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Stockyards Burger review

Jamie Eats Burgers Oct 13, 2009 08:29 AM

A while back, many peopel started chowing or hownding about the stockyards burger.

I finally got a chance to write my review of it:

I finally made it out to this relatively new restaurant. I have heard many raves about the burger, yet did not know much about the place. This restaurant has a modern feel to it, yet is it pretty informal, and somewhat has a 50's style of bar seating right along side the chefs cooking. its great because you can watch/talk to the chefs while they cook your food, but your clothes do smell like a grease pit after (not a bad thing based on perspective).

I had ordered a cheeseburger. I was not asked how I liked it, and it came well done.

The beef used for the burger was not bad. It had an excellent texture and was slightly firm. Perhaps it was a byproduct of being not so obviously hand formed. The burger was griddled. Although it was prepared well done, it still came a bit juicy. Unfortunately, I did not get much beef flavour from it. Perhaps a better breed, or a better mix of beef could have been used. What I significantly picked up was the excellent char/greasy flavour that is so pronounced with griddled burgers. The exterior of the patty had a great crusty layer formed on it. There was a good amount of salt in this burger as well, but no hints of any other seasoning; for better or worse.

The toppings on this burger were on both ends of the spectrum. I absolutely loved the cheese. It was a very aged white cheddar that had an excellent texture and formation on the burger. The cheese was very pungent. In most cases I do not enjoy pungent, overpowering cheeses. However in this case, it added quite a bit to the experience. I also got the usual onions, pickles and tomatoes. The onions and tomatoes were not anything special, however I did specifically notice the soggy and gross garlic pickles. I do personally enjoy my garlic pickles, however these pickles I did not.

The bun was funny. It was quite fresh, and bouncy. I found it quite lifeless in term of flavour, I could barely pick it up. The bun is often overlooked on a burger. However, the chef toasted the bun right on the griddle. Not only does this give it a bit of char, but it also soaks up the griddle grease in the process. There was a good layer of grease caught right into the bun. This is decadence for many. It certainly added to the griddle experience.

To conclude, the burgers here are griddled. There are not many places that do a griddled burger here in Toronto, so I find this burger to be special from that perspective. Some people exceptionally like griddled burgers. They are very popular in the States (checkout West Coast style burgers) I however, do enjoy them all that much, but will still enjoy them for what they are. The burger at this restaurant has some major kinks to work out, but it has great potential. Along side with their regular griddled burger on the menu, I would like to see them do a not so traditional slider (using a thick patty). Perhaps next time I visit, I will sit right up beside the chef and ask him to do me this favor.

for pictures, see:

http://torontoburger.com/viewtopic.ph...

  1. s
    SMOG Oct 13, 2009 11:56 AM

    Mmm, that burger actually looks very delicious! I'm with you, as I much prefer a grilled burger to a griddled burger, but it looks as though they mastered the crust on it. I'm a huge fan of aged white cheddar on burgers and it looks like they used a good amount here. That picture makes me want it!

    1. Restaurant Dish Oct 13, 2009 04:13 PM

      Nice detailed post on the burger!

      Can anyone tell me what places in Toronto offer a griddled burger? I have not had great success in finding those vs. grilled.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Restaurant Dish
        t
        Tatai Oct 13, 2009 04:37 PM

        There's a new burger restaurant (with table service) opening in a few weeks at College and Yonge, called W Burger Bar. From what I've heard, customers will have the option of ordering their burgers cooked on the griddle or on the grill, their choice.

        1. re: Restaurant Dish
          deelicious Oct 13, 2009 05:52 PM

          Johnny Rockets at Yonge/Dundas has great griddled burgers but the fries pretty much suck.

          1. re: deelicious
            Rabbit Oct 13, 2009 06:07 PM

            Great review and I looove the burger site.

            FYI - another joint opening soon in Kensington and also called Burger Bar (in the location of the former Rice Bar). www.theburgerbar.ca

            1. re: Rabbit
              CeeQueue Oct 13, 2009 06:21 PM

              According to their Facebook page, they opened today at noon, and if you e-mail eat@theburgerbar.ca with "free burger" in the subject line, you can get a free burger (not sure what the terms are).

              Here's a press release: http://www.theburgerbar.ca/PressRelea...

              1. re: CeeQueue
                a
                acd123 Oct 13, 2009 07:46 PM

                Looks very interesting. Maybe we'll check it out this weekend.

