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W Burger Bar, Yonge & College

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Tatai Nov 24, 2009 12:59 PM

My husband and I recently tried out W Burger Bar, which is on College west of Yonge, just east of Fran's. It's refreshing to find a burger restaurant that offers table service; somehow, lining up at a counter just doesn't do it for me. And I really enjoyed most of what we ordered.

We had the bison burger and the lamb burger, both ordered "pink" (I used to be a fan of medium-rare burgers until I realized there's usually more flavour and juiciness when they're done to medium). While not as pink as we'd have liked, they were nonetheless juicy and had great flavour. They give you the option of having your burgers done on the grill or on the flat-top; we had the bison on the flat-top and the lamb on the grill. The buns are made in-house, with a choice of white or whole wheat; we chose the whole wheat and found them to be tasty and to hold up nicely until the last bite.

Another thing I like about this place is that most of the toppings, no matter how many you order, are free. We also ordered poutine and onion rings, as well as a side of chili. Both the fries and onion rings are home-made, with the onion rings thick-cut and breaded with panko. (I much prefer breaded to battered onion rings.) The gravy on the poutine brought back memories of apres-ski noshes in the Laurentians years ago, and the cheese curds were plentiful. And the chili was actually decent and provided quite a kick.

I also ordered a chocolate milkshake, which was the only disappointment in that it was a bit too sweet and not chocolatey enough; maybe I should have ordered it spiked. My husband had a Maudite, on tap.

The service could be improved upon, but it wasn't too bad. Not crazy about the servers' outfits. I do like that the TVs are not totally in your face and distracting. Anyone else been? I know Amy Pataki has, but I take what she has to say about food with a grain of salt. Literally...I don't think she really knows -- or appreciates -- food. A thumbs up for another burger joint's McCain's onions rings? Please! http://www.wburgerbar.com/

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  1. j
    JennaBean RE: Tatai Nov 26, 2009 10:25 AM

    I tried this place last night when I needed a timeout from dress shopping, sad but true.

    The host was sitting at the bar when I walked in. I wasn’t sure if he was a patron or a worker but he promptly got up when he noticed me.

    The place was about 1/3 full. There were a few other solo diners but most were two tops or four tops.

    When the host sat me at a table near that back (after offering the bar, which I appreciated but didn’t want) he immediately gave me a menu and their equivalent of a bread basket; carrots and celery sticks with ranch dressing.

    I opted for the turkey burger on a white bun. For toppings I added, sautéed onions, jalapenos peppers, garlic mayo, bbq sauce and jack cheese. I also got a side of 50/50 sweet potato and regular fries.

    The burger was tasty and juicy. There was a discernable turkey flavour with a hint of their in-house spice rub/coating. The topping were tasty but the bbq sauce was something similar to what you’d get from a plastic squeeze bottle at a cheap picnic or outdoor event. While I’m sure it would be for kids who want to dip nuggets or chicken fingers into something sweet and red, for a so-called gourmet burger place it was rather out of place.

    The fries overall were meh. Kind of hot, kind of crisp but lacking in any real flavour, including salt.

    Now onto the servers (the women’s) uniforms - WTF? I mean really? Should a servers skirt be so very short that I can see the bottom of the control top panty built into her stockings? Should I clearly be able to see the outline of her bra under her shirt? Really truly not necessary!

    Overall the burger was a solid 7.5 our of 10. The fries I would waste the calories on again and b/c I found the servers uniforms so distasteful, I’m not sure I’ll bother going back unless I just happen to be in the hood and craving a decent turkey burger.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JennaBean
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      szw RE: JennaBean Nov 26, 2009 09:46 PM

      Never heard of this place. I'll be downtown tomorrow so I will check it out. Love trying a new burger and the price is quite reasonable from their website. I don't think I'll mind the waitress uniforms.

