I decided I am reviewing burgers now. I like burgers, maybe not as much as the next person, but I appreciate the complexity that is creating a delicious burger. So now I’m going to review burgers.
Recently, there was a Toronto Life article where a man ate a burger for 365 days and judged his favorite burgers. It was inspiring and depressing at the same time, but you cannot deny the writing potential. After reading his article, it was decided that we will take his list and go on our own culinary adventure to determine the best burger in Toronto.
Since this is the first of (maybe) many articles, I will set the boundaries. Here is my favorite burger:
The Crown (Upper range)
This is the Amarillo burger from Casino El Camino that is based out of Austin, Texas.
This burger is 3/4 pounds of local Texas Angus beef with roasted Serrano chiles, jalapeno jack cheese and cilantro mayonnaise. It’s housed on a normal American bun. The burger is cooked medium and the meat is seasoned perfectly and the roasted serranos add an amazing kick to the burger that is nicely balanced by the cilantro mayo. It is not your normal burger so it’s a bit unfair to judge against this, but life is unfair. Just as a note, this wasn’t a one time adventure. I eat this at least once (typically twice) at SXSW each year and so it is probable that I have eaten this burger at least 15 times. This burger is my upper range.
Baseline Burger (The Control)
In any type of experiment, you need a control. This is the standard. It is basically the one that you can use as your initial base and determine where the burger you just ate is above or below. For no apparently reason what so ever, the baseline burger is the Skyline Burger from Skyline Diner. The Skyline Diner is a retro diner in Parkdale. It’s classic in every sense of the word and the burger is a medium cooked burger with tomato, onion, pickle and lettuce. It was a very tasty burger, but there was an excessive amount of mayo which dominated the taste. However, it was still pretty good so that burger sites at a 5 on my scale. There’s no picture because my friends who normally take pictures of everything failed me.
So we decided to start at the top of this man’s list. Why? Because the restaurant industry is a finicky one and we wanted to hit this up before the menu changed, or the chef quit or they switch beef sources or nuclear holocaust happens. The first burger on the list was
Prime Beef Double Cheeseburger – 19$
American cheese, lettuce, onion, pickle, sauce
This was at the Museum Tavern, which is across the street and used to be the Pho Hung which really is a sideways move at best since pho is awesome. This burger is essentially a fancy version of your classic American burger, substituting ground beef with some Prime Beef meat (I didn’t really ask). We ordered it in pink, which in my mind, meant it was of high quality.
I thought the burger was good. The meat was nice but maybe a bit too salty for me to love. The burger was a bit high on the greasy side and in my mind could have used a bit more lettuce to add more texture into the bite. A bite of this burger is definitely very meaty and cheesy. A nice touch was the addition of thyme to the bun which added a nice little flavor to the taste.
The burger was served with enough fries to feed a small third world country, which felt really American.
I went with my fellow burger enthusiast Sarah who had this to say “It was okay but definitely not the best.”
Overall this burger, with it’s high meat content, it’s meaty-cheesy-greasy bite and large amount of fries definitely scored high on the “how american is this burger” scale. I would place it above the Skyline burger, but just barely.
Amarillo Burger, Casino El Camino – 10$ USD
Prime Beef Double Cheeseburger, Museum Tavern – 19$
Skyline Burger, Skyline Diner – 14$
Til next time