St. John’s Burger Battle

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It’s February, it’s cold, it’s miserable and you need comfort food as much as restaurants need patrons during their slowest month of the year. We’ve got a fix for both of it: The St. John’s Burger Battle.

15 fine local restaurants are onboard: each will make a temporarily available burger for the month of February. We’ve got it all, from veggie to moose burgers, and wild experiments to classic takes; there are even combos like lamb-pork belly and beef with braised rib, so have a browse below.

Your job is to try at least 1. Or at least 1 a week. Or be the burger warrior and slam them all back for epic burger battle bragging rights. If you really do try them all, please get in touch for an interview (and some cholesterol meds).

How to Play the Game and Win a Prize!

There’ll be two winning restaurants, our food critic’s pick, and the people’s choice. To vote for your favourite burger, use the form below. Take a pic of one of these burgers on social media, using the #BurgerBattle hastag, and you’re automatically entered to win a $50 certificate to Piatto Pizzeria! The more burgers you try, the more times you’re entered to win.

Drop A Comment and Hit Up Our Hashtag! 

In the age of social media, everyone’s a critic. We wanna know what you liked, we wanna see your pics, we wanna light up the web with local restaurants. So hit up the hashtag #BurgerBattle (note the Caps!) on social media, and drop us your commentary below this article, so we can share your thoughts in March’s issue.

The Burgers!

BERNARD STANLEY GASTROPUB
Beef & Pork Belly Burger

8oz beef and pork patty on a sesame seed bun, topped with pork belly, tomato jam, Five Brothers’ Logy Bay jack with hot chilies, lettuce, caramelized onion, and apple relish, maple rosemary and grainy dijon aioli, and jalapenos. The burger will be served with kettle chips at lunch, and rosemary potato wedges at supper. $17. Located at 223 Duckworth Street.

BLUE ON WATER
The Green Monster

Spiced lamb patty on housemade spinach bun, with shaved pork belly, chicken pate, beet ketchup, spicy pickles, lettuce, tomato and a fried egg. The burger is served with a choice of fries, salad, or soup. $18. Located at 318 Water Street.

CELTIC HEARTH
The Bullwinkle Burger

A moose burger with Five Brothers’ smoked cheddar, maple candied bacon, cider-marinated crispy onions, rhubarb chutney mayo, on a Celtic Hearth bakeshop bun. Garnished with a deep fried pickle. $18. “We will be running the burger 24 /7. Moose burger for breakfast anyone?” Located at 298 Water Street.

CHINCHED BISTRO
The Notorious PIG Mac

Two pork patties, bacon, PIG Mac Sauce, Five Brothers Avalon Cheddar, lettuce, pickles and onion, on a potato buttermilk bun. Served with shoe string cut fries and housemade ketchup. $17. Limited quantities served nightly, 5:30pm-close. Located at 7 Queen Street.

EXILE / JAG HOTEL
Local Lamb & Pakora Burger

Haricot Farms’ lamb, crispy pakora patty, rita mayo, spicy pickled carrots, butter-toasted brioche. $12 for the burger; $16 with a choice of side. Located at 115 George Street West.

THE FIFTH TICKET
Local Beef Burger

Locally sourced beef with gruyere cheese, house cured bacon, red onion jam, and burger aioli on a freshly made Rocket brioche bun, served with housemade bistro fries, tossed in truffle oil, and topped with parmesan cheese. $18. Located at 171 Water Street.

MAGNUM & STEINS
The Kickin’ Chicken Burger

Deep fried Texas pounded chicken, crispy house ranch slaw, house pickles, jalapeno & cheddar bun. $13.95. Located at 329 Duckworth Street.

MERCHANT TAVERN
The Merchant Burger

Double-smoked bacon, house made American cheese, Merchant sauce, caramelized onion, and pickles, on a house made brioche bun. $22/$30 (single or double patty). Choice of a side of fries or onion rings. Located at 291 Water Street.

PIATTO
La Dolce Vita Burger

7oz. lean beef infused with soppressata salami and house seasoning, bacon onion jam, maple goat cheese, jalapeno roasted garlic aioli, smoked caciocavallo cheese, baby arugula, and hot banana peppers on a ciabatta bun. Garnished with a Soppressata Salami- Wrapped Pepperoncini Pepper. $15; $18 with a side Caeser. Located at 377 Duckworth and 60 Elizabeth Avenue.

PJ BILLINGTONS
The Beefington Burger

Housemade beef patty, bacon, mozzarella, cheddar, PJ’s classic onion ring, crispy fried banana peppers, ranch dressing; includes a side. $14. Located at 102 Kenmount Road.

