Burger Review: Prime Beef Double Cheeseburger, Museum Tavern

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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:

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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)

Artist rendition

Artist rendition

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.

Burger Scale

Amarillo Burger, Casino El Camino – 10$ USD
Prime Beef Double Cheeseburger, Museum Tavern – 19$
Skyline Burger, Skyline Diner – 14$

Til next time

Concert Review: Sampha, February 12, Mod Club

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It’s been a week and a bit since I attended the crazy sold out Sampha show at the Mod Club. Usually I’ll post my reviews of a concert in a few days, but for some reason, I was struggling to put together words for this show and many others lately. Have I hit the wall? Do I have writers block? But then I thought about it, and really dug deep within my soul and thought .. what do people really want out of concert reviews?

As part of my real life job, we have to always consider the user experience when introducing new features or functionality to the thing I work on. No functionality is built without user stories, so I asked myself, what is the user story here, for a reader to read a concert review. Now, obviously being very lazy, I decided not to actually research this part. I decided to rely on my own experience as a consumer of other blogs. These are the conditions on which I usually find myself reading concert reviews. There are basically two scenarios.

Scenario 1 – Should I go?
In this scenario, you are unsure of the act. This might be a result of a few things
– You don’t know the artist
– You are skeptical the artist is good live
– You want to know if it’s a fun time.

You want to hear from a trusted source (or multiple untrusted sources) to determine if it’s worth your time and money.

Scenario 2 – Was I right?
In this scenario, you just attended a show. You have an opinion on it, but you don’t know if anyone else agrees. So you google for others opinions.

So based off those scenarios, I’m guessing people really just want to know a few things.

1. Was the show good?
2. What songs did they play?
3. How was the energy of the crowd?
4. How was the energy of the artist?
5. Did anything weird or funny happen?
6. What food did you eat after the show?*

Let’s just answer those questions. We’ll answer the questions in reverse order.

5. Did anything weird or funny happen?
No. Although I went to see 6Lack at the same venue three weeks ago and I was very aggressively patted down, this time, they just let me walk through. Very inconsistent security strategies at the Mod Club.

4. How was the energy of the artist?
At first I thought Sampha was pretty content to just hide behind the dark lighting and his rig and sing from there, like the shy producer stereotype. However, perhaps sensing that he would need to build a better identity if he were to be featured on bigger (re: festival) shows, Sampha actually took to the front of the stage and sang and danced to all the upbeat (for him) tracks. He spoke to the crowd and really worked to put on a full show. You can always tell when an artist is going through the motions and this was not the case. The man dug his music and why not? it’s great.

3. How was the energy of the crowd?
I’m so old, people were drinking and dancing on a Sunday night. I’m like, how do you muster this shit? I had decaffeinated green tea before the show. The crowd was hyped. There wasn’t a lot of room to move but people made their best efforts. Head bobbing ratio was high.

2. What songs did they play?
All the songs.

1. Was the show good?
Yes, from the opening track Plastic 100C to the hit Blood On Me to the set closer Indecision, Sampha and his band were on point. It woulda been easy to rely on samples and hide under the “producer” guise but Sampha took a full band and the result was much livelier and fresh sound. They even all did that whole let’s all play percussions at the same time for the track Without. It was pretty cool but I feel like a lot of bands do that now. Still, it was a good time.

So what I’m basically saying is you should go to a Sampha show.

2017 Juno Nominees – A Deep Analysis and Predictions

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | 1 Comment

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It’s February, you know what that means? It’s Juno time! Obviously no one ever thinks that but let’s just roll with it. On Monday or at some other point this week, the Grammy’s sadder cousin the Junos announced their nominees for their awards this year. Junos, as we all know is probably one of the five most important music awards you can get in Canada. Others being

- Polaris
– MMVAs?
– Prism Awards
– Panic Manual Lifetime Achievement Award

I’m not sure which award show is the most important, I think it changes every year depending on what food company is catering the awards show. I heard Junos might have struck a deal with Pizza Pizza* this year so you can tell the budget is high.

Anyways, the logo you see is the logo for the Junos which is appropriate since the nominees for the major award lacks diversity and also is so imbalance on the gender scale you think it was a tech company.

Still, the experts at the Panic Manual came together (no they did not) and took a look at the awards. The predicted winner is in italics.

Indigenous Music Album of the Year

Crystal Shawanda Fish Out Of Water
Bryden Gwiss Kiwenzie Round Dance & Beats (Powwow)
Quantum Tangle Tiny Hands
Silla + Rise Debut
William Prince Earthly Days
A Tribe Called Red – We Are the Halluci Nation

In the shock of the Junos, A Tribe Called Red will win this award by making a surprise appearance WWF style with JR commentating. Seriously, why is there even a category for a specific group of people making music? Where is my Chinaman music of album of the year category?

