Andrew and I go to MJ’s Kafe in Steinbach a lot. Usually we have traditional food, like the Vereniki Plate, or the Mennonite Combo (both Vereniki and Kielke — together at last!). But when Andrew heard about the Ultimate Menno Burger, he had to try it. Once you hear what it is, I’m pretty sure you’ll feel the same way:
Every self-respecting Mennonite burger begins with Farmer Sausage and Bothwell Cheese. Usually that’s about it, too. But MJ’s has really stepped it up with the Ultimate Menno Burger, because they just kept going, adding Vereniki with a healthy amount of Schmuantfat.
But wait, THERE’S MORE.
There’s also a hamburger patty… with crackles incorporated throughout.
Growing up as a Mennonite farm kid, crackles were a normal part of my diet. Perhaps you, too, were introduced to the wonder of crackles at a young age. But for those more sophisticated folks out there, I’ll try to explain crackles. Crackles come from a pig… I think they come from the bacon-y region on a pig. In fact, crackles are a lot like bacon bits… except far, FAR fattier. And, I daresay, more delicious. So you can see why adding crackles to a burger is genius. (If you can’t see that… perhaps this is not the blog for you.)
Before I go any further, I should add that the term “crackles” was unfamiliar to me until I first ventured into MJ’s with Andrew when we were dating. He introduced me to his maternal grandmother at MJ’s. I remember feeling embarrassed that I had not darkened the door to this all-important Mennonite culinary mecca until that day. I hoped she wouldn’t judge me too harshly for it. (I think she maybe did though. Hahaha JUST KIDDING, she’s a sweet lady.)
Before then, I pretty much found all my Mennonite food at my parent’s house, or my grandparent’s houses, or at family gatherings.
And at home, we called it “Jreeve”, which is pronounced like “yer-EYE-vah” or something like that. We also pronounced vereniki as “ver-AN-at-chuh”. Since I could never pronounce these things properly anyway, I’ve just given up on trying to say them correctly.
HERE is the burger! LOOK at that sumptuous vereniki, resting atop the glistening crackle patty! Farmer sausage! Bothwell Cheese!
Honestly, my only criticism is that there is a lettuce leaf included. I mean… who are we trying to kid? This is not the low-cal, health-conscious option. Why pretend?
At one point, Andrew simply gave up. He did not finish it, probably because he was also eating off my plate as well. So, like the hero I am, I stepped in and ensured the burger did not go to waste. It went to waist. MY waist. NO REGRETS!