Location: 8384 Woodbine Avenue, Markham
Every burger joint I visit, I go in hoping I’m going to love it. I know I can occasionally come off as nitpicky, but I eat every hamburger looking for things to love, not things to criticize. Nothing would please me more than to spend the rest of my days writing nothing but glowing reviews.
That being said… some burgers just aren’t very good. Sometimes I’ve gotta pick nits.
Big Jack’s is actually in the same location as Prime Burger, one of those really old school burger joints that was probably older than many of its customers. I had meant to check it out for ages, but alas, I never got around to it. Such is life.
It’s a fairly small place, but there are a decent amount of tables inside. They have a handful of signature burgers on the menu, but the topping selections — including one with pulled pork, and one with grilled cheese sandwiches instead of a bun — were a little bit too busy for my liking, so I went with the plain burger. I got it topped with my usual tomato, pickles, and mayo; with a drink and a generous portion of fries, it came up to about eleven bucks.
I wish it were better than it was, but sadly it just wasn’t very good. For one thing it’s a meatloaf burger, and an especially strong one at that, with the spices and who-knows-what mixed into the patty effectively steamrolling whatever beefy flavour it might have had. It didn’t taste bad per se, but the spicing just seemed to be there to be there; it had no real purpose. It didn’t enhance the taste of the beef, it only obscured it.
The griddled patty was cooked all the way to well done, and featured the unholy trinity of dry hamburger cookery: beef that is overly lean, too finely ground, and too tightly packed. This results in a burger that’s dry, dense, and tough. When a burger practically requires as much chewing power as a thick steak, you’ve got problems.
The toppings were fine, however, and the fresh sesame seed bun suited the burger perfectly.
As for the fries, they were the clear highlight. Thinly cut and perfectly fried, they were delicious. If this blog were called Tasty Fries, I’d be giving this place a pretty high rating, but it’s not so I won’t.