Fatburger is the latest American burger chain to open their doors in the GTA. Five Guys is pretty well entrenched at this point, we just got Hwy 55, and Carl’s Jr. is right around the corner. I’m still waiting for Steak ‘n Shake, Shake Shack, or In-N-Out (fat chance on that one), but we’re doing pretty well as far as fast food burger choices go.
The setup is somewhat similar to Five Guys, but instead of calling out your number when the food is ready, they bring it to your table.
Unlike Five Guys, they have a bunch of elaborately topped burgers on the menu; I went with the Original Fatburger, which comes with lettuce, tomato, mustard, relish, onion (which I skipped, because nuts to onions) and pickles.
Like pretty much every burger joint opening in the GTA these days, the patty is griddle-cooked. There was some signage on the table proudly proclaiming that they “use the leanest beef around,” which had me concerned that the patty was going to be yet another overly dry burger (just go through the archives if you’d care to read me railing against the tragically common issue of overly lean beef and dried-out burger patties).
Thankfully, the well done burger was actually fairly juicy, so the sign is clearly not particularly accurate — and this is one case where I’m very happy for a restaurant’s claim to be completely untrue. Lean burgers are nothing to be proud of, or to aim for.
The patty actually has a pretty great texture; it’s loosely packed, coarsely ground, and fairly juicy. A more pronounced crust from the griddle would have been nice, but it wasn’t entirely crustless.
My biggest issue is that the flavour of the beef itself was a bit lacking. It definitely wasn’t bad, but it had that distinctively muddled, not-entirely-appealing flavour that you get from so-so quality beef. It was fine, but it is a bit of a shame; with slightly tastier beef, this could have been a top-tier hamburger.
The burger was more busily-topped than I normally like, but since the flavour of the beef wasn’t exactly stellar, I was actually pretty happy to have a handful of condiments to smooth things out. This is not a burger to get plain; in fact if I ever go back I’ll likely opt for cheese as well.
The toppings were all pretty standard, and were fine. The most noteworthy was the lettuce; it’s a round, whole slice of iceberg that gives the burger a satisfying crunch. I’ve had lettuce served like this at burger joints in the States, but I don’t think I’ve ever had it in Toronto. I like it.
The bun was slightly on the dense side, but it was fresh and suited the burger fairly well.
As for the fries, they were pretty bad. They were McCain (the clearly marked boxes were in full view), and tasted like the blandest, frozeniest frozen fries that I’ve ever had.