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New burger joint opening at Jones and Gerrard

It's on the north west corner and I could barely make out the sign but it looks like a burger place is preparing to open. The windows are currently papered up so not much else to report at this time. Although it would be great if that area started to develop because it's pretty much dead right now. I hope it's good!

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  1. Yup it will be a burger joint advertising locally sourced, naturally raised beef and also claiming to be a "purveyor of fine poutines". It is 2 or 3 doors west of Jones, the chicken place that I assume caters to the high school students is still on the actual corner. Seems very different from the other businesses not only on this corner but pretty much all along Gerrard...

    1. Well, let's see if gentrification sets in after they open up.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Pincus

        Oh q'uelle surprise !

        Another gourmet burger joint. whoo hoo....8 thousand nine hundred and sixteen and counting. Bring on the toppings. Is it just me or is this gourmet burger thing just going a bit over the top...it;s reminding me of the great sushi explosion of years gone by....

        1. re: ministerofkebab

          You've got to be kidding?!

          I mean seriously, I'll take whatever I can get at this point. Because it's better than nothing, which is what that strip currently has to offer.

          Anyways, with all due respect minister, and to answer your question, I hope it is just you and it certainly isn't me. I am very excited about the prospects.

          1. re: millygirl

            Yeah seriously. That strip is currently a wasteland, and I'll definitely be supporting this place in hopes of helping the area. Plus it's two minutes from my house.

            ministerofkebab, it is, in fact, just you.

            1. re: childofthestorm

              WHo knows...it might actually be good. Other places are in trendier neighbourhoods so can succeed despite lackluster quality. This one needs to have solid product in order to succeed. Sounds silly, but that's it.

              1. re: grandgourmand

                For a city this size, Toronto sure can't make a great burger.
                the other gourmet burger joints have lead us to by cynical and rightfully so.

                hopefully the Gerrard resto keeps things simple and doesn't try to do too much like other burger joints now try to do.

                1. re: atomeyes

                  I don't mind the "too much" that these "gourmet" places are doing these days. its interesting. but what they lack is any sort of thought on the flavour of beef.

                  that being said, what makes a burger good is the beef. I hope this place gets a good beef source, that is all that is necessary. if they do end up doing things in extra, so be it, but I wouldn't bet the farm on just toppings.

                  I agree with atomeyes, we've become rightfully cynical about burgers in toronto. I personally get excited when a new place is about to open up because I really hope that they will be a change in a positive direction.

                  1. re: atomeyes

                    What with this place, W Burger Bar and Oh Boy all recently opened, I'll be busy trying them when I'm in Toronto and comparing them to my current Toronto fave, Craft. When I'm not, I'll just have to make do w/ the new Shake Shack they're opening in my nabe in NYC and the venerable old standby, JG Melon.

                2. re: childofthestorm

                  err..apparently not. though i take nothing away from your desire for decent burgers or even food on that strip.

            2. It seems as if everyone with a connection to the area is looking forward to another yuppieburger experience. Well, good luck if you like ersatz toppings and burgers prepared by neophytes.
              There is already an excellent burger place on the strip, grinding their own and cooking to order on a flat griddle, since 1970.
              That is Collegiate Lunch, and it might well be knocked out by a new well publicized joint.

              Collegiate Lunch
              1024 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M1Z5, CA

              3 Replies
                1. re: jayt90

                  I'm going to have to give this place a second try, given your frequent raves about this place. I went after it was mentioned on CBC radio, and was definitely underwhelmed. The meat was gray and had filler.

                  1. Oh goodie, another "Gourmet Burger" joint!! Couple that with a place trying to upscale poutine!!

                    Well, lets see anyway. I think GG has a good point. They have to be good in that location or they won't survive.

                    I also agree with Jay. Collegiate lunch is a damn fine burger. I'd bet it'll be every bit as good and for a 1/3lb burger, cheddar, bacon and fries at half the price, they should do just fine.

                    Does anyone have any info on this place?? Is it another of these "Concept" restaurants or is it an indy that's hopefully gonna try and do things right??


                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Davwud

                      Our baby now has a name - Great Burger Kitchen.

                      1. re: millygirl

                        Is it one of these places that's more interested in franchising or are they a one shot deal??


                        1. re: Davwud

                          They haven't opened up as yet, just saw the sign in the window.

                      2. re: Davwud

                        Apparently, Ted, the original owner of Joy Bistro is opening it. He has bought the building as usual, but I don't know what else he has planned. Remember Joy Bisto did start off well,until the neighbourhood got so trendy. It will be interesting to see how this goes!

                        1. re: Leslieville

                          It'll take a bit of time still. Counters aren't even installed.


                          1. re: Leslieville

                            I'd argue they're still doing well. At least three days out of the week, dinner's packed.

