Another day, another smashed-and-griddled burger in Toronto. At some point, this city’s obsession with the thin, griddled patty (to the exclusion of every other type of burger) will cool down.
We’re not there yet.
Not that I’m complaining — well, not entirely, at least. Though a little more variety would be nice, there’s a reason this style of patty is so popular. It’s damn good.
But there’s something to be said for the satisfying meatiness of a thicker patty, and for the smokiness that you get from the grill. I love chocolate cake, but other flavours of cake are good too, you know?
But I digress. Extra burger is an especially bare-bones burger joint; the menu consists entirely of a cheeseburger, a double cheeseburger, and fries. They have a few stools where you can sit, but mostly, it’s take-out only.
I ordered the double, which comes topped with lettuce, tomato, pickles, special sauce (well, they call it special sauce, but it looked and tasted like plain mayo to me), and two slices of American cheese.
The burger certainly looks impressive; their griddling technique is exactly as it should be, with an impressive amount of dark brown crust on the exterior of each patty. And the burger is well proportioned and photogenic.
Alas, though it’s a solid burger, it’s not quite as good as it looks. The well done patties are nicely juicy, but the beef is finely ground and overhandled, resulting in a burger that isn’t nearly as tender as it should be.
It’s also bland; the meat has a very neutral flavour that, while certainly not unpleasant, lacks the beefy punch that you’re looking for in a top shelf hamburger.
It’s otherwise very good — the gooey American cheese is perfect, the bun is soft and fresh, and the toppings are all on point (particularly the zippy, thickly cut pickle slices that I’m assuming they make in-house).
As for the fries, they’re okay. They’re crinkle-cut, and they’re seasoned with a spice blend that brings them a nice flavour without overwhelming. But they were slightly underdone, with an unpleasantly chalky interior.