Thursday, December 15, 2016

Shannon's Irish Pub: 4.3/5

Shannon's Burger: 4.3 

$11.99 (platter with fries)

If you think of Shannon’s more for great Celtic music than a dining destination, you may need to change your tune. They make a great burger! Shannon’s lies beneath the streets at 175 Carlton; out of sight, but not out of mind. When Winnipeg turns into Winterpeg you can get to the bar from the downtown indoor walkway. The Japanese Gardens - commemorating our sister city status with Setagaya, Japan - grow over Shannon’s.

Owner and Chef Gerard Fletcher is no stranger to the kitchen. Papered through the culinary apprenticeship program at George Brown in T.O., Chef Fletcher cooked his way from Field, BC to Halifax, NS before buying the Shannon’s Irish Pub in 2007. “When we took over Shannon's Pub, it wasn’t necessarily known for its food. I think now, after all the years, we have gathered a bit of a reputation that the food is another reason to stop in for a visit.”

The Shannon’s Burger is masterfully designed and executed. “The seasoning is a proprietary recipe that I have been tweaking since we took over the pub and this particular blend has been in use for the past four years. Inspiration is taken from of the fact that I love a good burger, which is why the recipe has been morphing for so many years.” The stack is assembled from perfect parts with the Brioche bun prepared by Gunn’s Bakery and the cheese a Bothwell Monterey Jack.

They pushed two large, carved wooden tables together in the centre of the bar for our group. Server Hailey confirmed our count so the kitchen could get the patties cooking while we were still arriving. It’s a *big* 8-1/2 oz. patty so takes some time on the grill. On game days (the MTS Centre is nearby) the ‘Burger and Beer’ special is $15. The Shannon’s Burger is $11.99 (with fries) and for a ‘nominal charge’ you can add cheese for $1 and bacon for $1.50. For another $2 you can have soup, and the soups are *amazing*. Three choices the day we went. “I highly recommend the mushroom & Guinness soup” said Tina.

Despite the size of the stack, the burger and bun handled well and held together to the end. Chef Fletcher used a revolutionary assembly technique with the melted cheese, groceries and bacon all on the bottom. The patty was cooked through, but juicy and a nice bite. The Brioche bun, brushed with a wash, made it shiny and attractive. The smoky bacon was cooked to leathery perfection.

Chris critiqued: “I really like these traditional pubs. Shannon’s has a comfortable homey feel. Staff were attentive and made sure I had everything I needed. The patty was nice with a little bit of charcoal on the outside while the bacon was smoky. The bun kept the burger all together; never got my hands messy. The fries were homemade and I liked the potato skins on the ends.”

Paper Poutine Separator
Karen wrote “The Brioche bun held up nicely while not adding too much bread. The burger, as a result, stood out. The patty was 3/4" thick and seasoned pleasingly. I enjoyed my side of flavourful French onion soup.” Stan echoed “The patty was happily the main component. It was a nice healthy size, perfectly cooked.”

Brett recently returned from a pub crawl in Dublin and scrawled “Better than any burger I had last month in Ireland!” High praise.

Les enjoyed his: “One of the biggest, juiciest tasty burgers ever. The juicy-squishy done-to-perfection burger dribbled out of the corners of my mouth when I took a bite through the well oiled, shiny bun, which held that big monster burger surprisingly well.”

Underground Windows
Chef Fletcher left us with a teaser for 2017: “Stay tuned for the Lamb and Bison burger on the new menu starting in the New Year.”

Shannons Irish Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Rumor's Comedy Club: 3.3/5

Cheese Burger: 3.3 

$12 (platter with fries)

Wednesday special: burger platter + show: $12

Instagram: Rumorscomedy
Rumor’s Comedy Club’s Early Burg Special includes a burger + show for $12. It’s a great deal. Ron Josol provided the laughs, and man, the guy’s funny! The entire Tuxedo Park mall is under destruction, but if you persevere, you’ll find your way through the scaffolding and descend to Rumor’s. The burger special is served between 6 and 7 and they won’t sell you a ticket unless you’re there (no ordering for tardy friends).

We were bumping elbows eating our burgers, but once the show started, being packed in felt right. The room had energy. 250 people show up, order all at once and the servers have to navigate the crowded space serving out drinks and meals that all look the same. Our waitress Jacklyn (sp) did an amazing job.

