Broncos Slider Bar – a spinoff of Branca, a tapas joint – is the latest restaurant in the city to specialize in so-called sliders.
No, they’re not sliders in the original sense of the term, but I’ve come to accept two things about this:
1) The definition of the word “slider” has now lost all connection to what it used to mean. It went from referring to a very specific style of hamburger, to a small burger of any style, and now to any small sandwich that’s served on a bun. And the way things are going, it will soon refer to any food that happens to be bite-sized. The English language is constantly evolving; no point in trying to fight it.
2) The specific style of burger that originally birthed the word “slider” will never be served in Toronto – or at least, not until I finally make good on my idle chatter and open my own burger joint.
Both points make me sad (particularly number two), but it is what it is.
Anyway, word-nitpickery and burger-style-snobbery aside, Broncos actually serves a pretty good hamburger.
It’s a classic, fast-food-style cheeseburger – griddle-cooked, and topped with melty American cheese.
The patty has a good texture, a decent amount of juiciness, and a satisfying beefy flavour. Combined with the nice brown crust from the griddle and the gooey cheese, it’s clear that someone in the kitchen knows their way around hamburger cookery.
I would, however, ask for it without mustard next time, or at least ask for less mustard, because the amount applied here just detracted from that great patty.
The other toppings are solid – the pickles did their usual hamburger-improving thing, and even the onions were pretty good. I’m normally not crazy about raw onions on a burger (or anywhere, for that matter), but these weren’t too strong, offering some mild oniony flavour and a little bit of crunch, without overpowering.
Sadly, the bun was an absolute disaster. It’s way, way, way too big and dense for the task at hand. It works well on their other sandwiches, which tend to be messier and crammed to the gills with stuff, thus necessitating a bun with more heft. On the burger, however, the substantial bun throws the beef-to-bun ratio so far off that it’s almost ruinous. Seriously: it comes alarmingly close to flat-out ruining the hamburger. It completely overwhelms the beef. It’s a damn shame, because with a better bun this would be a great burger, and now it’s merely good.
The fries, on the other hand, were great. They look kind of pale but they taste amazing – crispy, creamy, perfect.