                1. re: CeeQueue
                  l
                  longolame Oct 13, 2009 07:54 PM

                  e-mailed for the free burger.
                  let's see what happens...

                  1. re: longolame
                    Davwud Oct 14, 2009 04:38 AM

                    I just did too.

                    Based on what they're saying on the menu, I may just go put a down payment on a burger to be safe.

                    DT

                2. re: Rabbit
                  s
                  SNACKeR Oct 19, 2009 01:28 PM

                  I tried their burger a few days ago (before I saw this thread). I enjoyed it - it was cooked medium-well (I was not asked), and was pretty juicy. The bun was light, almost like a Gryfe's bagel, but seemed like a day-old. Also ordered the arugula salad and got a really large portion, which was really delicious. On the down side, the service was really bad. Took a long time to get our initial order taken, then my beer order was forgotten, then when I finally went to the bar to find out where it was after about 20 minutes, they told me they are out of that beer. The place was about 1/3 full at the time.

                  Ambiance was nice, played some good music - I would go back, they will hopefully work out the service kinks. There are still some items from the Rice Bar on the menu.

            2. duckdown Oct 14, 2009 04:04 AM

              isn't Hubert Keller's upscale burgerjoint called Burger Bar?

              1. Davwud Oct 14, 2009 04:40 AM

                JEB

                I much prefer a burger done on a flat top than grilled. I find it has a more greasy quality to it that I like. I also like that nice seared crust. To me, it's why diner burgers in general are better.

                You said you didn't get a big beef taste. Do you think possibly the cheese over powered the beef??

                DT

                5 Replies
                1. re: Davwud
                  Jamie Eats Burgers Oct 14, 2009 07:02 AM

                  The difference in flavour between a griddled and grilled burger is quite distant. they both offer such differing characteristics. My favorite actually is a broiled burger (seared in beef tallow if possible)

                  I am certain that the cheese did not mask any possible beef flavour. Moreover, when I am uncertain of the beef flavour due to any extraneous item, I take a chunk of just the patty and eat it by itself to properly analyse it.

                  The burger had some beef taste to it, but it didn't have the same effect of what a good cow tastes like. I hate to give it a bad rep, in fact, I want this burger to succeed.

                  1. re: Jamie Eats Burgers
                    Restaurant Dish Oct 14, 2009 07:09 AM

                    Sounds delicious...seared in beef tallow.

                    Jamie, where is the best burger you've ever had?

                  2. re: Davwud
                    Restaurant Dish Oct 14, 2009 07:11 AM

                    I'm with you, Davwud. Nothing comes close to a griddled burger for me. A beatifully seared crust, well seasoned with salt & pepper, potato bun, equals perfection for me. I wonder why it's so much more available in the U.S. vs. Canada. Although I have to say I find more griddled burgers out west than here in Ontario.

                    1. re: Restaurant Dish
                      Davwud Oct 14, 2009 07:15 AM

                      I think here in the GTA, much like they do with "Baby Back Ribs" people equate "Char Broiled" with "Better." Probably stems from the reduce fat craze of the 80's.

                      My personal feeling is griddled is better and side ribs are better. But that's just my opinion.

                      DT

                      1. re: Davwud
                        CeeQueue Oct 14, 2009 10:09 AM

                        I totally agree about side ribs. Must try a griddled burger, as I don't think I've had one since my childhood.

                  3. y
                    ylsf Oct 14, 2009 09:15 AM

                    Did you make a typo?

                    "They are very popular in the States (checkout West Coast style burgers) I however, do enjoy them all that much, but will still enjoy them for what they are."

                    did you mean "do not enjoy them all that much" otherwise I am not sure if it makes sense. Same as on your website

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ylsf
                      Jamie Eats Burgers Oct 14, 2009 09:29 AM

                      yes, thats a typo.

                      I do not enjoy them that much.

                      .... or maybe I just haven't had a really good griddled burger.

                    2. c
                      childofthestorm Oct 14, 2009 11:24 AM

                      Any discussion of burgers should probably refer to the blog A Hamburger Today's recent excellent breakdown of burger styles: http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2...

                      I'm a fan of the smashburger technique on the griddle (make them at home in my cast-iron pan), which is one reason why I enjoy Johnny Rockets, and when I'm in NY I line up for Shake Shack. Not sure who else smashes here in Toronto - doesn't look from your photos that they do at Stockyards.

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