Location: 5236 Dundas Street West, Etobicoke
Apache Burgers is one of those really old school burger places that’s been around forever, looking about the same and serving up the same food for decades on end. People tend to get pretty nostalgic about places they’ve been visiting (and food they’ve been eating) since they were children. Which probably helps to explain why this place is frequently named as one of the best burger joints in the GTA.
Apache Burgers is fine. My burger was perfectly edible. But one of the best places in the GTA? Not by a long shot.
I arrived just before 1:00 PM on a weekday, and the place was fairly crowded. Unlike most burger joints downtown where you’ll mostly find twenty-somethings, the demographic here was pretty varied: families, teenagers, workers on their lunch break, and an older couple who have probably been getting burgers here for years. The place does well, no doubt about it.
It’s a pretty standard layout: order your burger, pay, wait, then pick your toppings from behind the glass. The whole restaurant was pretty clean and not run-down at all, so I’d imagine that they’ve renovated recently.
I elected to go with the Apache Burger, since it’s generally hard to go wrong ordering a restaurant’s namesake item. The Apache Burger is basically a double cheeseburger: two beef patties, two slices of American cheese. I topped it with pickles, tomatoes and mayonnaise (which you’ve probably noticed are my go-to burger toppings).
The burger is not bad. It’s not good, certainly, but it’s not bad. The quality of the meat itself is fairly mediocre, and certainly no better than a fast food place like Wendy’s, so how Apache became a burger joint of note is a complete mystery to me. It’s not even cheap — my Apache burger was $6.79, and with just a small drink and no sides it came up to about ten bucks.
Apache uses prefabricated patties for their burgers, though they are of a slightly higher quality than your average frozen burger. They don’t have that telltale chewy texture that you typically get from a frozen burger, so that definitely puts them head-and-shoulders above Johnny’s in the great Johnny’s-versus-Apache debate. But being better than Johnny’s is not exactly a tall mountain to climb.
The patties also had that vaguely gamy, somewhat unpleasant taste that you associate with lower quality beef, but they were basically okay. They weren’t too dry, and they had a decent texture to them.
The cheese was gooey and fully melted, which was a definite plus. The other toppings were fine, though the guy who assembled my burger was a bit heavy-handed with the mayo.
The bun is a little too big and bready. It’s overpowering. It basically worked in my double burger; the single, however (which is what I ordered the last time I was here), is completely dominated by the large bun.
“Meh” is a good word to describe Apache Burgers. It’s fine, I guess, but if you go there expecting something above average, you will be sorely disappointed. Personally, given the caliber of the burgers served here, I’d sooner just go down the street and order from Wendy’s. At least it’s a bit cheaper.