The annual foodie festival typically brings out meat lovers in droves, packs restaurants to capacity, and donates thousands to Feed Nova Scotia.
But when the 2020 festival was put on hold indefinitely, “It was a bummer of course, cause we were just about to start,” says Stephanie Brown, head chef and general manager of Station Six restaurant.
Earlier this fall, the imminent return of Burger Week was announced, and Brown came up with the Meat Me In Burgatory: a six-ounce patty with cheddar, crispy onions, gravy dipped roast beef, red onions, pickles, Dijon and garlic aioli.
“I just wanted to look for something that wasn’t too out there, so everybody would want to try it instead of just a select few, the Burger Week crazy people that love to try absolutely anything,” she says.
“We’re very community-based, so lots of locals, lots of regulars. Everybody kind of knows everybody out here so it’s really nice. What’s awesome about Burger Week is it gets people who aren’t from around this area to come out to see us,” says Brown, who’s been chef since the spot opened five years ago.
And despite socially distanced service and mandatory masks, Burger Week this year has been as busy as ever.
"It’s a great time right now I think for everybody to have it. It’s a good influx for business for people who have suffered, and people are comfortable coming out, but our takeout has been crazy as well,” says Brown.
As of Thursday morning, Brown says Station Six has sold over 1,200 burgers, with $1 from each going to Feed NS.
“Usually our Monday, Tuesday Wednesdays are kind of relaxed around here, but it’s been just like a busy, busy Friday night or Saturday the whole time,” she says.
Last Sunday, Station Six ran out of some Burger Week burger ingredients, including the roast beef that cooks overnight for eight hours.
“I didn’t want to put out a burger that wasn’t exactly what we had mentioned in The Coast so we just decided to go for one sold-out day. We re-prepped everything and we’ve been good since,” says Brown. “We had quite a few people that came to try it came back for it on Monday.”
For dine-in customers, Station Six is making use of their newly opened back room. “We actually were set to expand the restaurant before Covid happened, so lucky for us we have an extra room in the back that helped us kind of compensate,” Brown says.
And while Station Six doesn’t normally offer their Burger Week special for takeout, they are this time around. “I thought it was very important so people who aren’t comfortable coming out that they could still be able to enjoy it,” Brown says.
Although some of the neighbourhood regulars have decided to postpone their visits until the burger demand winds down, Brown isn’t complaining about the increased patronage.
“It’s been nice to see the different people out when you don’t expect to see that many people,” Brown says. “We definitely didn’t expect to have that kind of volume during this time, so it’s been a good problem.”
Editor's Note: Burger Week is put on by The Coast.