Broncos Slider Bar

broncos
Location
: 127 Strachan Avenue, Toronto
Website: http://www.broncosrestaurant.com/

Broncos Slider Bar – a spinoff of Branca, a tapas joint – is the latest restaurant in the city to specialize in so-called sliders.

No, they’re not sliders in the original sense of the term, but I’ve come to accept two things about this:

1) The definition of the word “slider” has now lost all connection to what it used to mean. It went from referring to a very specific style of hamburger, to a small burger of any style, and now to any small sandwich that’s served on a bun. And the way things are going, it will soon refer to any food that happens to be bite-sized. The English language is constantly evolving; no point in trying to fight it.

2) The specific style of burger that originally birthed the word “slider” will never be served in Toronto – or at least, not until I finally make good on my idle chatter and open my own burger joint.

Both points make me sad (particularly number two), but it is what it is.

Anyway, word-nitpickery and burger-style-snobbery aside, Broncos actually serves a pretty good hamburger.

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It’s a classic, fast-food-style cheeseburger – griddle-cooked, and topped with melty American cheese.

The patty has a good texture, a decent amount of juiciness, and a satisfying beefy flavour. Combined with the nice brown crust from the griddle and the gooey cheese, it’s clear that someone in the kitchen knows their way around hamburger cookery.

I would, however, ask for it without mustard next time, or at least ask for less mustard, because the amount applied here just detracted from that great patty.

The other toppings are solid – the pickles did their usual hamburger-improving thing, and even the onions were pretty good. I’m normally not crazy about raw onions on a burger (or anywhere, for that matter), but these weren’t too strong, offering some mild oniony flavour and a little bit of crunch, without overpowering.

Sadly, the bun was an absolute disaster. It’s way, way, way too big and dense for the task at hand. It works well on their other sandwiches, which tend to be messier and crammed to the gills with stuff, thus necessitating a bun with more heft. On the burger, however, the substantial bun throws the beef-to-bun ratio so far off that it’s almost ruinous. Seriously: it comes alarmingly close to flat-out ruining the hamburger. It completely overwhelms the beef. It’s a damn shame, because with a better bun this would be a great burger, and now it’s merely good.

The fries, on the other hand, were great. They look kind of pale but they taste amazing – crispy, creamy, perfect.

3 out of 4

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Sliders

sliders
Location
: 704 The Queensway, Etobicoke
Websitehttps://twitter.com/_SLIDERS

Sliders is on a shrinking list of places I’ve been meaning to review since I started this blog. I went there once a few years ago (pre-Tasty Burgers) and found it to be passable but fairly mediocre — the kind of unremarkable place that almost immediately recedes from your memory.

Time after time I’d think “Maybe I’ll finally review Sliders this week!” only to find an excuse to go somewhere else instead. I’m not going to lie: I didn’t particularly want to go back.

Long story short: I went back and it was pretty much exactly as I remembered. It was fine — I would theoretically eat there again, but with a Burger’s Priest location less than five minutes away, it’s not going to happen.

True to their name, they serve sliders — though what they serve are just mini hamburgers, not actually sliders by the true meaning of the term (to my knowledge, no one in Toronto serves that style of hamburger). That being the case, I went with a normal-sized burger instead. I got the Double Stacker with Cheese and had it topped with Slider sauce, pickles, and tomato.

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The griddled patties were cooked to well done and were a tad on the dry side, though they did actually have some juiciness to them. There was also a little bit of crust from the griddle, but not nearly as much as there should have been.

Though I wouldn’t exactly call this a meatloaf burger, there was definitely something other than salt and pepper mixed into the patty. It’s subtle, but it’s definitely there. Still, some beefy flavour remains, which, however mild, is pleasant.

The cheese was American, perfect for a classic cheeseburger like this. The slider sauce was a spicy mayo that actually did have a small kick to it; the other toppings were fine. The bun was fresh and suited the burger well.

Again, it’s not a bad burger — but with Burger’s Priest nearby serving a burger done in a similar style that’s so, so much better, Sliders feels redundant.

The fries, however, were really excellent. It’s close, but they probably have Burger’s Priest beat in that department.

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