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Go Wild at Wild Burger

The Indian Lentil Burger is refreshingly free of soy and tastes like a good, Indian curry on a bun

Monday night was my first media dinner in weeks and I will be honest, the last thing I wanted to do was drag my tired, jet lagged body out of the house and into the wet, snowy, cold night to hop on the bus and make my way to Eglinton and Mount Pleasant to Wild Burger. All I really wanted to do was eat a bag of chips while lying on the couch, surrounded by fluffy pillows and blankets and watch tv but I arose, I got bundled up and I left the house. Because I am nuts, I realized, too late, that it is winter here, it was snowing and I wasn't wearing socks - WELCOME BACK TO CANADA IN DECEMBER YOU IDIOT!

I will be straight here and admit that my expectations weren't high that this was going to be worth the effort because I am not much of a burger person but I had agreed to check out and I am a woman of my word.

Banerjee and Suman
Wild Burger is a labour of love for partners, renowned chef, Suman Roy and his long time friend Gautam Banerjee who brings his years of hotel management experience to the table. Roy's cookbook "From Pemmican to Poutine: A Journey Through Canada's Culinary History" won both the Gourmand World Cookbook award in Paris and the Le Cordon D'Or Culinary Academy Award in the USA. Both of these guys are ridiculously charming and Suman is so full of enthusiasm for what they are doing that I immediately felt better about being there, settled in with my glass of Chateau Des Charmes Cab Merlot instead of on my couch, . I discovered Chateau Des Charmes Aligote and couple years back and it is one of my favourite Ontario wines but this was my first time trying one of their reds and it was delicious. It also made me forget how cold my feet were.

What they are doing  is pretty interesting. Sure, they are all about getting their ingredients from local producers and working in a sustainable way (which is almost mandatory these days) but the real draw here is the way they are introducing all sorts of interesting proteins into their burgers. They are sourcing as much as possible in Canada although,clearly, the wild camel meat is coming from Qatar, Jordan or Saudi Arabia and the wild kangaroo is coming from Australia but the majority of the meat and fish is coming from Canada. Suman is mixing in spices and flavours from all over the world to create a truly multicultural experience and he is doing it via the quintessential North American hamburger.

This is the breakdown of where their meat comes from:

Beef and Lamb: Belanger Organic Farms
Eggs: Schillings in Oshawa
Duck: Ontario
Boar: Ontario or Saskatchewan
Rabbit: Ontario
Bison: Alberta
Elk: Alberta/Quebec
Venison: Quebec/Ontario
Ostrich: Okanagan Valley
Seafood: from fisherman from the east coast as much as possible

Let me just say, right up front here,  I am a fan and, like I said,  I am not usually one to go for burgers. We tried a little bit from an array of offerings and by the end of the night I was a bit tipsy (who drinks all that red wine on an empty stomach and running on fumes due to lack of sleep? Honestly, Carole) and suffering from burger fatigue so I was having a hard time remembering each one individually by the end but everything I tasted was delicious so, no matter. There wasn't one thing that I put in my mouth that I wouldn't happily put in my mouth again.

I hope I didn't eat his cousin or anything but if I did, props to your cousin because he was delicious

We had both the Wild Burger and the Wild and Spicy (beef), The Middle Eastern Camel Burger which was very on point for me considering I was sitting ON a camel last week,  The Birch Venison Burger with a fried egg, blue cheese and other wonderful toppings and a really interesting Indian Lentil Burger which tasted like a patty made of solid Indian curry on a bun. Much more exciting than the standard tofu burger. A real standout was the Portobello and Tuna burger - tuna stuffed portobello mushroom was deep fried and then put between a bun with guacamole, roasted peppers, artichokes and brie. Speaking of the buns, they are perfect. Soft on the inside with a nice, lightly crispy crust, all shiny from egg wash and they order them specially for the restaurant.

everything is made even better with a fried egg

The Wild Supreme Poutine

Pickle & Things Poutine

The sides, which weren't even part of the original plan for the restaurant, were my favourite part of the meal. We tried Wild Poutine Supreme, a Wild Pickle and Things Poutine and Wild Wild Nachos. The poutines appear as a large heap of nicely crispy, sweet potato fries, duck fat fries, onion rings, sautéed onion, kimchi, jalapeno, curds and jalapeno Havarti with game gravy and cilantro sauce. Switch the Havarti to Blue Cheese, add some thai sweet chili sauce and top with deep fried pickles and you've got yourself the Wild Pickle & Things. Both of these dishes combine everything that should NEVER work together but it does and they are both delicious.

Wild Wild Nachos - wild boar, chiptole bison, caramelized onions,artichokes, mushrooms, jalapeno, guacamole, cilantro sauce, jalapeno havarti all piled on top of their home made kettle chips

I can't wait to go back to try the Wild Salt Cod Poutine and the Jerk Rabbit Burger...and the Moroccan Lamb burger..and the Miso Duck Burger.

If you think you have the right stuff, you can take the Wild Burger Challenge and fill out your burger dance card (18 burgers in all) and once you that happens you join the Hall of Wild and you will be included on all sorts of insider deals, events and more.

As a nice little gift from them to you by way of me, you can use this code that will let you buy any burger and receive and upgrade to a combo with a side (duck fat fries, onion rings, deep fried pickles, beans, kettle chips or salad) and a fountain drink:


Just present that code when you go and tell them I sent you.

Wild Burger Inc. on Urbanspoon

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