Burger Review: Station Burger, Richmond Station

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Welcome to part 8 of this burger series. As a reminder, this is a series based on a top 10 list of burgers published in Toronto Life.

Now that we are in the final stages of this burger challenge, I have to hand it to this guy. We are struggling to eat a burger once a month, and yet this guy was able to build up the courage to eat a burger EVERY SINGLE DAY. Is there anything you do outside of brushing your teeth, putting on contacts (if you have them) and drinking water that you do every single day?

So far this year, I’ve gone
– at least 24 hours without eating (intentional fast or non intentional travel fast)
– at least 24 (probably more) hours without showering (camping/cottaging)
– at least 24 hours without drinking coffee (and probably was pissed off about it)

And those are some basics you think you do daily yet I have managed to skip them. This guy held to a a daily diet of burger. It must have been tiring. You have to admire the guy’s dedication.

For the 8th burger episode, we went to Richmond Station, a place known primarily as a restaurant opened by a Top Chef winner, who also coincidentally used to work at Marben, which had a really good burger. Expectations were definitely high.

Station Burger
lettuce, beet chutney, aged cheddar, milk bun, rosemary fries, dill pickle, garlic aioli – $22

At $22, it was tied with Carbon Bar for most expensive. Both are fancy places but $22 is quite high for me. I soon found out that the patty is made of “brisket, sirloin and round for his burger, then stuffs it with braised neck and short rib” which could explain the high price. Most likely it’s because it’s a fancy place though.

The Verdict
At first, when I saw this burger, I was like … this is all I get for 22 dollars? But then after the initial bite, I realized the error of my ways. Like the quiet person in the corner of a table during a company meeting, I realized that I shouldn’t sell something short based on initial appearances. This burger may have been small, but it was dense.

The assortment of beef parts rolled into this patty was pressed pretty tightly and just came off as thick. It had a very meaty taste which is something that I guess shouldn’t surprise but I just feel like I really was consuming the essence of the animal.

Because it was made from not just ground meat, the patty did have a decent chewiness to it, which I’m not sure how I felt about.

By now, we have seen restaurants of all kinds try to give their burger some extra edge by accompanying it with innovative ingredients. This burger was no different. Aside from your standard lettuce and aged cheddar (which you know, is pretty common), the burger was accompanied by a beet chutney.

I assume it was to provide a little bit of sweetness to the otherwise meaty burger, but frankly, I didn’t really taste too much of it so I can’t really comment on it. The meat taste of the burger was pretty overwhelming, for better or worse.


The burger was definitely a bit greasy as it was dripping if not right away, then fairly soon afterwards. The bun itself had a cute little shape to it, and was baked in house. One thing I found surprising was that Sarah’s bun was noticeably darker then mine. Perhaps this inconsistency is a product of baking, I don’t know.

I think I enjoyed this burger. It may have been too dense for me, which is surprising given my affinity for devouring meat. I think it overwhelmed some of the accompanying flavors a bit and really was quite heavy. Still, I enjoyed the burger, but not at the levels of the Wickson or Bar Buca. Was it worth $22? Probably not.

Here is fellow burger enthusiast Sarah’s take on it:
“It was a filling burger, so it had that going for it. It’s not a burger I would go back for but I’m glad I had it once.”

Oh yeah, the fries were fairly average, which was a bit disappointing.

Burger Scale

Amarillo Burger, Casino El Camino – $10 USD
The Burger, Wickson Social – $19
Bombolone Burger, Bar Buca – $15
Station burger, Richmond Station – $22
Burger, Rasa – $17
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

Polaris Prize 2017 Gala Review: Lido Pimienta wins!

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Surely by now you know that a shocked Lido Pimienta won the Polaris Music Prize this year, beating out the likes of Feist, Leonard Cohen and Gord Downie. Surely by now you also have read about the expletive laced speech Lido gave after her initial speech about the sound guy that somehow is overshadowing the fact that the Polaris Prize once again went to an underdog artist, proving once again just how diverse the Canadian music industry is once you are willing to look away from skinny white boys with guitars.