The burger was big and filling, but isn’t going to win any awards. Really though, you’re here for the comedy and the 'free' burger on Wednesdays is icing on the cake. “Dinner and a show, gotta love it!“ wrote Dani. Burger Club had a big turnout, and one thing we all agreed on was the fries were great and the Poutine *was* award winning.

The well cooked patty was 'home-style' with lots of add-ins, dry and crumbly. I’d say similar in taste to Super Boy’s. The bread-wrap was the weak link - a Wonder Bun would’ve been a step up. However, it was a stack in conflict - the bright red tomato and delicious easy-bite leathery bacon were in juxtaposition with the other ingredients. The patty was topped with a sprinkle of shredded marble cheese and broiled. It all made for a good presentation served bun-open.

Pro-tip: The special is for a cheeseburger and fries, but add bacon for $1.75 and step up your fry game to Poutine with real cheese curds for $3. You won’t regret it. The Greek salad was also awesome.

Geoff reviewed: “A big crowd for our burger day down in the basement at Rumor's. The burger is pretty basic, and not a lot of leeway on the toppings or selection. The Spartan burger comes with only cheese, tomato and lettuce, with a side of mayo. The patty was a bit crumbly, and not a tonne of flavour in it. There was talk of onions in the meat, but I didn't spot them. The club itself is an institution and it was an inspired choice. The servers were friendly and fairly efficient. The fries were tasty.”

Stan usually see’s the silver lining: ”No complaints from me, but burger was just kind of average. Oh! I complained. Bun didn't hold together. Had to go to fork & knife for the last third.” Maureen wrote “Yucky bun - like eating Kindergarten paste.” Editor’s note: how does Mo know what Kindergarten paste tastes like? Isabel scribbled “Tasted more like a Gyro than a burger. But a great bargain with the show included. Fries were good!

Brenda had a Disney level tragedy: “Since they had no relish, the waitress brought me two quarters of a pickle. I tried cutting it smaller with a butter knife, but no, it did not work. So I just put it on top. Took a bite and the pickle literally cut the bun in half.

Cary scrawled on his little review slip: “The patty has a lot of filler and the bun is very plain. Good Poutine. Joke (because at Rumor's): How does a burger acquire good taste? With a little seasoning  (ba dah, dump).”

We learn so much about each other at Burger Club. Laura has been going to Physio and her “butt is loose now.” It was their anniversary and someone in the kitchen inadvertently made Willy the butt of a joke by serving him his burger with two bottom buns and Laura two tops. Correction: It was Willy who received the bottom buns. Blog updated.

Nat (with an h) *loved* the poutine: "Great fries and Poutine -> big compliment coming from a Quebecer!

Rumors Comedy Club Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Win a Free Double Pass to Bad Santa 2

Do you like burgers and Billy Bob Thornton? Send us the name of a great Winnipeg burger restaurant to enter to win one of ten double passes to the advance screening of Bad Santa 2. The catch is, it has to be a restaurant we haven’t reviewed yet.

To enter, go to Burger Club - Winnipeg and use the Contact Form to submit the restaurant name. One vote per person. A random draw will occur Nov 4.

Exclusive “Bad Santa’s Christmas Eve” in Winnipeg Before the Film’s Release

Advance Screening: Monday, November 21st – Scotiabank Theatre - 7:30 pm. Watch the trailer here.

Release Date: Wednesday, November 23rd. See the poster here.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Windmill Lunch (closed): 3.2/5

Cheese Burger3.1

Bacon Cheese Burger: 3.0

Deluxe Hamburger3.8
$7.50 (platter)

The entrance to Windmill Lunch at 518 Selkirk Ave is a time portal to the 60's when Greek restaurateurs put Winnipeg on the map. Gus Damianakos bought the diner in 1969 and ran it for 46 years until his passing in July, 2016. Gus "would never allow someone to go without and helped many." Daughter Angie has picked up the spatula and the grill is still busy.

There’s a Seeburg Consolette jukebox in every booth, milk shake station behind the counter and memorabilia spanning the decades. Several Hollywood movies shot scenes at Windmill Lunch and you can rest your elbows on the same Formica counter top that Richard Gere did in ‘Shall We Dance.' A wonderful mural by Richard Manoakeesick features on the side of the building.

Windmill Lunch has been described as an "informal community space for the neighbourhood" and it was full the last two times I went for lunch. Selkirk Ave was closed for reconstruction earlier this summer, which put a big dent in Windmill Lunch’s business, but the street’s open now with plenty of parking out front.