    2. p
      piru RE: Tatai Dec 10, 2009 07:12 PM

      Hubby and I went there for the first time two Sundays ago, its a very attractive looking place, clean lines, approachable and modern. And if you live in the area, you know there is not much choices for decent lunch on a sunday afternoon.

      I appreciated the platter of veg crudite once we sit down, menu is simple, price reasonable with the unlimited toppings you can choose.

      We ordered just a regular burger medium on a lettuce, with wasabi mayo and jalapeno and Bison burger, and chillie poutine to share

      When we placed the order, other three tables were already served, they only had to prepare ours, as the kitchen is an open kitchen concept, you could see clearly that they were very hesitant with the order. Maybe new staffs??

      My burger on a lettuce4:

      Honestly, tasted like Taco Bell meat, dry and smelly. Lettuce was not fresh either.

      Bison Burger,
      Moisted, but the bread was cold and hard.

      Poutine, it was fair.

      I completely agree, with the uniforms!!! what? v neck super thin cotton pink shirts where you can see the wires of their bra with a short black mini skirt? I felt bad for the staffs that have to wear that, I will be super conscious all the time.

      Bill came out around $50 dollars with two tap beer and a soft drink.

      Will I go back? Only if i am dragged, and i am going to only order poutine and a soft drink

      1. jollyinebriate RE: Tatai Dec 25, 2009 12:26 AM

        I really enjoyed it and have been going back regularly for a month now. My favorite item on the menu is the beef burger with the suggested toppings (chili, sour cream and swiss cheese although I often substitute monterey jack). It reminds me of chili burgers I had when I was younger.... delicious, nice and pink in the middle and with some kick.

        The onion rings are the best I've ever had in the city! I was told they're made to order and it tastes like it. The Panko breading is light and crispy. The fries are meh.

        The chicken tenders which use the same breading are pretty good and the boozy milkshakes make me wish I wasn't so sensitive to dairy.

        The service can be up and down but I always sit at the bar anyways.

        1. jlunar RE: Tatai Jan 6, 2010 08:22 AM

          FYI, today's Wag Jag features this thread and a 3.85 Burger+drink combo.
          https://www.wagjag.com/index.php

          Not a bad deal!

          5 Replies
          1. re: jlunar
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            jdavis2ca RE: jlunar Jan 6, 2010 10:52 AM

            jlunar...thanks for the WagJag notice. I just purchased one myself. Looking forward to sample the burgers at W Burger Bar.

            1. re: jlunar
              Jamie Eats Burgers RE: jlunar Jan 6, 2010 10:54 AM

              The W burger bar burger is alright for event its normal price.

              I don't know anywhere else that you can get a hormone and antibiotic free burger, of its size for 6 bucks.

              I'm not accounting for flavour though.

              1. re: jlunar
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                magic RE: jlunar Jan 6, 2010 01:10 PM

                Thanks for that WagJag link. I signed up. Looks great.

                1. re: jlunar
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                  Yum2MyTum RE: jlunar Jan 6, 2010 02:32 PM

                  Hi jlunar. Thanks for the tip! I might have to try this place out - what a good price. Have you ever used this Wag Jag service before?

                  1. re: Yum2MyTum
                    jlunar RE: Yum2MyTum Jan 6, 2010 07:34 PM

                    I totally haven't, so.. YMMV...! It's been around slightly less than Teambuy.ca and while I've bought from the latter, I haven't redeemed yet.

                    --
                    http://www.foodpr0n.com/ -- food. is. love.

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                  abigllama RE: Tatai Jan 19, 2010 07:31 PM

                  Went here last Saturday around 7 and the place was packed with people waiting at times. Very large room so looks like they're doing well. It was mostly a yonger crowd that was slurping down the $9 pitchers of Pabst.

                  There's a lot of really good deals here that happen after 7PM. One was two sliders and fries for $5, I was in the mood for sliders so got that. Was able to chili cheese my fries and sliders are dressed as requested. They were slightly overcooked but the meat was still flavourful. The chili is outstanding with a spicy kick and made for excellent chili fries.

