Friday, January 7, 2011

The Burger's Priest

Now I’m not religious in the least but if these burgers are some kind of religion then bless me Father and sign me up. Shant Mardirosian, a former seminary grad is trying to redeem the burger. He believes in simple and pure ingredients and is deadly against the sins of over processed, overly spiced, frozen burgers. He claims to be a classic American cheeseburger joint and he is succeeding.

Toronto Life gives The Burger’s Priest the thumbs up and blogTo readers are getting nasty as they argue over whether or not their burgers are the best in town Check out the hilarious whining over the fact that their veggie burger is not vegan friendly. What the hell is a vegan doing at a burger joint in the first place? There are veggie places, they are called Fresh and that’s where they should go. Leave the burger joints to us red meat fiends.

Food is so subjective that there really cannot be any clear or definitive answer as to who has “the best” but if you have any faith in what I say, trust me when I tell you that these little angels are the real deal. The Burger’s Priest is a greasy taste of Americana that is obviously hard to find “up here”.

Fresh beef gets ground throughout the day. The meat is seasoned only with salt and rolled into little balls that get pressed down onto a flat top grill when ordered. This technique results in patties with uneven edges which in turn results in crumbly bites of moist, slightly pink meat. No fillers mean that the flavour of the beef is free to shine in all its’ Godly glory.

A small, simple, white bun is the patty’s vehicle while honest ingredients dress it up: cheese, ketchup, mustard, onion, tomato, pickles and lettuce. I’m happy as I do not believe in junking up my burger with guac, salsa, alfalfa, peanut butter, olives or sautéed mushrooms.

The fanciest topping is “secret sauce”. It’s pink and tangy and goes on the ‘Low Priest’ (another secret item selection). Like any confessional session, Shant is sworn to secrecy. He will not reveal what kind of beef he uses, where it comes from, what kind of cheese he uses or what goes into his sauce.

‘The Option’ ($7.99) is a veggie burger but a veggie burger because it is made with a vegetable; the portabello mushroom, not with ground up mystery bits that taste like peas and saw dust. Cheese gets stuffed between two mushrooms, rolled in panko and deep fried. It is crispy and crunchy and oozing with hot cheesiness. It’s a little under seasoned but oh so overly creative.

I get crazy and go for ‘The Priest' ($9.99): ‘The Option’ plus a cheeseburger. This is a big one, I feel so stuffed and my arteries are pissed but it is worth every bite. There is nothing like this in Toronto. I love the dichotomy: the crunchy mushrooms against the soft beef. I love the comedy of it; only a person who needs some guidance would put a veggie burger and a beef patty in the same bun.

The fries are perfection. They are skinny and crispy and salty.

You don’t have to be a believer to enjoy The Burger’s Priest, you just have to have an affection for unprocessed, fresh, American style cheeseburgers. Lucky for Shant, a good portion of Toronto is following his gospel.

The Burger's Priest
1636 Queen Street East
Closed Sundays
Cash only
No liscence
No washrooms


  1. I have to say, that was the best veggie burger I've ever had. As for the beef, you nailed it; that beef was delish. My only concern about that place was the price, but otherwise, a big thumbs up. And there is nothing wrong with a little avocado or sauteed mushrooms on a burger :)

  2. What if a vegan is out with a group of meat eating people? Should they just stay home? Or insist that everyone go to Fresh because they are vegan? I'm not saying that every place should have a vegan option, but saying vegans should stick to vegan restaurants is just stupid.