Location: 75 St. Nicholas Street, Toronto
I just counted, and my list of hamburgers to try for this blog currently sits at 154. Suffice it to say, it’ll be a while before I get to all of them. If you’ve left a comment or sent me an email suggesting a burger I should try and I haven’t gotten there yet, that’s why.
I’ve been hearing good things about the burger at Cabano’s since they were located in Vaughan. I’ve been meaning to check the place out for years.
Well, I finally got there, and yeah — it was worth the wait. The burger didn’t rock my world, but it’s very, very good.
You can either get the no-frills cheeseburger, or the Cabano burger, which is a double cheeseburger that comes topped with Cabano sauce, lettuce, onions, and fried pickled jalapenos.
I got the Cabano, and it’s a quality burger; it does pretty much everything right, and very little wrong.
The patties are smashed and griddled, because of course they are. This is Toronto. If you attempt to cook a burger in any other style and serve it in a restaurant, the police are going to show up at your house, roll you up in a carpet and throw you into a river.
They’re cooked all the way to well done, which can sometimes be an issue, but absolutely isn’t here — they’re basically perfect. They have a nice crust from the griddle (though only on one side), and the texture is absolutely outstanding. They’re tender and abundantly juicy. Perfect.
They have a pleasant but mild beefy flavour; that’s the one area where the burger is lacking. Because the patties were otherwise so superlative, I was looking for that nice strong beefy hit that you get from truly top-shelf hamburgers, and it wasn’t quite there.
It didn’t help that the patties were overwhelmed by the gooey American cheese. I’m not sure how many slices they used — Two? Three? — but it was too much. The cheese was clearly the dominant flavour. It easily overpowers the mild beef.
Otherwise, the toppings were great. The Cabano sauce was the typical tangy mayo you’ll find in so many burgers, and the chopped onions and lettuce work quite nicely (I’m normally not a fan of raw onion, but these were mild enough to not offend).
The fried jalapenos, however, are the highlight. They’re crispy and a little bit spicy, with a nice vinegary bite that helps cut through the burger’s richness.
The bun — a Martin’s Potato Roll, I think, which are becoming delightfully common in the GTA — was quite good as well.
As for the fries, they weren’t great. They tasted lightly battered, which I’m not crazy about. They were also undercooked. Considering how good the burger was, they were shockingly shoddy.