Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Long time coming, chiming in on the burger debate.

It has REALLY been a long time since I have felt like writing, for various, and mostly unimportant reasons.  I really do enjoy writing and I am going to try to be on more of a schedule and post at a better frequency. So, to catch up I am going to do a few post of places I have been to in the past months and do a review wrap up, of sorts.

Issue 1 - Burger Edition
1. W Burger Bar
2. Oh Boy Burger Market
3. Craft Burger

Upon entering W Burger Bar, you might think you have stepped into an alternate universe where burger joints are fancy and, to be quite honest, look like you are about to dine on Asian fusion. The servers were all dressed the same, in the strangest pink tee-shirts and skirts. Interesting start upon being greeted in a pleasent manner and seated in the large and expansive space.  Also, the servers use computers to take your order, and I do not know if our server was new, but she seemd to have problems with the gadget she was using to input our order.

The Orders:
ME - Chocolate malted milkshake, Bison Burger (Sauteed onions, horseradish, and chipotle ketchup, spicy chilli poutine (to share).
HER - The Aussie-Rules PURE Burger (BBQ sauce, beets, pineapple, fried egg).

The Comments:
Mine was a bit on the dry side, and the meat didn't have any discernible flavour or spice to it, but the milkshake was really nice and the malted addition was worth the additional $1.00. Hers was quite interesting and the combo of flavours did seem to work nicely. Now the bad news, we both got really sick! Mine was a stomach ache, likely due to the combo of the spicy poutine and the milkshake, but my friend was woken up at 1230AM with a mad dash to the toilet. So while the flavour of the poutine was good I feel that there was something not so kosher about it, seeing as we both had issues.

Verdict: I will not rush back, but I know some people have had good experiences here.

Second on our stop of Toronto burger joints is Oh Boy, and I might start with a big fat Yiddish - Oy Vey. I believe that Joey McGurk hired high school students to staff his kitchen, as they were disorganized, slow, and were openly bickering behind the counter IN FRONT OF CUSTOMERS. Thankfully the food was decent, so the trip was not a total waste. Nice decor, for a burger place, much more appropriate than a W Burger Bar, but max seating in booths is for 4 and we were 5. A small uncomfortable stool was added for the person that was unlucky enough to show up last. The rest of the staff was friendly and helpful.

The Orders:
ME: The Hog Town combo.
THEM: 2 Bison Boy Combos, 1 Oh Boy Classic with 3 Cheese Combo, 1 Oh Boy Classic Combo, one side of deep fried pickles.

The Comments:
Friend #1 upon sitting down with his bison "I will never come to this place again, why did you drag me downtown for this shit", referring to the mess going on behind the counter. His burger was overdone, and he was not happy. He did mention that the fries were great, which they were. He was not a fan of the deep fried pickles either, but the rest of us enjoyed.

Friend #5 upon tasting friend #2's onion rings exclaimed that, "these are the best onion rings I have ever had", and while I would not go that far (A&W are one of my favourites) they were not bad.

Friend #3 did not have much to say, which means he likely enjoyed his meal. He was unhappy, however, that the women on the website were, "way hotter than the broads serving us, whats up with that?"

My burger was juicy enough and had a decent flavour. It was very messy though as the toppings were overloaded based on the bun/meat ratio. A positive twist is that they have bun choices, all from Ace Bakery (other burger joints take note!), and a wide menu with a lot of variety, so even vegetarians in the group could enjoy themselves.

Verdict: would not go back, there are far better places to drop $15 for a burger but was worth visiting.

"What do you mean you don't have the option of bacon on a burger, whats wrong with you people?" That was my reaction when after looking at the menu board I inquired if the gentleman was joking that there was no bacon available. "We just don't have bacon" he explained, to which I replied with a very puzzled look on my face, "Why, I mean I just don't get it". He went on to mention that the owner was Muslim, and while that may not be the sole reason for not allowing the addition of lovely swine to a burger, he wasn't here to answer my questions. I replied: "Well, I'm Jewish and I want cheese AND bacon on my burger". He was not impressed, but suffice it to say that this did not significantly marr my experience at Craft, which I had heard so many good things about. Moving along now.

The Orders:
ME:  Craft Spicy (With caramelized onions & spicy chipotle mayo, lettuce and tomato) with fries and a Boylans Black Cherry (I am obsessed with Boylans so I was a happy boy).
HER: Without the option of bacon, she decided to have the Lamb Burger (Fresh Ontario lamb, cilantro-feta spread, lettuce and tomato) with onion rings and a Boylans Root Beer.

The Comments:
Meh. You know it was good but I felt that the actual meat was not overly flavourful. The toppings made up for it, but I feel a burger should have a pronounced flavour that can be enjoyed without accoutrement. Speaking of the toppings, I did not feel there was sufficient spice on the "spicy burger" so I would not suggest ordering it. My friend seemed to really enjoy hers and I know she has been back since, so it seems there is hope for Craft Burger. Fries were excellent, as were the onion rings.

Verdict: I will have to go back and give it another shot, mostly based on the experiences of others that have said good things. Maybe because I was being deprived of my pig fix I didn't give them a fair shot.

In our next issue of the review round up:
1. My Place, A Canadian Pub
2. Tacos El Asador
3. Vinny's Panini
4. KOS Restaurant

Peace, Love, and Ice Cream.


  1. No bacon at Craft? Blasphemy! That's why you always need to carry some bacon in your pocket.

  2. I think I was sitting near you guys at oh boy! The counter service and operation flow was painful!

  3. Can't wait to hear your take on Tacos el Asador. Best Latin American food I've had since leaving LA.

    I like Craft Burger and have been a few times, but I still think the boy and I make a better burger than I can get anywhere else. I haven't been to the other spots but am not thinking I'll be rushing out to them based on this review.

  4. Well then Jen we must talk Latin, didnt love Asador, but maybe I need to go again before I write.

    Agree that better burgers are made at home, and annoys me when people buy frozen. Lazy.

  5. Thanks for going to all these places so I don't have to! I really want to try Craft Burger.