Let’s not dwell on those facts, lets talk about the gala itself.

Taking place on a warm September Monday night, the gala took place at the prestigious Carlu, which really is one of the cooler chic places to have a gala. I do wonder why it’s on a Monday night instead of a Friday, but I guess that’s the cheapest night to rent a place like this. Then again, for musicians, maybe Monday is like a Friday to them. I know this is the case for bartenders.

Let’s move on to the important things. How was the food? Here’s a brief review of each food item, all of which I ate two of.

Fish Tacos – nothing special. I think it was on a flour tortilla. Obviously this is a mass feeding situation so the fish didn’t feel like it was fresh out of the fryer. A fish taco’s real strength is blending the crispiness of the fried fish with the sweet, tangy notes of the supporting ingredients. Without that crispiness, the fish taco cannot achieve the level of tastiness that you would strive for. So in order words, average.

DIY Caesar Salad bar – Very good. A surprise entry, the DIY sat quietly in the corner but don’t let the non-prime placement of this station fool you, it was very tasty. The things that you could use to build your salad were:
– lettuce
– croutons
– gran padano cheese
– fried lentils (weird, I know)
– pickled quail egg

The pickled quail eggs were amazing. Tiny sour bites of unborn bird that packed quite a punch. Im guessing its the umami contribution to the salad that is a solid substitution for anchovies. An innovative contribution to the night, for sure.

3 Kinds of Grilled Cheese – Something I was looking forward to, but ended up a disappointment. Grilled cheese is best piping hot off the stove top, and this catered situation did the chefs no favor. The bread was lukewarm by the time they served it and the cheese wasn’t cooked into the gooey goodness you expect. Even the three kinds did it no favor, it’s kind of like when you go to those shitty big box franchise restaurants and they offer you 100 things on the menu. This was more like a warm cheese sandwich than anything.

Meatballs – Very good. It’s hard to mess up meatballs and tomato sauce, and these little packets of meat were flavorful and the sweetness of the tomato sauce complemented each bite nicely. This was Paul’s favorite thing of the evening and tied with the salad for mine.

Overall- Better than last year.

Drinks – Considering most people in the music industry are raging alcoholics and a large amount of those people are piss poor (because they are in the music industry), it seemed kind of cruel to serve wine at 9 dollars a glass and beer at 8 dollars for a tiny pour. Maybe what they were really doing was pricing up the alcohol (more expensive than last year) so that people don’t get wasted. If that’s the situation, then I guess that’s okay. All I know is next year will be flask city.


Lisa LeBlanc – It’s always tough to open an award show because most of the people are still busy networking or trying to score deals or something. However Lisa LeBlanc played a nice two song set that really showed off her versatility as an artist. The first was a rock number while the other was a whimsical almost folk song that provided some much needed humor in a year where a lot of artists took a very serious route.

BBNG / Tribe Called Red / Gord Downie / Leonard Cohen
They were no shows (some had good reasons, like being dead). This was always going to leave a gap in the night and we were all curious as to how they would tackle this. Polaris (or CBC) decided to handle this by playing either music videos or recorded live performances. Bad move, if I wanted to watch youtube videos, I would have done it at home. The music video portion of the night took a lot of momentum away from the show in terms of energy. Hopefully next year they can address it better. Holograms, I say.

Tanya Tagaq – A powerhouse performance that captured the room in it’s entirety. It was a very metal performance (she performed Rape Me) but boy, was it super intense. Tanya Tagaq’s an artist that grabs your attention from the moment her set begins and doesn’t let it go until she decides to. The song ended with many women in the crowd standing up while wearing a red dress, showing solidarity for the REDress project, a project that focuses the many many missing or murdered Aboriginal women across Canada. Find out more here.

Leif Vollebek – I’ve heard a lot about Leif and this was the first time I found out what he looks and sounds like. It was pleasant and less Starbucks then I thought. That’s all I gotta say about that.

