The downtown core of St. Catharines is full of shops and restaurants. There’s always something to try if you’re looking to grab a bite without doing any of the prep work. Until the end of May, five of these downtown restaurants will be competing for the title of “Burger Master”.
The event, brought to you by Jaywalk.ca, is unique compared to similar competitions because unlike many food challenges, this one doesn’t utilize a group of professional judges to decide the winner. In the Burger Master competition, the community is the judge, by deciding what burger they like best. If you go to any of the five participating restaurants downtown and ask about the Burger Master competition they will give you a Burger Master passport. For every burger tried, you get a stamp. Once you have collected at least four out of five stamps, you can write down the name of who you think should win and submit it to the ballot boxes located at any of the five restaurants.
This year’s competitors are The Bull BBQ Pit at 24 St. Paul Street, Fiddler’s Pour House at 149 St. Paul Street, Gord’s Place at 84 James Street, The Guilty Burger at 52 St. Paul Street and Kully’s Original Sports Bar at 223 St. Paul Street. All five competitors are prepared to produce the burger that they believe will be most loved by the people. While some have prepared a specialty burger for the competition, like Fiddler’s Pour House, others such as Gord’s Place and The Bull BBQ Pit believe their burgers are ready to win as they are.
“We have the burgers that are on our menu and that’s what you’re voting on,” Said Omar Fawzy, owner of The Bull BBQ Pit. “It’s all about bragging rights, there’s no money involved… It’s a friendly competition.”
As Fawzy pointed out, there are no cash prizes awarded to the winning restaurants, though those participating are paid to be a part of the competition. To make the prospect of trying all these burgers even juicier, they are also all offering special deals if you try one of their burgers for the competition. These deals range from “buy one, get one free” to free sides or free drinks, all of which make participating even more worthwhile.
Josh Vanham, the marketing manager at Fiddler’s Pour House, provided some insight into why they entered the competition this year.
“The guy from Jaywalk came in and talked to us a little bit. I told him we were a great fit for the competition because everybody here loves our burger, they said it’s absolutely delicious,” said Vanham. “I think this is a great way to get the word out about our food because we aren’t really well known for our food. We only started serving it in October so I thought that was a great idea. I believe this will be a great thing for all the businesses downtown and I hope they do more events like this.”
Vanham’s concluding testament seemed to be unanimous amongst the restaurants involved.
“We think it’s a great idea. Anything to encourage people to come downtown and enjoy what downtown has to offer,” said Enzo Dedivitiis, co-owner of Gord’s Place. “Jaywalk has been doing a lot of work over the past few years promoting downtown establishments, restaurants, and nightclubs over all. Pulling all the restaurants together. It was a great idea and it’s going well.”
Jaywalk.ca is an online guide to Niagara region restaurants. It supplies objective and high quality reviews of the independently owned businesses that make up the region, including the downtown core of St. Catharines. Their website consists of all the information you could want about many restaurants in the area. They aspire to be the most complete and beneficial review site in Niagara. Its overall goal is to nurture the growth of the area by offering comprehensive reviews and stimulating the local economy.
For those interested in participating in the Burger Master competition you can find more information online at mydowntown.ca/calendar/events/view/burger-master-competition or at jaywalk.ca/events where you can also find details on how you can get a chance to win gift cards. You can also learn more about the completion at any of the competing restaurants listed above. The competition is currently running until May 30. Get out there and help decide who the true Burger Master is.