Archive for fast food-style burger

J&I Burger . BBQ, Toronto, On

Posted Friday September 25, 2009 12:14PM

Categories: Dave N., fast food-style burger, J&I Burger . BBQ, Toronto On

J&I Burger . BBQ, Toronto, On Address: 22 St. Clair Avenue East, Toronto, On (inside the St. Clair Centre, lower level)
Visited: Monday September 21, 2009 11:55AM
Ordered: Cheeseburger (x1), Coke (x1)
Total Cost: $5

Dave N.’s Review

The Experience

J&I is a little food court-type thing by the subway entrance on the lower level of the St. Clair Centre. It’s kind of tucked away in a corner, and I never noticed it until this Monday when I was hungry and on my way into the office. I needed something fast, and since a burger presented itself… well, who am I to resist?

Now, here’s the thing: I’m a font nerd/snob. The menus were all written in comic sans, the worst font ever. This was a huge, huge turnoff for me. I may have avoided this place entirely if I had noticed before ordering, but by the time I glanced over at the menus it was too late. (The specials board I ordered off of was not in CS, which is why I didn’t notice immediately.) So major point deduction there.

The ordering process itself was easy/friendly/straight-forward/fast. The food is cooked to order, so there was a slight wait, but it wasn’t long at all. The biggest annoyance, other than the font, is that the place was crawling with loud kids/teenagers. I guess there’s a school nearby? They weren’t being rowdy or bad or anything like that, but I just wasn’t in the mood for all the commotion. If you care at all about these kinds of things, keep in mind that noon on a weekday is potentially a bad time to show up.

Experience rating: 2.8/5

The Burger

I got a cheeseburger and a coke, and the price was right: exactly $5.

The cheese was a thin piece of cheddar. At first I was disappointed, but it was surprisingly flavourful, so that was a nice surprise. When adding other toppings I was pretty jazzed to see that they had sriracha, so I got some of that. They put the right amount on, but unfortunately it seemed all concentrated into one tiny area of the burger, making for an uneven flavour experience. I also got some lettuce and yellow mustard, which were entirely unremarkable.

The burger itself had the same weird meatloaf taste as the one I got from BBQ Express. I can’t put my finger on exactly what’s so weird about it, but it’s definitely an odd taste for a burger. I think both places were Korean, though, so now I’m wondering if there’s some typical Korean way to prepare burgers. Something to investigate further I guess.

Burger rating: 2.85/5

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Trimana, Los Angeles, Ca

Posted Wednesday September 23, 2009 10:27AM

Categories: fast food-style burger, Los Angeles Ca, Trimana, Vin S.

Trimana, Los Angeles, Ca Address: 735 S Figueroa St. #117, Los Angeles, CA
Visited: Monday September 21, 2009 12:15PM
Ordered: BBQ & Cheddar Burger (x1), cup of water (x1)
Total Cost: $6.33

Vin S.’s Review

The Experience

I return for my series of reviews of the burgers at Trimana at the downtown Los Angeles food court, 7th + Fig. Nothing really changed about the experience as in my first review in the series. Again, I think the wait is a little too long for a food court situation. Granted, Trimana is usually the most crowded place in there (besides that excellent Greek place), but still it irks me. It usually takes just a little bit longer than I want.

Experience rating: 3/5 – it’s a food court, don’t expect ambience

The Burger

Regular What the Burger?! readers will recall that my experience with the #1 was disappointing. And I know you are waiting to see if things improve, and I’m happy to report that they do.

First, I’ll note that I skipped the #2, which was the same burger as the #1, but with cheese. Fine, that’s probably an improvement, but not exciting enough to try. I proceed to the #3, BBQ & Cheddar. Initially, I was hesitant, the menu also indicates that this comes with grilled onion and bell pepper. I, it should be noted, am not a bell pepper fan. I’m not totally anti — I’ll eat them but only if burger reviews require it. The burger came and immediately I could tell it was an improvement over the sad and unhappy appearence last week. And was it! OK, that’s a bit too much excitement for this burger, but after last week, it fits.

