When the image of a typical burger comes to mind, the picture is pretty much standard: bun, ketchup, patty, cheese, lettuce, tomato – give or take a few ingredients.
A Burger Pawty burger, however, is not only a fiesta for taste buds, but also a feast for the eyes.
Visualize a fluffy pink waffle bun hugging a hand-pressed pork and beef patty glazed over with sharp cheddar cheese, pickled watermelon radish and crunchy pork belly and drizzled in a creamy pink dressing.
Ladies and gents, your average run-of-the-mill burger has gotten an extreme makeover.
The burgers are the brainchild of two young, Toronto-based women.
Meet blogger Louise Mangalino, whose zest for all things girly and greasy prompted the birth of her online blog Burgers and Barbies – a nod to her obsession with the doll icon ever since she was a little tyke – and her counterpart, chef Jessica Lagman, whose daughter Madison gave her the motivation to start her own catering business dubbed Hooked Co.
Attending the same high school, but being two grades apart, the two women never really spoke until they recognized each other at an event. Having the chance to get to know one another better, the girls realized they had a common obsession: food.
“I thought that her approach was really interesting and not a lot of people are rocking in,” shares Lagman. “I was really excited to see what kind of ideas she had.”
They both saw something powerful in joining forces – Mangalino seeking a talented chef to bring her cuisine dreams to life and Lagman always looking to get creative with her craft.
It was a match made by the grub gods, with an added dose of girl power.
“The reason I wanted to do this is [because] going into all these burger places, 90 per cent of them were geared toward guys,” Mangalino explains. “Mind you I love burgers and I’m never going to complain about them, but you want something for you.”
They soon devised the idea to throw a burger pop-up shop where they would showcase creative sliders at a social gathering. This past August the ladies brought their idea to life with the inception of the very first Burger Pawty, held at District 28 in downtown Toronto.
“It’s a unique concept where not a lot of people or chefs even do pop-up food events.”
Following the event’s massive success, the pawty girls were eager to orchestrate a round two.
This time, Mangalino and Lagman sought out another pair of entrepreneurial women, sisters Gabrielle and Julia Bautista, who opened Naked Beauty Bar, a salon specializing in nail and grooming services using all-natural and local products.
“I think the whole girl concept and them running their own business [drew us to them],” explains Gabrielle. “It’s a unique concept where not a lot of people or chefs even do pop-up food events. Also since they were starting out and we were starting out it was kind of a good fit.”
Mangalino and Lagman often aim to create sliders that represent both themselves and the people they’re working with. Leading up to the event the quartette held a small promotional photo shoot that incorporated the girls holding a slider specially customized by Lagman to fit their individual food personality. They each also had their nails designed to match their themed sliders.
“When creating the burgers I really wanted to shock the eye and see how people react.”
“When creating the burgers I really wanted to shock the eye and see how people react,” says Lagman. “I think having a feminine touch to things like that really awakens your senses and says that you can do so many things with one concept.”
Not only a pop-up and networking event, the second Burger Pawty also served as a celebration of young entrepreneurs.
Naked Beauty Bar was bustling with guests who not only got to treat their tummies to succulent sliders, but also lavished in the spoils of organic cotton candy and fresh fries from independent vendors Fancy Pufs and J.K. Frites.
One thing that all the vendors that participated in Burger Pawty had in common was that they all had their own special twist to an existing concept.
“We just want to inspire other girls,” says Mangalino. “We had a lot of young girls come today and that’s what meant the most, to know they were impressed with what we were doing and [we might have] motivated them to do something for themselves.”
Photos By. Isa Ransome © Urbanology Magazine
THE PAWTY BURGER: The New New Pink Burger
A hand-pressed pork and beef patty, topped with crispy pork belly, sharp cheddar cheese, pickled watermelon radish and a secret pink Burgers and Barbies (BB) sauce, served between two pink waffles.
THE WAVY BURGER: The New New Seafood Burger
Homemade salmon patty, topped with spicy mayo, crispy nori, avocado slices and crunchy tempura bits, served on a black charcoal sesame bun.
THE NAKED BURGER: In All Its Glory
A hand-pressed beef patty, topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions, creamy miso mayo, fresh Napa cabbage and crunchy ramen bits, served on a classic bun.
THE BEAUTY BURGER: All Decked Out
A homemade coconut chicken patty, topped with fresh kale, spicy coconut sauce, mango and avocado slices and a savory mango aioli, served on a coconut bun.
Burger images and descriptions from @burgerpawty IG page