Tuesday, 22 April 2014

PEI Burger Love: The Olympian Burger from Downtown Deli

The Olympian Burger from the Downtown Deli is a truly fitting tribute to our Canadian Olympic Bobsled Team, Heather Moyse and Kallie Humpries who brought home Gold from this year's 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Along with honoring PEI Sports Hall of Famer David Eli MacEachen, a tenacious Olympic Island Bobsledder. And just like Heather brought her gold home to PEI, the Downtown Deli brings us all Burger Love creation made of pure gold flavors!

Co-Creators of the Olympian, Insaf and Fouad, owners of the Downtown Deli put true pride in their food and bringing you and I the highest of quality when it coms to flavor and ingredients. That's why, when Fouad came up with the ingenious idea to theme their Burger Love after our victorious Olympians, Insaf brought to the table an array of flavors so tempting and delicious it makes this burger impossible to resist! All on a Baguette that adorably mimics the shape of a bobsled, I have to say that this Burger scores a perfect 10 when it comes to design and taste!

Going into the Downtown Deli today, I must be honest, was more like being welcomed into a close friend's home that walking into a restaurant. With a warm welcome from everyone and all the enthusiasm of an athlete's homecoming, I never wanted to leave the Downtown Deli! It's just that awesome. Add that home like atmosphere with warm flavors that embrace you and I'd say you've got the perfect stage set for me to fall in love.

But, oops. I already did. Just looking at the Olympian as it came to my table was enough to set me love-struck. Let's just say that this burger looks ready for love, it's so perfect it could be featured on the cover of a magazine. From that very first glance and whiff of those heady and beautiful scents I was enamored with the Olympian. I could hardly imagine what the first bite would be like...

Is there a word strong than elation? Delight? Joy? Perfect happiness? Honestly I can pick just one to tell you how succulent and enchanting that very first captivating bite was. It's like nothing you've ever tasted before in Burger Love and exactly what you want to taste for the rest of your life! Immediately my senses were on an exotic vacation thanks to this Burger's rich spices and perfectly appointed seasoning. Yup, Chef Alex Murphy prepared this burger way too good!

With 10oz of Island Beef infused with Curry, Sultana Raisins and Toasted Almonds, you've got a patty that's as treasured at the coveted gold medals at the Olympics! Surrounded by Maple Chipotle Sauce, Mild Cranberry Chutney, Provolone Cheese, Maple Bacon, Montreal Smoked Meat, Leaf Lettuce, Red Onion and Tomato all on a Vienna Multigrain Baguette and topped with a Cherry Tomato, Crisp Dill Pickle and slice of fresh Pineapple.

I mean, "Hello"! That's one incredible line up of flavors that could easily make up Team Canada for the next Food Olympics!

The sweet and juicy Pineapple "Gold Medal" atop the Olympian was so delicious and is a perfect example of how the three flavors of the toppers compliment each other just like the combination of savory, spicy and sweet do throughout the burger. The dill pickle is the best I've ever eaten (and I'm a dill pickle kinda person.), it had this super crunch and a perfect dill flavor that made it amazing! And of course, that classic little cherry tomato with it's cheery freshness was lovely.

Honestly, the first thing that hit me when I bit into the Olympian was it's beef. This moist, sweet and spicy patty with flavors that can easily go the distance for your love. This is the Downtown Deli's first foray into the world of Burger Love, but, wow, that Burger tastes like they're total veterans! Keeping in touch with the Deli's flavor roots, they took this burger to higher ground by infusing it with such unique and complimentary ingredients. The beef is deliciously fresh and takes on all of the flavors around it as if it were created only for that purpose. And those Sultana Raisins? Make the beef even more, if not, impossibly juicier!

Add in authentic Montreal Smoked Meat and Maple Bacon to send me over the top in excitement! The Montreal Smoked Meat is a true classic at the Downtown Deli and their signature sandwich. Which, by the by, I absolutely cannot wait to go back and get one of those for myself! What I had on the Burger hooked me already! The Maple Bacon was a great idea because it's sweet and smoky balance brings together all of the flavors and ties them through one ingredient.

