Food trucks have really livened up events like the Canadian International Auto Show, which is currently going on at the Convention Centre. Suddenly, the food options are a bit more interesting than a warmed over slice of pizza or a sad hot dog.
There are a couple of trucks at the show this year, both with a burger on the menu (the other one is Hank Daddy’s Barbecue). I went with Food Dudes, which was probably a mistake.
The Truck Burger sounds appealing enough; their menu describes it as “chopped steak, aged cheddar, chili pickled onions, arugula, bacon mayo, pomme frites, brioche.”
It might have been a pretty good burger, if it weren’t for whatever the hell is going on with the patty, which has an odd, downright alien texture. It was chewy, dense, and bizarre, like the ground beef had melted and congealed, trying its best to reassemble itself back into one solid mass. Maybe I’m overly picky (okay, definitely), but in this case I have photographic proof. I mean, look at the picture of this burger’s cross-section. I’ve seen the insides of many, many hamburgers over the last few years, and I’ve never seen anything quite like it.
I’d say the burger is meatloafy (there’s definitely all kinds of flavouring mixed in), but I’ve never had meatloaf with this texture; it was somewhere between a sausage and Spam. It was kind of insane how weird it was.
The menu calls the patty “chopped steak,” and maybe this is the culprit? Chopping rather than grinding beef is ostensibly meant to give the burger a more coarse, steaky texture — but they seem to achieved the absolute opposite effect here. Maybe instead of putting the beef through a grinder, they instead threw it into a food processor and ran it until the meat became a fine paste? Or they chopped it by hand, and chopped it and chopped it and chopped it, until they wound up with the aforementioned paste? I really don’t know how else to account for that texture.
It actually tasted okay, though between the assertive bacon mayo, the sharp cheddar, all the spices mixed into the beef, and the insane texture, I honestly don’t think I would have guessed this was a hamburger if I had eaten it blindfolded. I don’t even know if I would have pegged the meat as beef, given how thoroughly disguised it was by the other flavours and that oddball spongy/chewy/gummy texture.
The patty was otherwise kinda juicy and not overcooked, so it’s a real shame that they did whatever it is that they did to it. The toppings were pretty good too, if a bit overwhelming; I particularly liked the crispy potato strings, which added a nice crunch without being too assertive. I also quite liked the fresh brioche bun.
But that patty. That patty…