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.
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.
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.
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.
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Banh Mi Burger Prawn and pork sausage patty. Pickled cucumber, carrot, red onion, jalapeno, daikon, iceberg lettuce, cilantro, siracha aioli all nestled in a fresh baked Kaiser roll… come and support the library and get a great meal it's a win win! #revyburgerchallenge #tourismrevelstoke #eatgoodfood #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.