Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Burger

It's summer in Toronto. It's hot, it's humid. We are wearing flip flops, drinking a ton of beer and doing a lot of bbq'ing. Ah sweet, dear summer; we wait eight months for this.

The 'Between The Buns' installment of Ritaboutit has been a monthly feature since January but a recent comment has opened my eyes to the somewhat anti climatic nature of my choice to talk burgers. I realized that you, may be tired of reading about burgers and I definitely have decided that I, am tired of writing about them.

We love them; for sure. But even a recent Now cover story http://www.nowtoronto.com/food/story.cfm?content=181874 had me sighing. Again? Ugh. Let's not beat a dead horse.

The fact is, burgers have been en vogue for the last two years; they no longer are the "it" thing. The other fact is that it's July and the chances are we are grilling our own. So in a very 'unlike my character' move, I have decided to abandon 'Between The Buns' as a monthly review. I am not a quitter but I will now only talk burger when it's news worthy; either awesome or horrible.

At this point, there is really only two things you need to know. If you don't own a bbq, go see Shant at The Burger's Priest http://theburgerspriest.com/ http://ritaboutit.blogspot.com/2011/01/burgers-priest.html and if you do, KISS (keep it simple stupid).

When making your own burger, avoid extra lean or lean ground beef. Fat equals flavour whether we are talking steak or ground beef. I favour medium ground beef, preferably ground chuck but sirloin will do fine as well. The only other points to note are A) only add salt and pepper and B) do not play with it too much. Pressing down on the patty while on the grill will only squeeze all those delicious juices out. Resist temptation! Don't press.

Add crisp iceburg, processed cheese, homemade dill pickles, tomatoes from the garden, a side salad and a cold beer.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Moe Pancer's Deli

Moe Pancer's Deli, 3856 Bathurst Street has been around since 1957. It's been remodelled (I'm sure a few times over) but the room maintains its' nostalgia. It's a dive but in the best sense of the word.

Tamara our waitress has been working there "forever". She won't divulge the time but she's an older gal. She is exactly who you want to be served by in a delicatessen; a Jewish belle with bleached blond hair, a face full of makeup and fingers adorned with gold rings.

She brings us a delicatessen platter ($15) of tongue, corned beef and pastrami. On the side, the rye bread, french fries and cole slaw. You make your own sandwiches this way which I like because there is no way I could get my mouth around the monstrosities that Tamara is serving up. It's a crazy amount of meat (you've been warned).

I prefer the pastrami over the corned beef. It's more moist; a little fattier. Thrashers of the freshly sliced, peppery meat with hot Keen's mustard and giant sour dill pickles are a combo of awesome.

The tongue on the other hand is a little too moist. It's too soft. I like a tongue with a little substance.

The fries are not fresh cut and are chubby and dry. Go for the potato salad instead. It's roughly mashed and creamy and has bits of sweet red and green pepper. If I had a Jewish grandmother, this would be her potato salad.

The slaw is also quite good. The cabbage is soft, well seasoned and dressed up in vinegar. I may have made it a sandwich condiment.

Meat aside, Moe stays true to its' roots with matzoh ball soup, knishes, kishkas and chopped liver.

Moe Pancer's is a bit of a trek into North Toronto but good food is always worth the effort.