Corey Wine tackles his toughest assignment – rating Airdrie’s burger bites.
First up the OJ’s Kona Burger. Accompanying my burger were some awesome fries and gravy, as well as a nice Caesar salad. I gotta tell ya, the first bite melted in my mouth. This burger had mayo, tomato, melted mozzarella, grilled pineapple, lettuce, red onion and teriyaki sauce! Biting into it, it had the perfect amount of ‘squish’! This burger was anything but sloppy. It held together and still had every topping intact to the last bite! The key to making this burger extraordinary for me was the teriyaki sauce plus the red onions and grilled pineapple. The mozzarella was pretty darn good, too, now that I think of it! All of this goodness was delicately bedded in a warm, soft brioche bun.
Toad ‘n’ Turtle Pubhouse & Grill
Next on the list was Toad ‘n’ Turtle Pubhouse & Grill. I ordered the Loaded Toad Burger. For some reason, my hopes weren’t up on it. Dunno why, but when it was delivered right under my nose, it was picture perfect! This creation must have stood a whopping eight inches high! It was solid! No skimping with the Loaded Toad Burger. I didn’t even know how to approach it. It was a bit of a topic at our table when, finally, someone recommended that I squash it down with my hand to be able to work with this massive burger. This was a six-ounce patty with juicy pulled pork (What? I know.), three huge (yuge) onion rings, smoked Gouda (it was sooo gooda!), lettuce, tomato, sweet onion (mmmmmm), dill pickle, Rufus Teague barbecue sauce, all on a grilled bun. (Yes, I took my Prevacid before going.) I ordered fries and gravy (as I planned to do with all my reviews) but there were many side options available, including quinoa salad. (Why anyone would order a nice, light quinoa salad to go with their mammoth burger is beyond me.) The first bite was tough but amazing. I got a little bit of everything … and there was a lot of everything. The burger got easier to consume with every bite. It still took time, though. I would hold this heavy guy in both hands and turn it around and tilt it from side to side to figure out where I should bite next. I am a fast eater, yet I chipped away at this stone for a good 20 minutes and, amazingly, only one napkin was required.
I went for the Brewsters Burger: fresh pressed brisket patty, Bow Valley BBQ sauce, bacon, cheddar, sautéed mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, dill pickle. I accompanied the burger with fries and gravy, of course, and a Coke. The fries and gravy were nice and hot. Great flavour! The burger was nice and hot as well. Everything tasted good. All in all, I think I want to come back for the great ambiance that I found at Brewsters and try its Frogburger (fresh pressed brisket patty, Frogsauce, white cheddar, grilled red onion, lettuce, tomato, dill pickle).
Pour Beer Market & Grill
18+ establishment, but minors are welcome until 7 p.m. every Sunday
I jetted over to Pour Beer Market in my next quest to find Airdrie’s best burger. I’m a sucker for blue cheese and got sucked right in to the Black & Blue Burger: Danish blue cheese, sautéed mushrooms and onion. Oh, so rich. The blue cheese seemed to get heartier and more robust as the munching continued. The accompanying peppery fries and gravy were a nice twist. The meal looked nice on its plate and it was exactly what I needed to fill that afternoon void. It hit the spot!
Ricky’s All Day Grill
I ventured over to Ricky’s for a quick burger, fries with gravy and a Coke during my lunch break. It didn’t take me long to decide on the Radical Bacon Cheeseburger: maple bacon and a sharp Cheddar crisp, then even more sharp Cheddar melted on an eight-ounce beef burger seasoned with pepper medley; with crisp lettuce, fresh tomato, crunchy onion tanglers and mayo. WOW – freakin’ awesome! If you are fanatical about cheese on your cheeseburger, I’m tellin’ you, this is the cheesiest burger I have ever had! The secret is that sharp cheddar crisp … it’s wicked! The fries and gravy held their ground perfectly and, oh yeah, the pickle was a great addition as well!