With warm flavors throughout, the Maple Chipotle which gives attitude and kick meets with the Cranberry Chutney, the two paying tribute to one another as they hit your taste buds. Warm and cool, spicy and sweet, I don't know how to tell you just how good it was other than to say you have to taste the Olympian to believe it! Topped off with melty and smooth Provolone cheese, it has a mild enough flavor that it lends itself to all of the powerful deliciousness around it. Add in some classic veggies that are crisp and juicy and you've got the makings of a legendary burger!

All of this on a Baguette that brings this Burger's uniqueness to another level and helps bring out the warm of flavors even more with it's multigrain heartiness. A truly innovative idea that not only adds more yum to the Olympian but also gives it that very cool Bobsled shape that gives itself so perfectly to this Burger's theme.

And on the side? A classic Greek Salad, of course! How could there be more perfect company for this burger than one that gives a nod to the ancient origins for the Olympic Games? With refreshing flavors of the Mediterranean, this Salad's light and heavenly herbed dressing was perfect with it's crisp and fresh veggies. It was definitely fitting of the first Olympians, those of Greek lore that lent their title to the athletic games that we've all grown to know and love. Juicy tomatoes, hearty olives, red and green sweet bell peppers, cucumber, red onion, greens and of course loads of creamy feta cheese all make up this Salad which is too good for mere mortals!

My final word? You cannot miss the Olympian! It's a truly unique and special offering this Burger Love that will leave you feeling like you just stepped to the top of the Olympic Podium! The only thing left for me is to say..."Can I have another, please?"

Monday, 21 April 2014

PEI Burger Love: The Koopa Burger at Casa Mia

Today I left my heart at Casa Mia! In fact, I think they had my heart long before I even stepped in the door...

Let me explain, the origin of Casa Mia's Burger Love creation comes from the classic Mario video game series and having grown up between being an artist and gamer, the moment I saw The Koopa on the Burger Love Website, my heart went right out to it! And while that's one degree of love, I fell into a whole new experience of Burger Love today that I didn't even know was possible!

So, decked out in my Super Mario Bros. shirt, I made my journey into this incredible Burger's lair.

The creative passion and total dedication of Chef Nathan at Casa Mia showed me that not only is the Koopa one outstandingly delicious burger, it's an actual love letter to Island Beef. If you've tasted the Koopa you'll know what I mean, it's all about presenting Island Beef to us passionate eaters in a way that is the highest compliment to this wildly popular natural resource of ours. With it's dynamic and tempting flavors, this burger a total work of art.

It's as enchanting as all of the wonderful people as Casa Mia, waitresses Janey and Elly, patsry Chef Joanne and the person to whom I owe my very Burger Love, Chef Nathan. I had the best time ever sitting down at chatting with him, to which I found a budding chef who has skill, wisdom and understanding for a veteran far beyond his years. Oh, and personality to boot! With his solid commitment to excellence that's part of every taste of The Koopa I am beyond impressed.

I mean who couldn't be impressed with this spread of flavors that are all 100% dedicated to making the beef as taste tempting as possible!? With 5oz of Island Beef spiked with Lamb Shoulder, Sirloin and infused with Mushroom Dexelle (which is Ground Mushrooms, Shallots and Herbs), you've got a super star patty right there! Add in Wild Mushroom Conserva, Chimichurri, Caramelized Onions, Pickled Red Onions and Cheddar Cheese all on a Homemade Bun with the an adorable PEI Potato topper sautéed in butter and...Yeah, I'm going back to Casa Mia right now--hold the review!

Seriously though, from it's topper to it's bottom, the Koopa has got personality and enthusiasm. The little Potato garish is so cute but it's also got savory, smooth and perfectly crisped in the butter for ideal flavor! Oh and if I haven't said enough yet about Chef Nathan, you should know that he's the one who hand cut every single potato garnish for The Koopa. If that's not dedication to every single burger that goes out into the Dining Room, I don't know what is.

With the very first bite, I knew this Burger is game on! Immediately I knew I was eating something special; with it's blend of refreshing flavors mingling with a authentically rich Beef, Lamb and Mushrooms, I knew I was taking my relationship to the next level with this beefy hero.