Best of all was that the added ingredients added quite a bit to the taste. Especially with the stock lettuce, tomato and pickles to balance out the bell pepperse that I’m not fond of. There was maybe slightly too much BBQ sauce for my taste, but not to a degree where I will penalize the rating. All in all, I was pretty satisfied with the BBQ sauce, the cheese, and the toppings.

All in all, good flavors and quality toppings = just fine. Still the weak point in Trimana burgers is likely the meat and bun, but with the right toppings, this can be overcome.

BBQ & Chedder Burger rating: 3.68/5

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BBQ Express, Toronto, On

Posted Wednesday September 16, 2009 4:30PM

Categories: BBQ Express, Caryl D., Dave N., fast food-style burger, Toronto On

BBQ Express, Toronto, On Address: Bellair St. between Bloor & Cumberland, Toronto, On
NOTE: Google insists BBQ Express is on Bay St. It isn’t.
Visited: Tuesday September 15, 2009 12:45PM
Ordered: Burger with cheese (x2), Grape Soda (x1), Bottled Water (x1)
Total Cost: $12.42 + $1.75 ATM fee

Caryl D.’s Review

The Experience – worse than Plain Jane

Dave asked if I wanted to meet him for lunch; I couldn’t resist. Unfortunately, my lunch turned out to be less than I bargained for. We met at Bay and Bloor and were off to try a new burger place, only to find it hadn’t opened yet. *sigh*

[ed.'s note: the place that was closed, Gourmet Burger Co. on Charles, will get reviewed once it opens.]

I suggested that we try this little hole in the wall in Yorkville - (selfishly to see if I could see any celebrities — no dice. *sad face*) It’s in an alley, it’s the size of my pinky finger, and it’s a mish-mash of Korean grill, Italian, and Canadian. Down side, it’s cash only. We order the burger, walk through the park and find a seat on some rocks. Had it not been for the shining sun and the wonderful company of my honey plus, it would have been a terrible experience.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being around the Newtron, but every other aspect of this burger event was not good.

Experience rating: 1.8/5

The Burger (if you want to call it that)

The bun was cold and I hate cold buns.

The meat tasted weird, really weird! Not like a normal beef burger, but some cheap imitation meat, like tofurkey, only this wasn’t tofu.

Luckily, I had mustard, ketchup, and relish, accompanied with onions, lettuce, pickles and tomatoes to drown out the taste of the ‘beef.’

I had a little burger envy because Dave thought it would be good to add Ranch to his burger and I wish I had done that. Damn.

The cheese was not melted. New rule: no ordering cheeseburgers for me. It’s pointless: why pay extra money if I can’t even taste the cheese?

Burger rating: 1.3/5

Dave N.’s Review

The Experience

I was leaving the office to go work at home for the afternoon, so I decided to see if Caryl wanted to grab a burger. She was game and we eventually ended up at BBQ Express in Yorkville.

This place is a tiny, tiny little lunch counter in a brick enclosure, with room for about five customers to stand inside. It is literally shoved into the middle of an alley off Bellair St., and it totally doesn’t fit in with the ultra-posh surrounds. I don’t need my burger joints to be fancy at all, but this was definitely far too cramped. I found myself getting annoyed at other customers invading my bubble while we waited.

In what is becoming a common theme, these guys only took cash. Once again I had to head elsewhere (this time to a convenience store) to withdraw money before I could have a burger.

The staff were friendly — they even started getting our burgers ready while we went to get some dough — but this didn’t really make up for the cramped quarters or the money thing. I guess they were fast-ish?

Experience rating: 2.5/5

The Burger

This burger sucked hard. No, seriously, it was bad. Most everything about it was bland and tasteless and unexciting. Full-bodied this wasn’t.

