 2018 Wrap-Up

Another Halifax Burger Week has come and gone, and this year was the biggest one yet. A whopping 125 restaurants took part in this year’s festivities, which has quickly become one of the largest food events in Halifax!

This year was full of big new burgers, some classic favourites, and a whole lot of variety. There were patties of all shapes and sizes, made from a wide range of different products, and despite there even being some creations that don’t really fall into the definition of what a burger is, a great, meaty (or not-so-meaty in the case of the amazing veggie burgers) time was had by all!

Not only did Haligonians hit the streets hard in search of that next great burger, they also came together and raised a staggering $113,101 for Feed Nova Scotia (that’s over 160,000 meals!). You crushed it Halifax, and I’m beyond impressed!

While I did miss out on a couple of burgers I wanted to chow down on this year (not for lack of trying – I’m looking at you Vandal Doughnuts!), I did get my hands on a lot of great entries, and yet again I had the difficult task of trying to pick my faves. There were some they clearly stood out above the rest, but overall there wasn’t many burgers I tried this time around that I wouldn’t go for again if I was given the chance.

Read on to find out my top picks of Halifax Burger Week 2018, as well as some Honourable Mentions!

Were there any burgers that you absolutely loved? Let me know over on Instagram and Twitter!

Top 3

Black Sheep – The Whole Farm

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“Appropriately named The Whole Farm, this burger incorporates pretty much every farm animal in some shape or form. Starting with a juicy beef patty, and followed by delicious braised lamb shoulder and sweet double smoked bacon jam, this one is sure to bring a tear to every meat lover’s eye.

On the not-so-meaty side, you are treated to fried goat cheese and duck confit, which is then topped with a fried egg, and finished with sprouts (which in my opinion is a completely underused option when it comes to burgers)”

Rinaldo’s – The Uncle Sam

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With all of the unique and original burger ideas coming out of restaurants these days, nailing a classic burger can be harder than you would think. The Uncle Sam, while not an exact definition of what a ‘classic’ burger should be, had a more traditional feel to it, even with the added elements.

The tender brisket patty was dangerously delicious, and was only further improved by the more classic toppings. Kicking it up a notch with the pepperoncini special sauce, the only thing better than this creamy condiment was the two thick mozza sticks (which people are constantly raving about – that cheese pull though!) that strut in and steal the show. This burger is one that needs to have a permanent place on the menu at Rinaldo’s!

Primal – The Black Widow

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“The Black Widow is a sexy burger and it knows it. A rich wild boar patty sits on a bed of red cabbage gochujang slaw that is savoury with a subtle sweetness. On top of the patty are strips of smoked bacon followed by two crispy onions rings, which I believe are a welcome addition on most burgers.

Finished off with some chimilantro and a creamy black stout beernaise, it is all brought together between a unique black bun, and could easily be considered art in food form. It’s always a good time when a Burger Week burger is as nice to look at as it is to eat!”

Honourable Mentions

Relish – Abe Froman’s Diner Burger

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Yet again, Relish has come through with a Burger Week burger that shows you can achieve a lot of flavour with only a few elements, as long as you know what you’re doing.

The use of the roasted garlic mayo, banana peppers, and beet relish provides an extremely layered flavour combination that cohesively comes together in each bite. The pickles, onions, and tomatoes gave a nice, fresh crunch to the burger that was more than welcome in this very meaty week. Surprisingly, my favourite part of the burger was the celery salt. It was subtle enough so that is wasn’t overpowering, but it gave the burger a tasty little pop that was all kinds of delicious!

Stubborn Goat – The Sloppy Joe McGuinness Burger

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“The obvious star of the show is the pulled beef smothered in the Guinness stout jus. They pile on a healthy amount of the beef, and it has a great, bold flavour that keeps you wanting more.

On the not-so-meaty side of things, they are generous with both the house pickles and shredded cabbage, both of which balance out the strong flavours from the stout jus, while giving that crisp crunch that’s usually always a welcome addition to most burgers. Top it all off with a sharp, melted Gouda and you have another winner from Stubborn Goat!”

Dee Dee’s – Veggie Burger

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Every time I visit Dee Dee’s I always wonder why I don’t come here more often. The food is always fresh and filling, and don’t even get me started on how delicious everything tastes.

Their Veggie Burger for Burger Week was no different. The lentil, rice, and roasted mushroom patty was surprisingly one of my favourite patties of the week, which really says something coming from a hardcore carnivore like myself. I thoroughly enjoyed the frizzled spiced potatoes, which paired very nicely with the French onion spread. The bun was the perfect size and texture for this kind of burger, and overall, this one not only was a great break from all the meaty burgs, but also proved that veggie burgers are very much welcome in the world that is Halifax Burger Week!

The Barrington Steakhouse – The Carnival Burger

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“An Atlantic beef patty is hidden beneath a pile of chili and cheese, and is then crowned with a handful of golden onion rings, and given the good ol’ ketchup and mustard treatment. Lastly, it wouldn’t be a tribute to classic carnival foods without a corndog, and it just so happens that a Pogo skewer holds the whole thing together.

