That is a tasty burger!

This week has been marred by deep frustration for downtown residents. The noise assault from the convoy protest by the Legislature has been nonstop. Even I, safely on the other side of the river, heard the obnoxious blaring of horns from this childish parade of right-wing whiners as I took a walk to the pharmacy on Wednesday.

In other words, we all need a little pick-me-up. Allow me to make a suggestion: burgers.

I know, I know. If you live on Broadway and can’t walk to your bus stop without being harassed by anti-vaxxers, a cheeseburger isn’t going to solve that problem. But we all need to find joy in the little things wherever we can, especially these days. And dagnabbit, there’s fewer things more joyful than a tasty burger.

In this week’s cover feature, city reporter Callum Goulet-Kilgour delves into the history and culture of burgers in Winnipeg. It’s a scrumptious bit of writing that certainly made me hungry while editing it.

It’s a topic close to my heart. When I first became a vegetarian 18 years ago, the meatless options at local restaurants were much fewer and farther between than they are now. Typically, when out for dinner with friends, my options were “french fries” or “nothing, don’t eat and just let my stomach grumble loudly until I get home.”

That’s why I’ve always had a soft spot for the places that offered veggie burgers. Junior’s, the King’s Head, Pangea’s Kitchen at the U of W, even fast food chains like Harvey’s, A&W and Burger King were my ace-in-the-hole.

The landscape has improved significantly over the last few years. The proliferation of Beyond Meat, Impossible Burgers and other less-processed, more-homespun veggie patties means I can now get a decent veggie burger at virtually every local burger spot. But I still cherish a little extra love for the places that have had my back (and my stomach) for nearly two decades.

Published in Volume 76, Number 17 of The Uniter (February 10, 2022)

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