Burger-worship is pretty common in Toronto. But the most revered patties are usually meaty monstrosities slathered with cheese, bacon or a slew of unorthodox toppings. But for the past year, a pair of local foodies have been putting a glittery spin on this fast food staple.
Burger Pawty (it's pronounced party) is a Toronto-based brand that puts on food-focused pop-up events filled with tiny pink burgers. Louise Mangalino founded it with cook Jessica Lagman, but she's now flying solo.
Mangalino, who also runs the blog Burgers and Barbies, has visited an array of burger joints over the years. "Doing my burger blog, I noticed that 90 per cent of the places I'd been to catered to men," she says. She describes Burger Pawty as girly girl, with an edge - that's also how she defines her personal aesthetic.
And while her burgers are certainly eye-catching, do we really need to create a dichotomy for this classic North American sandwich? A burger doesn't need to be pink in order to appeal to women.
The female founder of the popular Toronto-based Instagram account BurgersTO (full disclosure, she writes for this site too), says most businesses she works with are surprised to find out she's a woman. Despite those stereotypical expectations, she still thinks burgers are gender neutral.
And while creating so-called girly-looking food is important to Mangalino, Burger Pawty, like other women-focused initiatives in Toronto, is ultimately about more than just pink burgers and pastel-coloured waffle buns.
She uses her events to bring together female-identified entrepreneurs and fellow food vendors. She also tries to collaborate exclusively with local businesses - such as Coco and Cowe and Naked Beauty Bar - at each pop-up party.
So far, she's held three Burger Pawt(ies?) and has also served up her signature burgers at other parties and markets around the city. She has an office job during the week so right now, this is a part-time operation.
And while she has no firm plans in place yet, her dream would be to open up permanent Burger Pawty location. Because hey, we could all use a bit more sparkle in our lives.
by Amy Grief via blogTO