St. Albert’s burger kings have claimed a triple crown once again in this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards, with Jack’s Burger Shack taking the top prize in three categories.
St. Albert readers have once again declared Jack’s to be this city’s best place for burgers in the 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards, as they have every year since that award category was introduced in 2015. Readers also voted Jack’s as having the city’s best sandwiches and food truck for a second year in a row.
This triple-crown winning streak will likely come to an end this year, though, as Jack’s got rid of its food truck earlier this year, co-owner Tu Le said.
“It was just too much work,” he said, and he and his brother Nihn want to focus on their brick-and-mortar outlets.
Le said the staff at Jack’s are really appreciative of the support they have had from St. Albert burger fans all these years.
“We’ve been really embraced by the community, and we’re lucky for that.”
Local and fresh
Le said he and Nihn opened Jack’s Burger Shack in Slave Lake back in 2012 to build on their shared love of burgers. Nihn decided to name the place after his son, Jack.
Le said the two of them moved to St. Albert and set up shop in their current location on Perron Street in 2013. They soon gained a reputation for using fresh, high quality, local ingredients such as beef from D’Arcy’s Meat Market, cheese curds from Sturgeon County’s Lakeside Dairy, and buns baked at the St. Albert Sobeys.
“It was important that we were St. Albert’s place where we used St. Albert products wherever we could, and the community’s really embraced that,” Le said.
Le said Jack’s has kept the same nine burgers on its menu for 10 years for consistency’s sake, adding that they toy with pizza, doughnut, pancake, croissant, macaroni and cheese, and Turducken burgers and sandwiches on special occasions.
“There was a point where we were doing a different burger every day,” Le said, but they had to drop that as it was too stressful.
Le said the secret to a good burger is heat, meat, salt, and nothing else. He seasons his patties with a bit of salt and then cooks them on a really hot grill to create a flavourful, almost-burnt crust.
“My brother and I will probably oversee 99 per cent of the burgers that come out of here,” Le said, as they want to ensure each comes out just right.
Jeff Nonay, whose Sturgeon County farm supplies the beef and cheese curds used at Jack’s, praised the restaurant for its unwavering support of local farmers.
“I think they’re doing a heck of a job showcasing our product,” he said, and showing great attention to detail.
Le said he and his brother recently renewed the lease on their St. Albert outlet and had no plans to get out of the burger business anytime soon. They are planning a 10th anniversary celebration for this Aug. 24.
“Ten years have flown by, to be honest with you,” he said.
Jack’s is located at #130 15 Perron Street in St. Albert and at 10354 Jasper Ave. in Edmonton. Visit jacksburgershack.ca for details.