GOLDEN GRILL MARKS
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.
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
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
THE ORIGINAL McEwan introduced the Bymark burger 15 years ago. It contains brie de meaux, shaved truffle and grilled porcini mushrooms.
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
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 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
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
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