Smashburger

smash
Location
: 6301 Silver Dart Drive, Mississauga (Toronto Pearson International Airport)
Websitehttp://smashburger.com/

Though I’m assuming they’re going to expand a bit more at some point, right now if you’re in Ontario and you want to try Smashburger, you’re going to have to fly internationally out of Pearson.  I actually was flying internationally recently, so I was pretty excited to try this (supposedly) higher end American fast food chain.

They’ve got the standard selection of hamburgers, chicken burgers, and salads that you’ll find at any of the big chains.  I got the Classic Smash, which is a single-patty cheeseburger that comes with American cheese, Smash Sauce, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onion.

It’s… fine, I guess?  I was expecting something more along the lines of places like Five Guys or In-N-Out, but this definitely isn’t that.  It’s closer in quality to Wendy’s or A&W.  Not bad in a pinch, but definitely not something I’d get excited about or go out of my way for.

smasha

The patty — with its dry, pebbly texture and lack of anything you’d recognize as a beefy flavour — is fast food through and through.  As per the name of the joint, it’s smashed, with a bit of colour and texture from the griddle.  This seems more cosmetic than anything else, as it doesn’t particularly add anything in the flavour department.

The slightly sweet bun is fine, as are the toppings (including the Smash Sauce, which is the typical tangy mayo that you’d expect).  The whole thing is fine — it’s a bit of a shrug, but I certainly didn’t dislike eating it.

As for the fries, I tried the Smash Fries, which are tossed with olive oil, garlic, and rosemary.  They were thinly-cut and tasty, but man were they oily.  They were doused in olive oil; they were dripping with the stuff.  I poured them out next to my burger, and they left a huge pool of oil in their wake.  It was pretty ridiculous.

2.5 out of 4

Smashburger - the restaurant Smashburger - the menu Smashburger - the burger and fries Smashburger - the burger

Zet’s Restaurant

zets
Location
: 6445 Airport Road, Mississauga
Websitehttp://www.zets.ca/

Zet’s is in a bit of an odd location (it’s close enough to Pearson to see the planes take off), but having heard a few good things about their burger, I knew that at some point I’d have to check it off the list.

It’s an endearingly run-down Greek diner that serves stuff like soulvaki and gyro, along with burgers and other diner stand-bys.

I walked in at around one on a Saturday afternoon and was happy to note that the place was absolutely packed, with a line going all the way back to the door; crowds this deep are generally a harbinger of good things to come.  Generally.

The menu is on the wall above the grill.  Noting an eponymous burger on the menu, I ordered that, along with a side of fries.  A few minutes later I was asked what I wanted from the toppings behind the glass (I went with tomatoes, pickle, and mayo) and I was ready to go.

The Zet burger is a double with cheese and bacon, and with two fairly large patties, it’s not kidding around.  Clearly, it is not for the weak of appetite.

zetsA

The patties are frozen and industrially produced. If you are seeking a hamburger worth going out of your way for, turn back now.  These are not the droids you’re looking for.

It is, however, a better-than-average frozen burger.  It wasn’t nearly as rubbery and hot dog-esque as some frozen burgers tend to be, nor was it as funky and off-tasting as some others.  Basically, it was pretty much as good as it gets when it comes to freezer-born burgers — but that is a very low water-mark indeed.

It still, of course, had that generically salty “this is meat?” flavour and hot doggy texture, but to a lesser degree than pretty much any other frozen burger that I’ve had.  It was also nicely grilled, with the gooey mild cheddar and thickly-cut, smoky bacon doing their best to hide the patty’s deficiencies.  It was probably the most I’ve enjoyed a frozen burger in quite a while, so props must go to Zet’s for successfully putting lipstick on a pig.

The other toppings were fine, as was the soft, fresh bun.  It’s actually pretty sad that Zet’s isn’t working with better patties; their technique is obviously pretty great, so if they were starting with better quality meat, they could be serving something special.  Oh well.

The fries, too, made me want to give Zet’s a pass.  Crispy on the outside and pleasingly creamy on the inside, they were absolutely outstanding.  Again, you can’t make fries this good unless you really know what you’re doing, so what’s the deal with the frozen burgers, Zet’s?  What’s the deal?

Zet's Restaurant - the restaurant Zet's Restaurant - the propeller sign Zet's Restaurant - the line-up Zet's Restaurant - the burger Zet's Restaurant - the burger
Zet's Drive-Inn Restaurant on Urbanspoon