Sometimes I leave the kitchen. Heck, sometimes I even leave the block.
And, though I do have kids and have been dragged to the golden arches more than a few times, I do like to go for a good burger on occasion. Locals will understand that Licks has been a favourite for a long time - nice and garlicky, deliciously messy burgers. But even Licks isn't what it used to be. Possibly the lament of those who have been around long enough to see inevitable change. It still hits the spot, but lacks the enthusiasm and life it once had.
So my eye did wander. And my eye did rest upon a new burger joint, just outside of my little town. A sleek and tidy little place with the presence of mind to serve my absolute favourite french fry - New York Fries. (above)
What I knew: New York Fries are skin on, very fresh and very crispy.
What I didn't know: The company is Canadian and actually spawned said new burger joint - South St. Burger Co.
Did I want to go? Yes, yes I did.
Now some of you may know that this KitchenPuppy does not like crowds. At all. I have been known to send hubby shopping alone and most jaunts are to lightly populated areas or during the off hours.
Naturally we went for lunch at 2:30 pm in the middle of a dangerous monsoon. Okay, it is Canada - just heavy rain. Cold rain. Keeps the crowds at home.
We entered said establishment and did a mix and match order so that we could try a couple of things.
Hubs had the rings, above. Hand cut from red onions, crunchy batter and generously sized. The picture was taken after I stole the top ring. Nice.
He also had the grilled chicken on whole wheat with chipotle mayo. I love that you can see little flecks of oats in the bun. Delicious sammie.
I had a burger - with every veggie imaginable and several condiments. If your burger isn't over the top messy with stuff falling on the table and juices running down your hands.. you are doing something wrong. If you can't eat like that in front of someone - they are not the person for you.
What I loved about the toppings - there is a huge selection. Four kinds of cheese. Very fresh veggies (no white tomatoes!) And all sorts of interesting items you don't usually see in a burger joint.
I love that the company is Canadian, I also love that it strives to be a leader in ecological thinking. Many of the locations are powered by Bullfrog power and all the meat is naturally raised, hormone and antibiotic free. They do grill to order, if you wish, and - most importantly - the food tastes REAL! I am sensitive to the chemicalization of our foods. (spell check does not like that word. If it doesn't exist I say it does now)
The food was delicious, the only drawback was that my strawberry milkshake was too thin. It tasted great but had too much milk or not enough ice cream or something. Sigh. It might just have had to do with the gal that made it - as they are hand scooped and made on the spot.
Otherwise no complaints. The staff looked a little bored when we came in, but it was stormy and dreary so you couldn't really blame them. The manager came over to see how we were enjoying our meal - possibly because someone had seen hubby take a photo of his lunch! But he was very friendly and allowed us to photograph the establishment, as there were few people around.
So, new burger joint found and taste-tested. Does it replace the old favourite? I almost hate to say it.. but yes. South St. Burger Co. will now be our place. You can come too, if you like.