The Burgernator. Restaurant, or Superhero?

Burgernator – Eaten 04/09/16

Burger Eaten – The Burgernator

Eaten by: Ryan

My friend just rented a house in Kensington Market, so I thought I’d pay him a visit. It was about 3pm and I hadn’t eaten since a banana at 8:30 am that morning, so I when the Burgernator sign caught my eye, instinct took over, and I was in for the kill.

The mission? Find and devour the biggest, baddest, greasiest burger on their menu.

Enter, The Burgernator… The namesake… The double cheeseburger with grilled cheese sandwiches instead of buns… Or, the eternal fountain of happiness, as I like to call it.

We’ll start from the bottom, and work our way up. Grilled cheese sandwich, burgernator sauce, smashed patty, cheese, sautéed onion, burgernator sauce, smashed patty, cheese, sautéed mushroom, burgernator sauce, smashed patty, cheese, sautéed onion, burgernator sauce, and a grilled cheese sandwich to cap it off.

I know that Burger’s Priest, and Holy Chuck both offer a grilled cheese sandwich bun swap, but this was actually my first time trying one! It’s absolutely not for the faint of heart, so proceed with caution. I had heart palpitations for 3 hours, post burger, but my dear lord, it was mighty worth it.

I was honestly so tired after eating this, that I had to bail on meeting up with my friend John. I went home, took a nap, and hopefully we’ll reschedule for next week!

Until next time!!

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Fancy Schmancy

Bymark – Last Eaten 03/22/16

Burger Eaten: The Classic 8oz Bymark Burger

Eaten By: Ryan

Have you ever had a 35$ burger?

Until this week, I hadn’t either.

My Regional Vice President of Sales was in town this week, and took us out for dinner at Bymark, a Mark McEwan Group restaurant in the Toronto’s Financial District. Mark McEwan is a nationally recognized celebrity chef, and for good reason. He took a simple sandwich, and elevated it to places and levels of flavour that I did not know were possible.

The 8 oz blended patty, containing a concoction of ground rib eye, chuck, and flank was perfectly crusted, perfectly juicy, and cooked to a perfectly perfect medium-rare. The Brie de Meaux from France, provided a sharpness and creaminess that overwhelmed my taste buds. The Porcini mushrooms sautéed with sherry inserted an earthy, sweet, and deep texture and flavour, but all of this delightfulness was overshadowed by shaved truffle flakes dancing right underneath the top bun.

I would have never had the opportunity to eat this burger if my manager weren’t in town, but that being said, I have to find a way back. One thought is to contribute one dollar per week to the newly created Bymark Fund, but I think I might have more luck convincing my boss (who luckily ate the burger as well) to come back more often!

This was a burger from the gods, and Mark McEwan and his team deserve a seat in Heaven for their Bymark delight!

Until next time!

Airport Burgers – Vol. 1

Grindhouse Killer Burgers (Hartlsfield Jackson Atlanta Airport) — Last Eaten 04/02/16

Burger Eaten: The Apache Burger

Eaten By: Ryan

Airport food isn’t usually something to write home about. Overpriced, Over salted, and a general sentiment of “when is my shift over” from every employee in the place. On a recent layover in Atlanta, I discovered an outlier! Grindhouse Killer burgers blew me away!

Served on a potato roll, The Apache is topped with pepper jack, grilled onions, and roasted New Mexico green chiles. I was a little bit stuffed up, and the spice from the chiles opened up my sinuses in just the right way. This was such a juicy patty, and some of the tastiest beef I’ve ever had.

I Absolutely loved this burger, and when I went grocery shopping today, bought a few fresh chiles I hope to roast and jar for my next home made burger. Just another ingredient to add to the arsenal!

 

 

Good Company in NOLA

Company Burger Downtown — Last Eaten 04/01/16

Burger Eaten: The Company Burger

Eaten By: Ryan

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Just a delight!

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Work took me to New Orleans this week, and while the gulf calls for seafood, I had to sneak away from Bourbon Street and find myself NOLA’s best burger.

I googled, searched the forums, asked a couple of locals on the street in the French quarter, and the overwhelming majority directed me to Company Burger.

