Bier Markt is an upscale Toronto-area chain, akin to Milestones or Earl’s. They’ve recently expanded into the west-end with an Etobicoke location, which is the one that I checked out. I went on a Sunday afternoon and they had a musician performing live, which thankfully wasn’t too loud, as I didn’t particularly feel like having to yell and strain to hear my dining companion (how much of an old curmudgeon am I, exactly?).
The menu features two burgers: the Classic Burger, and the T-Bone Burger, which is made with Kobe beef. The T-Bone Burger is 24 dollars (!), so I went with the Classic Burger, which isn’t cheap itself at 15 dollars.
No, this place isn’t exactly the best deal in the city.
I wasn’t in a beer mood, so I just went for a soda, but the place has an impressive beer list (over 150, according to the website), which is probably one of its bigger selling points.
The burger comes topped with lettuce, tomato, onion (which I removed), and pickles, with two small ramekins of ketchup and mustard on the side.
The grilled burger was (of course) cooked to well done, and had a pleasantly beefy flavour. Clearly, they’re using above-average meat. As well, the burger had some char from the grill, which added a good amount of flavour and texture.
Sadly, there’s a big caveat here: what should have been a great burger was marred by excessive dryness.
Of course, cooking a burger to well done never helps in the juiciness department, but even then it’s clear that the beef Bier Markt is using is far too lean. The menu specifies sirloin, which if true does explain a lot. Sirloin is an exceptionally lean cut of beef, and thus is completely inappropriate for use in a hamburger.
I’m tempted to go off on a rant about how a hamburger needs a decent amount of fat to be really good, but I think I’ve done that in at least half of the reviews I’ve written for this blog, so I’ll just point you to the archives. Seriously: I love Toronto, but an alarming amount of people here just have no conception of what makes a hamburger great. It’s frustrating, but what can you do? Ultimately it’s an American food, and we’re not in America.
As for the rest of the burger: the toppings were all quite good, and the fresh brioche bun complimented the patty perfectly.
All the components were there — good toppings, good quality beef, good cooking technique, and a nice, fresh bun. If only they were using fattier beef, this could have been an amazing burger. C’est la vie.
Oddly, the burger came with “root vegetable crisps” on the side instead of fries. They were essentially like thickly-cut chips, and were a bit bland, but were satisfyingly crunchy and kind of addictive.