Tag Archives: North York

RH Courtyard Cafe

15 Apr

: 3401 Dufferin Street, North York (inside Yorkdale)
Website: None

That was a pleasant surprise.  I wasn’t even planning on eating here — we were supposed to go to the Cheesecake Factory, but the wait was well over an hour despite the fact that it was before noon on a random weekday afternoon.  I figured those types of crowds would have died down by now, but apparently people love the Cheesecake Factory far more than I anticipated.

I had a vague recollection of seeing a photo of the burger at Restoration Hardware (which is also in Yorkdale) and thinking it looked pretty good, so I figured, sure — I’m here, I want a burger, why not?

Yes, Restoration Hardware — the furniture store — has a restaurant, and they serve a burger.  I suppose odder things have happened.

Odder things, such as the burger at a furniture store’s restaurant actually being pretty good.

The RH Burger, per the menu: “sharp American, pickles, onion, dijonnaise, lettuce, tomato.”

I was shocked at how much I enjoyed it.  That’s not to say it was great, but it had a basically decent texture, it was juicy, the flavour was okay, and all of the toppings were solid.  The cheese was nice and gooey and the onions were finely diced and not overwhelming.  The tomato and lettuce were on the side, which is where they remained — they were completely unnecessary.

It was far from perfect, of course — there was almost no crust from the griddle, the well-done beef was too dense with a slightly chewy texture, and they seasoned it with way too much pepper.  But again, it’s a restaurant in a furniture store.  It very easily could have been dry and tasteless and horrible, but I actually quite enjoyed eating it.

As for the fries, they were even better than the hamburger — particularly when dipped in the intensely garlicky mayo that comes on the side.  That stuff was potent.  It actually reminded quite a bit of the garlic sauce that you sometimes get with shawarma.  It bordered on being too strong, but it never went there.  It was irresistible.

3 out of 4

RH Courtyard Cafe - the outside RH Courtyard Cafe - the restaurant RH Courtyard Cafe - the burger RH Courtyard Cafe - the burger

Burger Hut

9 Apr

Website: None
Location: 804 Sheppard Avenue East, North York

Burger Hut is another old-school burger joint like Apache or Johnny’s, coasting by for years on nostalgic appeal and fond memories, rather than actual taste.  If you opened a place like this now and served burgers of this caliber, you’d be laughed out of town.  But somehow, dingy old burger joints that have been around since Johnny Carson was the king of late night are given a free pass.  As I mentioned in my Apache review, nostalgia can be a powerful force.

The place has two burgers on their menu: the 1/4 pound hamburger, and the 6 ounce steakburger.  I sort of figured that the steakburger would be the one to get, but just to be sure I asked the man behind the counter, and he confirmed that yes, this is the better of the two burgers.

I ordered, waited for the burger to be ready, and picked my toppings from behind the glass.  As usual, I went with pickles, tomato, and mayo.

It’s a frozen burger; it was obvious enough just cutting into it and looking at the burger’s cross-section.  It’s hard to miss a frozen patty, and of course, if you’ve read my burger commandments then you know that this is a cardinal sin of burgerdom (though that really should go without saying).

The burger was grilled, and though it was somewhat above average for what it was, it had that telltale frozen burger taste and chewy texture.  But it also had a vaguely pleasant beefy flavour, which is somewhat of a rarity for freezer-dwelling hamburgers.  It was still a frozen burger, of course, but I have had worse (I’m assuming the 6 ounce steakburger is the premium frozen burger, and the 1/4 pound hamburger is the standard, cafeteria-style frozen patty).

The fries were also of the frozen variety, but they were fresh from the fryer, and were fairly tasty.  They were completely unsalted, but salt shakers were readily available to rectify that omission.

Burger Hut - the restaurant Burger Hut - the dining room Burger Hut - the menu Burger Hut - the burger Burger Hut - the burger Burger Hut - the fries
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