                  Hubby got the beef burger and really enjoyed it, with a side of onion rings. The rings are really outstanding. Panko breading beats the usual batter as it seems to cling to the onion better. The were very crispy and no greasy slide offs that can occur with a battered ring.

                  Burgers were decent, sides were excellent and drinks were reasonable so we'd gladly go back. Due to rush didn't get a chance to try the spiked milkshakes that apparently contain 3oz of booze each. Will check it out next time. Service was really quick and attentive despite the place being jammed.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: abigllama
                    grandgourmand RE: abigllama Jan 20, 2010 04:53 AM

                    $9 pitchers of Pabst? I'm so there.

                    1. re: grandgourmand
                      GoodGravy RE: grandgourmand Jan 20, 2010 06:48 AM

                      $9 for a pitcher of PBR? They used to be a buck a can at the finest dives along the Brooklyn waterfront before it became trendy amongst the hipster crowd. Anyways, I like the sound of lamb burger so I'm gonna add this place to the list of places to try.

                      1. re: grandgourmand
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                        abigllama RE: grandgourmand Jan 20, 2010 08:44 PM

                        Promise it's not a typo! Actually it's $8.95 and you get frosted pilsners with it. Ice cold PBR is decent but that after taste pops up as it warms so drink it fast.

                    2. jollyinebriate RE: Tatai Feb 11, 2010 11:40 AM

                      Unfortunately, they won't cook your burgers 'medium' anymore. Must've got caught..

                      1. y
                        ylsf RE: Tatai Feb 15, 2010 10:27 AM

                        Checked it out last night with a WagJag certificate I picked up during their online deal. I found out on teh website that they have a $2 Sleeman's promo too but didn't order any beer as my certificate included a soda.

                        I added a side order of 50/50 sweet potato/fries and bacon to the burger. The burger was huge. I ordered it "grilled" vs. seared... Wonder how that changes the flavour. Choice of whole wheat vs. white buns. The bottom of the bun is a little bit thin though and with the grease for the bun/sauce it gets a little messy.

                        I sat at the bar and the service was good. It seems like they need more servers though. I literally saw one of the waitresses running around. This was around 7pm or so.

                        I was a bit hesitant to got after reading mixed reviews but I will definitely be back.

                        1. b
                          bluefirefly RE: Tatai Feb 15, 2010 05:17 PM

                          I tried this place on my way home from work a few weeks ago. The place was packed on a Wednesday night. I ordered the 2 sliders + fries for takeout ($4.95) before 7pm even though as abigllama pointed out, they have specials after 7pm.

                          While waiting at the bar, they served me carrot and celery sticks with dip, which was a nice touch considering how long I ended up waiting. The orders were a bit slow but it could be that some tables had just placed their orders and things were backed up. I did love that there were so many free toppings to choose from (but it was a little silly considering the sliders were so tiny to begin with!)

                          By the time I got home, the fries were soggy, even though the restaurant should be commended for cramming in so much into the box. The tiny burgers were tasty but I will qualify it by saying that I normally don't eat hamburgers. I'd like to go back and try some of their regular burgers (veggie, mushroom and maybe turkey.)

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: bluefirefly
                            t
                            terrycar RE: bluefirefly Mar 17, 2010 03:23 PM

                            I tried to get a takeout order there today around five, which in hindsight was not a good idea.
                            The cashier/bartender was too busy pouring green beer & shots & wouldn't even make eye contact with me. The owner/manager, who I'd read about in previous posts was there & was nice enough. He even comped me a veggies & dip and a promo t-shirt. But after a fruitless 15 minutes I had to leave to get to work. I guess it's a good rule of thumb to avoid any place selling alcohol on Paddy's day.