JUNO Fan Choice Award

Justin Bieber
Shawn Mendes
Alessia Cara
Ruth B
The Weeknd
Tory Lanez
The Strumbellas

C’mon, the kids will always vote for the Biebs.

Single of the Year

Shawn Mendes “Treat You Better”
Drake “One Dance ft. Wizkid & Kyla”
Alessia Cara “Wild Things”
The Weeknd “Starboy “ft. Daft Punk
The Strumbellas “Spirits”

You know, if Daft Punk showed up to the Junos, it would be the only thing people talk about.

International Album of the Year

Sia – This is Acting
Rihanna – ANTI
One – Direction Made in the A.M.
Coldplay – A Head Full of Dreams
Ariana Grande – Dangerous Woman

Now we know which record labels won the silent auctions

Album of the Year

The Weeknd Starboy
Shawn Mendes Illuminate
Leonard Cohen You Want It Darker
Drake Views
Céline Dion Encore un Soir

Raise your hand if you knew Celine Dion had an album this year. Most likely Drake takes it but Leonard Cohen would be a good sentimental choice. Tegan and Sara would have been my pick.

Group of the Year

Billy Talent
The Tragically Hip
Tegan and Sara
The Strumbellas

I loved the Tegan and Sara album this year, but Tragically Hip would make for a wonderful #hashtag# moment and since Junos are desperate for ratings that might be the right play here.

Rock Album of the Year

Arkells Morning Report
Billy Talent Afraid of Heights
Monster Truck Sittin’ Heavy
Sam Roberts Band TerraForm
The Tragically Hip Man Machine Poem

What is rock and what is alternative? I saw Dilly Dally at SXSW this year and she was like drinking hard at 11 and sounded pretty rock to me. I’m pretty sure Sam Roberts would be drinking avocado smoothies at that time (not a bad thing). Anyways this has probably spawned about 4 think pieces (maybe 3 now that Chart Attack is no more) so I don’t really need to contribute more to the criticism but we all know the Canadian Music Industry is like the US Government – a white man’s game.

There’s a few more categories but you know, no one really cares. I don’t even know why I’m writing this.

The Junos are on CTV sometime in April, it’s probably hosted by Ben Mulroney and sponsored by Moores.

*Alternative Fact

2016 in Review: Ricky’s Favorite Albums

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The crushing realization that I will never get to listen to as much music as I used to hit me this year and while I’m sad about this, life moves on. Still, 2016 was a great year for music and I still have a lot of catching up to do, so here’s a list of my favorite albums this year from what I did listen to.

Chairlift – Moth
Chairlift makes good music and Moth continues the group’s upward trajectory. This album was peppered with singles including two tracks that were especially stellar – the modern sadness that is Crying in Public and the dance floor filler Moth to the Flame. As usual, the band accompanied their tracks with creative videos although they will never top Amanaemonesia

Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
What can you say about this record? Just a fantastic record in a year dominated by hip hop. Kinda wish I saw him when he visited this year.

Tegan and Sara – Love You To Death
A hook filled 80s inspired pop record that is irresistible once you put it on, I actually had to stop listening to this album for awhile to avoid burnout. Tegan & Sara are that rare band that seems to write better songs as they age, although I wouldn’t be surprised if they change course after this album – you can’t go any more pop than this.

PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project
PJ Harvey never goes wrong, she keeps on creating new and interesting projects. The Hope Six Demoliton project is just in an endlessly long line of great albums. Looking forward to seeing her in the spring time.

Shura – Nothing’s Real
Two years in the making, UK singer Shura’s debut record is just about pop perfection. Shura’s debut borrows enthusiastically from 80’s sounds and has no shame about it. That’s the beauty of it. The anthems soar, the hooks grab you and never let go and you are just in a head nodding bliss. The more tender songs such as Touch showcase Shura’s skill as a songwriter as well and well, between her and Jessie Ware, it makes you wonder what else the UK pop factory has in store for us.

Haelos – Full Circle
Probably my favourite album of the year, Haelos combined the XX and Portishead and managed to create a moody, atmospheric slightly trip-hop album. It’s not an album for a sunny afternoon but a perfect album for when the sun goes past the horizon and you want to feel all dramatic and shit.

Anyways, I’m sure this list will change as I listen to more and more records. For example, the new Tribe Called Quest album is probably going to be added, but it’s too soon.

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