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Friday, April 15, 2011

Craft Burger (now Big Smoke Burger)

Review Location:
830 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario

Today my friend John was in the area around where I worked, so we both went to this burger joint that we've been wanting to try. We've heard a lot of good things about it and wanted to see if the testimonials lived up to what it was. We got there a couple minutes after noon, and the place wasn't too busy. We managed to get a table, and the line up to order your food was quick. However, if we showed up just 15 minutes later, the place would've been packed, and the line up would've been out the door (literally). Thank goodness. The restaurant is pretty small, with a seating area that probably wouldn't accommodate more than 30 people, but most people were just getting their burgers to go.

Left: My Black Cherry Soda, Right: John's Root Beer

We both ordered burger combos that came with a side and a drink. These tall retro-looking bottles of Boylan sodas really caught our eye, so we paid more to get these as our drinks. My black cherry soda was not bad. It tasted similar to a cherry coke except not as sweet and less "coke" flavour (if that made any sense at all...). Hard to describe. At least I didn't get that gross gritty teeth feeling after drinking it like I do most sodas.

The burgers came on a tray and were delivered to you by a waiter after you order and pay at the cash register. It was quite quick and we got our food within 10 mins of ordering. We both decided to order burgers that had the word "craft" in it, cause we figured it must be one of their signature burgers.

Left: "Craft Burger" - Saute mushrooms, rosemary garlic mayo, lettuce, tomato, 
Right: Craft Burger Combo with Onion Rings.

The first thing I want to say, is I think this meal was way too over-hyped. Everyone told me how amazing it is, so I went in ordering a burger, and expecting a steak. But even with that being said, the burger was quite good. The first bite in I noticed that the meat was a little overcooked and dry, but as you worked your way to the middle of the patty, it was more moist and juicy. The beef didn't taste too processed, and it wasn't drenched in oil like most burgers. It was very slightly under flavoured but the rosemary garlic mayo made up for it. The onion rings were also quite good. It was made with a breaded batter (similar to what you make cutlets with), and was piping hot when it came out. The onion inside wasn't all shriveled up, allowing for an equal balance of onion and batter. Despite the fact that I prefer tempura-batter onion rings more, I really enjoyed these.  

"Craft Spicy" -caramelized onions, spicy chipotle, tomato, and lettuce.
This was John's order, and unfortunately I couldn't get a good picture, nor did I get to taste it. He seemed like he enjoyed the meal though. I tried some of the fries, and they really remind me of the fries from "The Grill" in Waterloo. The next most similar would be New York Fries, but not as crispy. They are more like the softer, restaurant-style fries. I liked that they weren't overloaded with salt.

For the same price as a McDonald's meal, is Craft Burger better than most fast food joints? Yes. Is it the best burger I've ever had? Probably not. But none the less, a very very good burger place in Toronto.

My friend John also runs a food blog devoted entirely to burgers, and his is more of a detailed a review of the entire restaurant rather than my quick look at the food. So if you want to read up on his Craft Burger experience, as well as other burger joints around Toronto, go check out his burger blog!

Edit: Craft Burger has now changed it's name to Big Smoke Burger. Different name, but still the same great burgers!

Craft Burger on Urbanspoon

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