Chelsea Jodoin, Community Coordinator for The Cornwall Local (and writer of this article), participated in Taste Buds Burger Love as a foodie judge. / Photo by Kevin Lajoie.
CORNWALL — Burger Love began on Wed. Aug 26, and ends this Friday (Sept 4), but really, I wish it would never end.
Burger Love, an event by Taste Buds and Cornwall Tourism, features seven local restaurants competing to have the best burger.
How did I get the opportunity to be a judge at Burger Love?
I reached out to one of the organizers, Taste Buds’ Patrick Larose, for quotes regarding an article on Burger Love. I mentioned that I loved burgers, and if they needed an extra judge, I’d be happy to volunteer. On the morning of Tues. Sept. 1, Larose reached out to me to tell me I made the cut, along with seven other judges.
What was it like being a judge?
I began my burger-eating day at 10:30 am on Wed. Sept 2, after skipping breakfast. All I had to do was bring a mask to enter locations, and an appetite. Each burger was cut into 1/4 portions, so that each judge could try all seven burgers, without entering a food coma.
Each judge was given a paper with four categories: creativity, presentation, taste/ flavour, and overall satisfaction. And each burger was graded on a ‘1-5 rating system’ for each category, one being “not good” and five being “fantastic.”
By 3 pm, we deliberated and our scores were tallied. Unfortunately, I can’t divulge the winner of Burger Love until the event is over, but I can tell you about how incredible each burger tasted.
What is my review of Burger Love’s seven masterful burgers?
1. Tilly's The Drama Burger is dramatic -- even in its presentation! It's a beautiful-looking burger that tastes as dramatic as it looks. It's a ground sirloin burger topped with smoked brisket, caramelized onions in beef jus, lime soaked avocados, bacon, dijon mustard and havarti cheese on a pretzel bun. The burger is juicy, the flavours are spectacular, and once you've taken one bite, you don't ever want to stop. After all, everyone loves drama.
2. Truffles Burger Bar's Cherry Blossom Burger is 'cherrific.' The burger has an explosion of flavour, right from the first bite. The sweet and sour of the cherry sauce compliments the sizeable burger patty that is stuffed with gorgonzola, blue cheese and caramelized onions. Does it taste as good as it looks? The answer is an emphatic yes. Don't sleep on this burger.
3. Brunch on Pitt's Big Mike Burger is a comfort burger -- eating it felt like getting a big warm hug from someone you love. The burger was juicy, perfectly cooked and caramelized, while the toppings, cheddar cheese, white onion, dill pickle and big mike sauce etc., made my mouth water. It's the perfect size, and although simple, it has all the flavours you want and crave in a burger. I couldn't help myself, but go back for seconds.
4. Simply Jennifer's Hickory Smoked PB and Maple Tempeh Bacon Burger is perfectly stacked -- the toppings, roasted garlic peanut sauce, homemade dill pickles, red onion, and maple tempeh bacon make your taste buds delight incredibly happy. The peanut butter is perfectly balanced by the dill pickles, making this burger both one-of-a-kind, and awesome! If you've never had a vegan burger, don't worry, I promise you won't know the difference once you've taken a bite out of this masterpiece. Photo courtesy of Patrick Larose
5. Gaetan's Chip Stands' Heart Stopper, caused my heart to skip a beat. It's intimidating, but delicious. The toppings are a home run of flavour. You have bacon, smoked meat, BBQ sauce, dijon mustard, topped with cheese curds, hot peppers, onion ring, fried pickle, and a jalapeño popper -- it's almost too good to be true. You definitely won't walk away hungry after eating this tasty burger.
6. Meet the judges (pictured from left to right): Matthew Girgis of Taste Buds, Bill Halman of The Happy Popcorn Co., Justine Viray-Levac of Shnitzels European Flavours, Patrick Larose of Taste Buds, Kevin Lajoie of Cornwall Tourism, and Cameron Forrester of ForresterFilms.
7. Séguin Patate's Fric Fry Burger is the most Canadian burger of the bunch. The burger is inspired by food truck's most popular 'poutine' -- composed of ground beef, homemade hot sauce, diced onions, curds, and gravy. Now imagine that on a burger! -- it's glorious. The buns soak up the gravy when you dip it, and the hot sauce gives it a satisfying and memorable kick, making you wish it became a Séguin Patate staple.
8. Owner of Seguin Patate, Jason Shoot, explains what is on the Fric Fry Burger, and why he created it.
9. Lancaster Restaurant & Pizzeria's The Italiano is a refreshing summer burger. When you first bite into it, it surprises you, because it's filled with notes of garlic that perfectly compliment the fresh and tasty bruschetta. The burger is made up of a triple-a beef patty and topped with parmesan cheese, homemade bruschetta, and alfalfa on a toasted brioche bun with homemade garlic butter. After this burger, you'll likely want to try everything on their menu.
10. Matthew Girgis, one of the minds behind Taste Buds, enjoys a burger at one of the many Burger Love locations.
I was honoured to be a part of Taste Buds’ Burger Love. I was able to try seven delicious burgers from seven local restaurants I love. As a Cornwallite, I’m grateful that my hometown has such innovative restaurants — and amazed at how they were able to rally together to create some of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten.
All of the burgers listed were stand-outs from me — which is why I’ll leave it up to you, the reader, to determine your favourite.
Burger Love ends Friday. To vote for your favourite, visit yourlocaltastebuds.ca.
You can find more local articles from Chelsea Jodoin and the Cornwall Local team at www.thecornwalllocal.ca