Burger gluttony: Revelstoke Review tackles the burger challenge

The Craft Bierhaus’ “Lamb Burg-hini”. It had a lamb patty with fennel, pickled onions and beetroot aioli on a pretzel bun served with a chimichurri slaw and beetroot carpaccio. It was like an edible painting on a plate. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
It was almost too pretty to eat. Almost. It was one of the best burgers of the competition. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Big Bend Cafe’s burger. Their two patty burger with beef and chorizo, back bacon, fried egg, caramelized onions and salsa was more than a 100 grams the heaviest at over half a kilogram. While eating, I hoped Jocelyn was up to date on her CPR. If one burger was ever going to stop my heart, it was that one. It was also the messiest. Jocelyn ate it wearing a bib. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The Big Eddy Pub burger with an elk patty, apple chutney, grilled apple, smoked cheddar on a brioche bun. It was our first burger and set the stage for the rest. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Jocelyn stuggles to work on an overstuffed stomach. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Between eating, we would retreat to the office to die while listening to Spanish Disney Songs. “It just makes my tummy feel better,” Jocelyn would say.
The game plan. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
We put the names of all 12 restaurants into Tupperware and randomly drew. This idea was short-lived with the propane leak and restaurants frequently selling out of burgers. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Each burger was weighed and measured for height and width. This is a contest after all. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
“My full stomach is your fault,” Jocelyn would say. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Measuring the Hillcrest’s burger. It was the fattest, with a circumference of 37 cm. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Chubby Funster’s Mexican chicken burger with black bean sauce, thin cut yam chips, cheddar cheese, smashed avo, fresh pico de gallo and lettuce on a toasted brioche bun. It was the only entry to try a chicken burger. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Each burger was weighed. Chubby Funster’s burger tipped the scales at 334 grams, meaning it was the sixth lightest. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
DOSE Coffee’s quinoa and walnut burger, Swiss, iceberg, tomato & Dose special sauce on a pretzel bun. Served with a ‘sexy’ Waldorf salad.
Coast Hillcrest Hotel’s beef burger with goat cheese, pork belly, roast garlic mayo, watercress, tomato on a brioche bun and finished with juniper scented pickled fennel and onion. Since it was the third burger of the day, Jocelyn gives it a death glare. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Toby the tape measure enjoyed all the outings. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Jocelyn tries to make Old School Eatery’s burger disappear with her eyes. Their pork sausage and prawn patty, pickled onion. cucumber, daikon, carrot and jalapeno, iceberg lettuce, cilantro, sriracha aioli on a Kaiser roll. It really did remind us of a Vietnamese meal. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The king of all burgers. Quartermaster’s duck and pork burger with arugula, cucumber, sour cherry chutney, le petit st-paulin cheese, crispy pulled duck and a kalamata olive & thyme bun. If I could marry a burger, it would be this one. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The Taco Club was the only entry to have two burgers. The extra burger did not help the bloated stomachs. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke)
One was a cilantro guacamole burger and the other a chipotle beet and black bean. The side, battered yam sticks, were amazing. Like-fill-a-bath-tub-with-them-and-go-snorkeling-amazing. The Quartermaster burger served with those yam sticks to a Liam would be the perfect thruple. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Last burger! Huzzah! (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Rivercity Pub’s beef tenderloin patty stuffed with cheese curds, topped with crispy prosciutto, lettuce, tomato, red onion, fried jalapeno and tomato sauce. They had the highest-scoring fries. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The best vegetarian burger was at Village Idiot with their crispy stuffed portobello with apple and goats cheeseburger topped with braised cabbage, tomato relish, garlic aioli, served on a jalapeno brioche bun. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
It was also the tallest burger at 11 cm. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Zalas’ Sirloin Joe. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke)
Zalas’ Sirloin Joe. Chopped sirloin steak in a tomato sauce with onions, melted cheese and coleslaw. Although it reminded us of backyard barbeques from high school, we had to disqualify it because it did not have a patty. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a burger has a patty. While sloppy joes are delicious, they’re a sandwich. However, our server Christin was outstanding. Please give her a raise. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, but mostly it was burger time.

