Mark McEwan on T.O.’s high-end burger craze

The man who lit­er­ally in­vented T.O.’s high-end ham­burger, with his $38 plat­inum patty, on the city’s new wave of top-notch $20 burg­ers.

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WIN­NER BIG­GER IS NOT BET­TER

RICH­MOND STA­TION “This is a very well-ex­e­cuted burger: good size, good taste, re­ally good con­trast, hand­made bun. It’s filled with short rib down the mid­dle,” says McEwan, not­ing its sim­i­lar­ity to the db burger from one of Daniel Boulud’s New York out­posts. 1 Rich­mond St. W., $22

TOP-QUAL­ITY PATTY

PARTS & LABOUR “The meat qual­ity on this burger is very good, but the meat grind is not hold­ing to­gether as much as I would like it to,” says McEwan of the burger topped with a ba­con onion jam. 1566 Queen St. W., $19

BISON, BA­CON AND MORE

BURGER CEL­LAR “The meat qual­ity is very good. Bison is a great meat for a burger. It’s very healthy, or­ganic and low in fat. The ba­con is well cooked. The com­po­si­tion is re­ally good, but I would put the onion rings on the side.” 3391 Yonge St., $17.95

A BEAUTY OF A BURGER

CAR­BON BAR “That’s a good look­ing burger. It’s on the big side but still a good por­tion size. It’s sur­pris­ing how good ball­park mus­tard is on a ham­burger. I like their play on the ba­con and the charred red onion.” 99 Queen St. E., $22

A PARTY OF IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

RASA “They’ve got a lot go­ing on in there: caramelized onions, pro­volone cheese. They’ve done their own spe­cial sauce. The flavour is good, the tex­ture is good. The bun is just a lit­tle small for the in­gre­di­ents,” says McEwan. 196 Robert St., $17

RUN­NER-UP KEEP­ING IT CLAS­SIC

MU­SEUM TAV­ERN “This one is more tra­di­tional, and some­times that can be a very smart thing to do. It’s a very good burger, the meat grind is great, the pro­por­tion on this one is re­ally good. It’s quite ex­pertly done.” 208 Bloor St. W., $19

A GAME BURGER

ANTLER “The flavour on the meat is very good, and the gar­nish­ing is very nice — red oak let­tuce, heir­loom tomato, house-made pick­les. The pro­por­tion of the burger is ex­cel­lent,” he says of the boar, bison and deer burger. 1454 Dun­das St. W., $18

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