The Burger’s Priest

There is a religious bovine experience happening in Toronto … it is called The Burger’s Priest.

Each time I write about burgers and/or bacon the male demographic on hotpinkapron.com spikes about 90 points. I loved this burger and this review was a lot of fun to write but, really, this one is for the boys!

The kids are visiting the Grandparents and Brett and I are enjoying a full-out birthday weekend of food indulgence.  Today’s destination: The Burger Priest, 1636 Queen Street East, Toronto.  For weeks we have been hearing buzz about “this little burger shop in the east end that does the most amazing smash burger”.  A sunny, kid-free, Saturday afternoon felt like the ideal time to take a drive into the city and experience this burger hype for ourselves.

The shop is tiny, holding only about 20 hungry burger fans at a time, the rest of us are forced into a line out the door. As we were standing in the line of like-minded burger fans, we started a few conversations about favourite toppings and tales of meat comas past.  We were the only newbies in the group, everyone else were returning customers, raving about how much we were going to enjoy our near destinies.  One woman we chatted with traveled across the city often for her gluten-free Priest burger, telling us, “This is the only fast food with gluten-free options that doesn’t taste like s#@t.”

We chat for a few minutes and then we’re up to order.  Here’s where being an informed foodie comes in very handy,  we’ve done our research and it turns out The Burger’s Priest has a secret menu.  This is something that popular burger chains, such as In & Out Burger in California, have been successful with.  Food blogger Food With Legs has done us all a favour by listing some of the hidden gems here.

Never judge a menu before Googling. These are only a few of their menu options. It is the "secret menu" you wish to guide you in your journey, son.

I order The Priest with “holy smokes” (breaded and fried fresh jalapenos) and ask for it to be loaded with all of the usual suspects.  Brett orders from the secret menu, The Tower of Babel, loaded up.  The beautiful, hip woman behind the cash register shoots him an impressed smile, as if to say, “Way to go, big guy.”  Now we shove back into the packed room of anxious bodies and wait for our names to be called.  My claustrophobia is starting to set in.

There’s no real conduct to the room but somehow it works. There’s a rhythm to the chaos; if not from the hot grill noises and crowd anticipation, then from the Jamiroquai blasting from the in-house speakers.  I tap my foot, stare through the gate longingly and wait… saliva pooling at my feet.

I confessed ALL of my sins to this tray of meat balls. I was feeling the moment.

This is an excellent example of the power of word of mouth and striking when the rod is hot.  Gourmet burger shops are extremely trendy right now, I’ve seen $16 kangaroo meat burgers, $18 hamburgers topped with foie gras.  The Burger Priest doesn’t offer gourmet, they simply create great tasting, fresh hamburgers and then take them to the extreme.

With large brown paper bag in hand, Brett and I jump back into our truck, parked on the side of the street, and our feast begins. (Did I mention the ‘absolutely no dining in the restaurant’ signs?)

Doesn't look that impressive straight out of the bag, actually reminds me of a scene in the 1st Nightmare on Elm Street.

Then you unwrap it and a star is born. This, my meat-loving friends, is named The Tower of Babel: 2 grilled cheese sandwiches in place of buns, 2 amazing smash patties, the panko crusted and fried portabello mushroom, more cheese, lettuce and tomato.

Speechless.

I opted for the "more civilized choice" of The Priest: the cheeseburger with the panko crusted and fried portebello mushroom.

It was redunkulously good. Cheese! *swoon*

 

Scratch that above caption. It was not "good" it was ORGASMIC! This is the face of a truly satisfied burger-fan.

Oh. And there were fries, they were good. Really, though, after that burger how could a potato even compete??!

Burger lovers rejoice, there is a burger joint savior in the east end of Toronto.  It’s name: The Burger Priest.

Apparently I’m not the only one using their craft to celebrate this landmark restaurant.  Aside from the flock of food bloggers and social networking “photographers” sharing their own experiences, Toronto-based band, Actual Water, recorded the song “She’s A Priest” in honour of my new favourite burger joint.

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Comments

  1. 2

    says

    A great review of a great eatery! I live in the Toronto Beaches just about a kilometre away and I’m a regular. While the walk there and back doesn’t begin to burn the calories, it’s a wonderful weekend experience (both the walk and the burger). One thing that’s missing from most reviews is the price. Sure you can load it up with expensive options, but the cheeseburger on it’s own is only 5.29 and a double is only $8. For my money it’s way better food, more enjoyable and better value than buying a basic burger anywhere else.

  2. 3

    Em says

    Hi, I just wanted to say thankyou. Thankyou for this blog, I’ve been following it for a while, but I am only really appreciating it’s worth NOW, as I am going through some tough times. The power of food and cooking to cheer me up, and lift the spirit is totally underestimated. I am planning on trying out more of your awesome recipies (I’m also really broke atm too, so cooking things from scratch is actually really good for the budget).

    Also: being from Australia I SNORT at $16 kangaroo burgers. Roo meat is cheeeeap over here. They breed like rabbits, and have to be culled at times, because they end up starving to death droughts etc. Nice meat though, and they’re a pretty eco-friendly animal to raise over here (they don’t destroy the native ecosystem like cattle do).

  3. 4

    mikev says

    I dunno. When I had it I didn’t really enjoy it all that much. No sure why. I had their fries poutine style which I know didn’t enjoy and I think that might have affected my enjoyment of the burger. I need to give it a another go.

    PS they’ve opened a new location up at Yonge and Lawrence

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