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Craft Burger - opening soon @ King + Portland

Recyclor Oct 31, 2007 08:00 AM

Hello, I was just on my way back to work with a coffee and I noticed a new place opening soon, sign is up in window but still paper covered...called Craft Burger and could be the best thing along that strip for cheap eats...*fingers crossed!*....anyone know if it is the only one off it's kind? If not how were other locs?

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  1. Davwud RE: Recyclor Oct 31, 2007 12:09 PM

    Please tell me this isn't another over priced, under whelming burger joint??


    1 Reply
    1. re: Davwud
      Recyclor RE: Davwud Oct 31, 2007 12:37 PM

      It is VERY small looking, the front facade consists of a window and a door, and isn't much wider than 10'...in the past I was disappointed by Hal's & Hero, so far (although I must admit there really isn't much to go on) it doesn't look like it's that kind of place...we see...

    2. deelicious RE: Recyclor Oct 31, 2007 02:17 PM

      My educated guess is that it is owned by Burger Shoppe.

      10 Replies
      1. re: deelicious
        insideman RE: deelicious Nov 1, 2007 04:50 AM

        your educated guess is kinda right. it's is being opened by one of the former co-owners of The Burger Shoppe.

        1. re: deelicious
          Recyclor RE: deelicious Nov 1, 2007 10:31 AM

          ...is that a good thing?

          1. re: Recyclor
            pescatarian RE: Recyclor Nov 1, 2007 11:53 AM

            I haven't eaten at Burger Shoppe, but from what I've read about it on here, I'd say most people would say no. But, on the positive side, maybe the ex-partner was the one with good taste ;-)

            1. re: pescatarian
              Recyclor RE: pescatarian Nov 1, 2007 12:12 PM

              Here's hopin'!...thanks for the reply pesc...

            2. re: Recyclor
              deelicious RE: Recyclor Nov 1, 2007 12:29 PM

              Its a good thing if...
              they give us juicy burgers
              they season the meat
              we get a thick burger option
              they will allow for pink centres
              we get a quality bun that is burger-complimentary
              they pay attention to bun-to-burger ratio
              one can choose from interesting toppings that arent required for enjoyment
              one can buy chicken and fish and veggie options
              they offer HOMEMADE onion rings
              they offer fresh cut fries
              they perfect poutine
              they offer interesting salads
              Awesome milkshakes are available - BONUS
              they aren't pretentious and overpriced
              and finally,
              IF they don't taste like, Hal's, Hero, Harvey's, South Street or Burger Shoppe!

              TOO MUCH TO ASK?????

              1. re: deelicious
                embee RE: deelicious Nov 1, 2007 05:45 PM


                1. re: embee
                  deelicious RE: embee Nov 1, 2007 06:00 PM

                  lol embee. Yes, it does seem to be too much to ask for. But I have hope that someone will do it right. The original Licks did.

                  1. re: deelicious
                    piccola RE: deelicious Nov 2, 2007 10:09 AM

                    You know, I would settle for about half of those. If necessary, I could live without the milkshakes, poutine (other places for that), optional thick burger, and super wide variety of toppings (I don't need peanut butter for my burger, thanks).

                    My must-haves would be: veggie options that go beyond a defrosted Yves veggie burger (preferably made in-house), good buns - maybe even a couple different choices, good homemade fries/onion rings/sides, casual atmosphere and reasonable prices.

                    1. re: piccola
                      deelicious RE: piccola Nov 2, 2007 05:59 PM

                      For sure I could live without the poutine. The milkshakes would be great but I could do without that too. But I need the thicker burger and I need some interesting toppings to mix things up. Not 48 choices, but more than the usual suspects.

                      1. re: deelicious
                        piccola RE: deelicious Nov 2, 2007 08:02 PM

                        Deal. Now let's hope the owners are reading.

          2. The Chowhound Team RE: Recyclor Nov 1, 2007 06:08 PM

            The discussion of proper cooking of burgers has been split off into a new topic and moved to General Chowhounding Topics. Please keep this thread focused on burgers in Toronto.

            The new thread is here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/456447

            2 Replies
            1. re: The Chowhound Team
              abigllama RE: The Chowhound Team Nov 1, 2007 10:08 PM

              Oh snap don't mention pink centres or it will be deleted!

              I'm one of the few who had a fairly positive experience a TBS. It was overpriced but tasty. No where near the cheap, sloppy burgers I enjoyed as a youth growing up in New England. For us, TBS was declared tasty but not a destination. Havn't been back since we havn't been in the area and hungry in awhile.

              But a new stab at burgers and their side order friends in this city would be appreciated! Looking forward to this!

              1. re: abigllama
                Lazar RE: abigllama Nov 2, 2007 07:58 AM

                I have tried the burger shoppe twice. The first time (which was earlier this year) was fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I kept reminding myself that I had to go back soon.

                The second time, which was about 2 weeks ago...well...it was good...but not great. So something definitely had changed. The burger was not as juicy or as tender as I had remembered it. And the staff behind that counter seemed to be less than enthusiastic to say the least.

