While the wife and I were out picking up some odds and ends for our Otakon cosplay for the year, we stopped in to Canadian burger chain Harvey’s for a bite to eat. Via my phone, I had a coupon we could use for chicken sandwich combos, though the fish sandwich I’d yet to try out was tempting as well. The only marquee “special” items mentioned on their website was the “Three Cheese & Bacon” line of sandwiches, which felt a little much for me right now (plus the fact I’m not a big fan of pepper jack cheese).
When we walked in and got in line, however, everything changed as I saw something else on the menu board: the “Stuffed Pizza Burger,” boasting their signature burger patty stuffed with pepperoni and cheese — my two favorite pizza toppings. Even Nadia was curious to try a bite, so that settled that.
What’s weird is that I can simply not find any other evidence that this thing exists. Not on their website, their Facebook, their Twitter, or even a mention by any other website when I do a search on Google. It’s like a burger that should not be, but is.
So while Nadia went with a grilled chicken sandwich combo, I ordered up one Stuffed Pizza Burger combo with Frings (half fries, half onion rings). They also had one of those new Pepsi Spire machines — Pepsi’s answer to the Coca-Cola Freestyle — but I just got a plain 7UP, as they were out of cherry and lemon infusions. I might have been tempted by Mtn Dew, but it didn’t have any flavors like Code Red or anything — just regular Dew with the same flavor infusion options as the rest. Such a pity.
Anyway, I tried to match my burger up to what is seen in the picture on the menu above (I’d include a clearer picture, but again, good luck finding one) with lettuce, tomato, and my best guess at the white condiment: garlic mayo. Harvey’s fixes your sandwich however you want it before your eyes, much like Subway, but I figured I’d go for the “normal” version. Here is what I received:
If there’s one thing you have to give Harvey’s, it’s that their food tends to be pretty photogenic. It’s not precisely like the hand-picked best that they use for publicity, of course, but to expect that is unreasonable.
One fear I had about this burger did not come to pass: looking at the sign, I thought that maybe there would be tomato sauce somehow cooked into the burger as well. I’m not a huge fan of tomato sauce — let’s just say I’m particular about which ones I like, as I am with ranch dressing — but I was relieved to discover that nope, the only things cooked into the meat are the pepperoni and the infusion of cheese.
That said, the pepperoni and beef blend is… how do I put this? Thorough. I thought there might be slices or even cubes, just something where you could take a bite and see “here is the beef part, here is the pepperoni part,” but no. The sign makes it seem that way, but — and this isn’t the greatest picture (my apologies), but here is how the center of the burger looks:
Sure, you can see the cheese easily enough, but the pepperoni is hard to detect visually.
Taste-wise, the first few bites were very subtle. Not much cheese, and the pepperoni seemed more hinted at than prevalent. But the more I ate, the more the flavor of each came out. And it’s good! The burger is a bit more than the norm price-wise, but that aside, I’d gladly eat this again. Maybe without the lettuce and tomato next time, to keep it simple, but I could definitely go for another.
As for the mystery behind the burger, my best guess is that maybe they jumped the gun and began serving this before the promotion officially began, or was even announced? If that’s the case, then I guess we can consider this a “sneak preview” with my recommendation to try it as soon as it becomes available to you.
Update: After posting this review, Harvey’s reached out to me on Twitter with the following explanation:
Hey there. The reason you’re not seeing much publicity around the burger is because we’re only testing it at a few locations.
Your feedback is appreciated and we’ve passed it along to our head chef. Hope to see you again!
So there you have it, mystery solved. And all the more reason to check it out if you get the opportunity; one location serving it currently is the 3120 Dufferin Street location near Yorkdale in North York, Ontario, which is where I got to enjoy mine. Let’s make this thing big!