Monday, May 7, 2012

Burger Tasting [VLOG]

Nicki from View The Vibe (@ViewTheVibe) told me about her insane idea the other day. It went something like this: 

We should pick some of the top burger spots in Toronto and go on a burger tasting! And lets do it ALL IN ONE DAY!

Crazy woman. 

As crazy as that may sound, I obviously went along with it. I love burgers. Really, I do. After all, there's a reason why I was recruited as judge on Burger Wars last year :D I also have mad love for McDonald's (I'm not ashamed of this) because I made AND ate a McDonald's Quadruple Filet-O-Fish before. And if you're still not convinced...please... the cartoon version of me is holding a friggin' burger!!!

I guess Nicki and I weren't the only crazy ones; Val (@ValTorontoGal) from I'm Charming You, Sam (@SamMillarTO) from View The Vibe, and Scott (@scottyhons) also came along for the burger crawl.

Watch our journey here...

And if you're still here (thanks!) read on and see what I thought about each burger...

FIRST STOP: Holy Chuck Burgers

The Holy Chuck: Double cheeseburger with bacon & caramelized onions ($9.99)
An extremely juicy burger done to a perfect medium-rare, I couldn't ask for a better start to our burger tasting than this Holy Chuck Signature Burger. The sweet caramelized onion, crispy strips of bacon and melted cheese all between a fluffy soft bun was just excellent.

SECOND STOP: Big Smoke Burger

Big Smoke Burger: Horseradish mayo, caramelized onions, smoked cheddar, tomato & lettuce ($7.50)
A disappointment. Cooked to medium, the burger was dry as cardboard. The only component that made the burger juicy was the caramelized onions (which I wasn't too keen on either as it was too sweet). I do have to point out that Big Smoke Burger was the only place that had a toasted bun on our burger crawl.

THIRD STOP: The Burger's Priest

Cheeseburger: ($5.99) 
Good, not great. What made it good was the fact that I could really taste the "beef" in this burger. I didn't find it great though because I'm not a fan of the crumbly / coarse texture of the burger itself. As a whole, this cheeseburger from The Burger's Priest just didn't wow me as much as The Holy Chuck Burger.

The Priest: Cheeseburger + The "Option" (mushrooms stuffed with cheese then fried) ($9.99)
A step up from the cheeseburger on the menu, I thought The Priest was genuinely tasty. Not outrageous compared to the burgers offered on The Burger's Priest's secret menu, I thought The Priest is a happy medium if you want something more than a regular cheese burger yet nothing too crazy. Gooey and heavy, it was the toppings that made The Priest so utterly satisfying for me.The bun was forgettable though.

Last Stop: Nota Bene

Jennifer's Stilton Beef Brisket Burger with fries ($22)

Distinctly thick and surprisingly filling, the well-seasoned, medium-rare burger had a lovely pink colour inside. Juicy and flavourful, the burger was downright didn't need any extra toppings. The characteristic strong smell and taste of the Stilton cheese made the already great burger into an awesome burger (maybe not so much if you don't like blue cheese).

If I had to rate the burgers that day, it would be:

1. Nota Bene
2. Holy Chuck Burgers
3. The Burger's Priest (cheeseburger)
4. Big Smoke Burger

P.S: We fully acknowledge the fact that Nota Bene's burger is at a different price point than all the others. Having said that, I thought the Holy Chuck Burger was a really close second.
P.S.S: I've had Nota Bene's Wagyu Beef Brisket Burger before. Phenomenal. Check my post about it here
P.S.S.S: In case you didn't watch the video, I've indicated that my favourite burger in the city is from Marben