The moist and hearty beef was perfectly seasoned and refined with elegant flavors that I didn't even know was possible for beef to have! A combination of Chuck and Sirloin Beef along with the Lamb Shoulder achieves  a goal of texture and flavor perfection! It's smooth and rustic, it's juicy and tender while maintaining that signature heartiness that has made Burgers so popular. It's everything you want it to be and more, which is no small wonder with how Chef Nathan truly honor Island Beef, choosing to make everything around the beef compliment it like it's the most popular kid in High School. I'm not sure I've had quite so much to say about Beef before, but with how every piece of the Koopa's culinary puzzle is based on highlighting the Island Beef, who can blame such a passionate eater as I?

And what about those flavors? All those brilliant flavors that were more satisfying to eat than any high score I've ever beaten or any goal I've achieved in the realm of gaming? Well, let's see...they've got more skills that Mario has when it comes to rescuing Princess Peach. Why the Princess comparison? Because the Koopa made me feel like a Princess, so go with it. Alright?

The Chimichurri is was deliciously fresh tasting, lending it's flavors to the fluffy and classic bun while tying in with the crispness of the Pickled Red Onions which had their own characteristically pleasant attitude. These flavors which are cool and clean as a Summer Breeze marry with the warmth of the Caramelized Onion and earthy mushrooms to give  the Koopa a depth of flavor. Because let's face it, when you ingredients praise Island Beef and give kudos to one another, you're the one who comes out a Winner. A very spoiled, completely satisfied and love-struck Winner.

So what does all the equate to? A Burger that's phenomenal to the very. last. bite.

Now, you would think it couldn't get any better than that, wouldn't you? Well, you're wrong, my friend! Because my side was just as much a piece of culinary artistry as the Koopa. Warm, smooth and crispy Hash Browns were the perfect accompaniment. Those PEI Potatoes were doing the happy dance on my tongue! With generous chunks of perfectly cooked Potatoes, their skins all crispy and ready to be eaten, rich caramelized onion and crispy green onion. I'm pretty much on Rainbow Ride just thinking about it! (Which is something like Heaven to all you normal people.) They're so much more than Hash Browns and the best way to describe them? They taste like "I want a whole lot more, right now!"

On top of all that, me being the kind of girl I am, can't pass a dessert case without a little extra look and when I peered in Casa Mia's to find Chef Joanne's House Made Mocha Rum Cheese Cake, I went straight back to my table and ordered a slice of awesomeness for myself. It's exceptionally smooth and rich with every bite with an intense and blissful chocolate touched with rum and coffee. (Which just happen to be two of my favorite drinks in a slice of my favorite cake. I know, right?) It's perfection when paired with the light and airy yet equally rich whipped cream. Every velvety and decadent bite crowns your taste buds in luxury that can't be missed for any dessert enthusiast. Which begs the question...how do you put Cloud Nine in a cake!? How do you do it, Chef Joanne!?

All in all on my visit to Casa Mia I found that I could taste the sheer pride of work that goes into every creation by these gifted Culinary Artists. As an eater who wants to bring to you the best of the best, it's truly humbling to be in the presence of such passionate and kind people, it refreshes my passion as well and it will yours when you taste the food philosophy that stands behind the Koopa.

I'm truly excited to return to Casa Mia again and again...and again.

My palate definitely found Burger Love in the Koopa and I know I found one of the most passionate Chef's ever with a future brighter than I can likely imagine. (Can I say Television Series? Are you reading this CBC?)

Oh and for all you Gamers out there; The Burger Love is NOT in another Castle, it's right here, at Casa Mia!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

PEI Burger Love: The Big Sheppy at The Old Triangle

Today my Burger Love adventure drew me into The Old Triangle, not only the reigning Champions of Porktoberfest 2013, but also the home of the incredible looking Burger Love creation, "The Big Sheppy!" Inspired by the ever popular Shepherd Pie on the Triangle's menu, this burger sees that classic dish updated, Burger Love style!

A collective effort of the creative minds at The Old Triangle, the awesome Chef Kent Wilson came out to have a chat with me about this delectable Burger. Extremely passionate about house made, locally sourced ingredients, I was instantly impressed by their dedication to not only Burger Love but excellence when it comes to everything The Triangle has to offer. Not only that, but the whole restaurant exudes a cheery warmth that can only be because the staff is not merely colleagues but more akin to family. From owners Jill and Paul to waitress Sam, I had the best time chatting about passion for everything PEI and the excitement that Burger Love has generated!

