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Third annual Burger Week off to strong start

The third annual Yellowknife Burger Week is off to to the races as restaurants look to provide the best delicacies.
Burger Week founder Sonia Idir holds the Woodyard’s Isolation Burger in January 2021. Idir is bringing Burger Week back this year for the third edition with 11 participating restaurants helping to raise money for Food Rescue Yellowknife. NNSL file photo

The third annual Yellowknife Burger Week is off to to the races as restaurants look to provide the best delicacies.

Proceeds from sales will go to this year’s food-related charity, Food Rescue Yellowknife.

Last year, the event sold 3,427 hamburgers and raised $7,847 for the Food First Foundation between Jan. 27 and Feb. 6. In its inaugural year, $3,427 was raised for the Yellowknife Food Bank with 1,734 burgers sold over a week.

Sonia Idir spearheaded Burger Week based on her experience living in Halifax between 2015 and 2017. Idir’s friends and roommates enjoyed a Burger Week festival in the Nova Scotia capital every March.

“The main goal in organizing burger week is to help a different non-profit every year by raising funds for them,” Idir said. “Burger Week also benefits restaurants and offers a fun event for residents with lots of great prizes to win.”

Initially, Idir wasn’t planning to go ahead with an event this year due to Covid-19 restrictions but went ahead anyway, just later than past years.

With 11 restaurants participating — compared to 10 in 2020 and eight in 2021 — she’s hoping for an even bigger success this time. Contest sales end on April 2.

Mel Leonard, marketing and communications manager with NWT Brewing Company, said his restaurant — the Woodyard Brewhouse and Eatery — sold 70 of its K-Town Belly Buster Burgers on opening day. The sandwich, devised by chef Brian Hubbard, has a ground chuck patty, soy ginger pork belly, quick pickled veg, gochugaru mayo, spicy kimchi, crispy wontons and scallions.

The restaurant is also offering a vegetarian sandwich — the Mediterranean Burger.

“We’ve participated for several years and we’re always happy to do so,” Leonard said. “It’s great for business. It’s great for the charity involved. Post-Covid, it’s even more important to get more butts in seats eating burgers.”

Jean Paquette, food and beverage manager with the Explorer Hotel, said his restaurant is off to a strong start with 40 Wild Hunt Burgers sold after the first day. A creation of chef Gregor Zundel, the sandwich includes a six-ounce house-made elk burger with local crowberry chutney, wild boar bacon, Monterey Jack cheese, lettuce and tomato on a pretzel bun.

“I think it’s a very good idea that Sonia created and the charity aspect is very interesting,” Paquette said. “Everybody in town seems excited and there are lots more people this year involved than the first time, so that’s good.”

Lesley Allen, president of Food Rescue Yellowknife, said she was appreciative of Idir approaching her to provide assistance.

“It was a fun idea that Sonia brought to us because she is the one that organizes the burger week,” Allen said. “It’s a big surprise for us but we were really pleased that she thought of us because she has worked with other groups relating to food.”

Allen said her organization could use the money to support operational costs like fuel and electricity, as well as to pay two part-time staff.

“Any funding helps that we get from individuals and from sponsors,” she said.

She expects to know how much was raised by early April.

Participating restaurants

NOVA INN — Cai’s Spicy Beef Shank Burger $12 ($2 donation): tenderly cooked beef shank, caramelized onions and secret spicy barbecue sauce. Served on a kaiser bun. Dine-in and takeout. Not available Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nova Inn Hotel, 4401 50 Ave.

TRADER’S GRILL AND TRAPLINE LOUNGE — the Wild Hunt Burger $23 ($3 donation): house-made 6-oz. elk burger with local crowberry chutney, wild boar bacon, Monterey Jack cheese, lettuce and tomato. Served on a pretzel bun. Dine-in and takeout. Available from 4 p.m. only. Explorer Hotel, 49 Avenue

COPPERHOUSE EATERY & LOUNGE — the Ya Salam Burger $16 ($2 donation): cinnamon, sweet paprika, coriander, with a beef patty, caramelized onions, provolone cheese, lettuce and mayo between a brioche bun. Dine-in, takeout and delivery. Dine-in available from 4 p.m. only. 484 Range Lake Rd

THE BLACK KNIGHT PUB — Ja-Makin-Me-Crazy Burger $15 ($1 donation): spicy jerk chicken with mango chutney, lettuce and grilled pineapple. Served on a brioche bun. Dine-in and takeout. 4910 49 St.

SUNDOG TRADING POST — Strawberry Lemon Ice Cream Burger $7 ($1 donation): house-made burger bun, Madagascar bourbon vanilla bean ice cream, roasted strawberry jam and lemon curd. Dine-in and takeout. 4 Lessard Dr.

THE MONKEY TREE PUB — Get Stuffed Gouda $15 ($2 donation): gouda, garlic chimichurri, aioli, lettuce, tomato, pickles, crispy cajun onions and jalapeño jam. Served on a black sesame seeds bun. Dine-in only. 483 Range Lake Rd.

WOODYARD BREWHOUSE AND EATERY — K-Town Burger $22 ($2 donation): 6-oz. ground chuck patty, soy and ginger marinated pork belly, quick-pickled vegetables, spicy kimchi, crispy wontons, gochugaru aioli, fresh scallions. Served on sesame bun. Dine-in and takeout. 3905 50 Ave.

ELKE’S TABLE ON 47TH — Schnitzel Burger $15 ($1 donation): breaded pork cutlet with melted cheddar cheese, lettuce, onions and tartar sauce served on a toasted bun. Dine-in and takeout. 4911, 47 St.

STAKE RESTAURANT — The AAA Shorty Burger $16 ($2 donation): hand-ground AAA ribeye patty, topped with braised pulled short rib, aged cheddar, maple pickled onions, lettuce, house-made dill pickles and stake ‘mac’ sauce. Served on a pretzel bun. Dine-in only. 483 Range Lake Rd.

BULLOCKS BISTRO — North Shore Burger $19 ($2 donation): a colourful fresh slaw, served on a pretzel bun and buttered with delicious tartar sauce. Dine-in only. Available from noon to 4 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday. 3534 Weaver Dr.

COYOTE’S BISTRO — Coyote’s Ultimate Burger $15 ($3 donation): 8-oz. prime rib burger, bacon, mushrooms, cheddar, honey ham, fried egg, cajun aioli, lettuce, tomato, pickles and onions. Served on a brioche bun. Dine-in, takeout and delivery. 4511 50 Ave.