It takes culinary talent to take food that is typically known to be not so great for you, and turn it into something that feels almost elegant, and The Barrington Steakhouse manages to achieve just that with their Burger Week contribution this year”

The Watch That Ends the Night – Canadian Meatloaf

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“Playing on that home-cooked dish that I’m sure most people have probably had at least once in their lives, the Canadian Meatloaf burger starts out with a thick slice of savoury meatloaf that is a thing of dreams, and is only further enhanced by the melted cheddar that is draped over it. Add in the horseradish mayo for a bit of a kick, and the result is a very well rounded burger.

Don’t let the somewhat simplistic composition of this burger fool you. There is a lot of flavour packed in the slice of meatloaf, and the ingredients that accompany it, and I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed every single bite. It has comfort written all over it, and it’s reminiscent of meatloaf that’s just like mom used to make!”

Cheese Curds – The Gouda Father

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While I had many previews before the week started, The Gouda Father was my first official burger of Burger Week, and to say I started off with a bang is an understatement!

Don’t let that messy exterior fool you, there was some tasty things happening between the buns with this one. The star of the show was obviously that deep fried Mac n’ Gouda cheese brick. The crunchy exterior was only bested by the warm, gooey interior that coats every bite in all kinds of cheesy greatness. The chipotle mayo gave it a nice little kick, and there was some crispy strips of bacon buried in there for good measure.

I will admit that this one was a bit excessive in some aspects, and probably wasn’t for everyone, but sometimes you just gotta go big or go home!

Krave – Bacon Jam Cheeseburger

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“The beautiful thing about this burger is that it accomplishes so much while remaining relatively simple. Like I’ve said before, where this burger kills it is all in the condiments. Don’t get me wrong, the beef is great and the pickles are everything you want them to be, but the tag-team duo that is the creamy Krave sauce and the hugely popular sweet and smokey bacon jam is a knockout!”

The Auction House – The MAC Stack

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“I’ll admit that when I first read the description of Auction House’s contribution to this year’s Burger Week, I wasn’t exactly confident in how it would turn out. Pasta on a burger can be tricky to pull off, and I wasn’t convinced that crushed Cheetos was something I would want on a beef patty.

Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised.

The Cheetos gave the burger a nice, crispy crunch without being too much, and the mac and cheese was just cheesy enough that it helped the pasta fit nicely with everything else.

The sauerkraut was abundant and tasty, and it added a great additional texture on top of the beef patty. The kabayaki sauce gave the burger a bit of a punch, and when it all came together on that lightly toasted bun, The Mac Stack not only proved me wrong, but also became a burger that I would gladly recommend to those participating in Burger Week”

Durty Nelly’s – Gaelic Steak Burger

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“The Jameson whiskey peppercorn sauce that is drizzled over the beef patty is savoury and rich, and it coats every bite. The fried onions and mushrooms give the burger a rustic feel, and I really enjoyed them paired with the peppercorn sauce.

Gaelic steak is commonly paired with “chips”, so the addition of the shoestring potatoes were a nice touch, and not only brought another element that is true to the original dish, but also provided a great texture to the burger. Finished off with a horseradish grainy mustard aioli to give it a bit more depth, and overall you have a comforting burger that brings a taste of Ireland to Halifax Burger Week!”

The Old Apothecary – Macaron Burgers

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While not technically burgers, it wouldn’t feel right not including these tasty little guys as I really enjoyed this sweet treat during my Burger Week adventures. I usually try and stick with options that can be classified as a burger, but my sweet tooth has a mind of it’s own sometimes, and since TOA is known for serving up some delectable baked goods, I figured it couldn’t hurt to give them a try.

If you enjoy a good macaron, then these should have been a no-brainer for you during BW (if you were able to get your hands on a box before they quickly flew off the shelves!). The maple and bacon flavouring brought a great sweetness, and my only complaint with these was that there was only three in a box. Who says you can’t have burgers for dinner AND dessert?

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Halifax Burger Week 2018 Preview – Part 3

Happy Halifax Burger Week eve! Tomorrow the streets will be filled with burger-hungry Haligonians wandering from restaurant to restaurant in hopes of finding that next great burger.

You’ve got a lot of choices this year, so it’s time to take a look at another three that you should probably put to the test on your burger adventures over the next 7 days!

Get ready for the pre-Burger Week stomach growls as you learn all about the burgers from Primal, Harbour City Bar & Grill, and The Barrington Steakhouse!

If you missed the other instalments in the Preview Series, check out Part 1 and Part 2 for six other tasty burgs!

Primal

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Halifax Burger Week 2018 Preview – Part 2

We are now only TWO days away from the most burgerful time of the year, and you can almost taste all of the mouth-watering beef (and various other meat/veggie options)!

I’ve once again been taking on the difficult task of trying so many delicious burger offerings for this year’s event, with the goal of reporting back my findings of which burgers are a MUST try this time around.

