Sunday, July 20, 2014

Burger Battle: Motor Vs. Mamo


There's a battle raging right now in Windsor. A burger battle. On one front you have Motor Burger and onthe other front you have Mamo Burger Bar.

In case you haven't noticed, Windsor has become a battle zone of amazing burger joints. We've had Bubi's and Gilligan's for a while now but now there are tons of amazing burgers around the city at places like Joe Schmoe's and the Bull n Barrel. Two of the newest entries onto the field of battle, and my personal favorites, are Motor Burger and Mamo Burger Bar

Motor Burger

Motor Burger is located in the heart of Via Italia, Windsor's Little Italy, at 888 Erie Street. Awarded the Reader's Digest Canada's "Best Gourmet Burger" medal in 2012 and followed up with their "You Gotta Eat Here" stripes the next year, Motor Burger comes to the field well decorated.

You will find fifteen different burgers on the menu. These are all gourmet burgers made with a huge variety of fresh ingredients and toppings. My favourite is the Autostrada (Chipotle rubbed northern Italian sausage, gorgonzola cheese, sliced apple slaw), the wife loves the Twin Barracudas (2 panko encrusted haddock sliders, creamy cajun slaw, cheddar cheese, pickle). All of these are available single or supercharged. Supercharged means a scary amount of burger as they toss a second patty on there.

Supporting these fifteen lieutenants are the best damn sides in the city. Truly amazing onion rings. Sweet potato fries. Poutine and some of the greatest Mac & Cheese in the city. There are also some salads for those of you who forgot you went to a burger joint. Oh, and some great starters too, not that you really need them, a bowl of rings and a burger fills this Big Dude right up, but if you are a glutton for punishment grab the Chili Spring Rolls (chorizo chile & black bean, lime, smoked cheese, sour cream).

Added to all this great food Motor Burger has one more thing going for it. It's also an Ontario Craft Brewer. Yep you read that right. Motor Craft Ales is brewed specifically for Motor Burger. I could so use a pint of Dragula right now.

Mamo Burger Bar

Mamo Burger Bar can be found at 1515 Ottawa Street. The previous location of Sweet T's Southern Cooking and before that Smoke n' Spice. Actually Mamo was opened by the same owners and they have a real hit here.

Mamo has only ten lieutenants in their army but they back it up with a lot more support troops. The ten signature burgers are all tradition beef burgers. Well somewhat traditional. They get the meat from Shawn Morris Farms (better known as The Butcher of Kingsville), ground fresh that day. While it's not the variety you get at some other places in the city, this is the most tasty beef burger patty I've ever had. Added to those patties are some of the greatest topping combos ever. Personally I can never decide between the Wakin' & Bacon (cheddar, house bacon, fried egg & bacon jam) or The Daddy Mac (House made mac & cheese, smoked pull pork & caramelized onions).

Alongside those burgers are a couple of different sets of sides. Standard ones and deluxe specialist troops that cost a bit more to muster. These include fries, garlic fries, tater tots, Caesar salad on the low end and poutine, chili cheese fries and fried pickles for the elite troops.

There are also quite a few non-burger items on Mamo's menu. There are those same confusing salads (seriously, who goes to a burger joint to get a salad?), turkey sandwiches, pulled pork, chicken tenders, soup and chili and more. It's definitely a much more diverse set of troops.

The beer selection at Mamo isn't so bad either. Sure it's not brewed right there but they do have an Ontario Craft Beer menu and they mix up the taps pretty good.

My thoughts on the war

Both of these competitors have something amazing to bring to the battle. I think the sides at Motor Burger are some of the best in the city, if not the best. My kids love it as well, they can't get enough of the mac & cheese. I love the burgers too but I have to give an edge to Mamo Burger there. Given the choice I would choose a Daddy Mac over an Autostrada more often then not. But then Motor Burger brews their own beer, I really like beer. It's crowded though and Mamo feels more relaxed. Wait I know what will decide this battle: price! No wait that doesn't work, a burger and side at Motor Burger will cost you about $12-15. A burger at Mamo costs about the same and comes with side.

You know who really wins this battle? All of us, the people of Windsor, by having such amazing burgers made right here in our backyard.

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