I would usually drool over paragraph upon paragraph, describing the inner workings of the beautiful feast bestowed upon me, but today, I think a list of the top 10 reasons to check out Company Burger is necessary.

  1. Smashed patties: 2 crispy chuck patties, smashed on a flat top, cooked to perfection, with a hint of pink, ok with me, considering they grind the meat in house
  2. They make their own bread and butter pickles. How rare is that!?
  3. MAYO BAR! – This place makes 4 different types of mayo from scratch (original, chipotle, basil, and garlic) and gives patrons as much as they want. This is a game changer.
  4. Milk bun – soft, high level of absorption, however, crisped on the inside to maintain it’s shape.
  5. No tomatoes or lettuce on the menu – They showcase their beef, and don’t allow customers the options of masking its beauty by overwhelming their palette with too many distracting flavours
  6. MAYO BAR AGAIN!!
  7. 2 slices of cheddar! – It irks me when I order a double cheeseburger, and the burger spot skimps out by putting 1 slice in between the patties, instead of 2! This joint does it right. Double Cheeseburger should mean twice the meat, AND twice the cheese!
  8. Fries cooked twice to provide extra crispiness
  9.  19 beers on tap
  10. They let you leave with your beer, as is the NOLA tradition!

 

I just want another one. Anyone from Louisiana coming to Toronto any time soon??

Yorkville Has Good Burgers Too!

La Société — Last Eaten 08/09/2015

Burger Eaten: L’Hamburger Maison (The House Burger)

Eaten By: Ryan

 

I paid for my University degree by working as an expediter in the kitchen of a 4 diamond CAA french bistro in Ottawa. They never served a burger to customers, but once a week, the staff meal before service would be burgers. Another example of the burger stars aligning for Ry Guy. 😉

I’ve always loved trying burgers at ‘fancy’ restaurants, because typically a burger isn’t crafted by a chef. For lack of a better term, burgers are usually designed by gluttons like myself. This is important, because blending of flavours, marbling and aging of meat, quantity of toppings, acidity, are all things that undoubtedly add to the experience but are often overlooked.

La Société is run by chefs. True French chefs. Although the 23$ price tag quite blatantly reflects that, the money was well spent.

Triple creme Brie, Quebec bacon accompany pickled red onions, a sweet and spicy fig chutney, and a roasted tomato aioli that are all crafted in-house.

This burger was so good, that I emailed the chef the next day, asking for both his pickled onion, and his tomato aioli recipes. He replied, but opted not to share his secret, but rather have me ask for him next time I was in for a burger so he could come say hello.

I’m still hoping I can pry the recipe out of him!

A Holy Experience, Part 2

Holy Chuck — Last Eaten 03/01/2016

Burger Eaten: The Big Bad Wolf

Eaten By: Ryan

I am blessed. I found out today, that the restaurant across the street from my condo building that has been under construction for the last 2 months, is going to be a new Holy Chuck location. I am ecstatic, thrilled, eager, anxious. I am also nervous, because I will likely need to purchase a new gym membership, having a world class burger joint twenty seven steps from my front door. Yes, I counted…

The Big Bad Wolf does something I really enjoy. They grill there patties in mustard. A concept made famous by the secret menu at In N Out Burger in California, mustard grilled patties have crept their way into a few spots in Toronto over the years. What happens, is the patty develops a crust, but instead of it being a sweet crust caused by the melting sugars and Maillard reaction, the crust takes on the tangy flavour of the mustard to create a deep umami sensation that does not present itself often.

The mustard madness doesn’t stop there. Do you see the elaborate structure in the picture below? Yes, that is exactly what you thought it was. Deep. Fried. Mustard. They squirt mustard into the deep fryer, and it develops a fantastic coating in seconds. Once pulled out, it’s nestled atop the burger in stunning fashion, calling for the lucky eater to crush it into edible size before taking a bite. The texture and creaminess created is utterly fantastic.

I love this idea, and I hadn’t heard of it before trying it at Holy Chuck. I’d say it’s worth a go. If you have kids, take them too. I can’t imagine a world where a child doesn’t get excited crushing a mountain of fried mustard.

