The hamburger renaissance is large here in the Toronto area and from what I’ve been gleaning in the media, the same holds true throughout Canada and the US. Hamburger franchises are closing and new independent shops are opening up. Some of the new shops are merely new, glitzy shops offering the same ole’ processed burger then there are the few in the city that are offering their own unique take on the burger with some menus being creative and others that make you go on a scavenger hunt.
When it comes to a hamburger, I prefer my burger to be grilled, I think “less is more”, preferring a burger with minimal toppings so that I may taste the meat. I also look for good fries to go with the burger, the usual soft drink to go with the meal and if I’m feeling decadent, I’ll order a milkshake too!
I was invited by Johnny (owner) of Holy Chuck Burgers (get it…make you say Holy Chuck) to sample some of his menu at this just opened burger shop. I resisted Johnnie’s invites for awhile as his burgers are cooked on a flat-top – not grilled. My recent visit to another burger joint in the east-end that also cooks burgers on the flat-top had scarred me (burger looked grey, flavourless, soggy bun and attitude at the order counter). Johnny’s burger looked good on their site and what did I have to lose?
Holy Chuck Burgers is located on Yonge St., just south of St. Clair on the west side and as soon as you walk in, you smell a new shop mixed in with the aroma of burgers and fries. There’s an open kitchen’ concept so you are in full view of the kitchen and after a quick trip downstairs to the bathroom – I can confirm the bathrooms were just as clean as the kitchen.
I ordered their signature burger (less is more), which is the The Holy Chuck: a double bacon cheese burger with caramelized onions. Johnnie grinds the beef daily and from the mounds of beef, each portion is a good size and see that white stuff? That’s fat – a must when making a burger. The potatoes used are Yukon Golds, cut on premise and twice fried ensuring fluffy fries on the inside along with a crispy outside. The way a French fry should be.
The burgers are seasoned just as the patties hit the flat–top and your order is literally ready in minutes. This is an obvious advantage of the flaptop vs/ the grill. My burger was ready for a head-first dive and boy was it good! Juicy, very flavourful and I could taste the burger and the toppings without one muddling the other. The fries crisp, fluffy on the inside.
While I was eating my burger, a stream of customers came in to order burgers for dinner – mostly take-out but others sat down to eat with me. One dude ordered this burger called the Raging Bull with chipotles which will appear on a new menu.
On two occasions, fellas came in an ordered the “Go Chuck Yourself” burger…six patties, six cheese, triple bacon, caramelized onions stacked between 3 grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s Epic, it’s over the top and yes, people do eat such a behemoth of a burger. Are you up for the challenge – will you join the hall of fame or…shame?
Holy Chuck Burgers also has gravy for fries, Poutines (as requested by many customers) and killer milk shakes. I recommend the Nutella milkshake with salted caramel. I want one now!
Holy Chuck Burgers are located at 1450 Yonge St., just south of St. Clair (west side)
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