Special Burger Week Bonus Post—The Ardmore Tea Room
It takes a village to run a blog. Or rather an amazing group of people who are not only game to go out for brunch, but who are brave enough to write about it.
Seeing as how it is burger week, and I am but one person, our extra special guest correspondent Shelby took one for the collective brunching team this weekend and provided us with a review of her trip to the Ardmore Tea Room.
Take it away, Shelby!
Burger Week you say? I must admit I was intrigued by the concept. I moved here just a year ago and sadly was informed of this event a week too late. I had missed it. So here I am a year later, napkin tucked into my shirt and fork and knife in hand. Although, a true burger would never require a fork a knife, this is but one of my judging criteria.
I’m a huge fan of the Ardmore Tea Room, a well-established diner that’s been keeping people full and happy since 1958. Prices are reasonable and portions are big, which I’m sure contributes to the predictable line up every weekend. My favourite dish is the breakfast burger, a not too thick hamburger patty topped with crispy bacon, tomato, lettuce, sweet pickles, sautéed onions and of course a glistening over-easy fried egg. To up the ante just a bit, I add cheese and some mayo—the drippier the better.
Now that you know of my ongoing love affair with the breakfast burger at the Ardmore, it’s not hard to see why I would choose this lovely establishment for my first Burger Week experience. I showed up at noon on Saturday, which of course is prime time for any good diner. Lots of people nursing hangovers and just as many catching up with family over a cup of delicious mellow gold coffee. Surprisingly, although the place is full, there is no line up. Score for me. I have no idea what I’m getting myself into here. I have no details on what they are offering, so it feels kind of like a blind date. I’m just going to jump in and make the best of it.
There were a couple of ladies standing behind me also waiting to be seated. You can tell they have been friends for a very long time, maybe since they were children. A booth opens up and I told them to go ahead. I’m just one person, and with how busy it was, I felt bad about taking up a larger seat. They invited me to join them, which I was not expecting. I was touched by their genuine offer, but just as quickly as I was ready to hi-jack their brunch, another booth opened up so I said my good byes and made myself comfortable in a nice corner spot. Karma does exist! After I got settled I finally saw was I was up against on their table tent, the pancake burger.
Yes, you heard right, the pancake burger. Two sausage patties, a fried egg, cheese, an obligatory tomato slice, and mayo—all stacked between two golden pancakes. So, I ordered it, along with a heaping side of hash browns, if I was gonna to go this, I was gonna do this right. I placed my order and waited patiently. It took no time at all for the masterpiece to arrive at my table, which was great. I was so hungry I could eat my own arm.
I went in for my first bite. Remember my judging criteria? I didn’t need the fork and knife, the pancakes actually held up. Immediate props. The sausage was just a little spicy, and the cheese was melted just enough so that it didn’t slide out of the sandwich. Although it was delicious, the most important aspect of a good burger was forgotten. There was no actual hamburger to be found in this sandwich, so to me, that earns an automatic disqualification.
I looked around the restaurant to see if anyone else had noticed this complete lack of detail, but no one seemed to be bothered. They were happily dipping their pancake burgers in maple syrup, and I think to myself how very Canadian of them—how very east coast. That’s what it’s all about. It’s not the perfect combination of condiments, or the criteria I made up randomly that make the burger, but the experience. One that included a group of people who were willing to share their table with a complete stranger. Camaraderie that only a sandwich could inspire. I knew what I had to do next. “Excuse me, could you pass the maple syrup”?