Thursday, May 19, 2011

Gourmet Burger Co.

If you like thick and juicy hamburgers do not go to Gourmet Burger Company. If you like pineapple, roasted peppers, avocado, goat cheese or balsamic marinated caramelized onions on a thin, cooked through patty then maybe it’s the place for you.

Their shtick is local, 100% Canadian farm raised beef that’s aged for thirty days and never frozen. That’s all fine and dandy but Canada is not local and when you cook a skinny patty to well done, you can’t tell what you’re eating.

Needless to say this burger was dry. It had nice grilled flavour that you almost couldn’t taste because of the huge Kaiser like bun that the patty sits between. I immediately tear off as much of the bun as possible. I’m here to eat a burger, not a prosciutto sandwich.

I’m also super sad to see leaf lettuce on the bottom and skimpy toppings. The tomato is sliced too thin as is the red onion and the pickles. The GBC sauce (a mixture of ketchup, hot sauce, mayo and mustard) is void of any flavour. I should’ve stuck with mayo.

Gourmet Burger Company isn’t a total bust. Their beer battered onion rings are giant, crunchy rings of soft onion that doesn't slide out when you bite into them.

The fries are what I call dirty fries; they are darkish in colour as if the oil in the deep fryer hasn’t been changed this week. They are crispy and not too thick.

And Rachel, the cute counter girl personally brings us our order. The presentation is nice; the 100% biodegradable packaging is eco chic and your meal comes on a silver tray.

Gourmet Burger Co.
Four locations across Toronto
Takeout or Dine In
Open daily
Cash or debit
Not licensed
One 6 oz. beef burger with rings and a Jones Soda $11.81 including taxes

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

June Harlowe Foods, 1627 Dupont Street

This cottagy resto cafe has a casual vibe that makes it a no brainer for an easy weekend brunch. Live music and $5 Caesars sweeten the deal. Blueberry buttermilk pancakes are big, fluffy disks of love. Someone in the kitchen is a master whisker. The eggs Benedict is comprised of large eggs, grilled (nice touch) pea meal and Challah toast which in my not so humble opinion is the best choice. I like the hollandaise even more than the bread. June has the lightest, lemony hollandaise on the face of this city.

Watusi, 110 Ossington Avenue

My friend Jen and I were stumped this year as to where to hold our birthday festivities. It was cute at first but now I am exhausted by the no reservation policy. How the f are twenty five people supposed to go for dinner without a reservation? Jen called place after place on our list of "hot spots" and they either wouldn't or couldn't accommodate our numbers or wanted to force us into a prix fixe. One place on the Ossington strip couldn't even seat us all at one table because they "are a small place". We dined at Watusi. It was a no brainer choice after the guy on the phone was not only accommodating but pleasant, professional and helpful; he even offered to order us a cake.

Customer service is not dead.

My favourites were the luscious pulled pork with wonton chips, the crispy chick pea fries with a jalapeno dip and the crispy mixed mushroom and asiago flat bread pizza.