Location: The Ex
Website: Epic Burgers and Waffles (Facebook)
Sometimes a food item is just so insane, you pretty much have no choice but to try it. Last year at the Ex, the crazy food getting all the attention was deep fried butter (which I tried, and which was nothing too special — it just tastes like a doughnut hole with a molten butter centre). This year, the buzzed-about carnival food was the Krispy Kreme hamburger. Doughnut hamburgers are nothing new, but I believe this was our first shot at trying them in the GTA (without making them yourself, I mean).
The line for this was easily the longest line in the food building, so obviously I’m not the only one curious about these monstrosities. I noticed, while in line, that Epic Burgers and Waffles advertises their burger as a “smashburger,” a popular American burger style in which the beef is smashed down on the griddle, providing a satisfyingly crispy crust (think Burger’s Priest or Five Guys). Could this actually be a good burger, aside from the novelty factor?
After a few minutes, my turn came. I elected for the bacon and a fried egg-topped burger, because if you’re going to get a Krispy Kreme burger, you may as well go all the way.
I sat down, and it immediately became apparent that this was not a dainty hamburger. It’s pretty much impossible to eat this thing without making a mess; the heat of of the burger and toppings melts the glaze on the doughnut, resulting in a sticky mess.
First: this is not a smashburger. It’s a slightly better-than-average frozen burger, which by definition cannot be a smashed burger (frozen burgers are, obviously, preformed, whereas smashed burgers start as a ball and are smashed down on the griddle). The burgers were actually cooked in such a way as to create a bit of a crust, but they’re still frozen burgers. I’m reminded of an expression relating to lipstick and pigs.
As for the doughnut/hamburger combination? It’s not bad. It’s not great, certainly, but if you’re partial to foods that combine sweet and salty, this might just be something you’ll like. It actually reminded me a lot of a McGriddle (the presence of bacon and an egg probably solidifies that connection), so if you’ve had one of those, then you pretty much know what to expect here.