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Foodie Friday: The Burger Week Contestants

By Katie Marsh on August 29, 2014

Le Burger Week, a national week-long competition to definitively crown the best burger in a city, has come to Ottawa and Gatineau. Apt613 will be working with the Le Burger crew to inspire the cities’ restaurants and food trucks to put forward their vision of hamburger perfection.

From September 1st to September 7th, eleven participating restaurants and food trucks will create a special Le Burger Week burger to showcase their culinary skills, or as they say on all those Top Chef reruns, to put “themselves on a plate.” Your job, my fellow Ottawans and Gatinois(es), will be to eat these burgers and vote for your favourite creations at Le Burger Week’s website.

The winning restaurant gets the title of the city’s best burger and eternal glory for one year. The rest of us get to eat delicious burgers. It’s pretty much the definition of a win-win.

Today we’re pleased to announce the contestants for Ottawa Burger Week 2014:

The ArtisanArt Is In Bakery is the ‘it’ girl of the Ottawa baked goods scene. The hugely popular bakery combines old-school technique with the hip industrial feel of the city centre. Do they bring the same attention to detail to their Le Burger Week entry? Their as yet unnamed entry is a house ground, six ounce top sirloin patty topped with carmelized onions, cheddar cheese, homemade double smoked sous vide pork belly, fried pickles, garlic confit mayo, and arugula. All that crowned by their  bakery-fresh dill pickle brioche bun and a dollop of Art Is In ketchup.

The Cool Kid – With motorcycle murals and a night club feel, Backdrop definitely has a great vibe. But will it translate into a great burger? Their entry is the Jerk Wild Boar Burger, with a fresh ground Wild Boar patty topped with homemade jerk marinade, greens, fennel slaw, marinated tomatoes, old cheddar and house pickles.

The New Burger on the Block – Open just a few months ago, The Bacon Factory Burger Emporium is still getting its footing on the Ottawa restaurant scene. Building a reputation for a fresh and tasty patty, they’re confident in taking on the more established players in the burger scene. Their entry is the Major’s Black Garlic Burger Beef patty on a Brioche bun topped with Major Craig’s Black Garlic cream cheese, bacon jam, baby spinach, tomato and a crispy slice of double smoked bacon.

The Sophisticate  Bite Burger is part of the trend of elevate burger joints taking a classic meal and giving it a new twist. Le Double Crisp has two fresh chuck patties topped by double smoked bacon cheddar crisp, bite house sauce, sauteed bermuda onion and Boston Bib, all on a Brioche bun.

The True Believer –  Burgers n’ Fries Forever sounds more like a manifesto then the name of a burger joint. Handcrafted, local beef and small batch sauces, there’s definitely a lot of passion going into their as yet unnamed burger.

The Ringer – Once called Ottawa’s “Cheers of chicken shacks”,  The Foolish Chicken is better known for its BBQ chicken and many gluten-free options. But despite its name, the restaurant has no beef with the burger and may be positioning itself for a surprise win.

The Hometown Hero – In the few years its been open, the Hintonburger has quickly established itself as a fixture of Hintonburg with a passionate local following. The bruger joint’s rapid fanbase alone might be enough to put it over the top.

The Scruffy Underdog – Pour Boy Pub, the last refuge of the $5 pint in Ottawa, is known for a fun vibe and affordable fare. Can it prove that it doesn’t take big dollars to make mouths water?  Their Blue Cheese, double bacon burger is certainly a shot across the bow for the other contestants.

The Big Guns  –  The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro was the first to bring the crazy topping concept to Ottawa and have grown into a local behemoth with seven locations. They may give their burgers some whimsical names – such as the Notorious P.I.G. or Born to Brie Wild – but to their competitors there’s nothing funny about their burger-making prowess.  Their entry is the Loaded Lucy, featuring cheese stuffed into their 100% Canadian fresh 8oz beef patty and topped with bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onions & mayo.

The Southern Charmer – The SmoQue Shack is like having the Sparks Street Ribfest year ’round at your beck and call. Slow-cooked BBQ everything with southern-style sides like corn bread, mashed potatoes or mac and cheese. Y”all will almost certainly enjoy whatever they cook up.

The International Burger of Mystery – If the UN was a burger joint, what would the delegates taste like? That pretty much the premise of World Burger. For Burger week they concocted the Louisiana burger topped with Pulled pork, Swiss cheese, tangy coleslaw and chipotle mayo.

As Mark Twain said, “the secret of success in life is to eat what you like, and let the food fight it out inside.” We couldn’t agree more. Voting for Le Burger Week starts September 1.