Burger Legend

: 236 Queen Street South, Mississauga

I don’t typically find myself in Streetsville, but when I heard a new burger joint had opened there, I figured I’d head over and give it a shot.  Burger Legend apparently started as a food truck, and I guess it did well enough to justify a stand-alone restaurant.

It’s a fairly small place, and kind of oddly laid out (it feels like there’s a lot of empty space where more tables could be put).  It’s also weirdly quiet, which is a little bit off-putting.

They have a handful of burger choices on the menu, but The Great One is labeled as their signature item, so that’s what I went with.  It’s topped with cheddar cheese, maple smoked bacon, mixed greens, tomato, and Bawss Sauce.

It’s a solid burger.  Like with most of the new burger joints opening in the GTA, it’s a smashed/griddled burger.  The beef is coarsely ground, it’s not too densely packed, and it has a little bit of crust from the griddle; it definitely has a pretty good texture.  It’s not the juiciest burger I’ve ever had, but it certainly isn’t dry, either.  It also has a decently beefy flavour. It’s pretty good.


The burger patty came piping hot, which means they probably aren’t giving it any time to rest after cooking.  Not sure if that would make a huge difference in this case, but it’s worth noting.

The very thickly cut maple bacon tastes okay, but it’s completely overwhelming as a topping on a hamburger.  Aside from its sheer thickness, it has an exceptionally strong maple flavour — it basically tastes like they dunked it in maple syrup immediately prior to serving.  On the burger, it’s all you can taste.  I removed it almost immediately (and even then, the maple flavour lingered).

The Bawss sauce, on the other hand, isn’t nearly as overwhelming as the bacon — pretty much the opposite, actually.  It was so subtle that neither my dining companion nor I could figure out what it actually tasted like, other than that it was mayo-based.  I typically like plain mayo on my burger, so this certainly wasn’t an issue for me.

The burger comes with both sides of the bun toasted on the griddle; it almost appears as though they toasted the assembled hamburger whole on the grill, as though it were a grilled cheese sandwich.  It’s an interesting touch, though it does lead to a less photogenic (and messier) hamburger.

All in all it’s a pretty tasty hamburger, though if you’re not already in the vicinity of Streetsville, it’s not particularly worth going out of your way for.

As for the chunky fries, they were decent enough — though they were a bit soggy, and a touch undercooked in the middle.

Burger Legend - the outside Burger Legend - the restaurant Burger Legend - the burger and fries Burger Legend - the burger Burger Legend - the burger
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The County General

: 936 Queen Street West, Toronto

Given that the burger at the County General has received pretty much nothing but praise (including nabbing the number nine spot on Toronto Life’s list of the best burgers in the city), I’m a little bit surprised that it’s taken me this long to check it out.  But given my blistering biweekly update schedule, it can sometimes take me a while to get to a place I want to try.

The County General actually just opened a second location on the other side of Queen, so they’re obviously doing okay.  I tend to gravitate towards the west end of the city, so I visited the original.

The place was pretty much packed when my dining companion and I arrived on a Saturday afternoon, though we were able to grab a couple of seats at the bar.  We both ordered the 6oz. County Burger, which is described as follows on the menu: “Cumbraes Aged Beef, Mustard, Mayo, Pickle.”

They asked how each of us wanted it cooked, which is always a delightful question since the default in this city seems to be well done, and I prefer medium rare.

The grilled patty came out a perfect medium rare, and was absolutely outstanding.  Coarsely ground and juicy, it had an amazing texture and a really pronounced beefy flavour.  There is, however, a but.  A big but.


BUT… the patty’s amazing flavour was largely diminished by an insanely overpowering horseradish mustard.  And I mean insane.  This was like horseradish mustard on steroids.  If this mustard were a person, it would be on a Hulk-esque rampage, flipping over cars and leveling buildings with one monstrous blow.

It was strong, is what I’m saying.

I typically like my condiments on the subtler side — to extend my “if it were a person” analogy, I like my condiments to be less Incredible Hulk, and more Lionel Richie.  But even my dining companion, who is typically unperturbed by such things, found the mustard to be overbearing.  He actually suggested that they should rename the hamburger to a horseradish sandwich with meat; sadly, this wasn’t even much of an exaggeration.

It’s a real shame, because that patty was pretty damn close to perfection.  It’s seriously good.  It was hard to tell, but in the few bites I got where there wasn’t as much of the mustard, it was very obvious that the burger was made with top-shelf meat.  Not to mention that it was cooked perfectly, and featured a really fresh bun that complimented it perfectly.  Without that mustard it is easily a top ten contender.  Probably even top five.  But the mustard kind of kills it, as much as it pains me to say so.

As for the fries, they too were well above average: crispy, perfectly cooked french fry goodness.

Seriously though, as much as I hated that mustard, don’t let it dissuade you from ordering this hamburger, which is otherwise one of the best in the city.  Just ask for the mustard on the side.  Or even better, not at all.  A burger this good has so much beefy flavour that any kind of mustard, even a non-radioactive-monster mustard, only serves to distract from what makes the burger so great in the first place.

The County General - the restaurant The County General - the bar The County General - the burger and fries The County General - the burger
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