by Lynn Ogryzlo
Like architects, backyard barbecuists and beef lovers take burger building very seriously, each one trying to outdo the other for title of King of the Grill, each one understanding the complexities of a good burger foundation, textural support and flavour finishes that need to come together for one sensational experience.
Speaking on behalf of burger aficionados everywhere, Cameron Booth, Manager of The Works in Burlington says, “It’s all about the beef. Ours is 100 per cent quality Canadian beef, simply seasoned with a little salt and pepper, then it’s hand pressed. We have a guy that does nothing but hand presses burgers all day long.”
Ahmed Albeer, owner of the popular Gazebo Burgers & Grill in Oakville also believes a great burger is all about the beef, but his burger patties are freshly made with 100 per cent beef blended with a secret spice blend. Then the burgers are cooked in a proprietary barbecue sauce. “It’s big,” says Albeer who is insanely passionate about building lip-smacking, melt-in-your-mouth burgers.
Most people are astonished to hear that the bun is as important as the beef. With every bite of a burger there is actually more bun in your mouth than beef, so it makes sense that you should strive for the perfect beef-to-bun ratio. Buns come in a wide range of styles, textures and flavours from soft brioche or egg bun to thin sandwich buns in multi-grain or vegetable flavour. In between there is an entire range of buns from crisp crust and dense innards to soft on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
So what’s the third component to great burger building? The toppings of course! The Works offers 50 different toppings that make for over a million different burger combinations. Booth explains that balancing flavours is an art, and for anyone not sure how to put together a delicious burger, they’ve done it for you with ten of the more delicious combinations for you to try. The options include thick slices of house-smoked, maple bacon, melted chunks of tangy, old cheddar, black peppercorn aioli, smooth, spirited, bourbon barbecue sauce, char-grilled, meaty Portobello mushroom caps, creamy avocado, sloppy eggs, Kimchi and even peanut butter.
Lynn Ogryzlo is a food, wine and travel writer, international award winning author and regular contributor to Look Local Magazine. She can be reached for questions or comments at www.lynnogryzlo.ca
8 Best Burger Bites
(in no particular order)
There are so many places to choose from if you want to enjoy a divine burger in Oakville or Burlington this summer. Here are just a few to tantalize your taste buds:
Bru Restaurant, Oakville
House-made cheddar cheese melted on a house ground strip-loin patty with a bun from Cobs Bakery across the street. It’s as local (and delicious) as it gets!
The Gingerman Social Eatery,
A glorious menu selection dedicated to the meal-on-a-bun, including salmon, AAA beef, bison and vegetarian choices.
The Coop Wicked Chicken,
For those who prefer chicken burgers over beef, Coop has you covered. Pictured here is the Crispy Chicken.
Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill,
Pickled cauliflower, arugula and a harissa aioli make this lamb burger (served with Yukon gold fries) a must-try!
Burlington & Oakville
A restaurant dedicated to burger lovers – their menu also includes vegan options. Editor’s personal favourite: the Hunka Hunka.
Bourbon braised onions, vintage cheddar cheese and a bacon aioli combine to give these sliders a fantastic flavour.
Turtle Jack’s, Burlington & Oakville
The French Onion burger, pictured here, features caramelized onions smothered in Canadian Swiss cheese – and it tastes as good as it looks!