Are you familiar with Shake Shack, the very popular chain of New York-based burger joints? Someone at Burgers Park sure is — the style of burger, the paper wrapper it comes in, the crinkle-cut fries, the hot dogs, the milkshakes, the logo, and even the faux-park setting (the original Shake Shack is in Madison Square Park in New York) are all Shake Shack through and through.
BlogTO’s profile of the place states that the owners claim that the similarities to Shake Shake are coincidental. Anything is possible, I suppose, but if that’s a coincidence it’s like the winning the lottery of coincidences. Feels like a long-shot.
But don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying this is a bad thing. Shake Shack is beloved. If you’re going to steal, steal from the best. We’re never going to get a Shake Shack location in Toronto, so we may as well get a homage.
And it’s really good! If it hadn’t been great then the whole thing might have felt sad, but clearly, Burgers Park is ready to roll with the big boys.
I ordered the Park Burger, which is a classic griddled cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato, sauteed onions, and dijonnaise.
The patty is great. Like the one at Gold Standard, it’s cooked with mustard on the griddle, but unlike that one, the mustard flavour isn’t overbearing. There’s just enough of it to compliment — but not overwhelm — the beef.
I wish the flavour were a bit beefier, but it’s otherwise pretty much perfect. The crust is dark and impressive, the grind and the texture are exactly where they should be, and it’s prodigiously juicy despite being cooked all the way to well done.
Obligatory beautiful crust close-up:
The toppings are all great, too, particularly the gooey American cheese and the griddled onions. The onions probably either needed to be cooked a bit longer or sliced a bit thinner, but they were still quite tasty. I think griddled onions might be the perfect burger topping. There’s just something about their flavour that compliments a good burger patty so perfectly.
The soft, fresh, toasted bun was also quite good, holding up to the juicy patty and the toppings without adding too much heft.
As for the crinkle-cut fries, something about their flavour was ever-so-slightly off, but they were otherwise nice and crispy on the outside, with a pleasantly creamy interior.