Posted by: smortimer | 2009/04/23

Mmmm Burgers

A while ago a Craft Burger opened up across the street from where I work.  Being a big fan of a tasty burger I tried it out.  My initial impressions: well it’s no Hero Burger, and it’s about the same price.  The only thing going for it at that point was that Hero Burger is a good 2o minute hike from work, and Craft Burger makes really good fries.

A little while after the first try at Craft Burger we(a couple of my coworkers and I) tried it again.  This time I decided to go for the lamb burger and onion rings.  Again pretty meh.  The burger had none of the lamby goodness you expect when someone says “lamb”.  It could have been regular ole ground beef, fairly tasteless at that.  The rings are not good at all, batter not very crispy, and not cooked all that well.

Recently I was at someone’s desk fixing their computer when they started talking about Craft Burger and how awesome it is.  This guy had to force himself to cut back from several times a week.  I really couldn’t understand it.  But yesterday decided to give them one more try.

This place is either the most inconsistant burger joint ever, or I am the unluckiest guy in the world when it comes to burgers.  My burger was tasty and juicy.  The fries were still really good, no change there.  Previously the burger was really bland and a little dry.  Part of this could be that we ate there yesterday when before we had take out.  But since all I am doing is crossing Yonge street and then going up an elevator I don’t give that very much weight.  I wonder if they have changed their burger contents or maybe a new cook?  It seemed like a totally different burger yesterday.

What is really funny though is that just a week or two before I saw this place for the first time I was talking over lunch with my lunch buddies and telling them how Toronto doesn’t have a restaurant that is really well known for making an excellent burger.  I don’t really count chains here, Hero makes a great burger,  but it’s really only a step above McDs.  Ok it’s a big step.  But we don’t have a sit down restaurant that people go to when they want a burger.  I was telling them, if you could get a place and make that burger then you could make a killing.  Of course you’d have to make great fries too.

Part of that problem is what does make a great burger?  I like to put things in my beef before making the patties and cooking.  Garlic, spices, even cheese sometimes.  But I know a lot of people are purists, it’s gotta be beef and nothing but.  And what cut of beef does one use?  I have heard chuck is the thing for burgers.  Heston Blumenthal made a really great looking burger on his show, In Search of Perfection.  It was all meat in the patty, though he did use three or so different cuts of beef.

I am very tempted to get my own meat grinder so I can get whole cuts and try and find out which makes the best burger.  The other benefit to this is if you buy from a source you trust and grind right before making them, you would be much safer cooking the burger to only a medium well or so.  Generally my view is ground meat gets cooked to well done since you cannot be sure of how it is handled.  But being a medium or even a medium rare kind of guy,  I often wonder if we lose out in a well done burger.

So then I ask you, the few readers I have so far, what is your favourite burger place, and what do you think makes for the best home made burgers?



  1. […] East.  I have been on the lookout for a really good burger in Toronto as I posted on my blog here, so a friend suggested we go and check out the Burger […]

  2. […] good, bringing back my memories of really good English fish and chips.  Though I will say that Craft Burger quite possibly has very slightly better […]

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