And as I saw The Big Sheppy making it's way to my table, I could tell instantly why it's been served to over 600 very happy Islanders! It smells like all of the comforting things
you could imagine and had a delightfully charming presence with it's flower-like swirl of mashed potatoes. You can't get more classic than this Burger, it's a timeless tradition of its own.

And with that first bite, I discovered the sheer smoothness of the Sheppy and even though it was chilly outside, my heart and soul was instantly warmed by this fantastic Burger! It was the kind of first bite you write home about: "Wish you were here so you could try this amazing Burger. But get your own 'cause it's way to good to share!" It's just as much a burger as it is shepherd's pie and it mirrors all of my favorite things about both dishes!

With 8oz of Island Beef, Smoked Bacon, Herbed Mashed Potatoes with Creamed Corn, Beef Gravy and Deep Fried Squash Frites on a Grilled Cornmeal Bun it's the best thing since Shepherd's Pie!

Hearty ground beef gives it the perfect Shepherd's Pie texture and spiced to perfection it lands that careful and super tasty balance that this burger sports with total flair. Pair that with the smoky crispy bacon, because, seriously people; bacon. It's best on everything and with how delicious it tastes on the Sheppy, Shepard's Pie should take a hint and include bacon! The smooth beef gravy brings out the best in both of these meats and accentuates them so that they make you "Oooo", "Ahhh" and more importantly "Mmmmm", yourself into Burger Love Bliss!

Now, let me just say that PEI Potatoes have never been so proud as they are all swirly and creamy on top of the Sheppy, nestled around a heart of Cream Corn, these herbed mashed potatoes are truly Island inspired yum! These two flavors are a huge part of what makes this a real tribute to Shepherd's Pie and they pull that off perfectly. But the Sheppy's depth doesn't end at the all embracing creaminess of the potatoes and corn! There are also crispy squash frites which are pleasantly sweet and add another aspect of texture to The Sheppy.

On a locally made MacAulay's Bakery Cornmeal Bun, this fluffy and light bun ties everything together, especially with a the light dusting of cornmeal atop it that brings out the flavors of the Burger even more!

As my side, I picked an bowl of soup that I had no idea how much I would love! I propose that we announce next month as "Soup Love", so that I have an excuse to go in an have a bowl of Chef Phillip's amazing soups everyday! Then again, with a fresh daily creation at The Triangle, every day pretty well is Soup Love! This house made Cream of Turkey and Vegetable Soup was laden generously with juicy chunks of turkey! It's irresistibly creamy base was hearty and perfect on the palate, herbed to compliment the turkey, this soup is even better than anything your mother's made! Topped with crispy squash frites and it's warm creaminess, this soup was an ideal mate to The Big Sheppy!

The true comfort food of PEI Burger Love, The Big Sheppy has my heart from the very first sniff and I fell head over heels over burger for this amazing creation! It's something that everyone can easily love and will make your heart flutter with all of it's skillfully prepared, fresh and local ingredients!

Rejoice Burger Lovers, The Big Sheppy is waiting for you at The Old Triange, now...Go get it!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

PEI Burger Love: The Prohibition at St. James' Gate

Happy Burger Love Day, Everyone! Toady, April 16th, 2014 marks our annual Burger Day that takes place each April when our whole Province celebrates the amazingness of Beef! I personally have been so inspired by the culinary creations that brilliant chefs have come up with that it's become my, as PEI Burger Love says "Beefy Muse". And oh, what a tasty muse it is! So today, of course, I couldn't miss celebrating the official day for Burger Lovers!

Which left me wondering, which Burger should I eat on these beefiest of beeftastic days? Well, as soon as I read the tantalizing ingredients in The Prohibition from St. James' Gate, my course of action became very clear! "To the Gate!" I cried. And then ran like the dickens!
Welcomed in by a sunny smile from Lydia, I knew that the Burger Love glow was radiating off of everyone. A big huzzah to Lydia for being super sweet and totally excited about Burger Love, just like me!

Now, I feel like I should give readers a little history lesson and it's not about the liquor-banned years of the real Prohibition, this is about St. James' Gate and their Burger Love creations from years past. Each one has always had every single ingredient infused with some sort of alcohol, a delicious prospect to be sure. But this year they decided to do something a little different and gave it a very apt and ironically cute name. The Prohibition, as you may have guessed by now, includes no alcohol infused ingredients.

