Chuckwagon Café burger worthy of its legendary status
Saturday, Jul 16, 2011 06:00 am
When I first started writing this column, there was one place people told me I had to go more than any other: The Chuckwagon Café in Turner Valley.
I didn’t need any prodding. After all, the restaurant has developed near legendary status not only in the foothills, but also in Calgary and destinations further afield, for its breakfast and its hamburgers.
The Chuckwagon Café’s specialty House Burger does not disappoint.
It boasts mushrooms, tomatoes, mayo and a homemade mustard/relish sauce. Instead of lettuce, the burger has a mesclun mix of loose greens and a blend of three cheeses: mozzarella, cheddar and Monterey Jack.
The burger is ridiculously tender and juicy helping all the distinct flavours mesh together – the beef, the mustard/relish sauce and the grated cheese blend. Using grated cheese instead of slices is a nice touch, it’s thoroughly melted and adds to the taste of the burger.
Part way through my interview with owner Terry Myhre, we were interrupted by someone from the next table. He told me he comes down from Calgary regularly and wanted me to know I was about to eat “a real burger.”
Thinking back, I ate the burger so quickly I probably looked a little gluttonous. It’s a good thing I got my interview with Myhre out of the way before eating, because I didn’t leave myself much time between bites to talk.
I also like knowing where the burger comes from – Myhre’s own ranch west of Longview.
In fact, all the beef served at Chuckwagon Café is Murray Grey cattle, an Australian breed, raised by Myhre,
He said it makes a big difference with flavour and gives him complete control over the beef from farm to plate. Myhre’s cattle is grain finished and he uses no hormones or implants.
You’d be hard pressed to find a fresher burger. Myhre has an animal processed every two weeks and the meat is dry aged for 28 days to intensify the flavour.
The beef for the burgers is ground in-house and the patties are hand made and never frozen.
All of this is not the only thing that makes the burger really unique.
Myhre only uses beef from young cattle between 15 and 18 months old.
“Younger beef is more tender,” he said.
The final touch comes when he makes the patties, a light touch.
“You’re almost tickling it, you don’t knead at it… You got to have a really light touch and leave the burger thick enough that it’s still going to be juicy,” he said.
In fact, Myhre proudly proclaimed everything is made in house, including the fries.
Now, I know I said I’d pass on the fries and have a salad instead while writing these columns, but I couldn’t resist. A salad just won’t cut it with a burger this good.