Burgers were the main priority for seven local restaurants last week as Nelson’s Burger Week event took place.
From November 16 to 22 participants offered their take on a gourmet burger, for just $9.99.
The public response was incredible as local eateries tried to keep up with the demands. Some even sold out.
On Friday, seven special taste-testers toured the seven restaurants to sample the burgers and find out how the Nelson Star sponsored promotion had gone.
The burgers and the reaction were great.
The taste testers included mayor-elect Deb Kozak, outgoing fire chief Simon Grypma, new fire chief Len MacCharles, Dino Falcone of the Nelson Police department, Tom Thomson of the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce and Selkirk College’s Maggie Keczan and Harry Pringle.
The burger tasting tour took place Friday afternoon. First stop was Finley’s Irish Bar and Grill to try the Alaskan Crab Burger.
Finley’s general manager Greg Basek said the week-long promotion has to be called a success.
“It’s been an awesome response. It’s been crazy busy. We’ve actually sold out of them three days in a row. We can barely keep them made and ready to go,” he said.
He and his team decided to go for a crab burger to offer their clientele something different.
The group’s next stop was the Uptown Sportsbar to taste the Aussie Burger.
Food and beverage manager Rob Little said the promotion was a great way to get diners out during November.
“We’ve been busier than ever. I can’t get over how many burgers we’ve sold. I didn’t realize that it would be this popular,” he said.
Little is also the manager at Louie’s Steakhouse, the next stop on the burger tasting tour.
At Louie’s the participants sampled the Wagu Filet Oscar Burger, a gourmet burger that fit in with the steakhouse cuisine.
“I would say it is definitely a higher end burger for sure,” said Little who plans to add the meal to the restaurant’s regular menu.
“I would call it a huge success and recommend that next time it go longer,” he added about the week long event.
Next stop was Jackson’s Grill where the group was introduced to the Mexi-Burger.
As they enjoyed their tasting, Jackson’s manager Kyla Helson explained that the Mexi-burger had their chef jumping.
“We are making burgers by the dozens every day. People are really enjoying it. I’m happy we brought it back,” she said.
While there are no plans to add it to the menu at this time, patrons can use Jackson’s build your own burger option to recreate it.
“They can create their own or modify it a bit.”
A quick jaunt down the street brought the group to the Hume Hotel to try the Dublin Burger.
Richard Catenacci, general store manager at the Hume said people have been talking about the burgers all week long.
“It’s good that they are trying them all out, everywhere. I know we have been selling a lot every night. As soon as it started on Sunday it just kept building, said Catenacci, adding he would like to see it run again next year.
While the lucky taste testers were starting to get full, they soldiered on, heading back up to Baker Street to the Royal to try the Roy-ale with Cheese Burger.
Owner Dale Arsenault said things started slowly, but once word spread, things got busy.
“It was a bit of a surprise actually. We just opened for lunch, because of it and it was a little slow to start. But we sold 40 burgers yesterday, we weren’t quite ready for that. People are coming just for the burgers so it’s been quite successful.”
He said he’s happy to take part in a little friendly competition with his fellow restaurants.
The final stop on the tour was the Baker Street Grill to try the Valley Greek Lamb Burger.
Crystal Pollock, restaurant manager said sales of the burger have been incredible.
“The feedback has been awesome. Lamb is an acquired taste. You either like it or you don’t. But the feedback from those who have lamb said it was just phenomenal.”
After sampling every burger, the group put their heads together and tried to decide on a favourite. It was impossible to choose just one.
“There are some excellent burgers here and I would say each restaurant has outdone themselves,” said Kozak.
Her fellow taste testers agreed.
“I haven’t had a bad one yet. They have all been excellent. They were all different flavours, all quite unique. It’s going to be tough,” said Pringle prior to making his decision.
Thomson admitted it would be hard to make up his mind.
“It just goes to show the creativity of the different chefs and the creativity of all of the different restaurants we have in our area. Nelson is really lucky to have this many fine restaurants.”
In the end, they chose three burgers as their favourites. Their choices were:
Uptown Sportsbar’s Aussie Burger
The Hume’s Dublin Burger
The Royal’s Roy-ale with Cheese
Online voters also had the opportunity to choose a favourite. While that vote was also a close battle, the Hume’s Dublin Burger received the most votes.