Location: 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto (Harbourfront)
Website: None, but they do have some info on Twitter
I’ve eaten a lot of burgers over the course of my lifetime. This is actually the 50th hamburger that I’ve reviewed since starting this blog back in 2011. I’ve also eaten my share of un-reviewed hamburgers over the last three years, and of course, I was a fairly profligate burger-eater pre-Tasty Burgers. I’m going to guess that I’ve eaten a thousand hamburgers in my lifetime, and I’m going to say that this is a fairly conservative estimate.
This is all to say that when I make the statement that a particular hamburger is the best hamburger I’ve ever eaten in my entire life, this is not a statement I take lightly. So please, imagine that I have the gravitas of Morgan Freeman and the seriousness of Edward R. Murrow when I say this: The burger that I just had at Blue Goose is quite possibly the best hamburger that I’ve ever eaten in my entire life.
MY ENTIRE LIFE.
Blue Goose was actually started by Blue Goose Pure Foods, a producer of various types of “farm to fork” organic meats. Knowing that the restaurant was started by a company that takes its meat seriously, I had high hopes.
It’s based out of a shipping container on the Toronto Harbourfront (along with Sully’s Honest Dogs and Lobster Roll), which is odd. But who knows, maybe shipping containers are the new food truck. This is actually the second group of shipping container-based eateries to grace our city (the first being the Scadding Court ones near Kensington market — including Wiggle Room, a burger place I’ve been meaning to check out).
For obvious reasons, these ones are only sticking around until the end of the summer, so if you want to check out this burger (and trust me, you want to check out this burger) you’d better not dilly-dally too much.
Though I had high hopes from the get-go, I knew I was probably in for something special when the girl behind the grill began to prepare my hamburger. She pulled out a glorious ball of pink and white ground beef, and as soon as I saw it my eyes widened with joy. A Toronto establishment which knows that the words “lean” and “hamburger” should absolutely never be used in conjunction with each other is a rare treasure indeed.
She placed the beef on the sizzling griddle, smashed it down and seasoned it liberally with salt. No other spices, no onions, no garlic, just great quality meat, salt, and searing heat. Perfection.
And make no mistake, this is great quality meat. Amazingly rich and almost obscenely beefy, it’s abundantly clear that Blue Goose is not kidding around when it comes to the quality of their beef. When I rally against overly-busy meatloaf burgers, this is why. Because I know that when you start out with really good meat and cook it properly, you can end up with an amazingly complex, incredibly satisfying flavour that you don’t want to mess with.
As for the refreshingly non-lean, fatty beef? Yes. It was so rich, so juicy, and so incredibly delectable. The beef was also — as it should be — coarsely ground and loosely packed, and had such a great texture. Seriously: perfection.
Look, I know this is all coming off as insanely hyperbolic, but what can I say? I loved this hamburger.
It has quite a few toppings (cheddar, caramelized onion, pickle, lettuce, and tomato); this would normally perturb me, but here all the ingredients work together such perfect harmony that I wouldn’t change a single thing. The cheddar comes perfectly melted and adds a creamy tang without ever threatening to overpower the beef. The richly unctuous caramelized onions compliment the meat quite fantastically. And the lettuce, tomato, and pickle help to give the burger balance and cut the richness of the onions, cheese, and beef.
The toasted sesame seed bun was fine. It was probably the only element of this hamburger that wasn’t knock-me-back amazing, but there was certainly nothing wrong with it and it complimented the burger well.
They serve a single burger, and a double. I started with the single, and it was so damn good that I did something that I’ve never done before: I went right back and ordered another one. A double this time (well, I split it with my dining companion — I’m not that gluttonous). These are not wimpy patties, so the double was fairly enormous, but I think I liked it even better. This one had a higher proportion of beef to the other ingredients, and was thus even more richly beefy. It was outstanding.
As I think should be pretty clear by now, this hamburger is absolutely essential. If you’re anywhere near the GTA and you have even a passing interest in burgers, you owe it to yourself to check it out. I’ve only given out four perfect ratings since starting this blog: Burger’s Priest, Holy Chuck, Allen’s, and White Squirrel Snack Shop. This one beats them all.
Go eat it. Now.