Tuesday, 4 September 2012

A Very Tasty Unburger for Me, for Me!

If you watched Disney's "Alice in Wonderland", you would recall how the Mad Hatter and his party wer boisterously celebrating their unbirthdays.  So if you saw a place called Unburger, what would be your first thought about it?  A bit of a mad-house?  An all-vegetarian counterpoint to the existing burger joints in town?  Something else out in left field... or Wonderland?

For me, I suspected it was a burger joint that was elevating the status of the burger for the yuppie crowd.  I wasn't far off in that it was a burger joint befitting its location in Osborne Village in terms of its menu and atmosphere, but I wasn't prepared for this seeming oxymoron: healthy burgers.  Unburger's big selling point was that it sourced as much of its ingredients as possible locally.  All the meat (your choice of beef, bison and chicken) were from local producers and never frozen, and notable local businesses on which this place relies included Stella's Bakery and Bothwell Cheese, reputable for quality food products.  Another unique feature I found about Unburger once I was inside was that it was, compared to other burger joints I've visited to date, environmentally conscious.  Paper napkins and food scraps were compostable (there was a separate bin for customers to dispose them beside the recycling and trash bins), all drinks sold were in recyclable bottles or in reusable mugs/glasses, and there was little left in terms of actual trash for the consumer to add to the landfill.
Unburger's "The Donald" burger with a side of yam fries.
The Donald: Black currant Shiraz reduction, truffle aioli, egg, sauteed mushrooms, balsamic onions, Bothwell cheddar, tomato and lettuce.
I decided to indulge myself and try The Donald.  Though it was the priciest burger offered, it was still reasonable considering the luxury treatment in the making of this burger.  I appreciated how some of the lighter and mildly sweeter flavours countered the beef patty, yet, in spite of the beef, cheddar and fried egg, the burger did not taste greasy, nor did the burger feel heavy in the belly.  It had been a while since I had burgers with patties that were juicy rather than dry or greasy, but Unburger was successful in reaching that mark.
Unburger's "Sweet, Sweet, Yam Fries".
I was thankful I ordered some yam fries as well.  These fries put all other sweet potato/yam fries I've had elsewhere to date to absolute shame.  Where most places cut the fries almost shoestring style, Unburger's yam fries were cut thick, and I mean finger thick.  Each fry had a burst of soft sweetness hidden beneath the lightly crispy exterior.  My friend and I couldn't seem to get enough of them.
Unburger's "Deliciousmosttastious Baconcheddar": Double-smoked bacon, Bothwell cheddar, lettuce, tomato and herb mayo.
A friend of mine from Brandon joined me for a daytrip to Winnipeg as well, and he opted for the "Deliciousmosttastious Baconcheddar" burger.  He also enjoyed his burger and found that, in spite of it being slightly pricier than at the big burger franchises, it was reasonably priced and money well spent for lunch.

Unburger is definitely a bright and refreshing light in Winnipeg's world of fast food burgers.  It is further proof that fast food can be classier while staying reasonably priced, and that fast food operations can be more conscious about health, the environment, and relying on local producers and sources.

Name: Unburger
Address: 472 Stadbrook Ave., Winnipeg, MB
Cuisine: Fast Food, Burgers
Price Range: $10-$25
Accessible: Yes

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