Location: It’s a truck, so check Twitter to see where they’re parked
Food Cabbie is one of those places I’ve been meaning to check out almost since I started this blog. As one of the earlier food trucks in Toronto’s recent food truck boom, they obviously have staying power, which you’d think would indicate they’re serving up some pretty good food.
They have a few burgers on the menu: quarter pound, half pound, and a chili burger dubbed the L.A. Tommy Burger.
If it weren’t for this review, I wouldn’t have ordered anything. I would have gotten the hell out of there posthaste. My dining companion ordered first; he got the L.A. Tommy, and since we could see the man doing the cooking, we could clearly see him pull out the saddest looking pre-cooked burger I’ve ever seen and slap it on the griddle.
I suddenly got PTSD-esque flashbacks to BBQ Express, an experience I was doing my best to completely erase from my memory. Like with that burger, every bone in my body was telling me to high-tail it out of there and never look back, but you know what? My self-imposed burger blogging duties mean I have to take the bad with the good. I’m here to eat this garbage so you don’t have to. I’m here to jump on that grenade for you.
I steeled myself and ordered the quarter pound burger.
It comes topped with mayo and tomato, with further condiments available on a picnic table just next to the truck. I figured I’d keep it simple and eat the burger as it comes.
I just… I don’t… What.
I think it might have been a frozen patty, but I honestly couldn’t tell because it wasn’t quite like any other pre-fab burger that I’ve had; it was worse. It certainly looked like a frozen burger, but… Everything about it was wrong.
I’m not sure if it was the reheating or what, but it was just awful on every level. I don’t even know what to make of the texture, which had that chewy, hot-doggy texture typical of frozen burgers, but which was also horrifically mushy. Like, I’m not even sure how to describe that texture, other than to say it was horrible, and — I’m pretty sure — mere steps away from triggering my gag reflex.
The taste wasn’t much better. Acrid and burnt around the edges, it had a gamy, downright nasty flavour that, at the very least, was somewhat disguised by how incredibly salty it was. I’ve obviously never eaten cat food, but this is what I’d imagine it would taste like if you mashed some Fancy Feast into a patty and griddled it.
It’s one of the worst hamburgers I’ve ever had. It’s certainly right down there with Hero Certified Burgers, which I didn’t even think was possible. Like with that burger, I couldn’t finish it (an exceedingly rare occurrence for me). I got a bit more than half-way through and I just couldn’t stomach another bite.
I actually feel kind of bad. I felt no remorse whatsoever ripping into Hero Burger, a soulless corporation whose modus operandi is to fleece Canadians by using slick marketing and sheer omnipresence to trick them into buying a shoddy (at best) product. I only gave them what they had coming.
Food Cabbie, on the other hand, seems to be a mom and pop operation. No one opens a food truck to get rich; these are people who, presumably, wanted to share their food with the city, and thought they could make a living doing so. That’s what makes the complete lack of care in the food they’re serving so baffling. I’m honestly quite confused by it, but I can only comment on the food I was served that day, which was atrocious.
And the sad fact of the matter is, this burger was so thoroughly horrible on every level that it’s very difficult to speculate that they were just having a bad day. It was bad food, period.
They must have been serving something worth eating at some point, otherwise I don’t see how they could possibly survive in the GTA’s ever-expanding food truck scene, but those days are clearly long gone.
As for the fries, they were almost as bad as the burger. Pale, with a soggy, grease-soaked exterior and a chalky, undercooked interior, they joined what was left of the burger in the garbage.