And let me just say, that with the creative minds of Chefs Mikolai Lykow and Corey Johnson, this criminally good burger is just bursting at the seams with deliciousness! And even though there's no alcohol in The Prohibition, I'm punch drunk in love!

It's no wonder, with 7oz of Seasoned Island Beef, Mild Italian Sausage Slices, Charnwood English Smoked Cheddar, Sweet Onion and Goat Cheese Relish, a haystack of Crisp Red Beet Strings, Roasted Red Peppers, Tomato Chutney and Romaine Lettuce on a House Made Corn Bread Bun garnished with a toasted Pita Chip Heart with Red Pepper Jam.

A truly beautiful Burger Love creation and it's got presence galore! Picture perfect with all of it's colorful ingredients and intoxicatingly alluring with the harmony of flavors that conjure up a lovely scent so good it should be illegal!

Of course one of the things that make this Burger the perfect tribute to PEI Burger Love Day is that absolutely adorable heart shaped pita chip topper with red pepper jam. It was almost too cute to eat. Almost. Honestly, when something smells that good I'm not going to restrain myself. So I dove right in and took a bite of the warm and crispy pita that kissed me with it's sweet and spicy roasted red pepper jam.

From my very first bite, The Prohibition lays down the laws of delectability! It's southwest flavors meets Prince Edward Island all with an appeal that leads from one bite to another and to, well, another! It's warmth embraces you in a flawless combination of sweet, spicy and savory.

The moist and juicy melt in your mouth beef is another reason this Burger is perfect for PEI BL's Offical Day! It's fine ground and perfectly tender with each bite and becomes the amazing flavors around it. Pair that with the Mild Italian Sausage slices, it gives a unique edge of yum to the two meats, which leads me to say. "I love sausage on burgers!" I mean I'm a sausage lover but to be honest it was even better than I could have imagined.

Next comes the smoky Charnwood English Cheddar in all of it's thoroughly pleasing meltyness. Yes, that was a long sentence of emotionally driven love, but hey, the cheese was just that good! It's a delicious presence on the Prohibition and adds to it's blend of epic flavors. Paired with the crunch and sweet beets, the two accentuate each other's uniqueness. The caramelized and creamy goat cheese sweet onion jam is another lay of heaven on this burger stacked high with pleasure.

All of these way too good ingredients are tucked between an incredible corn bread bun that's sweet and crispy; the perfect compliment to The Prohibition! An unexpected twist, it gives the burger even more pizzazz! Those heavenly crunchy edges, ideal texture and unmatchable flavor cinched this as some of the best corn bread I've ever had!

On the side I got St. James' Gate's House Cut Fries with Cajun Garlic Butter on them. I mean, I know butter is good on everything but it's definitely best with fries! The spiced butter not only takes their flavor to a new level but also gives them this awesome crunch. These thick cut, hearty fries are perfect along side The Prohibition!

During the true Prohibition women used to campaign with this statement: "Lips That Touch Liquor Shall Never Touch Ours." Well, this woman has something quite different to say! Lips that touch this burger can certainly touch time! Bring it on, St. James Gate, because I'm in love with what you're dishing out!

They used to say "Lips that Touch Liquor Will Never Touch Ours". Well lips that touch this burger can certainly touch mine! Bring it on St. James' Gate, because I'm in love with what you're dishing out!

And a big shout out to Troy at the Gate! I had a great time chatting about local food and hearing your perspective on our incredible Island and all the potential we have as a foodie's playground! You're an all around awesome guy!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

PEI Burger Love: The Eastie Boy at Terre Rouge Bistro Marche

There is a Burger in Downtown Charlottetown that I am irrevocably in love with, it is perfection embodied and truly takes on the deliciously beefy spirit that is what Burger Love represents. Created by the Owner of Terre Rouge, Chef John Pritchard, the Eastie Boy has got me wrapped around it's beefy little finger.

Walking into Terre Rouge, the hip atmosphere and friendly faces were a precursor to this amazing Burger Love visit. Everyone is so inspired by local food and the concept of eating everything and pure and local as possible, especially Courtney who recommended the stellar side that I had with my Burger. But even just reading the awesome looking chalk sign board menu was making me hungry, not to mention the wafting scents of local fare that filled the restaurant. I was on my way to Heaven just one foot in the door!

