Reds Square OneLocation: 100 City Centre Drive, Mississauga (inside Square One)

I don’t know why I keep reviewing the burger at chains like Reds.  They’re always just as mediocre and personality-free as you fear they’re going to be, so why do I keep subjecting myself to them?  Because I hate myself, apparently?

Reds Square One

To be fair, Reds only has three locations, so it’s not quite a full-on chain like Moxie’s or Milestones.  It’s also slightly better than those types of places.  But it’s not great.

I ordered the Reds Burger: “lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickle, fresh baked potato bun.”

Reds Square One

It’s… well, it is what it is.  It’s mostly inoffensive.  The griddled patty is dry, because of course it’s dry, but it’s otherwise decent enough.  There’s a good amount of crust from the griddle, and the texture of the beef is basically where it should be.  The flavour isn’t particularly beefy, but it’s not unpleasant.  If it weren’t so dry, it would have been pretty good.

Reds Square One

The no-frills toppings are exactly what you think they’ll be, and the fluffy, fresh bun is actually really good.

I don’t know.  It’s a burger.  It’s mostly inoffensively tasty, but it’s so bland and unmemorable that it may as well not exist.

Reds Square One

As for the fries, they were mostly quite good, though they were a little bit undercooked.

2.5 out of 4

Jamie’s Italian

: 100 City Centre Drive, Mississauga (Square One)

I know, a place with “Italian” right in the name probably isn’t the most obvious place to order a hamburger.  And I just got burned by an Italian place with a hamburger inexplicably on the menu.  So you’d think I’d learn.

But you know what?  Maybe I’ll never learn, because the burger at Jamie’s Italian is actually pretty darn good.

And it had better be — it’s not cheap.  It’s sixteen bucks on its own; twenty if you want fries.  That’s not exactly unreasonable by the standards of a nicer restaurant, but it’s still a decent chunk of change.  You’re throwing down the gauntlet if you’re charging that much for a hamburger.  You’re asking for extra scrutiny.

The Jamie’s Italian Burger is described as follows: “Juicy Prince Edward Island beef, balsamic onions, aged Cheddar, tomato & homade mostarda mayo.”


Yeah, it’s good.  My biggest complaint is that the texture of grilled patty — which is cooked all the way to well done — is a bit off.  The grind is slightly too fine, and it’s a bit dry.  Still, it does have some juiciness to it, and as far as the texture goes, I’ve certainly had worse.

The patty is otherwise really tasty — it’s got a nice smoky flavour from the grill, but nothing too overbearing (as some grilled burgers tend to be).  It’s also got a mild but satisfying beefy flavour.

The toppings are pretty good too.  Aged cheddar’s stronger flavour can sometimes be a bit much on a burger, but here it worked pretty well.  And of course, caramelized onions are pretty much a hamburger’s best friend, so yeah, they worked pretty well too.

The bun looks way too big for the patty, but it’s light enough and fluffy enough that it never feels overwhelming.

As for the fries, the waitress suggested the polenta chips over the traditional fries, and I figured yeah, why not?  They were a touch on the bland side (they either needed more of the rosemary and shredded parmesan that they were topped with, or some kind of dipping sauce), but otherwise were crispy, creamy, and really tasty.

3.5 out of 4

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Union Burger

4188 Living Arts Drive, Mississauga

I was driving to the movies the other day (to see Gravity, which is amazing, and which you should see immediately if you haven’t already) and saw the newly-opened Union Burger right nearby.  Intrigued, I pulled up their website on my phone; they’re a chain, apparently, with about a dozen locations.

I hadn’t planned on eating a burger that day, but plans change.

The place is very similar to South St. Burger, right down to the round metallic trays they serve the burgers on.  They have a handful of elaborately topped signature burgers, but I went with the original burger topped with tomato, pickle, and mayo.  I got it as a combo with a drink and fries and it came up to less than eight bucks.


They have a convenient pager system to let you know when your order is ready, so you can sit down and wait for your disc to light up.

The grilled burger is very, very okay.  It is quite possibly the most middle-of-the-road hamburger I’ve reviewed for this blog.  It’s neither particularly good or particularly bad; it’s just there.

The patty doesn’t have much flavour at all, with pretty much all of the taste coming from the grill.  I wouldn’t exactly describe it as juicy, though I wouldn’t call it dry, either.  It tasted fresh, though it also had a very slight amount of the chewiness that you tend to find with frozen, industrially-produced burgers.  I’m not sure what to make of that.

The bun and toppings were fine.  The whole thing was fine.  Very innocuous.  I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way to eat at a Union Burger again, but if I found myself there, I wouldn’t object.

As for the fries, they were actually a bit better than average, so I guess they were the highlight.

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