Feist – Perfectly pleasant. Feist has a nice voice. I kind of wish Siri had her voice.

Lido Pimienta – Brought her A game to the show, despite some sound issues (as she noted post award), Lido’s voice sounded great and filled the room. Accompanying her was a whole brass or horn section and a slew of dancers. It’s great to see someone put so much effort into delivering just one song.

Weaves and Tanya Tagaq – By this point of the night, I was lamenting the fact that there wasn’t a whole lotta rock music tonight. Then Weaves came on and ended that complaint. Unfortunately, the fifteen minute wait (to fix sound issues) did the band no favors as people were anxious by then. Still, the band sounded solid and have grown a lot since I last saw them.

Last but not least, the host.

Raina Douris was by far the most professional host that I have seen at Polaris, but I thought she was too professional. I kinda like some of the amateur hour stuff they did in the past because it was less smooth. Perhaps some more humour during the show would have been nice. However if you had asked me during those times maybe I would have asked for a more professional person so who knows.

All in all, a good night.

Polaris Prize 2017 Preview

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Polaris 2016

Tonight is the biggest night in the Canadian music industry, and if Sean Spicer was going to show up like he did last night at the Emmys, he would probably declare the Polaris to be “THE MOST IMPORTANT MUSIC EVENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE EARTH, PERIOD.”

The Polaris Prize, as you probably know by now, is rewarded to the Canadian artist with the best record of the year. The initial long and short lists to reduce the amount of qualified candidates are voted on by the who’s who of the Canadian music industry. Once that happens, a grand jury is selected based on Steve Jordan’s feelings and then they are locked into a bunker at the Carlu to argue it out 12 Angry Men style to determine a winner, once and for all.

This year’s short list is as follows:

A Tribe Called Red, We Are the Halluci Nation
Leonard Cohen, You Want It Darker
Gord Downie, Secret Path
Feist, Pleasure
Lisa LeBlanc, Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen?
Lido Pimienta, La Papessa
Tanya Tagaq, Retribution
Leif Vollebekk, Twin Solitude
Weaves, Weaves

An impressive list of artists, and definitely some that might make for incredible stories for the next day, including:

- Leonard Cohen, getting a posthumous award for his last piece of work (I am assuming he’s not going Tupac on us and releasing 12 mix tapes in the next decade)
– Gord Downie, obviously
– Tanya Tagaq and Feist, each could be the first two time, two time winner

But surely that will not impact the jury who will for sure vote based purely off musical qualities.

The gala will be streamed live on CBC and will feature performances by:

Lisa Leblanc
Lido Pimienta
Tanya Tagaq
Leif Vollebekk

If we are lucky, they might all come onto the stage together and sing “We Are The World”, which would be the best.

Who will win? tune in to find out!

Song of the Day: Womps – Darling

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An odd band name, but one you won’t forget. They are a duo from Scotland so I’m not quite sure if how I think I’m pronouncing it is the actual way it should be announced. Recently in my life I realized I may have been pronouncing some prominent artists incorrectly.

For example, I was pronouncing Lorde as LOR-DAY, because I was thinking it was like Starbucks, which I believe is pronounced Gran-Day. So then I was like, how do you pronounce Ariana Grande? Does anyone know? English is not my first language, how dare you make fun of me.

Anyways that has nothing to do with this song by WOMPS. With those synth lines and those lovey dovey lyrics, you can definitely tell Womps were listening to The Cure when they wrote this song, as that will be the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear it.

Having read their PR release it appears that the two members of Womps take influence from “Scottish working class culture, the aftermath of the Thatcher reign and the disappointment of a failed independence referendum and the personal loves and losses entangled within” which is impressive if you think about it. I mean, being in a band is their job and those things inspire their actual work. If I was to write about my job, I would say, “my influence comes from wanting to make money.”

Anyways, here’s the song, I don’t know why I kept on going off track with this post but we’ve arrived at the same point.