Burger Heaven! A unique twist to the 2021 Federal Election
By Brandon Yip, Senior Columnist
The burger-themed poll was such a success with the public that Burger Heaven has continued the tradition ever since.
Burger Heaven in New Westminster has a long-standing tradition of naming burgers after political candidates during elections. Leading into the Federal election held on September 20, the restaurant once again returned to their dastardly, yet silly and fun “political burger naming” ways.
Up until September 18, patrons were given the chance to vote; as well as order their favourite candidate’s burger in the restaurant’s “Burger Poll”: Justin Trudeau (Liberal), Erin O’Toole (Conservative), Jagmeet Singh (NDP), Annamie Paul (Green), Yves-François Blanchet (Bloc Québécois) and Maxime Bernier (People’s Party of Canada).
Chris Geib has been the general manager of Burger Heaven for the past 15 years. He says the “Burger Poll” was started in the 1980s by the founder of Burger Heaven, Bill Mural. Geib stated that Mural began a poll during the Mayoral election; in an attempt to generate more publicity and business for the restaurant. And the burger-themed poll was such a success with the public that the restaurant has continued the tradition ever since.
Geib says the “burger poll” is meant to be fun, and not to be taken seriously. “The ‘Burger Poll’ has been popular because it gives a [light-hearted] look at politics,” Geib said in an email interview with the Other Press. “Our write-ups on each candidate are meant to be fun and [food-oriented]. We don’t take the poll as a serious look at politics. [It] is meant…to give the customer a good chuckle and maybe [they will] order their [burger] by their political party or by the burger that sounds better to them.”
Geib says the burgers named after political leaders have drawn many laughs from customers. But the weirdest burger description may be in honour of the Bloc Québécois party: “I think our weirdest one at the moment is the Bloc party, which has French dressing, hot sauce, Dijon mustard and blue cheese.”
Significantly, Geib recalls past and current candidates making appearances at the restaurant. “In the last Federal Election we were visited by Jagmeet Singh,” he said. “During the past [Provincial] elections we’ve had John Horgan and Andrew Weaver.” Geib also remembers Ken Dryden and the late Jack Layton visiting the eatery during their time in politics. “Every time they come in [they] love the fact that we do this poll (especially if [they’re] ahead), and always sit down for a burger,” he said. “Over the years we have had a couple of parties do large takeout orders in order to get their numbers up. It has been generally the Liberals that have done [this], however, the Greens have as well.”
Lastly, if burger lovers are undecided, they can vote for the “(B)-UN Decided” burger. The following is a synopsis of each candidate’s burgers with all the funny and silly appropriate fixings to satisfy your political-loving palate!
Justin Trudeau Burger
This burger has a “Lean-to-the-Middle” Prime Grade A juicy selection. The burger is well seasoned and is: “[cooked] on the front burner, it includes Ontario medium-aged cheddar, red hot sauce, crisp lettuce, a liberal slab of bacon, a slice of fresh tomato and is aiming to spice things up with ingredients that are [Indigenous] to the country.” The Trudeau burger seems appetizing; albeit, like Trudeau, the burger will be served to you when you are least expecting it—much like when he called the “snap” election for September 20! Also, the burger may contain some of the gravel tossed by protestors!
Erin O’Toole Burger
This burger is a tasty “Lean-to-the-Right” Prime Grade A beef burger. If you choose this burger, it is “…cooked with relish and includes a conservative slice of tangy [Quebec-aged] cheese, aromatic onion and zesty sauce. Plus, this ‘platter’-form can come with mushrooms (not mushrooming expenses). Full of flavour, it can also include pickled (we want to) ‘beet’ the current ruling party.”
Jagmeet Singh Burger
The Singh burger was made to spice things up as it is “Singh’ing the praises of a Nicely Done Patty of ‘Lean-to-the-Left’ Prime Grade A Beef…” The burger contains “…strong O(u)nions, juicy tomato, tangy sauce, [Scarborough-orange] cheddar and is served on a multigrain bun. This burger candidate relishes the opportunity to drain some fat out of the Liberals’ slice of bacon and ‘ketchup’ with the leading parties in the political kitchen.”
Annamie Paul Burger
This special burger is grilled on the back burner. It contains a Prime Grade A beef patty seasoned with Caribbean spices. It is a new addition to the burger poll menu: “Served with a dollop of green relish, instead of ‘May-o’, a slice of organic garden tomato and organic Ontario goat cheese, it is cooked in a controlled carbon-free area on a back burner and offers the option of a green lettuce wrap. This burger is popular with our environmentally-conscious customers concerned about ecological issues and their political diet.”
Yves-François Blanchet Burger
Ordering this burger may “separate” you from the rest of Canada’s burger lovers! The burger does sound delicious enough to have a referendum (hopefully not two!) and fight for its independence! Burger Heaven describes “[this] choix de Prime Grade A Patty du bœufB(BQ)’d grilled on the back center left burner comes with crisp greens, french dressing, piquant sauce, dijon mustard, et fromage bleu du Quebec. A ‘Chip off the old ‘Bloc’, this burger juteux is ‘separated’ from the rest in the proverbial political frying pan, especially in the West. Bon Appetite!”
The Maxime Bernier Burger This is a unique and different-tasting burger; added to the menu to spice things up and “[Max-imize] flavour…” This Prepared Patty Choice (PPC) consisting of Prime Grade A beef “…is fairly new to the political scene and grilled on the far right burner. It comes with a conservative dollop of Bernier (Bernaise) sauce, sharp fromage, a slice of fresh tomato and purple cabbage slaw.”