Hamburger joints, if one were to shake them up in a jar, would sort themselves out into a number of strata. Fast-food establishments comprise one stratum - the likes of golden arches, fictitious monarchs, and pig-tailed redheads. The subsequent tier, the "craftier" spots, contains the likes of Smashburger, Five Guys, Fat Burger, Rodeo Burger, and others. An elusive creme de la creme in this admixture surely exists; I have yet to find it.
Breaking into the first tier is next to impossible, for the fast food fixtures are untouchable giants. Hence, a number of burger spots are edging their way into the middle tier and, as a point of interest, many are popping up in Edmonton's surrounding communities.
Sky High Burgers occupies a just-finished spot on Sherwood Park's northern frontier. Construction is rampant in adjacent bays, and it seems as though few have yet clued in that Sky High is open.
Beverage options include the usual roster of pop, as well as hand-blended milkshakes. A chocolate shake is properly thick and sports a snowcap of whipped cream. A cherry on top is conspicuously absent but isn't missed in the thick of this chocolate indulgence.
Diners may choose from a single or double angus patty, and then customize it from a range of free toppings, not the least of which include sauteed mushrooms and caramelized onions. These two intuitive partners do well to rest upon a blanket of melted cheddar and a swirl of "sky high sauce" (which is a ketchup-mustard-relish-secret ingredient blend with a rather pleasing tang). The beef patty underneath is not lost to its mantle of accoutrements, and shines with a crisp exterior sear and juicy interior beefiness.
A chicken burger - which is a whole breast and not a ground patty - is somehow bland despite generous lashings of barbecue sauce and cheese. Chicken, though a popular fowl, frequently befalls this fate in the absence of proper seasoning. The buns on both burgers are average sesame seed rolls that fall in the fast-food category.
And so, Sky High succeeds with beef but falls short with chicken. Tomorrow: Jack's Burger Shack in St. Albert. Stay tuned.