Archive | October, 2015

Tom’s Burgers

25 Oct

toms
Location
: 5775 Highway 7, Markham
Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/TomsBurgers

Yep — another old school burger joint serving a grilled, meatloaf burger.

Hey, at least it’s not frozen — that’s an option, of course (because that’s the rule: every burger place that opened before, say, 1990 needs to have a frozen burger on the menu.  Don’t ask me why), but they also serve a burger labeled as homemade.

I ordered the homemade, because I’m not a crazy person, but if you really like your burgers rubbery with an indiscriminate meat-like flavour, the frozen burger is there.

The sky was still blue and up was still up, so I knew that it was going to be a meatloaf burger, and it was.  No; pigs have not learned to fly quite yet.

tomsA

It was okay.  It was super meatloafy, with the flavour coming predominately from the seasoning, and with a vaguely mushy texture from the sheer volume of non-meat-related gunk they’ve got mixed in.

It wasn’t overly dry and it didn’t taste bad, I guess, so it’s got that going for it, but even by the standards of meatloaf burgers it was middling.

It was grilled, with a nicely crispy, smoky exterior; this was a highlight.  Actually it was the highlight, because there wasn’t much else that stood out here.

But again, it wasn’t bad — people like it (in fact the impetus for this particular visit was a recommendation from a friend on Facebook), and I guess I can kind of see why.  I’ve certainly had worse.

I ordered it as a combo with fries and a drink, and a ten dollar bill netted me some small change, so it’s definitely not overpriced.

As for the fries, they were typical frozen fries.  Bland, but they get the job done.

2.5 out of 4

Tom's Burgers - the restaurant Tom's Burgers - the menu Tom's Burgers - the homemade burger and fries Tom's Burgers - the homemade burger Tom's Burgers - the homemade burger

Dac Biet Burger

11 Oct

biet
Location
: 213 Church Street, Toronto
Websitehttp://www.dacbietburger.com/

As you can probably guess from the name, Dac Biet Burger isn’t a traditional burger joint — all of their burgers feature Asian-inspired flavours, from Vietnam to Japan to Korea.  And sure, why not?  I think we have enough traditional burger places in the city that a little bit of experimentation is not unwelcome.

Normally I’d order a simpler burger (the classic, in this case — their one non-Asian-themed burger) but hey, when in Rome, right?  So I went with the Banh Mi burger, which the menu describes as coming topped with “lemongrass pork / pickled daikon & carrots / cucumber / cilantro / mayo.”

There’s something strange about this burger: though the menu implies that the pork is a topping, I think maybe this isn’t the case?  I think the patty itself is pork?  I suppose I could have just asked, but what do I look like… Asky McGee?

Even the Toronto media seems a bit confused; Toronto Life says that the Banh Mi burger “tops a beef patty with lemongrass pork,” while Now claims that “the banh mi burger has its own lemongrass-infused pork-belly patty.”  I’m going to guess that Now is correct, since there was no pork atop the patty, and no beefy flavour to be found.

Hey, Dac Biet?  Maybe be a bit more clear with your menu?  When you have a sign on your wall touting the custom blend of beef you use for your burger patties, people are going to assume they’re going to get those burger patties.  Crazy, I know!

bietA

Oddly enough, my dining companion ordered the pho burger — and surely this one is made with beef?? — and experienced the same lack of beefy flavour and oddly sausagey texture, so who knows what the hell is going on here.

Because yeah, the “burger” patty is essentially a sausage that’s been formed into the shape of a hamburger.  The texture is sausage through and through, and the flavour comes entirely from whatever they’ve got mixed in there (lemongrass, I guess).  But even as a sausage it’s not all that great, with a muddled, neither here-nor-there flavour that never particularly pops.

The toppings are pretty much classic banh mi and tasted fine, though the pickle mix was a bit over-applied.

Overall it’s not a terrible sandwich — it’s nothing special, but it doesn’t taste bad, I guess.  But as a so-called hamburger, it’s a complete failure.  I mean, it looks like a burger, I guess — but if it doesn’t have any of the flavours or textures that you associate with a hamburger, and it’s not that great even as its own thing, then what’s the point?

Seriously, that’s not a rhetorical question; what’s the point?  If it’s not as good as an actual banh mi (and way, way more expensive than any number of traditional banh mi shops across the city), and it’s not as good as an actual hamburger, then what’s the point?

It’s the type of fusion cuisine that gives that term a bad name; it’s all style, no substance.  Eating it reveals no discernible reason why these two cuisines needed to be fused.

The fries were good, at least.  They had a bit of an oily flavour and about twice as much salt as they needed, but overall they were still above average.

1.5 out of 4

Dac Biet Burger - the outside Dac Biet Burger - the restaurant Dac Biet Burger - the banh mi burger Dac Biet Burger - the banh mi burger