For Part 2, I tackled three more burgers in the Burger Week lineup that you won’t want to miss. Check out what Black Sheep, The Watch That Ends the Night, and Krave are cooking up later this week!

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out Part 1 of the preview series for three more burger sneak peeks!

Black Sheep

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Halifax Burger Week 2018 Preview – Part 1

It’s that time of year again! Halifax Burger Week starts this week, and once again The Coast has upped the stakes by getting well over 100 restaurants to participate this time around!

It seems everywhere wants a piece of the action, which means the choices are seemingly endless. This is both good and bad. Good because you have a long list of burgers to choose from. Bad because you have to try and make up your mind about which ones to fit into the week (unfortunately, trying them all this time around is pretty much impossible). But don’t worry! I’m back again to give you a sneak peek into some of the burgers that should be making your Burger Week 2018 hit list!

For Part 1 of the Preview Series, take a look at the burgers being offered from The Auction House, Stubborn Goat, and Durty Nelly’s!

The Auction House

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PEI Burger Love 2017

Big burgers with big flavours. Those seem to be the themes of the creations that Prince Edward Island restaurants use each year for the annual PEI Burger Love, and I can’t say that I hate it.

Just a week after Halifax Burger Week wrapped up, Burger Love was in full swing and ready to feed burger-hungry Islanders all April long, with a whopping 84 different burgers! Not wanting to miss out on all the beefy business, I headed back home to PEI for a week to get a taste of the burgers offered for 2017.

The week definitely flew by, but I did manage to chow down on 8 unique burgers, and I have to say that I was pretty pleased with the turn out this time around. Read on and see what I had to say about some of the PEI Burger Love burgers that I had the pleasure of sinking my teeth into!

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Halifax Burger Week 2017 Wrap-Up

Halifax Burger Week is now over for another year, and the city is stuffed to the brim with the thousands of burgers that have been consumed. With beef, chicken, fish, veggie, sausage, lamb, boar, and even kangaroo available as options this year, the choices were abundant and I think it’s safe to say that Haligonians were very satisfied with the turnout!

Delicious sauces and pasta (both deep-fried and not) seemed to be some popular topping choices this year, and a lot of the 95+ restaurants really stepped up with some amazing, original burger compositions.

This was easily the hardest year I’ve had thus far trying to decide my favourite burgers of the week. I got to try 31 of the options this year (12 previews and 19 during the week) and I kept going back and changing my choices for both the Top 3 as well as the 10 Honourable Mentions. There were many burgers that got left off this list that I really enjoyed, but there just wasn’t enough spots for them all. Basically, what I’m trying to say is Halifax knocked it out of the park for Burger Week 2017!

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Halifax Burger Week 2017 Preview – Part 4

It’s finally Halifax Burger Week Eve, and you can almost taste the burgers! I’ve been seeing lots of planning and discussions on all the various options for this year, and it is very clear that this city is excited to start sinking their teeth into some delicious burgs!

For the final part of this preview series, I get up close and personal with the burger options from Black Sheep, The Stubborn Goat, and Gahan House.

Also don’t forget to check out all the other burgers I’ve previewed in the other parts of the series (Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3)!

Black Sheep

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Halifax Burger Week 2017 Preview – Part 3

With only 2 days between us and Halifax Burger Week, it’s time to get serious about the meaty times ahead. I’ve already given you a look at 7 of the burgers being offered (which you can see in Part 1 and Part 2), and now it’s time to start drooling over 4 more tasty dishes!

For your consideration in this part of the series are burgers from The Five Fishermen, Relish, La Frasca, and The Bicycle Thief!

The Five Fishermen

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Halifax Burger Week 2017 Preview – Part 2

It’s only 3 days until Halifax Burger Week, and restaurants are prepping for the masses that will be travelling around the HRM looking for their next great burger. With over 95 restaurants to choose from this year, there are plenty of delicious burgers for your consideration, and I’m here to give you an inside scoop into a few more of them with Part 2 of the Burger Week Preview Series (you can check out Part 1 here).

Take a look at the beefy burgs being served up at The Barrington, HFX Sports Bar, and The Auction House for the event this year!

The Barrington

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Halifax Burger Week 2017 Preview – Part 1

We are now only 1 week away from the beginning of one of my favourite times of the year! Halifax Burger Week is back again for it’s 5th year, and the awesome team over at The Coast has rounded up over 95 restaurants to participate in the most burger-filled week Halifax has ever seen!

There is a wide range of burger choices for you to choose from this year, ranging from beef to lamb to veggie, and even kangaroo, and with all these patty options comes a HUGE variety of original topping combinations. With this massive amount of burgers to choose from, picking which ones you will try can be a difficult task, but I’m here to hopefully make your decisions a little easier with the Halifax Burger Week Preview Series – 2017 Edition!

I’ve had the pleasure of trying a lot of great Burger Week burgers so far, and I’m going to showcase each one in this series so you can get an early look at some of the meaty (and not so meaty) greatness you have to look forward to come March 23rd. Starting things off with Part 1 are burgers from Durty Nelly’s, Krave, and Cheese Curds!

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