The first rule of Burger Club: Burgers are made of beef. The team of sandwich eating professionals that brought you Winnipeg’s Best Club House, Reuben and Gyro, now embark on a life long quest to find Winnipeg’s best burgers. Yes, burgers – we’re going to rate the best Bacon, Cheese, Chili, Fatboy, Greek and Mushroom burgers. I know what you’re thinking – there are already several lists for Winnipeg’s Best Burger – but we bring the science – we have spreadsheets!
The newly renovated Tapp’s Neighborhood Pub in the Dakota Hotel is very nice inside. There are enough TV’s on the wall to satisfy even the most A.D.D. diner. We were set up at tall tables and chairs and it was quite entertaining to watch Karen try and get on and off of her chair. Our waitress was super – all smiles, attentive and quick. Stan commented “Really enjoyed the atmosphere. Friendly and efficient service.” April was quite impressed that her food came with everyone else's even though she got there 20 minutes late. There were a few topping mistakes and Brett’s stuff ended up on Esther’s bottom. That was quickly fixed by replacing her bottom.
Karen put it best when she said some burgers are about the beef patty, and some are about the toppings. The Tapp’s burger was about the toppings. The menu lists six burgers with fantastic descriptions like “delicious mess of love” and “peppery affair”. Tapp’s burger toppings include generous portions of shaved fried onions, basil garlic yogurt, bottle cap Jalapeños and Tabasco sauce to name but a few. Cary was happy because he finally got a fried egg on a burger. The patty itself gave a few people some trouble though. Apparently the “family recipe” includes filler. A LOT of filler. Esther commented “Burger patty didn't seem to have a lot of meat in it but yet the patty was large. Hmmm … " It was a big, thick patty but surprisingly not that filling. A bread crumb panade makes for a soft and juicy burger, but this burger patty had more chunks of bread in it than beef. The patty had been fried hot and had a nice crust on it sealing in the juices. A few people enjoyed the flavour but a number didn’t like the taste. I would describe it as meatloaf without the seasoning. Liz shouted on her little rating slip “WAY TOO MUCH PEPPER.” I should point out in Tapp’s defense that she ordered the Pepper Burger. It was coated in a solid layer of cracked black pepper though.
The two slices of bacon were delicious. Most of the ingredients were decent enough, but the chunks of yellow – sometimes brown – iceberg lettuce put a couple of people off. My burger assembly was dry but that that was my fault. I asked for no pickles or onions and it didn’t come with any other condiments aside from a little mayonnaise. I noticed that Liz’s Pepper Burger came with a good serving of basil garlic yogurt so maybe I’ll try that one next time. The burgers came served on big, tasty Kaisers which did an admirable job of containing all the delicious toppings. Brett exclaimed “Kaiser is always the way to go! Cheers Germany.”
I tried some of April’s bottle caps and they were good! The first sensation was the nice cool battered coating, but then the heat of the jalapeño reaches up and smacks you in the face. Initially I thought the bottle cap serving looked pretty miniscule, but it was enough. Esther noted “Poutine was … fries with packaged gravy and shredded cheese.” Nelson observed “The fries were very peppery.”
I had a side house salad with a very enjoyable raspberry vinaigrette dressing, but the salad was a bit too heavy on the diced pepper, cucumber and carrots for my liking. It was hard to get the big chunks of lettuce and the little bits of veggie onto the same forkful. Dani said the cream of broccoli soup was very tasty.
Karen said the “Deep fried Mars bar for dessert was the waitress’s fault! She was a naughty influence.” Cary and I each ordered one to share around the table - a little goes a long way and one serving would’ve done the eleven of us. It was delicious! The light whipped cream and ice cream balanced the heaviness of the deep fried, caramelly goodness within.
A little quirk about Tapp’s is that the bathroom hand dryer had a black light in it. I’ve seen it used on CSI, but why here?