Location: 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.
3 thoughts on “The Rude Boy”
It’s a joke that anyone in Canada spends their time looking for a “great” burger. The Canadian government requires all burgers to be done well done. Any real burger lover will tell you that cooking a burger to well done is always, always, ruining it. What you are doing here is comparing toppings. You may as well just be ordering buns with condiments. It is not so much that the government does this despite allowing sushi, raw oysters, and steak tartare (all raw and far more likely to cause illness, and still very unlikely to do so) that is the problem. It is the fact that Canadians have so little interest in good food that they have allowed this for 40 years. Canada has never had a Michelin rated restaurant. Never. And the Michelin people aren’t even planning to do a guide here because they think that Canada is a wasteland of the culinary world. The hamburger is a perfect example of this. Save you hamburgers for the US, and for god sake, order medium rare and treat yourself to something special. Why on earth do Canadians except the expectation that the government won’t bother to inspect the food at the source and instead just requires it to be cooked so long so as to kill anything that could be prevented with inspecting the source. Ridiculous.
Cool story, bro.
Big difference between burger meat. And steak tartare meat. Get your facts straight before commenting.