And as the incredible Eastie Boy made it's way over to me with it's creator, I caught of whiff of the Burger and immediately swooned! If that's what Heaven smells like, take me here, take me now! ...Then again, Heaven couldn't possibly smell this could, could it? Surely only Terre Rouge could conjure up such an alluring burger!

I'll be honest with you, I know Chef John Pritchard's cuisine. I've had his inspiring dishes and have learnt that you can only expect above and beyond the best. So I went into Terre Rouge with the highest expectations I could. And with that first bite...I was completely blown out of the water! It was refreshing in both it's flavor and John's innovative perspective on Burger Love. He treats this burger like royalty and the result is a creation that's the combination of every amazing word in the dictionary!

Check that out! The Eastie Boy is so beautiful he's admiring himself. (And rightfully so, I'd have a mirror plastered to my face if I looked as good as that Burger.)

With 8oz of succulent House Ground Brisket and House Smoked Ground Bacon, a Farmhouse Gouda Fritter, Sweet Bacon Jam, Crisp Leeks, Pickled Mustard Seeds, Green Leaf Lettuce all on an outstanding house made Kaiser toasted in Beef Fat and garnished with a Balsamic Onion Pearl.

Yeah, this is totally the Adonis of Burgers.

The very epitome of moist and tender beef, the Eastie Boy takes the meaning of luscious to a new level with all of it's refined qualities. It's steak like qualities and terrific seasoning makes it taste entirely immaculate. I cannot really explain to you with words how much this beef wowed me. In this month dedicated to Island Beef, Chef John was completely true to the concept of Burger Love by displaying Island Beef in, what I feel is it's truly highest form of deliciousness.

The sweet bacon jam made with Terre Rouge's own house smoked bacon is like nothing I've ever tastes before. Sweet and smoky, it was the freshest bacon I've ever had, which is easy to imagine since it comes from directly inside the same building as the restaurant. Terre Rouge's respect for the best of the best when it comes to food is definitely awe inspiring and should be emulated by as many local Chefs and even us at home. We've got a bounty on the Island and Chef John really highlights that with everything served at his restaurant.

The Farmhouse Gouda Fritter is by far my new favorite way to each cheese! So crunchy it's flavors paired perfectly with the beef and especially with the crispy leeks! This perfectly cheesy fritter should be a side all on it's own, it's got a commanding presence and me, being the cheesivore that I am, just melted at the very first taste. With the pickled mustard seed, the whole thing landed this perfect poise of tastes.

On an almost sinfully delicious bun, toasted in beef fat to once again unify the theme of how incredible Island beef can be, this Burger needs to be tied up with a bow. Why? Because it's a gift to all Islanders! Anything this incredible has to be a gift, just like the talent that stands behind each and every burger that comes from Terre Rouge.

Topped with a sweet and savory balsamic onion pearl, this Burger is the complete Burger Love package, ready to be loved by the masses. On the side was a touch of house made chow (Mustard Pickles for all those From Awayers). A classic accompaniment to any meal on PEI, this version brought that Island staple into 2014 with bold flavors and modern flair.

My side was Smoked Potatoes with house made Crème Fraiche. And let me just say this to start with. These are what every single potato wants to be when it grows up! Smoky, warm and smooth the crème fraiche creates perfectly harmonious flavors with it's creamy coolness. Lightly seasoned to perfection with a touch of chives, these potatoes have a delicate crunch to their edges with a silky inside. Honestly, this is what I want to be when I grow up. Seriously.

I think that my whole review speaks for itself (or for me, anyways), but in case the previous 846 words didn't quite make my point...Go to Terre Rouge! Yes, that's all. Go and eat the best burger of your life, it will blow your mind and leave you begging for more of Chef John Pritchard's incredible creations.

Yeah, sorry,  I couldn't help tempting you just one last time.

Monday, 14 April 2014

PEI Burger Love: Bludacris at the Daniel Brennan Brickhouse

The Bludacris has flavors, that as the cool kids say are 'off the hook'. Literally meaning to the rest of us squares that it's outstanding! Created by Chef Andrew Cotton, the Bludacris is the best of savory and sweet all between one incredibly impressive bun! It's no wonder that they've already sold over 929 burgers! That's over nine-hundred really happy people who've have their senses awakened to the amazingness that blue cheese can truly be!

