The Rude Boy

397 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto

I’ve actually been wanting to check out The Rude Boy for a while.  I tried to go there one afternoon when they first opened, but at that point they weren’t serving lunch, so I went home sad and burgerless.  I tried again a couple of weeks later, this time in the evening, and they were all out of hamburgers.  Again, I went home sad and burgerless.  Striking out twice dampened my enthusiasm somewhat; it was dampened even further when I tried a sampling of their cookery at last year’s Burger Day and found it dry and mediocre.  But I still knew that I needed to check it out at some point, so here we are.

It’s a sit-down restaurant, and though it’s fairly small, they’ve managed to cram a fair amount of tables in there.  It’s a little cozy (if you’re tall, you’ll probably be bumping knees with the person you’re sitting with), but it’s fine.

They have the requisite assortment of creatively-topped burgers on the menu; I normally like to get a restaurant’s namesake burger, but in this case the Rude Boy was topped with peameal bacon, regular bacon, and a fried egg, among other toppings.   I like to be able to judge the burger itself, so I went with the much more simply topped The Natural: “lettuce, onion, pickle, tomato, ballpark mustard, smoked jalapeno ketchup.”  My burger also came with cheddar, though I think that was a mistake since it isn’t mentioned on the menu.


I had hoped that the dry burger I was served at Burger Day was merely the result of them being overwhelmed from having to cook so many burgers at once; sadly, this isn’t the case.  The Rude Boy is yet another Toronto burger joint that serves a lamentably dry burger.  Honestly, this used to get me worked up to no end, but I think I’m starting to become numb to it.  Another dry burger?  Of course!  Of course it’s dry.  Why should a burger be juicy?  Who wants that, right??

Okay, maybe I’m not as numb to it as I’d like to be.  It still bothers me.  It makes no sense.  It’s not that difficult to make a juicy hamburger.  Just put more than two seconds of thought into the cuts of beef you use to make your hamburger.  That’s it.  You can’t just grind up any random cut of beef and call it a burger.  Well, you can, but if you have any kind of desire to make a burger worth eating, a little bit more than that is required.  If the beef you’re using is too lean, you’re going to end up with a dry hamburger.

I really wish I didn’t have to mention this in every other review that I write.

Aside from the dryness, it’s not bad.  The well done patty was griddle-cooked and had a satisfying crust.  The salt-and-peppering of the patty was a bit overly aggressive, but other than that it had a decent flavour.  Nothing particularly beefy, but fairly tasty regardless.

The condiments all complimented the burger pretty well.  I was worried that the ketchup and the mustard would overwhelm the patty, but they were applied sparingly enough that they weren’t particularly noticeable.  As for the bonus cheese, it was fully melted and suited the burger well.

The bun was a highlight.  Super fresh, with a perfect balance between heft and tenderness, it was one of the better buns I’ve had in a while.  The patty, however, was a bit undersized for the bun.

The burger comes only with a small handful of chips on the side, so I ordered the Parm Fries as well.  I think the “Parm” in the name might be a bit of an overstatement — the fries are topped with a sprinkling of shredded Parmesan that’s so half-hearted it may as well not even be there.  Still, they were decent fries.  A big soggy, but otherwise above average.

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Tilted Kilt

157 York Blvd, Richmond Hill

The Tilted Kilt is basically a Hooters knockoff — it’s got lots of TVs playing whatever sporting event happens to be on at the moment, and of course, lots of busty, very cleavage-y waitresses for the clientele to gawk at.

I don’t know if it’s even fair for me to shine too bright of a light on the food, because let’s face it — food isn’t high on the list of reasons that people come here.  And while the discussion of whether a place like this is completely misogynistic or just harmless fun is certainly a conversation worth having, this is a burger blog, so… let’s forget about that and talk about the burger.

They have a handful of hamburgers on the menu, but the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger is the only one labeled as a signature item, so that’s what I got.  It’s topped with “Applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, crispy shoestring onions and Guinness BBQ sauce.”

The patty is promisingly described on the menu as being made from their “choice butcher’s blend” and “always fresh,” so I had hopes that it would perhaps be a bit better than your standard chain fare.  These hopes were quickly dashed, but it was a nice thought.

The burger was grilled (though perhaps incinerated is a better word) and was cooked about as far past well done as a burger can get and still be served in good conscience.


It didn’t have that telltale rubbery texture that you tend to get from frozen patties, but it certainly tasted prefabricated.

And  it was dry.  Oh dear lord was it ever dry.  It may have been the driest burger I’ve ever had; if not, it was certainly a strong contender.  It was very tightly packed and super dense, which certainly didn’t help matters.

It had surprisingly little taste.  There was a slight off beef flavour, and some acrid bitterness from the charred exterior, but mostly it just tasted like a big unpleasant hunk of tough, chewy nothing.  Towards the end I was actually dreading each mouth-drying bite, but I soldiered on and I finished it.  Partially because I was reviewing it, but mostly because I’m a glutton who will eat pretty much anything you put on a plate in front of me.

The burger also — oddly enough — had a funky, vaguely fishy aroma that made it all the more off-putting.  That was a first.

This was labeled as a BBQ burger, and while I typically find BBQ sauce to be a little bit too overwhelming as a topping on a burger, they either applied it so sparingly that I couldn’t taste it, or they forgot it altogether.

There were also supposed to be crispy shoestring onions on there, but like the BBQ sauce they seemed to be missing in action.  Normally I appreciate a sparsely-topped hamburger, but in this case the patty was so dry and horrible that these condiments were sorely missed.

The bacon and cheddar were both definitely present, and they were both fine, though they couldn’t do much to make this hamburger even remotely worth eating.

The bun was the sole bright point.  Buttery, slightly sweet, and just dense enough to hold up to the burger without ever becoming overwhelming, it absolutely deserved to be a part of a better hamburger.

As for the fries, they were about on par with the burger — they were bland, cardboardy, and required gobs of ketchup to be even remotely edible.

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