We all need goals, whether it’s to run a marathon, climb a mountain or knit a sweater. There has to be something to push towards and hold onto. For me, its always been about eating. I run, climb and ski to eat.

This month, Jocelyn (the editor of the Revelstoke Review) and I decided to tackle the Revelstoke Burger Challenge. Between Oct. 17 and 27, 12 Revelstoke eateries faced off for the best burger. One dollar from each burger sold also went towards the library. Each burger was $15.

READ MORE: Burger contest created to raise money for the Revelstoke Library Learning Lab

READ MORE: Revelstoke’s Library Learning Lab Fundraising Campaign Gaining Momentum

So, in the name of charity, we told the news to wait while we loosened our belts and stuffed our faces. We had burgers to judge.

Since the contest ran for 11 days and Jocelyn and I were away for seven of those, we only had four days (two of which were severely shortened by the propane leak) to eat 13 burgers. Time and time again, restaurants were closed or burgers sold out. It appeared the gods were against us. However, with Winston Churchill’s words ringing in our ears, i.e. “we shall never surrender,” we soldiered on.

READ MORE: PHOTOS: Backyard construction led to propane leak and downtown blackout

In roughly two days we ate 13 burgers. By the end, Jocelyn encapsulated our existence with, “something has crawled into my tummy and died.” I’ve become to wonder if Black Press offers workers compensation for gluttony.

Eaters could vote on the Revelstoke Mountaineer’s website for best presentation, most original, best use of local ingredients and overall awesomeness. For all those categories, Craft Bierhause won.

Yet, because we’re a different newspaper and snooty, we had to come up with our own scoring system. Burgers were rated out of five on patty, presentation, bun, taste, creativity, and side.

In true judging fashion, we brought a kitchen scale and tape measure for each burger. This was a contest after all and everything was to be scrutinized.

The nitty gitty burger data
Infogram

We did hope some restaurants would try to bribe us, sadly none did. That failure was also noted.

Picking the best burger wasn’t easy. If we chose the best according to patty, bun, taste and creativity. The winner is the Quartermaster Eatery. If I could marry a burger, it would be their duck and pork burger with arugula, cucumber, sour cherry chutney, Le Petit Saint-Paulin cheese, crispy pulled duck and a kalamata olive and thyme bun. And the battered yam stick from the Taco Club would be my best man.

If we included presentation and the side, it was Craft Bierhaus with their lamb patty with fennel, pickled onions and beetroot aioli on a pretzel bun served with a chimichurri slaw and beetroot carpaccio. It was like an edible painting on a plate.

Also of honourable mention was Old School Eatery with their pork sausage and prawn patty, accented with pickled onion, cucumber, daikon, carrot and jalapeno, iceberg lettuce, cilantro, sriracha aioli on a Kaiser roll. It reminded us of a Vietnamese meal, something not common in landlocked Revelstoke.

The best vegetarian burger was Village Idiot’s crispy stuffed portobello burger, in which the patty was stuffed with apple and goat cheese, and then topped with braised cabbage, tomato relish and garlic aioli, served on a jalapeno brioche bun. Move aside meat!

The best value was served at the Big Bend Cafe. Their double-patty burger with beef and chorizo, back bacon, fried egg, caramelized onions and salsa was more than half a kilogram, 100 grams heavier than the next-heaviest contender. While eating, I hoped Jocelyn was up-to-date on her CPR. If one burger was ever going to stop my heart, this was it.

“It just makes my tummy feel better.” (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

It’s hard eating burgers when you’re not hungry. After eating several burgers in a day, Jocelyn would start muttering, “All I really want is a salad” or “I think I need to puke before the next one.”

Between eating, we would retreat to the office and listen to Spanish Disney songs to muster courage for the next one.

“It just makes my tummy feel better,” Jocelyn would say.

Two days before the challenge ended, we finished all 13 burgers. After those last bites, we hunched over in crumpled heaps at the RiverCity Pub drinking celebratory gins. We were tired, bloated and pudgy. But done.

Though right now I can’t imagine eating another one, I doubt we’ll be away from burgers for long. As the American fashion model Gigi Hadid once said, “Eat clean to stay fit, have a burger to stay sane.”

Burger time is always the best time.


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

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