Whoever at TheGridTO who has come up with the idea of creating Burger Week in Toronto was a pure genius. For most of the week, Torontonians were burger-crazy, indulging on special burgers created by the city’s best. The week culminated with an afternoon with 20 of Toronto’s meat-meisters coming together at Artscape Wychwood Barns. They were there to indulge the city’s carnivores to unique gourmet sliders. It was something my friend and EyeCandyTO food stylist, Abraham Wornovitzky cannot and will not pass up. Despite the prediction of possible rain, we were adamant to make it to this inaugural burger foodie event.
The event started at 11:30am and was in full swing when I arrived a few minutes before noon. I was a little nervous about parking, thinking I might spend a long time going round and round the neighborhood before I find one. The burger gods smiled at me and found me one just a block away from the east side of Wychwood Barns. My day started out really good. As I walked towards the area where the white tents were, I was a little confused that there were no visible fencing. From what I know the event has an admission fee and I wondered how can they control the crowd from getting in. As I tried to find answers for my questions, I located Abe and found out that he figured out the system. Only patrons with blue bands were sold tickets to buy the burgers. Each blue band costs $5 and each ticket costs $1. There were several booths to buy the tickets and from there we found out that each slider costs 3 tickets, a water bottle for 2 tickets and fries for 2 tickets. Beer was also sold and it has its own color-coded ticket but I did not really get into that as I was driving for the day. Seemed simple enough and after we bought 20 tickets each, we started scouting and snapping away. There were 24 sliders to select from so it would be too hard to try all of them. Some burgers I purchased on my own and some I stole a bite from Abe’s. This strategy work pretty well. I ended up trying 8 of the sliders and I was way past fully sated by the end of it.
Both Abe and I had our preferences and we have difference of opinions who are our top 3. To me, my top 1 comes from Bestellen, their slider was topped with Stilton, home-made HP sauce, caramelized onions and rocket. I normally cannot get past the strong flavor and smell of Roquefort. Today was an exception and I appreciated that strong flavor on my moist slider. Top 2 for me was BQM Burgershoppe‘s slider. The crew that holds the ship in front of the house promised me that their slider was really good and I agreed with her once I sank my teeth into the slider and my palette met deep flavors. With AAA house-ground beef, with herbed goat cheese, caramelized onions and jalapeño aioli, how can that go wrong? I was almost melancholy with the last bite as I wanted more. Top 3 I would give to Utopia Cafe for their Ultimate Bacon burger. But of course I must have some sort of bacon….LOL. Such harmony in a patty containing ground beef, ground pork and ground pork belly. Topping it with smoked provolone pushed it over the top. This slider definitely pacified my love for bacon.