Archive for "gourmet" burger

Volo, Toronto, On

Posted Saturday November 21, 2009 5:15PM

Categories: "gourmet" burger, Dave N., Toronto On, Volo

Volo, Toronto, On Address: 587 Yonge Street, Toronto, On
Visited: Wednesday October 21, 2009 5:30PM
Ordered: Veal Burger special (x3), Beer (x5), Juice (x1)
Total Cost: $93.88
Photo from urbanspoon, by Robert.
 

Dave N.’s Review

The Experience

I’m not sure exactly what this place is called. I’ve seen Caffevolo, Caffe Volo, Cafe Volo, Bar Volo and just plain Volo. I’m sticking with Volo, because it’s easier.

Anyway, this is a really nice Italian beer bar and restaurant on Yonge, near Wellesley. It’s a bit pricey, but it generally has great food and always has an amazing selection of beers. Their normal menu is always good, but it’s often worth checking out what’s on special (for both drinks and food).

The day I was there I was in a bit of a bad mood, as I was meeting a friend to help me resolve some labour/money issues I was having. (Bad mood because of issues, not because of friend helping me.) I offered to buy him drinks if he’d help me talk through it, which he agreed to. Dickhead that I am, I forgot to pay for his share, but I’ll pay him back later, I swear.

We ended up staying for more than just a drink, and we were eventually joined by his girlfriend, and the whole thing turned into quite a nice evening.

I’ve found that the service at Volo can be spotty, but that night I had absolutely no complaints. Our servers were fast, friendly and accurate.

My only complaints about the experience are that, as I said, Volo can be expensive; it can also be fairly dark in there, and I like a well-lit restaurant.

Experience rating: 4.6/5

The Burger

The night we were there, Volo’s panini special was a 5oz veal burger with caramelized onions, mushrooms, pancetta bacon, and gorgonzola cheese on an egg brioche bun served with potatoes and mixed greens, all for $15. All three of us ordered it — mine without mushrooms, naturally – and I believe we all enjoyed it.

You can’t really go wrong with toppings like that — I mean shit, man. Onions, pancetta and gorgonzola? Fuck yeah. Why don’t more burgers have pancetta? Pancetta is great! And Volo’s not really the kind of place to dick around; the ingredients were top-notch, and the burger tasted awesome. Sure it was smallish, but it was really densely flavoured and rich. I loved it. Also, the bun was really nice. Why aren’t more burgers served on brioche? Brioche is great!

So, I’m not 100% sure if Volo even has burgers on their menu normally, but if you happen to be there and if there happens to be a burger special, for the love of God, order it. And have some great beers, too.

Burger rating: 4.8/5

Bottom Line

Average rating:

4.7/5

 

Moxie’s Classic Grill, Toronto, On

Posted Monday October 5, 2009 11:03AM

Categories: "gourmet" burger, Dave N., Moxie's Classic Grill, Toronto On

Moxie's Classic Grill, Toronto, On Address: 30-3401 Dufferin Street, Toronto, On (inside Yorkdale Shopping Centre)
Visited: Sunday September 27, 2009 1:30PM
Ordered: Mediterranean Burger with sweet potatoe fries (x1), beet/goat cheese salad (x1), banana bread (x1), coffee (x1)
Total Cost: $52.16
Photo from yorkdale.com
 

Dave N.’s Review

The Experience

I first ate at Moxie’s when Caryl and I lived in Vancouver for a year. They were peppered around the city and we found it to be a decent place to get a fairly consistent, if somewhat overpriced, meal. After we moved back to Toronto, I guess they expanded eastwards because, well, here they are.

The atmosphere is like a Milestones or something like that — think (somewhat phonily) fancified bar and grill. It’s too dark for my tastes, and the lack of lighting comes off as kind of pretentious. It also makes it necessary for them to put insanely bright spotlights directly over the tables, which frequently blind you while you’re eating and conversing. The weird lighting and my colour-blindness also combined to trick me into using a pack of fake sugar for my coffee, though this is a problem few others will probably run into.

The service was friendly, but we waited for too long in my opinion. I was getting pretty antsy by the time the food showed up. It was kind of brutal. Once stuff arrived, things went OK. The house Euro-style beer was decent; got the job done. That job being, you know, to quench my thirst and make me a little tipsy. I made a super smart move in substituting the regular fries that came with my burger for their sweet potato fries. They were soooooo good. Damn. They came with a curry-mayo kind of sauce that was great, and also ended up going on my burger.

I like Moxie’s, but it had enough stupid crap going on to annoy me. The lights, the slow service, the price — it all added up to me being kind of cranky, which isn’t exactly what I want in a burger experience. Also, it made me miss Vancouver, so I ended being cranky and sad. The place is good, but they could stand to step their game up a bit.

Experience rating: 3.1/5

The Burger

The menu had a few different burgers to choose from, and I decided to go with the Mediterranean Burger that was topped with feta and goat cheese and basil pesto. It was served with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pickles and sweet pepper aioli. (I removed the tomatoes and red onions and Caryl took my pickle.) I also added the previously-mentioned great curry-mayo kind of sauce that came with my fries and some mustard.

All of that seems like a hell of a lot of flavours to be mixing together. But, you guys, let me tell you that it was SO GOOD. All the condiments and melty cheeses and things mixed together to form this amazing, delicious awesomesauce. It ended up being a little messy and sloppy, but that worked out to my advantage because I was then able to dip my fries in all the discarded liquid fantastic coming off the burger. I was worried that the feta would make everything too salty, but it did not.

Clearly I liked the burger but, if I’m being honest, it did have some stupid bits. First, the bun was far too bunny — it was too big and poufy, and too dry. The actual burger patty itself was also sub-par. It tasted very familiar to me in a grocery-store-frozen-burger way; I think it might have been a President’s Choice burger. It wasn’t actually bad, but I expect something better (or at the very least different) than that when I go out and drop a small fortune.

So yeah, not the perfect burger. But, if a restaurant’s going to serve some shitty Loblaws burger, then this is the way to do it.

Burger rating: 4.32/5

Bottom Line

Average rating:

3.71/5

 

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