Location: 233 Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto
I mentioned recently, in my review of Dangerous Dan’s, that most old-school burger joints in Toronto are kind of lousy. They all pretty much look the same, and they all serve similarly mediocre meatloaf burgers (or even worse, a frozen burger). They’re a nice reminder of how good we have it now, and how difficult it used to be to find a decent hamburger in this city, but that’s about it.
That’s The Burger Shack, in a nutshell. It’s not much better or much worse than any other old-school burger joint in the GTA. It is what it is.
Like a lot of restaurants of its ilk, it has two different burgers on the menu: a really cheap one, usually frozen, and a slightly less cheap one that they make in-house. I went with the latter, and had it topped with tomato, pickles, and mayo.
This being an old school burger joint, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that the burgers here are grilled. Grilling can add an appealing smokiness to a burger; it can also, if overdone, add a bitter, burnt flavour. Sadly, that was the case here. And though the well done patty was a little bit juicy, it was also ridiculously tightly-packed and tough.
It was also, of course, a meatloaf burger; it was seriously meatloafy, with almost zero beefy flavour and a vaguely sausage-like consistency.
The bun was fine, and the toppings were mostly fine, though like with a lot of old school burger joints, the “mayo” was actually Miracle Whip (or some cheap, Miracle-Whip-like substitute). I don’t know why so many of these places think it’s okay to substitute Miracle Whip for mayo without telling their customers. Sure, they look the same, but they taste completely different.
So the burger was mediocre (at best), but I’ll end this review on a positive note. The fries, though unsalted (salt was provided on the tables), were otherwise amazing. Like, seriously, addictively amazing. Strong contender for the best fries I’ve ever had amazing. AMAZING. They had a great potatoey flavour, and were the perfect combo of crispiness and creaminess. Seriously: I want to come back here and just eat a large order of those fries. So good.