            2. pinstripeprincess RE: Recyclor Nov 3, 2007 08:01 AM

              apparently opening soon meant opening yesterday night!

              their first day and it was fairly quiet. i was one my way to toshi and queried the staff who seemed eager but disappointed that i didn't walk away with a burger.

              it is definitely run by the former burger shoppe owner, we saw him running around in a yellow t, but i still couldn't tell if it was a second location or not. they couldn't seem to get straight that all their burgers were NOT organic but everything was certainly sourced local. the menu reads nearly exactly like the burger shoppe's from what i could tell.

              one woman by the grill was nearly ready to cook me up something medium rare if i wanted it but what seemed to be the "manager" said that the industry prevented him from doing it any less than medium well. hah! we offered to sign a waiver and while he agreed with our sentiment, he certainly wasn't going to let up.

              their hours, however, are likely what will get me going there frequently (that is, of course, if it's any good) because for the next four weeks they're going to test out opening until 3:30am on fridays and saturdays! with a real curd poutine on the menu, it it could very well be great junk food for a nabe with a wealth of clubs but a dearth of late dining. during the regular week they're aiming to be open until 11pm.

              i'll likely have a try this weekend sometime and report back soon.

              3 Replies
              1. re: pinstripeprincess
                pinstripeprincess RE: pinstripeprincess Nov 5, 2007 06:28 AM

                fair warning here... the food was taken to go by someone else at 2:30am and ended up walking about 5 minutes in the cold.

                my second hand info about the ordering experience is as such: most people in the small line were asking for medium rare and manager gave a big NO, asked for suggestions and was told to get cheeseburger with everything (a bit ridiculous since i want to taste my beef), poutine was the first thing out and sat on the countertop as the burger cooked, the concept of pickles on the side required a lot of communication.

                a single bite revealed some very very pink beef but at the same time a grey and char-less exterior giving an overall mushy burger. quite flavourless in my opinion. a side order of onion rings (estimating 7 or so rings) was crisp and tasty but i can't vouch for any housemade vs prefrozen qualities. they were, however, the best part of the whole meal and seemed like they could have been housemade. poutine was an absolute disaster. handful of soggy bland fries doused with salty beefy gravy that tasted like a packaged variety. the curds were dropped on top of the whole mess without any melty ooziness.

                $17 for 3 items. expensive and poor quality does not encourage me to go back, although there will be a little bit of nagging hope for a good poutine that may find me in their shop.

                1. re: pinstripeprincess
                  Davwud RE: pinstripeprincess Nov 5, 2007 08:54 AM

                  So no real surprises then


                  1. re: Davwud
                    pinstripeprincess RE: Davwud Nov 5, 2007 09:05 AM

                    none whatsoever. although i'm surprised that they didn't make a real effort to go above and beyond what the burger shoppe seemed to be producing.

              2. c
                City_West RE: Recyclor Nov 5, 2007 08:48 AM

                I just came back from having lunch there and here are my thoughts:

                - Very pricey, Total cost was $12.59 for a Chicken Burger w/ Fries and Boylans Root Beer.

                - It tasted great, but the chicken only covers 60% of the bun, I'm not sure if that is just the deal if you want a real chicken breast instead of something ground.

                - Really bad laid out space. You have to walk through everyone who has already ordered to place your order. I'm not sure why they placed everything on the side wall of a narrow building.

                - Again, it tasted great, but that's just crazy expensive for a quick lunch. The problem is that due to the space layout they can probably only serve a set amount of people per lunch and dinner time service.

                1 Reply
                1. re: City_West
                  betsy RE: City_West Nov 7, 2007 03:24 PM

                  I haven't been in yet, but looking through the window it seems they kept the layout that El Penco had, which may have been a cost decision. Still, it's a long, very narrow space and I'm not entirely sure there IS a good layout given those constraints...

                2. Recyclor RE: Recyclor Nov 5, 2007 11:26 AM

                  ...went for lunch with the gf and a few co-workers, overall was enjoyed, and at about 12$ (poutine $5, burger $6) a head no real complaints, though under $10 would be nice...I had a poutine, not bad, considering Toronto's options it was pretty good, I'd sustitute the beef gravy (probally canned) for my preferred chicken based poutine sauce and make it screamin' hot so it melts the curds, I got a few chunky cold curds...I also had their classic burger, was good, could taste the meat and enjoyed it, proportion wise all was good, the bun kind of self destructed gradually as I ate it though, no big deal tough...I tried the cheddar that comes on the cheese burger, it is very good - med and smoky tasting - although it will overwhelm any meat flavours, so it depends on what you like...I'll go back, I want to try the rings, home made with a crummy batter, and at $3 would be a good side to a burger...the service was good, first lunch rush and they were collected and efficient, nice guys & girl too, we went at 1pm and the place was just clearing out so we sat with no hurry to leave...so, not fulfilling D's list, but not bad, better than Hero, Hal's, Shanghai CG, Epicure, Brassai that I've tried in the hood, but not as good as the smoky Freshwood burger in Kensigton...

                  1. p
                    Paolo RE: Recyclor Nov 7, 2007 01:45 PM

                    Do you know what establishment this place took over?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Paolo
                      Recyclor RE: Paolo Nov 7, 2007 02:40 PM

                      I forget thew name (El something...I think), it was a mom & pop operation that did make good sanwiches and these little burritos that were good but rather small so I didn't go much...

                      1. re: Paolo
                        chocabot RE: Paolo Nov 7, 2007 03:11 PM

                        El Penco - they had been occupying that storefront for ages

                      2. t
                        thebutcher RE: Recyclor Nov 26, 2007 05:11 PM

                        Went to Craft Burger for first time today...big line up out the door prevented earlier attempts to visit.
                        $8.50 combo gets you classic burger, fries and a pop (must have been reading requests for a lunch under $10).
                        Really enjoyed it...nice sized burger (juicy) and great fries. No fake meat-like patties here!
                        Will be back for sure!

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