Happy Burger-ing!

Ry.

Will You Be My BFF?

Burgers n’ Fries Forever — Last Eaten 01/03/2016

Burger Eaten: The Spicy Bold BBQ

Eaten By: Ryan

I’m home in Ottawa this weekend visiting my parents, so I decided to pop in to visit a friend’s joint I’d heard so much about. Burgers and Fries Forever reinforces the strong sentiment that I have to continue to eat.. Burgers, and Fries. Forever.

I went to High School with Jamil Bhuya and his business partner, Jazmine Fenton. After graduating, in my few years in Ottawa before moving to Toronto, we bonded over the fact that a typical 9-5 in a government town was extremely unappealing. We lost touch, and I only really caught up with him when I heard about him starting to make his dreams come true. He didn’t know it at the time, but he was making mine come true as well! (Read: Ryan really loves burgers).

This menu has something for everyone. Halal beef, falafel patties, spicy, tropical, east-asian, savoury, bbq inspired toppings, poutine, you name it. Jamil was always a crowd pleaser!

BFF

I chose the Spicy Bold BBQ Burger. Though every single choice made me salivate, I’ve always been a sucker for caramelized onions and chipotle mayo, so BBQ burger it is!

I’d never had a Halal beef burger before. The meat tasted fantastic. Clean, fresh, and grilled to perfection, with great crust as any smashed flat top patty should have.

It was also the first time I’d ever tried beef bacon, and I’ll be honest, I think I might like it better for a burger than traditional slices of pork bacon. It was nice and meaty, with less fat and grease, and had a sharp flavour that cut through the sweetness of the BBQ sauce perfectly.

I’m so happy for Jamil, and even more happy to support a friend following his dreams, and making delicious, fresh burgers. This restaurant has secretly become a staple visit for me every time I come back home. I say secret, because if my mother new I was eating outside of her house when I was in town, she would be wildly offended. Sorry Mom!

I’d also suggest trying the American, and the Truffle, but honestly, they are all delicious.

 

Bacon Strips Just Weren’t Enough

HODAD’S — Last Eaten 08.17.2015

Burger Eaten: Double Bacon Cheeseburger

Eaten By: Ryan

I first heard about this famous San Diego joint while watching an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Host Guy Fieri is a source of constant envy for me, having made a lucrative career out of travelling across this great continent searching for the best in casual eats. This burger bar is where passion meets insane flavour. The owner is obsessed. He has a cheeseburger tattooed on one calf, and a milkshake on the other.

I was driving the Pacific Coast Highway with some friends last summer, and had to make a pitstop to try their world famous double bacon cheeseburger.

I was expecting a feast from what I’d seen on the ‘Triple D’ segment, but gosh darn, this burger was intimidatingly large.  It must have been at least 7 inches tall as it came to my table.  Each of the patties weigh in at 6oz, and are grilled to perfection, locking in more run-down-your-arm juices than I thought possible.  They’re then covered in melted American cheese, and dressed with ketchup, mustard, mayo, a lettuce snowball, 2 thick slices of beefsteak tomato, sliced pickle, onion, and a bacon patty.

That wasn’t a typo. There was a patty of grilled bacon on this burger. This was revelatory for me, as someone who has often opted against bacon on my burgers due to bacon strips just not being a conveniently shaped burger topping for equal flavour dispersion across each bite. I apologize if that was a bit technical for the the burger chomping rookie. Written text doesn’t do this discovery justice, so I implore you to watch the video below to understand just how much better this bacon consumption vehicle is than a couple of measly bacon strips.

Are we drooling yet? I know I am. I never get tired of that video.

I make sure to recommend this restaurant to everybody I know visiting San Diego, and when I head to Los Angeles for a work trip in May, you can be sure I’ll be making the 90 minute trip south on the PCH to have another for myself. The lineup outside usually exceeds 30 patient burger enthusiasts, but at 8$ for a double bacon cheeseburger, the value, quality and experience really can’t be beat.

