#yegalleyburger Redux

Back in April, my sisters and I lined up for Edmonton’s alley burger, offered by the enterprising Century Hospitality Group. Modelled after Charcut’s popular venture in Calgary, chefs at Hundred tweet out the time the burgers will be served so hungry patrons can plan to line up early to guarantee themselves some grub. This time, Felicia and I had Jeff and Mack in tow too – the two of them hadn’t yet tried a #yegalleyburger.

On Friday, we arrived in the back alley around a quarter after nine (the burgers were to be served at 10pm) and found that we were the first ones there! Over the next half an hour, thirty people or so arrived and joined us in line.

Line

The line-up

At 9:50, Chef Andrew Cowan came out to trade $5 for a poker chip that we would ultimately exchange for a burger.

Chips 'r us!

Mack and Jeff will gamble for good eats

Right on time, Chef Cowan came out with a tray full of burgers. He said that the kitchen had decided to do a classic cheeseburger, with lots of garlic, leaf lettuce, tomato and chipotle mayo.

Chef Cowan

Chef Cowan

Alley Burger

Success!

Mack’s patty in particular was cooked pretty rare, but he didn’t mind. They were also quite serious about the garlic – roughly chopped, it was definitely the dominant flavour of the burger. Though both Felicia and I preferred the previous alley burger incarnation featuring egg and arugula, this was still one tasty burger.

Burger

#yegalleyburger

The main difference between Edmonton’s alley burger and Calgary’s edition is the creativity Hundred’s kitchen demonstrates each time – patrons never know what to expect. It will be interesting to see how late in the year Hundred will continue this – how cold will they go?

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!