You’re a dirty burger: Upstairs at Campagnolo

Inspired by this thread on Chowhound, I had to check out the reincarnated Refuel Dirty Burger at Upstairs at Campagnolo, the newly-opened upstairs speakeasy/lounge/bar next to Campagnolo on Main St. I never got to try the original Refuel burger…so with no point of comparison, does the Dirty Burger at Upstairs taste good?

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Campagnolo on the left, green door to Upstairs at Campagnolo on the right!

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Just look for the symbol!

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Today’s menu. Enticing bar snacks ranging from nibbles to heftier fare like the burger and corndogs(!). The room was small, laid back, with a real speakeasy kinda vibe. Another top spot for a Main St. beer/food crawl.

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Small beer list but they do carry some Brassneck beers in small growlers. Fat Tug and East Side Bitter on tap are solid choices.

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Cocktails, if you’re into that sorta thing.

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Thick-cut and very tasty beef jerky with an R&B East Side Bitter. The ESB is a good go-to if there’s nothing else available. The jerky had hints of soy sauce and sweet chili sauce. I have no idea what’s actually in their jerky marinade though. I’d get it again (and again).

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Crunchy cracklings! So good! Dunno about the “cheezie” part…I guess the texture and crunch is a bit like Hawkins Cheezies except using pork skin and fat instead of cornmeal! I don’t remember any cheese flavour. I appreciated that they were undersalted…kinda au naturel flavour. (N. later told me that the cracklings were perhaps coated in cheese powder.)

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Great pickles. Good sourness and crunch. Cucumbers, cauliflower, carrots, celery.

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Burger time! (har har) Here’s the infamous Dirty Burger. Not too sure about the details but supposedly 40-day dry(?) aged beef in a housemade bun that’s been fried in butter/lard. Bit more info here: http://scoutmagazine.ca/2014/02/19/diner-campagnolo-on-main-street-gets-set-to-open-its-32-seat-upstairs-lounge/

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Comes with really really good fries. These are way up my alley…crunchy/crispy on the outside, smooth and creamyish on the inside.

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The bun was quite fried so it was a little crunchy on the outside. I’d prefer a little less crunchiness on the outside of the bun, but it didn’t cause any major problems in the actual eating of the burger.

I love loosely-packed patties like this one. Nice char on the outside. Char + beef + juiciness = great burger.

The Dirty Burger at Upstairs at Campagnolo
The Dirty Burger at Upstairs at Campagnolo

Glorious beefy goodness. I really enjoyed the taste of the beef. Good size too. I didn’t feel too heavy or full afterwards. I could enjoy jerky, cracklings AND a burger with a beer and walk away feeling light and dainty! $8.50 for this burger is an EXTREMELY fair price…bordering on “are you kidding?!”

Possible “customizations” for next time: make it a double, cooked rare but seared only on one side then slap it raw sides together in the burger, omit the cheese.

I must return to try their mortadella corndogs!

Upstairs @ Campagnolo on Urbanspoon

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