Until Next time, be sure to check us out on Instagram at @burgerbruthers!! We’re always posting what we devour there, and will continue to feature our absolute favourites on the blog!

 

 

 

 

A Labor of Love

P&L Burger  — Last Eaten  01.19.2016

Burger Eaten: Deluxe Burger

Eaten By: Ryan

 

“The is what a motherf****n cheeseburger is supposed to look like” – P&L Head Chef Matty Matheson.

On January 19th of this year, I had lunch with both my former manager and CEO. I was fortunate enough to work right next to Toronto’s ‘Burger Corner’, at Queen West and Spadina. We agreed that for old time’s sake, a visit to P&L Burger was the nostalgic choice.

Parts and Labour, the parent restaurant owned by chef Matty Matheson, crafted a burger so divine, it warranted a shrine of it’s own…

I personally enjoy a burger cooked somewhere in between medium and medium-rare. This is often hard to find without risking an E. Coli scare, so when venturing into any new burger joint for the first time, you can bet the most important question to me is, “Do you grind your own beef in-house?” P&L Burger crafts a thick all beef patty that is as fresh as it gets, allowing the to cook the meat to temperature.

Matty still runs both locations, and has recently started producing a series of online episodes for MUNCHIES. This now infamous video of him building his perfect cheeseburger out of his kitchen in Parkdale has over 2 and a half million views, likely over half of which I am responsible for.

 

As you can imagine, P&L Burger, just like Matty, is rough around the edges. The patties aren’t always the same size, the P&L sauce bountifully runs down you fingers as you try to get a full bite in, and the amount of cheese melting all over the place ensures that the burger was crafted by someone who definitely loves to eat.

This is a place you want to visit. Often.

I’ll definitely be back.

 

A Holy Experience

Welcome to my blog!

Before we get started, I’d like to cover a few ground rules to both keep myself accountable, and ensure the focus of future posts is clear to readers everywhere.

This blog will focus solely on burgers and burgers alone. We eat A LOT of burgers. That being said, there’s no point wasting time talking about the milkshakes, the fries or the world famous chicken strips a restaurant might have. We are the BurgerBruthers, and what we care about most is the first bite, the moment when our nervous system is firing on all cylinders, deciding if we will be adding a new member to our Burger Hall of Fame.

With that, we’ll introduce our first experience.

Burger’s Priest Queen Street West. (Last Eaten – 12.28.2015)

Burger Eaten: Double Cheeseburger

Eaten by: Ryan

Burger’s Priest has, since the turn of the decade, held the unofficial crown of Toronto’s Best Burger. I’ve likely eaten north of fifty double cheeseburgers here in the last 4 years, so it’s safe to say I’m alright with their reign over the city.

This burger was my introduction to the “California Style” patty.  It’s a technique made famous by In-n-Out Burger, the famous American Chain that has exploded in popularity in the Southwestern United States. I’m heading to San Francisco in April, so look out for a review because I will definitely eat a cheeseburger or four during my stay.

I’m getting distracted. Burgers tend to do that to me.

Burger’s Priest starts with a thin, freshly ground 4 ounce patty, smashed into a flat-top grill on both sides, to ensure every micrometer of surface area seared beautifully, and cooked only for a few minutes to ensure as little moisture escapes. Cheddar cheese is melted on thirty seconds before the burger begins assembly.

Fully loaded, the burger comes with shaved white onion, lettuce, sliced sweet pickles, tomatoes, mayo, mustard and ketchup. The bun is simply perfect. It’s unbelievably soft, yet plump and textured enough to absorb whatever juices ooze out upon biting in.

The finished product melts in your mouth. The meat is incredibly fresh, and seasoned with salt and pepper beautifully. The cheese has completely melted, but isn’t greasy. The veggies hold up, and provide a crisp, fresh contrast to the savoury patty.

My brother and I each gobbled our burgers up in about 90 seconds, and then ordered a another one that we cut in half to share. Although we were quite satisfied with the initial portion, the experience is always overwhelming and ends too quickly. The second burger was necessary, even if it meant an impending food coma was on the horizon.

A Monday Evening well spent.