Just when I thought I heard all sorts of stories about Lebanese expats, I find out one of the weirdest and most twisted of all: The Burger Baron, the first drive-in chain in Western Canada, dispute. Omar Mouallem, whose father ran High Prairie Alberta’s first Burger Baron, wrote a long investigative article in 2013 on the fast food chain that has gone rogue, and released in 2021 a 45-minute film as part of the CBC program “Absolutely Canadian”.
However, Omar felt the story was incomplete still and a feature film will be released with his collaborators at Back Road Productions in Spring 2023. The movie premiered at Hot Docs on May 3.
To cut the story short, the Burger Baron was originally founded in the late 50s but after the company went broke, most of its locations were ran and managed by independent owners, the majority being Lebanese Canadians, including Omar’s father who ran High Prairie’s first ever Burger Baron. What followed was a series of disputes between Baron owners and even attempts to unite them were organized but failed.
I’m eager to try their mushroom burger now, but God knows which Baron is using the right recipe 😁