                          2. a
                            abigllama RE: Tatai Apr 3, 2010 11:15 PM

                            Second visit here. Me and partner got burgers, split the amazing panko onion rings Way too much food but it was all very good. My burger was overcooked but still tasty and got the chili and cheese toppings. The well spiced chili is an excellent addition to the burger.

                            For dessert we got the big shining star here: Boozy Milkshakes! They are killer! I had the Chocolate Silk, partner had the Red Eye. Both were incedible and well worth stopping in just for those! The bugers are very good but the show stoppers here are the onion rings and the boozy milkshakes. Also our service on both trips has been excellent, will gladly go back. Just on the outskirts of our hood so an easy trip.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: abigllama
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                              jamesm RE: abigllama Sep 1, 2010 09:48 AM

                              Very interested in what makes up a Red Eye milkshake? Any details?

                              1. re: jamesm
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                                LTL RE: jamesm Sep 1, 2010 10:10 AM

                                Quick review of the menu lists Kahlua, Captain Morgan Dark Rum, a shot of Espresso and chocolate ice cream.
                                http://www.wburgerbar.com/pdf/WBurger...

                                1. re: LTL
                                  j
                                  jamesm RE: LTL Sep 1, 2010 10:16 AM

                                  That sounds like a hella milkshake.

                                  1. re: LTL
                                    GoodGravy RE: LTL Sep 1, 2010 10:43 AM

                                    I think the espresso is what makes it a red eye milkshake (like red eye gravy). The other stuff is just a bonus.

                              2. g
                                gomachan RE: Tatai Apr 5, 2010 08:38 PM

                                The chicken fingers are amazing. The owner himself served our table the first time we were there and explained that they only use fresh chicken breast, never frozen, and cover them in panko crust before frying. The half-size is a very generous serving and very sharable.

                                1. TOchowgal RE: Tatai Sep 1, 2010 09:47 AM

                                  I work in the area but only visited W Burger for lunch on Monday.

                                  I had a bacon cheddar burger. I loved the burger! I got it done medium. It was juicy and yummy. The bacon could be a bit more well done because I like my bacon crispy. I will definitely go back!

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                                    Gary RE: Tatai Sep 5, 2010 08:51 AM

                                    Went on a Friday night, which was probably a mistake. The room was absolutely rammed with large groups and unbelievably deafening. Conversation was impossible.

                                    The poutine we shared as an app was good, very classic. Had a regular beef burger on white bun. I really liked the nicely flat bun at first but by the time I was halfway through the bottom has soaked up all liquids and had an odd spongy texture I've never experienced with a burger before. Asked for my beef cooked medium (the rarest offered) but it was grey throughout, no pink to be seen, and a tad dry. I went light on the toppings, requesting the horseradish mayo to compensate. Unfortunately, either there was very little horseradish in the mayo or they erred and gave me normal mayo, because the burger was pretty much entirely flavourless save for the dill pickle.

                                    Service was attentive considering the crowds, but the waitress felt a need to give me a sort of weird backrub every time she hovered (I'm male -- is this a proven tip-increasing tactic that works on others?) On the whole, I probably won't return: the average burger did not compensate for the noise and crowds, and overall it was just not a relaxing experience.

                                    My impressions were likely also challenged by my fresh memories of the incredible burger I had two weeks ago at the Senator Diner, which was cooked to a true medium, juicy with a touch of pink inside, and a great house-made corn relish.

                                    1. k
                                      KitchenVoodoo RE: Tatai Mar 28, 2011 08:29 PM

                                      Just had lunch there a couple of days ago. The beef burger was dry and shrunken, the fries nothing to write home about. Service was great, they were really busy in the kitchen but our waitress was really calm and efficient.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: KitchenVoodoo
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                                        bogie RE: KitchenVoodoo Mar 29, 2011 07:54 AM

                                        Burgers are good, maybe slightly above average. However the apps such as nachos, dry pork ribs, onion rings are excellent and keep us coming back along with the cheap PBR on tap.

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