Location: 224 Queen Street West, Toronto
Like with my last review, of the burger at Cineplex, this was probably my own fault. I mean, who gets a burger at a fish and chips place? But the signage outside of the restaurant advertises BURGERS in big, bolt font, and a poster on the inside boasts that their “gourmet burgers” are made with brisket, so I figured it was something more than just an afterthought to fill out the menu.
The place is laid out fast food style; the menu’s up on the wall, and you bring the food back to your table on a tray. I ordered the burger as a combo with fries and a drink, and had it topped with pickles, tomato, and mayo (they threw in lettuce, too, for some reason).
It could have been worse, I guess? All things considered, I guess I should be glad it wasn’t outright terrible. Again: quite possibly my fault. Go to a fish and chips joint and order a hamburger, and you’re going to get what you’re going to get.
In this case, what I got was a griddled burger with a vague amount of crust from the griddle, but not as much as you’d like. The main thing is that it was dry. The patty was finely ground, tightly packed, and cooked all the way to well done (and beyond), with a dense, tough chew, like a well done steak.
But it had none of the flavour of a good steak, of course. The beef was actually pretty bland. It didn’t taste off, at least, but then it didn’t taste of much at all — off or otherwise.
The fresh, toasted bun was quite good, and the toppings were mostly fine — though the pickles were actually sugary-sweet cornichons that were way too cloying as a topping on a hamburger.
This being a fish and chips place, I figured that at least the fries would be a highlight. And they weren’t bad, mostly, but they had an oddly dense, almost chewy texture that I’m really not sure how to account for. They weren’t undercooked, and I don’t think they were overcooked — at least they didn’t taste like any overcooked fries I’ve had before. But that oddly gummy texture was a bit of a turn off, even if they otherwise tasted okay.