Like the perfect pick up line, this burger is smooth! It's got a collage of flavors that bring something truly unique to the table (quite literally). And since I got to sit at the bar and watch my Burger Love being prepared before my eyes for the very first time not only the flavors were truly one-of-a-kind. The whole experience was!

The Bludacris features 6oz of hand formed Island Beef, Jeff McCourt's Blue Cheese Gouda, Blue Cheese and Maple Aioli, Bacon Jam, Caramelized Onion and Arugula on a Baked Potato Bun with Potato, Cheddar, Chives and Bacon made by Breadworks PEI!

Doesn't that make you want to just run out and get one for yourself? Well, that's a perfectly normal urge, because just reading it makes me one too...and I just had the Bludacris!

My mouth was watering the whole time I watched Chef Andrew and Line Cook Jason Lane prepare this beautiful burger and with the smells wafting up from the grill, I could have just leant over the bar and stole a taste. It took all of my willpower and a little bit of lady like decorum to prevent such a scandalous and potentially hilarious event. In the end, this burger was more than worth the wait!

With that very first bite I realize that flavor truly does become this burger, everything is in one great harmony, each ingredient became one complete and totally harmonious experience for my taste buds. That's part of what makes this burger stand out in a month of beefy revelry!

Juicy and rustic beef is the perfect base for this lyrically designed burger, Chef Andrew clearly takes our proud Island Beef very seriously and it comes through in all of the Bludacris Burger's fresh and powerful flavors! With the Bacon jam, these two meats are warm and smoky and like I've said, truly become one single, overwhelmingly delicious flavor. In and of itself, the bacon jam is rich, with hearty cuts of flavorful bacon.

And then comes Jeff McCourt's Blue Gouda! I've had Jeff's delicious Goudas before both on culinary creations and on their own. His cheese is absolutely amazing, easily my favorite and always taking on a unique edge of flavor. He's kind of a pioneer in artisan cheese, in my opinion. His Blue Gouda was part of the inspiration for the Bludacris and I'm so happy it was! These cheese is cool and unmistakably savory with it's refined flavors. It's been paired with the perfect mates of taste and the maple aioli takes it to a whole new level of yum. These cheese is definitely a crowd pleaser and something that everyone can enjoy. So go out and get the Bludacris and then go get some of Jeff's Cheese! Because your better judgement in flavor is telling you so!

The Blue Cheese and Maple Aioli mingle playfully with each other and makes you fall in love with it from the first bite. Charming you with it's creamy coolness and the warmth of the caramelized onions and soft spice of the arugula; it's magnificent!

And I just can't over the delicious baked potato bun! I could have easily left with a whole tray full of these super buns! They're beyond flavor packed and loaded with all of the things that make baked potatoes a classic side. (It's also a really cool tribute to our PEI Potatoes.) This rustic bun is so hearty, it completely supports and joins in on this burger's eloquent flavors. Props to Breadworks PEI for their mad bread making skills!

As my side I had a salad that's amazing and a whole lot more! Tossed greens in a cranberry vinaigrette with goat cheese, beets and...wait for it...pumpkin seed brittle! Yes, there is a crunchy, sweet and delicious brittle on this salad that makes it so yummy I could have one every day at every meal! There's a great balance of sweet, salty and savory with creaminess and crunch. A bit of everything for the discerning palate and for those people who just really want to enjoy a salad.

The Bludacris is a mighty terrific burger that left me singing it's praises as I left the Brickhouse! Join in on this song of beefy glory by going out and trying the Bludacris for yourself, you'll be happy you did! I know I've still got a smile on my face!

P.S. Big shout to the Line Cook Jason Lane for being so friendly and taking the time to chat away and just be the awesome guy that seems to come so naturally to him. Kudos!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

PEI Burger Love: The Knockout at Quality Inn on the Hill

If you want a Burger to give thanks for this PEI Burger Love, then look no further than the Knockout at the Quality Inn on the Hill. This creation by Chef Mary Dunn makes each bite another reason to give thanks...after all, it's the best of every Thanksgiving stacked into one overwhelming impressive Burger!

