It was with no small amount of anticipation that I walked through Burger Factory’s doors; it’s relatively close to where I live, an area that is definitely slim pickings in the burger department. The idea of having a great (or even just good) burger joint near my house is pretty exciting.
I walked in, and it seemed promising — the place is laid out fast-food style, with the burger cookery in full view. The burgers are made by smashing a ball of ground beef onto a griddle, a style that seems to be in vogue right now (and a style that produces a couple of my favourite burgers in the city). So I thought, hey! This is it! A good burger within minutes of my home. What could be finer?
It’s a small restaurant. There are a handful of tables, but I think the place is mostly meant to be a takeout joint.
I ordered the burger and fries combo (they also serve a Juicy Lucy — a burger with a centre of molten hot cheddar cheese. I’ll have to try that at some point). After waiting a few minutes, my burger was ready. I got it topped with tomato, pickle and Factory Sauce (described as a mayo-based sauce with ketchup), and sat down.
I took a bite of the hamburger, and a wave of sadness washed over me — the dream of having a great burger place near my house died a sad, lonely death. This is not a good burger, let alone a great one.
For one thing, the burger was cooked beyond well done, and was thus quite overcooked. And, like the burger I recently had at Burger Stomper, it had little to no crust, despite its long stay on the griddle. Again, the griddle must have not been hot enough. Seriously, this isn’t rocket science, people. It’s not too difficult to do it well. Just go to The Burger’s Priest, watch what they do, and then do it yourself until you get it right.
The beef was also far too lean, resulting in one of the drier burgers I’ve had in a while. It’s decent quality beef; though it doesn’t exactly hit you in the face with beefiness, there are no off flavours here, and it was well seasoned with salt and pepper. But man, it was dry, and without any real caramelization from the griddle, it was kind of bland.
The sesame seed bun was a disaster. Big, bready, and stale, it was dense and overwhelming and completely threw off the beef-to-bun ratio. It had been placed on the griddle, though if I hadn’t seen it I wouldn’t have believed it — it was completely untoasted and cold (and if your griddle can’t even toast a bun, then you know it’s not hot enough). The bun was also far too wide for the burger, which meant I ran out of burger long before I ran out of bun.
The fries, too, were a complete write-off. They looked golden and tasty, but they weren’t particularly crispy, and contained an unappealingly underdone centre. I ate only a handful before escorting the rest to the nearest garbage bin.