Location: 1585 The Queensway, Etobicoke
If you live in Ontario (and since you’re reading this blog, I’m assuming you do), odds are that you’ve been to Lick’s. They’re fairly omnipresent, and they’ve been around for ages. At one time, a visit to Lick’s meant the promise of above-average burgers in a casual, fast-food style setting. Though they’ve always served meatloaf-style burgers (not my favourite), they were, at one time, pretty darn good. Their success was justified.
That was a long time ago.
I’m not sure about the exact moment of their decline, but it probably would have been at some point around when they started selling frozen Lick’s-branded patties in supermarkets. These frozen patties, I would imagine, are the same ones they serve in their restaurants. And like all frozen patties, they’re not very good.
At the very least, the employees weren’t singing. For those of you fortunate enough to have never been subjected to this aural assault, the employees at Lick’s used to sing ’50s pop songs while they cooked up the burgers and fries. Loudly. And very far off key. It was unpleasant enough that it made me second-guess going to Lick’s, even back when it was good. Thankfully, they seem to have ended this policy, as my ears have been unmolested on my last couple of visits.
I ordered a homeburger combo (their standard hamburger) with fries and a soda, waited, picked out my toppings from behind the glass, and sat down.
What’s there to say about the current Lick’s hamburger? It’s a frozen burger and it tastes like a frozen burger. I could end the review right there, but I will say a few words.
It’s a strongly salty burger with that distinctive rubbery chewiness you’d expect from a patty of its ilk. To its credit, it does have a slightly beefier flavour than you’d expect, though it is mostly drowned out by the hot dog-esque chewiness/saltiness and the other spices.
I ordered the burger with pickles, tomatoes, and Guk, a mayonnaise-based sauce that Lick’s also sells in supermarkets. The sauce is fine, though its flavour is overwhelmed by the strong patty. The toasted sesame seed bun was fresh, and complimented the burger well.
The fries, like the burger, have gone downhill. Though they were once above average, they’re now pale and lifeless — bland and vaguely unpleasant. I ate a few and felt no need to subject myself to more.
2 thoughts on “Lick’s”
Until Tonight, I have not been to this Licks location in at least 10-12 years. I remember the last time i was there like it was just yesterday, yes the optimistic singing cooks with gleaming smiles. music playing, burgers flying, the assortment of the freshest toppings overflowing in the display case, and the freshest unprocessed real meat you can find in a burger place. Well, I am here to tell you it is no longer the place I remembered it to be.. Not by a long shot! Oh, where do I start? we generally do take out dinner once a week in our household, and while on my way to the nearby California Sandwiches, I decided I would havea Licks Burger for a change. I walked in, ordered and paid for a very basic Home Burger Combo. I moved down the assembly line where there is a lone girl flipping the meat behind the counter wearing a filthy apron, she is same person who eventually puts the toppings on my burger too, and she is resembling a slave to the kitchen, with a huge frown on her face, she is not rude, but looks very tired and almost sad. she did not acknowledge anyone until their order is ready. I am okay that nobody is singing, but a little smile and a little enthusiasm would be nice. As I am staring at her back in a line of 4 other waiting customers, I have an opportunity to really slow down and take a good look around while I wait. For one, the same old – now very very dirty and dingy decor! The display of burger toppings looks disgusting, the lettuce is not only brown, but it is wilted and wet looking too. The tomatoes are looking transparent and old. The Guk looks like it sounds.. Guck! it’s in a container, discoloured and crusty around the edges. There is a salad bar section with bowls of so-called selections like pineapple and orange slices that look very very old and dry, and more brown wilted lettuce. The backsplash in the kitched is dripping with grease, and you can see sections where there were all dried up swirls of dirt where someone made a very minimal attempt at wiping it down. When I got home, I was afraid to eat the burger. Actually I had decided I wasn’t going to eat it when she was wrapping it and bagging it up for me to take home. I took a taste trying to give them a little benefit of the doubt.. and I’m scared to say I swallowed the one horrendous bite I took. I don’t know how this place is stll open. Its so bad you would think that the health inspector is being paid off to overlook the current dirty condition of this establishent in my opinion. Save your money, yourself, and the disappointment and steer clear of this poor excuse of a restaurant. Take Care.
I forgot to mention the meat is not the fresh burger I remember it to be. It’s disgusting to say the least, It is like a very dry, frozen salty supermarket patty. and I can buy those at the grocery store, NO Thanks.