Sampling the ‘challenge’

This is the second year that Northern Vision Development has challenged Whitehorse restaurants to make the best burger.

This year six restaurants took the bait — The Gold Pan Saloon, the High Country Inn, The Cut Off, Earls, the Steele Street Restaurant and Lounge (which is the Westmark) and the Klondike Rib and Salmon.

Six writers each tried a burger, and rated them according to their own standards.

The Yukon Burger Challenge runs til the end of August. Vote for your favourite. Each restaurant has a ballot box and forms. Those who cast a ballot are entered in a draw to win a $50 gift certificate to the restaurant they voted for.

The restaurant that wins the challenge gets a plaque.

And eternal fame.

The Cut Off burger is a winner

It breaks from tradition, it’s packed full of flavour and – like the sports car it’s named after – its price tag sets expectations high.

The Mediterranean Lamborghini is the Steele Street Restaurant and Lounge’s entry in this year’s burger challenge.

The Lamborghini is not your traditional burger. It is an eight ounce lamb patty infused with mediterranean spices and feta. Now, being the son of a Greek man, who grew up on a mostly Mediterranean diet, I’m all for lamb and feta. The more the better.

If you’re more of the classic beef, bacon and cheddar burger connoisseur you’re in for a surprise – a very delicious surprise.

I respect the Steele Street kitchen staff for thinking outside the box. It would be easy to go with a classic burger, especially being a restaurant that sees a lot of American tourists.

I like that on a culinary stage, like the Yukon Burger Challenge, the Steele Street took an unordinary route. They’re skating to hip hop, not classical.

Big points here for that risky choice.

Let’s talk presentation. The Lambo isn’t a massive burger. It is not small, but it isn’t anything John Candy would struggle to get down. Your friends don’t need to gather around and cheer on each bite.

If you eat burgers you can get this down.

For me that’s a big plus. I can eat it and not feel immediately bloated. There’s no beads of sweat, no shortness of breath, no dozing between bites.

That said, when it costs $27.95, you want lots of burger. You almost do want to be comatose when you’re done eating it. But, in the case of my dinner companions, it was the bill that did just that. 

The Lamborghini is messy and full of wardrobe malfunctions. The roasted red pepper and goat cheese aioli oozes from the burger. That, combined with lettuce, tomato and cucumber, is too much for the poor little kaiser bun. The result is a sloppy, but delicious, mess. I caution the bearded and first-daters against taking on the Lambo.

In the end, there is no denying the flavour of The Lamborghini. You won’t be disappointed with the taste. Just remember to stock up on napkins and bring your wallet.

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