After a few mediocre (or worse) burgers in a row, it’s nice to be reminded that good things do exist in the world. Jackson’s Burger is definitely a good thing.
It’s a small place on Yonge right near Gerrard; it’s easy to miss, and even easier to overlook since it is surrounded by other quick, casual eateries (not to mention a Five Guys just a couple of blocks over). But you’d definitely be remiss to skip this one; it’s a gem.
There’s only a handful of tables in the small restaurant, so if it gets popular you may have a hard time getting a seat. This, sadly, doesn’t seem to be an issue at the moment, but with burgers this good, the word will hopefully be getting out soon (though I said the same thing about White Squirrel, and that didn’t exactly pan out, so… who knows).
Like most of the burger joints that have been popping up in the last couple of years, they serve diner-style griddled burgers. On top of beef, they also serve chicken, lamb, vegetable, and fish burgers. I’m of the opinion that a “hamburger” made of anything other than beef is a sandwich on a bun masquerading as a burger, so I obviously stuck with beef.
The burger comes with your choice of cheddar or mozzarella; I went with cheddar. I had it topped with tomato, pickle, and Jackson’s Sauce — a house-made garlic mayo.
I unwrapped the paper and immediately noticed the rich, dark brown crust on the patty — a good sign that the person behind the griddle knows what he’s doing. I suspected that I was in good hands, and taking a bite confirmed it; it’s a very good hamburger.
That great crust adds a ton of texture and flavour. It’s also obvious that the place is using above-average beef, because the burger has a really nice beefy flavour. It’s not the beefiest hamburger I’ve ever had, but it’s definitely above average.
The well done patty could stand to be a bit juicier, but that’s a fairly small complaint as it certainly isn’t dry (the beef is also a little tightly packed, but again, that’s a small complaint). I also wish that the patty were a bit bigger, because even on my sparsely-topped burger I felt like it wasn’t quite as prominent as it should have been; I wanted more. A double burger is probably a better bet, though that’s technically not on the menu, so you can request it but they may or may not do it (though I don’t see why not).
The pickle and tomatoes were both good, though I’d strongly advise against the Jackson’s Sauce. Cloyingly sweet and aggressively garlicky, it was completely overwhelming, and was trying very hard to overwhelm the taste of the patty. If they weren’t using such good quality beef this wouldn’t be as big of an issue, but when the burger is this good I want to taste it.
The soft, fresh bun was a great compliment to the patty.
As for the fries, they were absolutely outstanding. They were perfectly cooked and amazingly flavourful; it’s been a while since I’ve had fries that tasted so good. My only complaint is the ridiculously large portion they give you. I know that’s an odd thing to complain about, but it’s an insane amount of fries for one person and they’re just so damn good. When you first get them you think to yourself “oh, well I’ll eat about half of these and leave it at that” but then you start eating them and that immediately goes out the window. They’re impossible to stop eating.