Doomie’s

doomies
Location
: 1263 Queen Street West, Toronto
Websitehttp://doomiestoronto.com/

I honestly never thought that I’d be reviewing a veggie burger for this blog.  I mean, I try my best to avoid reviewing hamburgers made with any meat other than beef, so a veggie burger seemed completely out of the question.

Then I saw some pictures of the Big Mac clone at Doomie’s.  I kind of had to try it.

For the unaware, Doomie’s is an L.A. export whose M.O. is serving vegan versions of over-the-top junk food like chili cheese fries, chimichangas,  and of course, hamburgers.  “Vegan” and “health food” tend to go hand in hand, but I’m sure even vegans want to eat deep-fried junk every now and then.

I feel like I need to preface this review by saying that I went into Doomie’s with a completely open mind.  I realize that I’m a bit of a burger snob, but good food is good food.  If the veggie burger here were delicious, I’d be more than happy to sing its praises.

That being said?  This might be one of the worst hamburgers that I’ve had in my entire life.

I ordered the Big Mac clone, which isn’t technically on the menu.  The waitress jokingly pointed out that any resemblance to that particular burger is purely coincidental (since no one wants to incur the wrath of ol’ Ronald’s lawyers).  But it’s available if you ask for it.

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It looks impressive, I’ll give it that. Aside from the fact that the watery sauce was leaking from the burger like blood from a gut-shot corpse, it looked impressively like the real deal.

Eating it was a challenge.  I’m not sure why the sauce was so thin, but it completely soaked through the bun and made the burger impossible to eat without a handful of napkins.  And the parts of the bun that weren’t soaked through with sauce?  They were either suffused with grease, or sogged up by mushy cheese (yes, mushy cheese — more on that in a bit).

Of course, eating this burger was also a challenge because of how gross it was.  I mean, let’s not beat around the bush.

Those veggie patties are going to haunt my dreams.  I just don’t think that food science is able to accurately replicate the taste and texture of beef.  If you’re going to serve a veggie burger, your best bet is to not even try, and just serve something in a patty shape that tastes good.

Doomie’s, sadly, tries to replicate beef.  The results are flat-out horrifying.

The veggie patties here have somehow managed to take everything I hate about frozen burgers, and magnified it tenfold.  That rubbery, vaguely hot-dog-like texture you get from really cheap frozen patties is here in spades, but where this patty goes horribly wrong is the flavour.  It just tastes off to a degree that’s downright surprising.  I don’t even know if I can describe that flavour, other than to say that it tastes like you left a frozen patty out in the sun until it turned suitably rancid.  It was flat-out disgusting.

Then there’s the cheese, which — though it actually tastes close enough to the type of processed cheese you’d find on a Big Mac — has that aforementioned mushy texture.  Imagine taking shredded up tissues and soaking them with cheese-flavoured water, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what to expect.

The other toppings were all fine, aside from the watery sauce (which, to be fair, tasted pretty close to the real thing).  But when your burger features two patties as foul as these on unpleasantly sodden bread, the toppings are completely irrelevant.

As for the fries, they were battered — not my favourite — but for that style of fry, they were pretty good.

0.5 out of 4

Doomie's - the outside Doomie's - the menu Doomie's - the restaurant Doomie's - the burger and fries Doomie's - the burger

This End Up

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Location
: 1454 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Websitehttp://www.thisendup.ca/

A few months ago, The Post called This End Up’s Better Mac one of the best sandwiches in the city.  More recently, Toronto Life mentioned it in a list of seven Big Mac-esque concoctions served in Toronto restaurants (which includes, intriguingly, a pizza).  That was it.  A burger getting that much press and I hadn’t tried it yet?  Nope.  Not acceptable.  I had to go.  Obviously.

So it was that I found myself sitting in one of This End Up’s weirdly low chairs. Seriously: either the chair is too low or the table too high, but it’s weird.  The chair-to-table-height ratio was off.  That’s right — I think about chair-to-table-height ratios.  Should I have admitted that?  I’m going to move on now.

They have a couple of burgers on the menu: the aforementioned Better Mac, along with a chutney burger.  Even if I hadn’t already been there for the Better Mac, that’s what I would have gone with.  I like chutney, but I can’t imagine it being anything but overpowering on a hamburger.

The Better Mac, as described by the menu: “2×4 oz. fresh ground chuck patties / special sauce / lettuce / choice of American or cheddar cheese / pickles / sweet onion.”  Not sure why cheddar is even an option in this case, but I obviously went with American.

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I know that as someone who’s fairly serious about food, I’m supposed to hate McDonald’s on principle.  I don’t.  Not that everything there is particularly good (and in fact some of it is quite terrible), but like a Twinkie, a Big Mac can be pretty satisfying in its own junky way.

The middle bun is missing and there’s an extra slice of cheese, but aside from that this thing definitely has the essential Big Mac flavours nailed.  Obviously, however, the patties are much much (much much) better.

The griddled patties came cooked to a pretty perfect medium rare.  The texture was a bit off — I think it’s a bit too finely ground, and a tad on the dry side — but even still it was fairly juicy, and had a mild but satisfying beefly flavour.

There were two slices of cheese rather than a Big Mac’s one, but the patties were substantial enough that the balance of meat and cheese still felt pretty much perfect.

As for the other toppings, they were classic Big Mac.  The sauce, the pickles, the lettuce, even the onion — I’m normally not a huge fan of raw onions on a hamburger, but these were quite mild and sliced very thin. They replicated the taste of the rehyratated little onions on a Big Mac surprisingly well.

So yeah, if you ever wondered what a Big Mac would taste like with actual good quality beef, get yourself over to This End Up post-haste.

As for the fries, they were outstanding.  When I first got them I was afraid they’d be of the thin-and-crunchy variety, but they were perfectly cooked; crispy on the outside, and creamy potatoey goodness on the inside.  Bottles of delicious house-made (I’m assuming) ketchup, mayo, and hot sauce are provided (Heinz, Hellman’s, and Tobasco they definitely were not).  So good.

I should also mention the impressive selection of sodas, also house-made.  I got the Grenadine Hibiscus, and it was sweet, refreshing, and kind of amazing.

This End Up - the outside This End Up - the restaurant This End Up - the menu This End Up - the Better Mac This End Up - the Better Mac
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