Current quest: finding the best burger in the city. It's a burger fight to the death. Eight burgers enter, one burger leaves.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Cage Match #4: Black Cat vs. Taylor's Wine Bar

...wherein your humble blogger tries to answer the age-old question, "Is a burger ever worth $20?"  And *spoiler alert* the answer is a resounding yes.

Full confession:  the Black Cat (428 Preston) is one of my favorite restaurants in Ottawa, and I am a bit of a restaurant tramp.  I love the ambience - elegant without being pretentious or stuffy; I love the food - sometimes, when I have a moment, I'll daydream about their truffled chicken breast; I love that the executive chef is a young woman in an industry that is still very much dominated by men (Ottawa Magazine had a very interesting article on this topic here).

Every Tuesday the Black Cat features a different burger; Richard's burger (the owner) is also available Tuesday to Thursday.  The Tuesday we were there, the special burger was the Backyard BBQ burger which was topped with caramelized onions and a home made barbeque sauce on a house made onion brioche bun.  Richard's burger is topped with smoked bacon, sharp cheddar, pickles and "secret sauce".  The accompanying frites were infused with sage and served with a truffled mayo.  We ordered one of each.

Hello, Lover.

They were....awesome.  So juicy and saucy and flavourful; Jon and I immediately started swooning and waxing poetic.

Jon:  It's so good I want to cry.
Me:  This burger has made me happier than I've ever made anyone else happy.
Jon:  This burger makes me sad because it's better than me.
Me:  Go accomplish something so you can be worthy of this burger.
Jon:  I will never be worthy of this burger.  This burger is so good I'm sad it'll leave me tomorrow morning.
Me:  ....
Jon:  Too far?
Me:  Yes.

It was messy, we really violated their white starched linen napkins:

The frites were amazing as well, perfectly crisp on the outside with their infusion of sage, and as good as any I've had in Belgium.

Final score:

Jon: 10/10
Me: 10/10

Next up was the Genuine Burger at Taylor's Genuine Food and Wine Bar (1091 Bank St.) the sister restaurant to the Domus Cafe.  Their burger is available on the lunch menu; it's $16 and topped with Blackburn cheddar, pickles and lettuce on a Rideau Bakery bun, served with mixed greens and roasted potatoes.  It came accompanied by a sweet tomato chutney and garlic mayo.

It was a thick, juicy burger, the patty was pinkish in the middle; I really liked the sweetness of the tomato chutney in contrasty with the saltiness of the meat, which was seasoned.  As a whole, though, it didn't cause us to become slobbering sycophants.

Me:  It's good, but it doesn't make my heart sing.  More of a low level hum.  Or maybe a bit of scatting?
Jon:  Your heart wouldn't scat.
Me:  It's not funky enough?
Jon:  No.

The roasted potato spears were so-so, the salad was good but it's hard to swoon over mixed greens.

Final score:

Jon: 9/10
Me: 9/10

Black Cat Bistro on Urbanspoon Taylor's Genuine Food & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

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