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!
The Winnipeg Folk Festival greatly improved the food village kiosks and the booths are so big now you can back a truck in - and that’s what Grass Fed Grill did. When I realized there was going to be enough Burger Clubbers at FolkFest to make quorum, I Twitter-poked @grassfedgrill and they responded with a challenge.
Our plans were almost washed out by a huge storm front passing through, but it slammed us and was gone again by supper time. Happy to have survived the storm we were able to burger under the sun!
Our burger-folkie number was supposed to be a little higher, but trying to meet up at Folk Fest is like herding cats and we lost a couple of hippies. A couple more dissenters were overcome by the lure of other food vendors in the sumptuous lineup of choices. In the end, eight of us sampled the fare at Grass Fed Grill today.
Grass Fed Grill has a great lineup of burger offerings. The challenge at Folk Fest is not just to make tasty food, but to be able to serve it up quickly to hundreds of waiting diners - Grass Fed Grill was up for it. The ordering line moved quickly, and the wait for the burger wasn't long. All Folk Fest vendors serve food on reusable Melamine plates (for a $2 refundable deposit) and our burgers were presented open faced on the distinctive shiny, orange plates.
I opted for the Big Buff double burger with bacon and cheese and enjoyed it. The beef had delicious flavour – you knew you were eating pasture-raised beef. In fact, all the ingredients were top quality and fresh. Stan wrote “The beef had a noticeably different texture than the average beef burger. It seemed somewhat drier than usual. I suspect that the grass fed beef may have less fat. I enjoyed this patty very much.” Karen noted “There was a nice crust on the burger and it was moist, but very plain.”
The patty was fairly thick, but quite small in diameter. I’d guess the bun was from City Bread – a favourite – but it dwarfed the patty. Stan commented “The patty was properly cooked which was something I wanted to be sure of because it was originating in a truck.” The bacon was also cooked to leathery perfection and had great flavour.
The small patty size was the common lament from all the hungry diners and the reason why the burger didn't get a higher rating. I’m not sure if the diminutive patty was a product of cost management in delivering a burger at an affordable price while paying more for organic, grass-fed beef, or, it could have been in the interest of serving hundreds of people quickly as a small patty cooks quicker on the grill.
I cut mine in half and was confused looking at the stack thinking I'd only received a single patty on my Big Buff until I realized they'd slid around and were lying beside each other.
A few of us misinterpreted the wonderful line “infused with cheese (like a jelly donut)” to mean a stuffed burger, but I guess the intent was to describe the cheese between the patties – a structurally sound placement. Preparing hundreds of Jucy-Lucy’s for the Folk Fest would have been a legendary feat! The real cheese looked good but the flavour wasn't discernible over the delectable beef.
Karen opted for the Spicy Crunch Burger and commented “I liked my toppings - crispy onions on the bottom. Burger, lettuce, tomato on top - all together not bad.”
Stan wrote “The Zeus Burger had tzatziki sauce and feta cheese which compensated for the patty’s (dry) texture. The bottom line is that I would happily have another one.” Nicole also Zeused: “Patty wasn't big enough for the bun. Tasty overall. Feta and Tzatziki was a good mix.”
We carried our burgers over to the beer garden to enjoy them at a picnic table which Russ liked “Always good to enjoy a beer with my food.” The beer gardens were quite packed with people recovering from the storm and a couple of diners landed in the grassy-annex on the other side of the fence.
Karen opted for the yam fries and said they were tasty. I stole a few of hers and they were yammy perfection!