Newcomer to Airdrie, Abe’s really sparked my curiosity so, I strolled right into this diner-feel restaurant and ordered the Big Lion Burger and yep, you guessed it, fries and gravy. It was a cool atmosphere, watching the chef grill my burger. Sitting at the front counter, I had the opportunity to partake in friendly banter with the waitresses, manager and chef. One thing they don’t need to fine tune is their Big Lion Burger. When the plate was ready I was impressed by its initial presentation. This burger was tall and proud! We’re talking a double-stacked beef burger, cheddar cheese, onions, pickles and Abe’s secret sauce … and I’ve never had an olive on top of my burger before! I had this thing woofed in no time. All in all, it was a good first impression with Abe’s.
The Canadian Brewhouse
All ages until 8 p.m. nightly, when it becomes an 18+ establishment
“All right … breathe … here we go … you can do this, Corey!” Those were the last thoughts in my head as the manager and two staff members brought out my meal. I was about to take the Rita Challenge at the newly opened Canadian Brewhouse. We’re talkin’ 5.5 pounds of lunch! Six patties on the McBurger, with all the fixings, served with a large poutine. Did I say large? It was YUGE! What is the Rita Challenge, you ask? Well, if you mow 4+ lbs. of beef and cheese, as well as the 1+ lb. cheesy poutine within an hour, your meal is free! I only had about a 48-hour notice for this challenge so I had to act fast. I Googled. I YouTubed. I Tindered. I had to prepare my stomach for the big day. The day before, I bought and ate a 5.5 lb. bag of gala apples and drank a load of water. That is how serious I was to WIN! Wanna know how I did? Well, I focused only on the burger, but you have to understand that each patty is humongous and covered in its own slice of beautiful cheese. After the first two patties, I was a bit awestruck from the incredible taste I was getting just from the burger and cheese alone! I continued my mantra: “I can do this.” By the fourth slab of beef, I started looking at the clock and wiping my forehead of perspiration. I wasn’t going to make it. Either time would run out or my belly would explode. I decided to make my own goal of scarfing only the burger within the hour but leave the poutine alone. And … I finished every burger patty, plus lettuce, tomato, pickle and buns, in 59 minutes! I was pretty impressed with myself as my wife, daughter Leah and the new fans I made along the way cheered my success. I rewarded myself with a frosty pint of Budweiser as I watched Lisa and Leah pick away at the mountain of poutine. What a great experience it was! But I hope I never have to do something like it again. Lol.
And the Best Fries Award goes to The Woods at Woodside Golf . I was given the option of sitting inside or taking advantage of the outdoor patio and view of the amenities. Rather than getting caught up watching golfers practise their drives, chips and putts, I decided I needed focus while completing my Burger Tour de Airdrie and opted to stay inside. Besides, it was way too early in the season for me to start thinking about how I’m going to correct my slice this year! I was there for FOOD and, more specifically, the Woodside Fairway Prime Rib Burger: signature homemade prime-rib burger with crisp lettuce, sliced tomato, sliced dill pickles, sautéed white mushroom, double-smoked bacon, blanketed with cheddar cheese and served on a toasted sesame bun. No bells, no whistles, just premium food went into this bacon cheeseburger. I could taste every ingredient with each bite-sized morsel. This burger was fantastic, the staff were professional and friendly and Holy %&@*, those fries!
Editor’s Note: This feature focused on permanent dining establishments. Read about Airdrie’s best FOOD TRUCK burger. Want to share your burger opinion? Follow the conversation on Facebook or comment below.
Top Eight Burgers in Airdrie
- OJ’s Kona Burger
- Toad ‘n’ Turtle Loaded Toad Burger
- Canadian Brewhouse Rita Challenge
- Pour Beer Market Black & Blue Burger
- The Woods Fairway Prime Rib Burger
- Ricky’s Radical Bacon Cheeseburger
- Abe’s Big Lion Burger
- Brewsters Brewsters Burger