Regulars know to head straight for the self serve coffee station before sitting down. Our server was kept hopping for the lunch rush; she was quick and friendly. When you come to Windmill Lunch, know what you want and don’t dilly-dally when ordering!

Our waitress carefully wrote down each of our orders on a pad of guest checks, then (presumably) tore them into pieces and threw them into the air before passing the pile of slips to the kitchen. When our food started coming out there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to it, but she set it all down and we sorted it out (mostly) among ourselves. I initially got a plate of fries, and received my burger pretty much by the time everyone else was done eating theirs. Little bowls of gravy came out eventually (whether ordered or not), but most of the table fries were eaten by then. The experience was a bit comedic.

The burgers were served on small, round plates and cut in half like a sandwich. Fries came separately on a small oval plate that held as many of the golden crinkle cut French fries as could be piled on. The exception was the ‘Deluxe Hamburger and Chips’ that came with coleslaw served together on a platter. ‘Chips’ were thin potato slices, homecut and deep fried. Our table got the last two orders of onion rings and they were a hit. The special was a cheeseburger and chips for $6 - prices are low. If you want lettuce and tomato, the ‘Fat Specialty’ is the burger for you.

I was looking forward to trying the Chilli Burger, but they were out, so I had a Bacon Cheeseburger instead. The bacon was good – two meaty slices cooked leathery. The beef patty was dark, dry and well cooked – a fairly typical diner round with peppery seasoning. It wasn’t a huge patty, but you can make it a double for $1 more. No one in our group took on the ‘Windmill Special’ triple burger today, but Mike opted for a double. The routine sesame seed bun was fairly large and did a good job holding its cargo.

Our server, Tammy, called us all 'Darlin.' I found it refreshing” wrote Dani.  “Our burgers came sliced like a sandwich a la Salisbury House - works great for me - maybe I won't be as messy this time. I ordered the burger with no sides. I liked that there was no tomato and lettuce on it. It came with raw onions, relish, mustard, and 2 slices of bacon. The patty was nicely spiced - I'm really enjoying this.

The Windmill Lunch Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Stella's on Sherbrook: 4/5

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Thank you burger fans!

Choego Burger: 3.9
- LeBurgerWeek Special
$11.95 (platter)

B & E Burger: 4.6
- Regular Menu
$14.35 (platter)

The newly renovated Stella’s at 116 Sherbrook is bright and roomy. There’s an open kitchen and interesting artworks. A plethora of personnel took turns greeting our group with sincere smiles and conversation. They’re a happy bunch and the service can’t be beat.

It was LeBurgerWeek – the greatest week of the year – and we were at Stella’s to feast on their homage to Asian/Latin/Caribbean/LA street cuisine boldly named the Choego (the best).

I had the Grass-Fed Beef Burger a few years back at Stella’s @PlugIn when the patty consisted of a collection of tasty morsels in close association, perhaps held together by some strange beefy magnetism, but not “pattyfied.” Today’s beef round took on a more traditional form but was quite a departure in flavour.

The Choego patty had good texture, not too soft and not to dense, but it was lean and dry. The seasoning was complex – cilantro, and opinions varied from caraway to thyme. The grilled ring of pineapple added some moisture. As you’d expect from Stella’s, all the ingredients were fresh and healthy, evinced with the generous pile of Arugula. Although present, neither the smear of avocado mayo nor the cheese was evident. The house baked fun was fresh, fluffy and did a great job wrapping the stack.

Photo Credit: Jeff
It's burger week! It's burger week!” exclaimed Geoff. “I had the Stella's special entrant into the ever-expanding burger week roster. The Choego wasn't a bad burger but there were aspects that could have been improved. The Arugula had a bit of conflicting taste with the rest of the creation, but the pineapple had a good flavour and added some moisture. Overall the burger was a bit dry, meaning there was no burger detritus left on the plate afterwards - a rarity for me!

The burger had everything going for it, but some of the flavours did not work for me” critiqued Karen. “Perhaps it was the Arugula because I like pineapple on a burger. Overall a nice burger - good potential for the patty - but too many special ingredients made for complex flavours that didn't appeal to me.”

Hmm … conundrum. Love the grilled pineapple and I love Arugula on a burger but something there was amiss” pondered Sandy. “Did the cinnamon change the chemistry of the pineapple? Nope, it was great on its own. I suspect the Arugula was extra peppery. A flavourful patty, albeit a little dry in spots. Love the Ally McBeal bathroom!

