Location: 2590 Yonge Street, Toronto
The burger at Uncle Betty’s is odd — it’s really tasty in a lot of ways, but it’s also fails as a hamburger on a pretty fundamental level.
It’s the patty. It’s the meatloafiest meatloaf burger I’ve had in a long, long time. The flavouring of the beef is aggressive, and any natural flavour from the meat is completely wiped out. The spicing punches you in the face. It’s too much.
Worse, it has that off-puttingly squishy texture that plagues some meatloaf burgers, and it’s got it bad. Despite the fact that its cooked all the way to well done, the texture of the beef is essentially akin to eating a burger rare, only mushier.
The texture only emphasizes how un-burger-like it is. It’s not necessarily the most unpleasant thing in the world, but if I had eaten this blindfolded, it would have taken me a whole bunch of guesses to get to hamburger. The spicing of the beef and the soft consistency makes it taste more like a Sloppy Joe.
Otherwise it’s actually quite good. The burger has an impressive amount of crust from the griddle (or grill? The menu says it’s grilled, though it tasted griddled to me) — this gives it some nice texture, and helps to mitigate the patty’s mush factor.
It’s topped with a lot of stuff — garlic aioli, mustard, pickles, sport peppers (which is a Chicago thing, apparently, and kinda like a less spicy banana pepper), an onion ring, and cheddar cheese.
Normally this would be way too much stuff, but the aggressively-spiced patty stands out even under the deluge of toppings. It helps that everything is quite tasty, and it all goes together very, very well. The cheese isn’t melted all the way through, but there’s so much other stuff going on that you can barely notice.
The bun is quite good, too — I think it’s a Martin’s Potato Roll or something similar. It has a great balance between fluffiness and heft.
If the patty were better, this would be an outstanding burger. It’s nicely cooked, and all of the toppings are great. That patty, though. Oh well.
As for the fries, they’re thinly-cut and nicely seasoned (I think they’re using some kind of seasoning salt, but it’s mild enough to not call attention to itself); they would have been great if they had been served hot or even warm, but alas, they were room temperature (at best).
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Hey now! I’ve been following Tasty Burgers and Michael Eats for some time now! I was the chef at This End Up – love your reviews, and generally find them spot on! You should check out Plan B Burgers on Bloor – I’d love to know your thoughts! Thanks! Adam