The Holy Week of the Halifax calendar is nigh. The signs are obvious – meaty aromas wafting down Barrington; impossible queues forming around every restaurant; cases of extreme unstoppable salivation.
It’s time for Burger Week.
This year, The Coast has tasked two Halifax locals with the weightiest of all responsibilities – to serve as Burger Ambassadors to the city of Halifax. As Arts and Culture editor, I felt it my sworn duty to test the mettle of these burger worshippers, and so I sent some questions to one of our new Ambassadors, Josh Rankin.
The Gazette: Would you please provide me with a little information about yourself, so that Dal students may be familiar with their Burger Ambassador?
Burger Ambassador Josh Rankin: My name is Josh Rankin. I graduated from Dal in May of 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in technical scenography and a minor in film studies. I’ve been living in Halifax for about seven years now, but I’m originally from Prince Edward Island.
G: What distinguishes you as a burger lover worthy of being Halifax’s Ambassador?
Ambassador Rankin: For almost a year now I’ve been running my blog, Life of Burgers, where I have been visiting numerous Halifax restaurants, and giving my opinion of the various burgers they have to offer. I feel that for this reason, I’m a great fit for the Halifax Burger Ambassador as I have experience not only with burgers, but also with the city of Halifax itself.
G: Could you tell me a little more about this blog? It seems like a great resource for up-and-comers.
Ambassador Rankin: I started the blog mostly just as a hobby (and an excuse to eat a bunch of tasty burgers), but it soon grew into something I really enjoy doing. I have suggestions for burgers coming in all the time, and it’s great how this blog lets me experience the city a bit more in-depth. During Burger Week, I’ll be covering all my burger experiences on the blog, as well as on Twitter/Instagram (@lifeofburgers).
G: What is your opinion on non-meat burgers?
Ambassador Rankin: To be honest, I’m a big fan of all things meat. My experience with veggie burgers is very slim. That being said, I do think that they have a place in the world of burgers, and I will be trying out the non-meat options offered during Burger Week (I’m especially excited about the Vegan Big Mac at enVie).
G: Speaking of, what restaurant are you expecting the most out of ?
Ambassador Rankin: There are a few restaurants with higher-priced burgers that I’m expecting big things from, such as Chives, The Bicycle Thief and Fiasco. However, don’t let the cheap burgers fool you. There are some delicious sounding burgers, like the Avocado Burger from The Argyle, which will only cost you $9.
G: In your professional opinion, what is the greatest condiment?
Ambassador Rankin: I’ve recently become a big fan of aioli. It’s a simple addition that adds so much flavor to a burger. Also, even though it’s not technically a condiment, I’m a big fan of onion rings on burgers.
G: Well in that case, what is the perfect arrangement of condiments?
Ambassador Rankin: I’ve had a lot of burgers that are loaded full of inventive toppings, which isn’t a bad thing, but there is really one aspect that will make or break a burger. The meat. The quality of meat that is used to make a burger is really important. A lot of the restaurants participating in Burger Week are using local beef, which is awesome!
G: How did you go about campaigning before your victory?
Ambassador Rankin: I wasn’t really sure what The Coast was going to be basing their decision on, so I basically turned to social media and asked for their support. My friends were a big part of getting the word out, and I even had the support of a lot of people I have never met before. I really have everyone on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to thank…
G: If you were to open a burger bar, what would you call it, and what sort of menu would it have?
Ambassador Rankin: I think having a place where you can ‘create your own burger’ would be cool. I would have a list of classic toppings/condiments you could add, but then there would also be some crazier additions that would allow for some inventive creations. In terms of a name, Life of Burgers hasn’t failed me thus far, so I think I would stick with that name!
G: What’s your game plan for this year’s Burger Week?
Ambassador Rankin: I actually have my Burger Week pretty planned out. I made up a loose schedule for each day based on where each restaurant is located. I have some friends that make up my ‘Burger Team’, and we have the ambitious goal of at least trying each burger (which may or may not happen).