You know what makes me sad? Burgers that should be great that are merely okay. That makes me sad. Unnecessary mediocrity. That makes me sad. The Good Fork makes me sad.
Not that they even serve a bad burger. It’s actually pretty decent. But it could have been so good without even changing that much.
I opted for the Plain burger, which the menu describes as coming with remoulade and “fixins” (which, in this case, are lettuce, tomato, pickles, and red onion).
The burger tastes really good. The quality of the beef is obviously quite high, with an outstanding beefy flavour that’s pretty much irresistible. The tangy remoulade adds some zip without overwhelming the taste of the beef, and is actually a pretty great condiment for the burger.
So — great burger, right? Right…?
It would have been great. But it was dry. Crazy dry, with a tough, dense texture that’s the result of the patty having been ground too finely and packed too tightly. Cooked all the way to well done and beyond, the burger never had a chance. It was always going to be dry, and it was always going to be tough.
I feel like I make this complaint with an alarming frequency, and I really don’t know why. This is burger-making 101. A good burger needs a course grind, and it needs to be loosely packed. As you cram the strands of ground beef closer and closer together, the burger becomes more and more dense, and therefore more and more tough. And if it’s finely ground on top of that? Then those strands are really going to become good friends, resulting in a tightly packed slab of beef that feels like it’s trying to become a steak again. Cook that to well done and it’s all over but the crying. You’re getting a tough, dry patty, guaranteed.
Of course, that’s not to mention the use of overly lean beef, another culprit in drying out so many of Toronto’s burgers — though here, the menu states that they’re using a blend of brisket and chuck, which should result in a pretty decent lean-to-fat ratio. But with that particular patty cooked to the edge of well done, I suspect that no amount of fat could have saved it.
It’s served on a pretzel bun, which I normally find too dense and bready for a hamburger, though in this case that was the least of this burger’s concerns.
The shoestring fries were quite good, at least. So there’s that.