If Manitoba is ever going to be a thriving tourist destination, Market Burger might be one of those restaurants that gets plugged in tourist guides for its clever references to our local attractions.
But the references are tasteful enough – as are the burgers and frings, a deep-fried combination plate of fries and onion rings – to help the Corydon Avenue restaurant succeed without swarms of international visitors.
The cozy rooftop patio features a mural with real-insider Manitoba icons like Souris’ suspension bridge and the Wheat Kings, and the rooftop bar boasts a light fixture rigged out of a Green Apple skateboard.
On the main floor, the chalkboard describes in detail where the meat is sourced (à la Portlandia) and the opposing wall reads in bold print “Always remember where you came from.”
The menu stays in keeping with the local theme; however, I was surprised to note the absence of local breweries on the drink menu.
Regardless, the titillating burger menu wins over any naysayers with a fan favourite mac-and-cheese burger and juicy bison burger with onion rings. They’ve also scrapped trying to compete with one of the most locally renowned vegetarian burgers at The Underground Café, and simply placed the “sun burger” on the menu, while humbly crediting them.
You can also build your own burger, and there is a generous number of interesting mustards, ketchups, mayonnaises and relishes for any palette, plus plenty of cheese options, buns and fillings. My friend, who had already been there, recommended the “skinny” bun option as it seems to hold burgers the best.
The menu, I may add, is in the shape of our province. And, as you may have guessed already, the initials for Market Burger are no accident. The front window prominently displays an “I <3 MB” sticker and sets the tone of patriotism you will experience.
And, when you live in a province that gets gaslighted fairly frequently, you can’t help but welcome a genuine regard for the good qualities of the province, and the people in it.
Brenlee Coates is a writer and costume assistant on movies. She enjoys writing about food, the arts, and the best dates she goes on with her city.