The inaugural Burger Week Montreal ended at midnight, September 7, when the final votes were tallied. Appropriately, the winner was a burger-specialty restaurant, Burger Bar Crescent, which received 534 votes for its Hangover Burger, a 6-oz. beef patty topped with caramelized onions, bacon, American cheese, truffle oil, fried egg and a mini poutine (fries, cheese curds and gravy). That’s the winner (menu priced at $15) at right. It out-polled one burger topped with “pulled Appalachian deer.”
What makes Burger Week MTL of interest outside that city is that it can serve as a model for organizing and running similar celebrations of burgers and the restaurants that serve them in other cities and towns. Thirty-one Montreal restaurants took part, each of them offering a special burger for the week of Sept. 1-7. These burgers were priced at $5, $10 or $15 (Canadian), with about half (15) at $10.
The event effectively and efficiently used digital and social media. A website provided information (location, price, etc.) on each participating restaurant as well as on sponsors. Up-to-date vote tallies made it worth repeat visits. The site also explained the voting process. Diners visiting participating restaurants receiving a “voting card” with the restaurant’s name, a password and a QR code. Votes could be cast by scanning the QR code with a mobile phone or via the website (using the voting card’s password).
Restaurants weren’t the only winners. Diners accumulated points for a long list of “achievements”—from registering and voting to eating at the most expensive restaurant, using a mobile phone to vote and checking in on Twitter or Facebook—and points could be redeemed for prizes (the grand-prize winner has yet to be named).
Burger Week MTL displayed an admirable awareness of both healthfulness and charity. The Burger Week MTL Run on Sept. 6 offered Montrealers a chance to burn calories and contribute money to the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation.
At its core, of course, the event was a celebration of burgers. Below are the restaurants that finished in 2nd through 10th place, in descending order, and the burgers they served during the week. As always, feel free to borrow good ideas.
m:brgr: Kobe Burger ($10)
Kobe beef topped with Pecorino cheese, arugula, cherry tomatoes and grilled all-beef salami with chili ketchup
ART:brgr: Volcano Burger ($15)
Premium meat patty, Portobello in white wine and garlic butter, avocado on a bed of thin- sliced house-made chips and spicy jalapeňos covered with Swiss cheese, house-made aïoli and tomato sauce; topped with an (optional) sunny-side-up egg
Diablos Smoke House BBQ: The Sixth Deadly Sin Burger ($15)
Beef patty topped with Provolone cheese, smoked bacon and smoked tomato ketchup; then the entire burger is deep-fried
BAXO Cuisine & Bar: Hulk Smash Burger ($15)
A 13-oz. patty of marinated hanger steak with pulled Appalachian deer, house-made bacon, aged Cheddar, heirloom tomatoes, rustic BBQ apple sauce and smoked mayo on a sourdough bun
Jukebox Burgers & Bar Laitier: Rocky Marciano Burger ($10)
100% Canadian Angus beef, cheese and spices
Suite 701: Kobe Burger with Foie Gras ($15)
A 6-oz. Canadian Wagyu beef patty with Quebec-sourced foie gras “au torchon,” Mystique cider-onion compote, chicory and spicy mayo on a fresh poppy-seed onion bun
Mister Steer: The Monsieur Supreme Burger ($10)
Beef patty with melted Cheddar, crisp bacon, beer-braised onions and house-made BBQ sauce on a sesame Kaiser bun
iBurger: Sushi Burger ($15)
Fresh salmon tartare, mango and avocado between two thin rice cakes
Café Souvenir: Breakfast Burger ($10)
Pulled pork, fried egg, avocado and tomatoes on a kaiser bun