I topped my cheeseburger with lettuce, mustard and — inspired by my positive experience the other day with creamy garlic wing sauce – ranch dressing. The lettuce was moist and wilty, adding none of the crunch I was hoping for. The mustard was plain old yellow mustard. The ranch dressing was basically tasteless, and definitely not worth the extra heart-attack-inducing calories and fat content. Caryl swears the cheese was real cheddar, but it looked and tasted like a processed cheese single to me; if it was real, it was some of the blandest cheese I’ve ever had.

The patty itself had taste, I suppose, but it wasn’t really a burger taste. To me it tasted more like meatloaf almost. I think it might have been homemade, but I couldn’t really tell and it was bad enough that it didn’t matter.

Burger rating: 1.2/5

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Wing Shop 366, Toronto, On

Posted Saturday September 12, 2009 5:44PM

Categories: Dave N., fast food-style burger, Toronto On, Wing Shop 366

Wing Shop 366, Toronto, On Address: 366 Bloor St. West, Toronto, On
Visited: Saturday September 12, 2009 12:45PM
Ordered: Regular Combo (Regular HomeBurger, Fries, Ginger Ale) with cheese (x1), Regular HomeBurger with cheese, Coke (x1)
Total Cost: about $14 I think — I grabbed somebody else’s receipt by mistake

Dave N.’s Review

The Experience

My friend Chantel told me this place was really good, so I got her to take me. (She may add to this review soon, but for now you just have the Davester.) She told me ahead of time that it was a little divey, which is true, but that’s cool with me.

One thing that’s kind of funny is that his place is called "Wing Shop", but it’s clear that their burgers are the big deal. I mean, I guess I didn’t try the wings so they might be awesome, but the signage and stuff on the inside certainly plays up the burgers more. The inside is a kind of anger-causing-blood-in-your-eyes red, and a little dumpy. There was a random sweet print of a painting of Paris on one wall. I loved it.

Ordering was awesome. I don’t really go for fake pleasantries and a lot of flash when it comes to ordering fast food (see: free smiles at McDonald’s, singing your order at Lick’s, etc.), so I was pleasantly surprised when this deal went down as nothing more than a business transaction. No smiles, as few words as possible, just money being exchanged for food. Nice.

My only complaint about the experience overall was that their selection of cans of pop was pretty slim. But that’s not that big a deal, man.

Experience rating: 4.85/5

The Burger

The burgers here come in four sizes: Junior (2 oz == 1/8 lb), Regular (4 oz == 1/4 lb), Hugo (8 oz == 1/2 lb), and Double Hugo (16 oz == 1 lb) (note: you can also get Halal and veggie burgers, both of which had separate grills.) Chantel and I both went for the regular size burger, with processed cheese slices.

The burgers are homemade and cooked right in front of your eyes, so you know there’s no damned funny-business. Once they are ready you get to choose your toppings. At first I thought, “Hey these toppings are nothing special.” Then I thought “Well, the fried onions, honey mustard, and salt & pepper are a little special.” THEN I saw the best surprise ever on the toppings sign. It read:

• any of our 30+ wing flavours!

Holy canoli, that’s what I’m talking about! Now the whole "Wing Shop" thing makes perfect sense! It’s just an excuse to put delicious wing sauces on top of delicious burgers! I topped my regular burger with fried onions, hot peppers, and creamy garlic wing sauce.

Boy howdy, this was a good burger. The patty was thin, but had a super high flavour density. The bun was nice, not overly grilled, and a good size for the smallish burger that I ordered. The fried onions and hot peppers had just the right amount of flavour to not overwhelm the patty. And the creamy garlic sauce? Shit yeah, that was a good choice.

I actually have one major regret about my burger. As it was being cooked, I noticed that the dude ahead of us got a junior burger, which was darned near the cutest little thing I’ve ever seen. And I realized, too late, that I could have got a couple (or a few) of those and tried more than one wing sauce. Next time, I suppose. My only complaint about the burger that I actually ordered was the cheese. Real cheese would have been a nice touch. That’s it, though, other than that this was a damned good burger.

Burger rating: 4.95/5

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