Edmonton’s Own Alley Burger

When an idea is as great as Charcut’s alley burger – involving $5 versions of their upscale burger sold from their back alley door – you know it is just a matter of time before it appears in other cities as well. Edmonton has jumped on the bandwagon, with Century Hospitality Group’s Hundred embracing their back alley to purvey $5 gourmet burgers.

Friday saw the debut of #yegalleyburger, widely publicized in both the Journal and Metro. For that reason, I figured it would be best to line up early, just in case, so we joined the line-up of half a dozen people at 9pm.

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Felicia and Amanda made sure to dress for the weather

Hundred’s alley was without a dumpster, patrolling security guards, or the threat of passing cars, so it provided a bit of a different experience than standing in line outside Charcut. But perhaps the biggest disparity was the lack of devices and cameras being used. Sure, there were a few people snapping photographs and updating their statuses, but relatively few when compared with that night in Calgary.

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The line at about 9:15

Eventually, there grew to be about 30-40 people standing in line, eagerly awaiting the back door to open. A few minutes before 9:30, Chef Andrew Cowan appeared, trading $5 for a Century Hospitality Group poker chip that would guarantee the bearer a burger.

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Doesn’t it look like a shady exchange?

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Winnings!

The kitchen was on top of things, as the burgers started coming out right at 9:30. We grabbed our burgers, loosely wrapped in paper, and headed back to the warmth of the condo.

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#yegalleyburger

It was well worth the wait – the patty was well cooked, with a ton of flavour, and the duck egg was a nice touch, but what the three of us were most drawn to was the peppery hit of the arugula. I’m sure that even Mack, ever the rocket-hater, would have enjoyed it as a fresh counterpoint to the beef. On that note – Jerry posted a video of his friend devouring a burger – warning: don’t watch it while hungry!

We read later on Twitter that some people were turned away, so if you are planning on snagging one next week, make sure to get there early! It was fun, Hundred – looking forward to the next one already!

Follow @cheftonyle, @chefcowan and @chefpshoey to find out the details of the next #yegalleyburger!

11 thoughts on “Edmonton’s Own Alley Burger

  1. We were in line around 9:15 ~ we never saw the poker chips and waited in the cold for an additional 30 minutes only to find out that… we waited for nothing… It would have been nice if someone actually told the poor freezing folk in the last half of the line that there were no more chips. I don’t think I would ever go again.

  2. YW, Chef Cowan did make it all the way down the line – were you standing in the right place? We were nearish the end of the line, arriving a little before 9, and we watched him greet everyone… Perhaps you arrived after he had already made the pass through to exchange money for chips. We assumed they did the chip exchange to make sure they prepare as many burgers without making too many.

    Arriving early is the trick. As it becomes more popular, as in Calgary’s event you would need to be there as soon as they tweet the time – I suspect an hour in advance wouldn’t be unsual.

  3. Sharon, we were right behind you in line (a friend, my wife and me), the burgers were so good, we thought the arugula balanced the burger nicely, we talked to one of the chefs afterwards and he said they fried the burger in froie gras. So good. My wife has some pictures on her website and the journal photographer that was there took some awesome pictures too.

    YW – sorry for your bad luck, I thought the staff told everyone that did not have a chip that they would not be getting a burger. Dont be to disheartened it was their first go at it.

  4. YW – sorry to hear they missed you with the poker chips. As Monica and Trevor have said – don’t be disheartened; I hope you’re up for trying it again.

    Monica – I agree, I’m sure an hour wouldn’t be unusual, especially as the weather warms up.

    Trevor – cool, though I’m sorry we didn’t get to meet officially! She got some great photos. Hope to see you again at the next one!

  5. Newark, Calif. (January 19, 2011)– Chinese Restaurant News announced that Good Buddy Restaurant South located in Edmonton, AB in Canada was named the Top 100 Local Favorite winner. The announcement was made at the 7th Annual Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in North America and Australia Awards Show held at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport in San Francisco. With more than 45,000 Chinese eateries in the U.S., 9,000 in Canada and 8,000 in Australia, this event organized by Chinese Restaurant News recognizes, cultivates, and preserves the best in Chinese cuisine. Good Buddy Restaurant South’s superb showing in the Top 100 Chinese Restaurants Competition is sure to attract more patrons during the upcoming Chinese New Years.

    This year’s Top 100 Chinese Restaurant Awards Show was hosted by celebrity chef Martin Yan and radio cooking show hostess Theresa Lin, the executive food designer of the award winning movie, “Eat Drink Man Woman.” Co-hosting the Awards were Felix Chu and Mina Li, San Francisco Bay Area community leaders who have emceed hundreds of charity and community events. “Chinese Restaurant News introduced the first Top 100 Chinese Restaurants award in America in 2004. It has since become an annual tradition for members of the Chinese restaurant industry to gather together at this event,” said Kung Yu, Publisher of Chinese Restaurant News. Over the years, Top 100 has made great strides in helping to raise standards around the industry so that restaurants can better help spread Chinese culinary culture one plate at a time. This is also the first year to include restaurants from Canada and Australia. Good Buddy Restaurant South is an extraordinary example of one restaurant that has been quite successful at providing a great dining experience to those curious about Chinese culture in Canada.
    .

    This year’s theme was “The Future Of Chinese Dining and its 150-Year History Abroad” Those who attended the Top 100 award show were dazzled by a culinary show, food carving, seminars, and a dine-around-town event in San Francisco, where Chinese cuisine originated in the U.S. Besides being the first time that the event was held in the Bay Area it was also the first time that the event included a public cooking demonstration showcasing Chinese signature dishes. “I’m happy to see the Chinese chefs come out of their restaurant kitchens to cook in front of the public, and in front of my film crew. As I often put it, Yan Can Cook, so can you,” said Chef Martin Yan.

    Good Buddy Restaurant South, located in Edmonton, AB in Canada, is owned by Andy Lin and offers traditional Chinese, Hong Kong Style, and Canadian Chinese Cuisine. Making sure to integrate traditional recipes with new trends, the restaurant offers menu items that are prepared in a healthy manner using only the finest and freshest ingredients.

    The restaurant’s most popular western-style dishes are Lemon Chicken and Ginger Beef. Deep fried crispy chicken is also quite popular. Yet Good Buddy offers healthier alternatives also, in the form of vegetarian meals, and also many options prepared without MSG, instead using FDA recommended alternatives.

    It is as if true artists are at work, not only serving some of the best gustatory interpretations of dishes one might find at other restaurants, but also the most visually appealing.

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