The first rule of Burger Club: Burgers are made of beef. The team of sandwich eating professionals that brought you Winnipeg’s Best Club House, Reuben and Gyro, now embark on a life long quest to find Winnipeg’s best burgers. Yes, burgers – we’re going to rate the best Bacon, Cheese, Chili, Fatboy, Greek and Mushroom burgers. I know what you’re thinking – there are already several lists for Winnipeg’s Best Burger – but we bring the science – we have spreadsheets!
17 of us descended on the North Star Drive-In for burgers today. It was the end of summer for some as the kiddies and their guards got ready to head back to school. The smiling serving girl, who said it was her first day on the job, did great taking our orders. They were good sports and the guy pushing the potatoes through the fry-die gave a big, cheesy mug for the camera.
It’s a real burger shack in the north end and the menu was fun with items like “Friday Night Cheeseburger", "Blue Cheese Burger", "Call 911 Poutine" and "Gravy Lovers Dream". Although today there was also an “out of blue cheese” sign taped in the window. April had been super excited about the prospect of a blue cheese burger and was now distraught. The first few burger orders came out reasonably quickly, but some of the late-comers had to wait a while for their meals.
When my bacon-double cheeseburger was handed to me wrapped in foil paper, the first thing I noticed was the heft! I opened it and was awestruck at the sheer ginormousnous of it. It was massively bigger than the bun. Dani commented the “large patty overwhelmed the tiny bun”, but I think it was a regular sized bun shrunk by relative scale. I was momentarily confused, but then realized it had been wrapped upside down. I turned it over and was now faced with four full slices of thick and perfectly cooked bacon lolling out of the bun mocking me for being foolish enough to think I could eat a double. Also readily apparent was that it was a hand formed patty, fried hot in lots of oil until it was practically deep-fried and crispy. I had ordered the “real cheddar” option so peeled back the bun to have a look. I was faced with processed cheese - I think. It was gooey like cheese but had the consistency of a thick spread, so perhaps - it was sauce. It tasted good. I dug a little farther and spotted what I assumed to be a little square of melted cheddar-cheese-off-a-slab against the bun top. The bun had been buttered and grilled as well - which I thought boded well.
I rolled up my sleeves and tackled the brute knowing it was going to be a messy burger. The first few bites I devoured enthusiastically but my gusto wore off as I realized the beef had no flavour - which was the prevailing sentiment of the Burger Clubbers. There was no seasoning or chili in or on it. Jo-Ann “immediately noticed it was quite flat and more squareish than round.” - square apparently being an offense in the burger world. Sandy noted “The sauce & toppings were yummy” and she “enjoyed the squishy bun.” Ah yes, the poor overwhelmed bun. Mark put it best by saying the “Bun was a wrapper.” It quickly became so soaked with oil it was translucent and paper thin. Sandy commented “Well, good thing I like it messy!”
The prices were quite reasonable for the large burger you got, but a second patty was $2.25. One patty is probably enough for most people though.
Russ commented the “Homemade fries were chewy but still yummy” and April said “I got more fries than I could eat.”
There were three picnic tables and we needed them all. Two were on one side of the North Star and one was on the other so the group had to split in two. The tables had seen a lot of action. One of the tops was mostly rotten. The real issue though, was the wasps. Scott (the lizard leader) commented “I feel like a contestant on one of those crazy Japanese game shows. Swatting wasps off of mine and my kids food while trying to eat proved challenging.” Sandy-cheeseburger succinctly noted "wasp-o-rama!" As Dani said, there was “Heavy wasp traffic & medium wasp traffic, but wasps everywhere.” One final piece of wisdom heard today was “Twirling with a skirt on, around wasps is Inviting Danger."