Burger Review: Bombolone Burger, Bar Buca

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Welcome to part 6 of our burger review series. We are on the final stretch. As a reminder, this is a series based on a top 10 list of burgers published in Toronto Life….


The Panic Manual follows no rules and after travelling the path laid out by Toronto Life, we decided to cater to our rebellious ways, go off script and pick our own burger place. It was a crazy decision, I know, but it felt so refreshing to not have to rely on a Toronto Life list for burger consumption. It almost felt like this moment in Pleasantville:

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To go further off the beaten path, we picked an Italian restaurant for our burger. Bar Buca. This was Sarah’s pick and here’s why she picked it.

“I picked Bar Buca because I did a very scientific Google search for “best Toronto burger” and it was one of the results on a list. I don’t know whose list, but definitely a list. Well, Internet, it’s not the best Toronto burger but it is definitely a good one so I thank you for your service.”

So there you go, thank you google.

On a side note: “And also, Ricky, the Harbord Room is not the same as Harbord House how dare you.”

Apparently I have been confusing Harbord Room with Harbord House for all my life, and this is sad, because Harbord Room was supposed to have a really good burger.

Anyways, back to Bar Buca

The burger in question was

Bombolone Burger – $15
beef and lardo burger, cured pomodorini, white radicchio, rosemary olive oil zabaglione

Now before we continue, an Italian language lesson:
Bombolone Burger = Donut burger?
Pomodorini = cherry tomato

At least according to google (thanks again).

The Verdict
First of all, you will notice that this burger is regal and fancy. Radicchio? Lardo? CURED pomodorini? Definitely not your traditional greasy American dive burger, but let’s celebrate diversity shall we?

Made from Bar Buca’s famous(?) donut dough (hence the name), the bun was solid. Toasted lightly, the bun had a nice sturdiness to it that crunched nicely when you bite into it. This was no surprise, as someone who spent the better part of last month in Europe, I can attest to one thing: Europeans know bread. I’m not saying they are European here, but it is an Italian restaurant after all.

The burger itself was a decent size. Perhaps smaller then some of the other places we have been to, but it was salted and flavored nicely. It was a bit greasy, as the napkin that my burger sat on quickly became identical to a rorschach test with all the grease dripping onto it. Despite the advertisement of lardo in the menu, I didn’t really detect it in my bite. My other complaint for this was that my patty actually fell apart into multiple pieces after a bite or two, meaning I had to eat it at certain angles to prevent it from falling. The patty was good, but this could not be overlooked.

Normally fancy ingredients detract from the burger, but actually in this particular case, the different ingredients served to make it better. The cured cherry tomatoes were really sweet, and there weren’t that many on the burger, so each bite was different depending on whether or not you hit the tomato. When you did, your initial meat bite finishes off with an explosion of sweetness that is quite pleasant. But it’s not every bite, so it doesn’t overwhelm the burger, which is nice.

There was also a coleslaw-like mix that also added a nice peppery taste to the burger. I really enjoyed the combination of sweet and peppery and it is one of the few instances where the veggie choices actually enhanced the burger eating experience.

Maybe this is just the going price these days for food, but 15$ for a not large burger and no sides seems more on the expensive side. I guess rent at King and Portland is pretty high.

With it’s unique flavor profile and good taste, we really liked the burger at Bar Buca. It was also a good spiritual lesson as we learned that we don’t have to follow the rules and things will be just fine. The great thing is that we learned this without having to murder a bunch of people like Christian Bale did in Equilibrium.

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Here was burger enthusiast Sarah’s take on it:
“This burger was tasty! It was hard to put down, both because it was delicious and because it wasn’t very structural. I am glad we went off list for it.”

Burger Scale

Amarillo Burger, Casino El Camino – 10$ USD
The Burger, Wickson Social – 19$
Bombolone Burger, Bar Buca – 15$
Prime Beef Double Cheeseburger, Museum Tavern – 19$
Skyline Burger, Skyline Diner – 14$
Brisket Cheese Burger, Carbon Bar – 22$
Game Burger, Antler – 18$
Vegan Mac Daddy, Doomies – 16$

Posted on by Ricky in Everything

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

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