Like a memory that you save to recall around the Holiday table with your family, this burger will fill you with warm fuzzies and you'll be wanting to tell everyone about it. You can taste home with every single bite and that's truly a reflection of Chef Mary's dedication to pure and honest home cooking that soothes the soul. It invites everyone into it's warmth and deliciousness, even Gluten-Free Burger Lovers. With a house made gluten free rustic Kaiser and savory stuffing, Chef Mary's got you covered! Burger Love...For Everyone!

All I know is from day one, I couldn't wait to try out the Knockout and today was my date of destiny with this fantastic Burger! Brought out my Chef Mary, I knew my heart was already conquered by this very handsome, incredibly savory smelling Burger!

With the very first bite all of my senses were awakened! It really is a total Knockout, every flavor grabs your heart's attention and you know that you've gone head over heels in an instance. Warm and savory, fresh and crunchy, sweet and smoky all with an edge of creaminess that proves this creation's worth all the love you've got to give. And I was certainly giving it a lot of love with all that "This is sooooo yummy", I kept saying.

There can't be enough said about this burger's presence in both looks and taste. There are so many aspects, each one equally impressive one it's own and beyond tasty when combined with one another.

Starting with 6oz of Seasoned PEI Beef and adding Larkin Brother's Smoked Turkey, Double Smoked Bacon, Homemade Savory Stuffing, ADL Mozzarella Cheese, Red Onion, Boston Leaf Lettuce, Cranberry Mayo, House Made Gravy all on a Rustic Kaiser Roll toasted with Garlic Butter!

Just imagine all those flavors at once...Tastes good in your imagination, doesn't it? Well your mind can't even do it justice. You've got to go to the Inn on the Hill and experience it!

The way the Island Beef tasted alongside the turkey, it should be inducted into the Thanksgiving Hall of Fame! It was juicy and lightly seasoned to accent all the naturally awesome notes that come along with our favorite meat of the month! The ultimately fresh turkey, delivered fresh daily from the Larkin brothers was so full of flavor and tender that it sent my heart a-flutter. Along with the crispy, smoky bacon these three meats are a trio of yum and as fresh as you can get, just like everything on the Knockout!.

Creamy and smooth ADL Mozzarella adds to the purely local taste of this burger, you can be sure that you're tasting the bounty of the Island.

And the stuffing! Oh the STUFFING! It fills you with the warmth of home and transports your taste buds to that favorite memory of Thanksgiving in your childhood. It certainly brought a huge smile to my face, perfectly seasoned, soft and buttery. Just perfection. Perfect with the house made gravy, this savory stuffing is extraordinary.

Crisp red onion gives crunch a nice little crunch along with the Boston leaf lettuce, the veggies all crunchy and delicious! And sweet, sweet cranberry mayo! How I love thee and thy warmth and subtle sweetness, how there's cranberries throughout your perfection. I want to smother everything with your creamy goodness and tell the world of how taste fulfilling your beauty is. Chef Mary's Cranberry Mayo needs to be our Provincial condiment!

All on a warm toasty rustic Kaiser with garlic butter, this bun compliments the burger's flavors. Soft with a light crunch and the deep rich butter that I absolutely adore. It's no wonder the Knockout can rule my heart so easily.

As my side I got the Inn's Spicy Fries, just likely spiced so that they're prefect for everyone and I asked for a dish of Chef Mary's delicious house made gravy, because honestly, I can't get enough of the stuff! It's SO good! Together they were lovely and the spices and gravy tied them in with the Knockout ideally.

And on top of everything off, Chef Mary's cheesecake was so tempting that I just couldn't resist a piece! It was calling to me in ways I've never heard dessert call to me before. It was as light as a cloud, rich, creamy and smooth like pure silk. The fresh and sweet strawberry on top was purely refreshing and this dessert created a sweet ending to this perfect love story!

I like to think of myself as something of a Thanksgiving Dinner aficionado and so it's with that self endowed title that I proclaim this is one of the best interpretations of a turkey dinner I've ever tasted! It's generous and filling while having a huge appeal in flavor! You can taste the local in this Burger Love creation and it's definitely got something for everyone to love. You couldn't ask for a better interpretation of a Turkey Dinner. The knockout is a true modern classic, firmly rooted in timeless traditions and ready to take on the future!

P.S. Thanks you Melissa and Sarada for being a totally awesome waitresses, you two rock!