RELUCTANT CHEF
House Porchetta on Turkish Bread

House porchetta (pork), house Turkish bread, and house salsa verde with bitter greens and mushroom duxelle. $15. Located at 290 Duckworth Street.

SETO KITCHEN + BAR
Wagyu Burger with Seto Sauce

Wagyu burger, seto secret sauce, cheese, milk bun, served with onion rings and Sichuan ketchup. $30. Located at 281 Duckworth Street.

THE SPROUT
Jiggs Burger

Jiggs burger with split peas, potatoes, turnip, carrot, parsnip, onion, and savory, served on a traditional Newfoundland bread bun and topped with mustard pickles. Side of home fries, a small house salad, or soup. $13.95. Located at 364 Duckworth Street.

TAVOLA
House Beef on Buttermilk Buns

House-ground beef on a buttermilk biscuit bun, with 5 Brothers Pepper Jack Cheese, an onion ring, bacon jam, fried tomatoes, cider & mustard aioli, all garnished with fresh arugula and a fried egg. Served with handcut fries and house ketchup. $19. Located at 178 Water Street.

YELLOWBELLY
Spiced Pork Sausage & Belly Burger

Spiced pork sausage and grilled pork belly burger, served on Rustic bun, with light spicy pickled papaya and cucumber, drizzled with honey bavarian mustard, A side of braised cabbage. $12. Located at 288 Water Street.

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19 Comments

  1. What a cash grab! $30 for a burger and onion rings? $26 for a burger and a “micro” salad? I’m going to go ahead and point out that charging $12/burg is still too steep for most people. I remember burger week in Halifax very well. I ate at almost every burger joint that week with my comrades and not once did it cost over $6 for a burger. What a shame.

    • Burger Eater 709 on

      Dear Boycott: A.) Way to support local business by calling for a boycott against it. B.) Get educated on something before speaking on it. You can’t compare Halifax costs to local ones. Rent is higher here, so is the cost of food, ergo, so are the burgers. It’s elementary math/business 101. These restaurants are hanging on by the skin of their teeth, they’re not ripping you off, they’re getting by in a bad economy. Expand your mind or close your mouth.

      • The boycott guy’s comment seemed a bit extreme, but putting a 30 dollar burger and fry combo on the menu seems a bit out-of-touch if the goal is to elicit sympathy from the burger-eating public during hard economic times, these restaurateurs are not the only ones struggling. And I’ve never really bought into the idea that local business deserves unquestioning support, or that local businesspeople are above gouging their customers.

        • Agreed. Most of what’s on here is fine, I accept that around here if you’re going to a solid restaurant for a quality burger you’re probably looking at between $15-$20 (with fries/rings/salad/whatever side comes with). And that’s fine. But a $30 burger/fries is definitely over the top.

          • It’s made using Wagyu beef. It’s a very expensive type of meat made from a unique breed of cattle. As far as I know, there is no grocery in NL that actually sells wagyu and it is relatively rare in Canada. This is a unique experience and it is probably worth the $30. Wagyu steaks are somewhere between $30-50 even for cheap cuts.

          • To the wagyu apologists… I don’t think Merchant is serving wagyu beef for their $30 double.

    • Not sure if you’re comparing to fast food, or something else, but anywhere that I have been burgers (especially gourmet burgers) are at least $10.

      Also, the $30 burger is made using Wagyu beef, some of the best beef in the entire world. Two Wagyu steaks can cost upwards of $100. There is probably no other restaurant or grocery store where you will have the opportunity or buy wagyu here in Newfoundland, it’s a treat for sure.

  2. Boycott… seriously? Burger Eater 709 is right! The ingredients here are much more expensive, especially since a lot of places are using local sourced foods. That $30 burger you were complaining about? That’s wagyu beef, one of the most expensive on the market. The point of this battle is to support local restaurants in a slow time of the year where restaurant owners are barely able to pay the rent and the insane business tax. No one is forcing you to go out and eat these burgers. They have to think of their food cost/Labour cost and actually try and turn a profit from the product, that’s how restaurants work.

  3. I thought the prices seemed pretty reasonable for the caliber of the restaurants! The Fifth Ticket and JAG burgers in particular sound DEADLY

  4. Tried the Piatto burger yesterday. Wicked! There’s a lot going on in that burger but the flavour of the beef still shone through as it should. It was a delicious combination of tastes. Looking forward to getting out and trying some others this month.

  5. So far I’ve hit the Yellowbelly and the Reluctant Chef. Both tremendous. This is my favourite month already!! Only wish there were 28 participating restaurants!

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