Every burger is someone’s favourite, and the Choego was Maureen’s. “Not the flavour of a normal burger, but wow, absolutely delicious in its uniqueness. Burger held together really well and didn’t have to lick elbows!” Jeff liked it too: “Delicious! I was a little worried when I read the description that flavours would be too overpowering, but they worked together in perfect harmony. The bun was amazing - perhaps best I've ever had - in perfect proportion to burger and held together perfectly to the last bite.

There were differing opinions over the Choego bun; some thought it perfectly sized to the patty, with bun and beef in every bite right to the end, but others thought it a little too ample. “Burger held together like a champ” jotted Brad. Les scribed "I like a bun you can pick up and eat! The bun held together for the whole experience so kudos for that!” The regular menu bun didn’t fare so well. Dani wrote “My burger came with a Focaccia bun. Although it was good, it didn't hold its load well and disintegrated. Decided to eat it with a knife and fork. Hopefully I won't get kicked out of burger club for introducing cutlery.”

A few people opted for the B&E Burger and enjoyed it. April exclaimed “My burger was a great choice! The B&E burger (with the addition of cheese and Avocado) was very yummy. The first half was relatively mess-free, however the second half (when the egg yolk broke) was running down my arm as I ate it.” Jacques wrote “I was curious about the combination of egg and burger and it did not disappointThe bun was trouble from the get-go. Do not trust Focaccia buns to hold your burger. It was an eggcellent burger.”

Stella's Cafe & Bakery Sherbrook Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Tot Wheels:4.1/5

Double Bacon Burger
Score: 4.1

$9 (tax inc), $13 Including Tots

You’ve probably heard about the habit forming Tots, but did you know Tot Wheels also makes a great burger? Owner and chef Scott Moffat tweeted the Double Bacon Burger special and I double timed it to 275 Broadway to be first in line at the flashy food truck.

Scott makes the patties in house – a blend of beef, pork and Italian sausage with his own recipe of herbs and spices. They were juicy and delicious – the star of the stack. They cook each order fresh and the two thin patties cook faster than one thick one with twice the flavourful grill crust.

The bacon is fried up fresh and wrinkly; it’s usually cooked soft, on the brink of undercooked for some diners. “It takes a little longer but ends up being worth the wait. People don't complain as long as the quality is there” says Scott. The assembly is completed with grilled onions, Havarti cheese, ripe red tomato and shredded lettuce. It’s capped with a grilled sesame seed bun that’s up to the task if you need to one-hand it. “All of our products and ingredients are local and organic as much as possible.”

Dani wrote “The burger had two smallish patties and three slices of bacon with sautéed onions. The flavour was nice, just enough spice. The Dijon added a tanginess to the whole package.” Mat added:“Really rich in flavour. Italian sausage in patty is excellent.” Les scribed “The Havarti cheese was a classy touch! All held together nicely & the bun was good.”

Of course, the burger is accompanied by heavenly tots. The combo comes with Sriracha or garlic aioli for dipping. Like everything else in the truck, the Tots are made fresh and they’re crispy-golden on the outside, soft and cheesy-gooey on the inside. The mashed potato blended with herbs, spices and cheese is rolled and dropped into the fryer per order. You can watch Shaw TV’s spot to see Scott in action.

Jeff exclaimed: “Excellent burger - plenty of beef & bacon, and a huge bun (almost too big) that was nice and soft, but held together nicely. Patty was cooked just right. Perfect amount of tots to compliment - spicy aioli was excellent.” Karen’s a fan: “I love the Tot Wheels truck! The tots were terrific - big and crunchy.

Scott plans on keeping the burger on the menu and adding an additional sandwich.  Word is the next creation may be a Mac ‘n Cheese grilled cheese with pork belly. Tot Wheels will be at Many Fest – Food Truck Wars again this year from Sept 9-11, 2016. “Many Fest is our - and most truck's - busiest time of the year, I'd like to serve the burger at the festival but it might not be possible with the volume of people.”

Scott took over the truck from Darryl Crumb in March, 2016. Scott was the lead chef at the Exchange Restaurant for two years where they worked together and he learned about running the food truck from Darryl. Tot Wheels also caters events - and surprisingly - weddings! “We have done wedding dinners and late night snacks.  This saves the bride and groom a ton of money and has turned out excellent every time.

Tot Wheels Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato