A few years ago, at a conference in Ottawa, Brian Temins skipped out on the keynote speaker. On a friend’s recommendation, the 43-year-old partner at Minden Gross LLP went to a burger joint instead. Later that afternoon, someone asked him his thoughts on the presentation. Temins sheepishly admitted he’d missed it because he has “this thing” about finding the perfect cheeseburger. Turns out, Temins says, “He was the keynote speaker.”
His quest, which he documents on Twitter (@btemins), has spanned almost his entire 16-year career in corporate law. “The cheeseburger is the tastiest food around,” says Temins. He would know — he eats 10 to 12 a month, with regular client lunches serving as convenient excuses to indulge. So yes, he’s a proper fanatic.
Before travelling to a new city, Temins scours the web to find out where the best burgers are, cross-references the site against four or five others and calls friends in that city for their opinions. But he also likes to improvise. One time in Boston, as his trips normally go, he tried a burger on a friend’s recommendation. “On that same trip, I met a meat broker in a bar who had strong views on the subject, so I had to take down an extra burger.”
His all-time favourite? Au Cheval in Chicago. “It wasn’t fancy: double patty, thin, on the rare side,” he says. “And no sauce, really. It just had the perfect flavour profile, the right melty-ness.” But the search isn’t over. “I’ll never find the perfect cheeseburger because I’ll never get to eat all of them.”
This story is from our Summer 2016 issue.
Photography by Daniel Ehrenworth. Hair and makeup by Shawna Lee