Le Burger Week's Best of Edmonton list was a bit of a head-scratcher, but Avila Arepa's Venezuelan street burger won't steer you wrong
By Steven Sandor | September 28, 2023
We get lots of press releases from the food delivery companies. It’s hard to keep track of them all. But, this week, we got the results of “Le Burger Week,” and I can’t resist writing about it.
During this special week, participating restaurants across Canada each had to create a special burger to be entered into the contest. We got the list of winners and the Edmonton list is… interesting. Cough.
The winner, the “Old School Wrangler,” is from The Ridge, a restaurant in Cold Lake, which, last time I looked, was a significant distance from Edmonton. My guess is that Edmonton would fall outside DoorDash’s delivery range on this one. The second place burger was from Meltwich, which is fine, but it’s a big national chain.
The only burger to appear on the Edmonton best-of list that came from an independent, Edmonton restaurant was La Española from Avila Arepa. That came with a beef patty, a chistorra patty (sausage) and a blast of garlic sauce. But, while plans are to make it a part of the menu, it isn’t one of Avila Arepa’s regular offerings as of today.
But what is already on the menu is impressive enough. Following the trail of La Española led me to the Caracas, which is Avila Arepa’s over-the-top homage to a Venezuelan street-food burger.
It is ridiculous. It does not come with a side dish because that would be overkill.
First off there’s a thick beef patty. Then, smoked pork. Then, an egg. But, why stop there? Top that with Hickory Sticks. And some Feta cheese. Salsa, avocado, tomato and shredded cabbage finish it off.
It tastes as good as described. It’s smoky, it’s tender and, well, it’s a lot. It is served with a fork, because, as much as I opposed the idea of using utensils to eat a burger, so many of the fixings spill outside of the thing, you need something to gather them up.
Is it extreme? Absolutely. While “burger” might not be the first thing you think about when you visit Avila Arepa, know that it’s there. Waiting. If you’re really hungry, square off with the Caracas.