                        2. Has this place opened up yet? I thought I saw something when I drove past it last week but it was a green light and wanted to keep my eyes on the road.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Apple

                            I walked past Thursday and while the sign is up, the interior is full of construction equipment and debris. I would say they are nowhere near open at this point.

                            1. re: Apple

                              Walked by yesterday and it looks ready to open at any moment now. There was a ladder inside but otherwise things seemed rather complete. Still no phone number or restaurant though so I'm not holding my breath.

                            2. i had a beer and an huge order of passable singapore noodles (memories of the Yummy Yummy Kitchen truck) for $5.25......$5.25! at the Sum Kee noodle house next to the future burger joint. The price is listed at $4.99, but i think they were about to close. They have $2.99 afternoon specials.
                              The Chesters Chicken from the Smoker's Mart across the street is pretty good.
                              Collegiate lunch does a pretty classic hot hamburger sandwich leading me to beleive that their buger is ok. Home made chicken fingers were a surprise in this high school lunch strip. I just moved to the neighbourhood. Any other local suggestions? Has the lahore take out at Greenwood shut down?

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: nipsyD

                                The mysterious Gerrard and Jones "gourmet" burger joint...

                                Intrigued....after my original cynical missive about the plethora of "gourmet" burger joints sparked a positively tea-partyish backlash from the good denizens of jones and gerrard..
                                i have been afraid to ask....but now i will ...

                                So...is it any good, is it even open, are its toppings fresh, plentiful, suitably organic and locally sourced ? are its buns freshly baked and simultaneously crisp on the outside yet springy in the middle, is the aioli homemade and its mustard artisanal and french ? Can i get a burger topped with hand-crafted cheddar made by nuns from quebec and crispy bacon from a former lawyer who now raises pork in southwestern ontario...

                                Please share...

                                Seems to be taking longer than the Lahore Tikka House renovations.

                                I trust after all this time we will getting reports of hand reared calves, massaged personally by the owner for 12 months before being hand ground into perfectly hand formed patties...with only the finest sea salt as seasoning....

                                or perhaps not.

                                Updates welcomed.

                                1. re: nipsyD

                                  New thread on the resurrection of the Yummy Yummy Kitchen.

                                2. Just spoke to the owner an hour ago - it's opening on/around March 23. :)

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: velouria

                                    The sign outside says it opens tomorrow, Monday March 22.

                                    The hours listed are 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM, 7 days a week. There was no menu or menu board that I could see.

                                    1. re: TOveggie

                                      We were in the area this afternoon and feeling a little peckish so we dropped in to GBK for some poutine. Very glad we did! It was wonderful.

                                      Hubby wasn't feeling 100%, fighting a bug of some sort and comfort food doesn't get any better than this. The poutine was sooooo good I didn't want it to end. The gravy was thick and rich tasting, a beautiful dark color. The fries were excellent as was the cheese (curds, I think).

                                      I was asking 2 guys how their burgers were and they said 'Excellent, tasted like a REAL burger'.

                                      Can't wait to return for a complete meal.

                                      1. re: millygirl

                                        I sense a lunch run this week.


                                        1. re: millygirl

                                          So, I went tonight and had a burger and shared a poutine. Fries and gravy are very reminiscent of the Real McCoy. Same flavour to me. I enjoyed it very much, but found the cheese to be quite mild and almost unnoticeable. The burger I ate was very flavourful and substantial. Well done, though, so it probably won't satisfy those who are looking for pink on the inside. Didn't ask if this was an option, though.

                                          It's a great location for me, and I will definitely be back.

                                          1. re: Full tummy

                                            I went also and tried the classic burger and Montreal poutine. My wife said "this sure isn't a McD burger". We liked both items, but found that the curds were more like cheese and had no squeak factor. There is enough poutine in one order for two generous servings or you could even split it three ways.
                                            The burger meat was very finely ground and no juice came out of it.. I thought it was just OK and prefer the ones I make, my wife said it's the best store bought burger she can remember having in the past few years.
                                            I placed my order at 7:20 pm. The girl told everyone who ordered "your order will be ready in just a few minutes" but in reality everyone waited at least 15 minutes and I think I waited closer to 20.

                                    2. I'm excited for this! It's across the street from my bf's place - which makes me laugh that you wrote that the whole Gerrard/Jones area is dead because he lives above a funeral home....and the building next door to him used to be a funeral home.

                                      It will be nice to have something within walking range for takeout that isn't bad fast food or cardboard tasting pizza.

                                      1. Just wanted to post the link.

                                        Great Burger Kitchen
                                        1056 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1Z8, CA

                                        1. hey guys, The place opened today so I thought i'd give it a try and let everyone know about it :)

                                          Atmosphere was great, the cashier was very nice. The menu has a pretty wide selection of burgers. From 100% beef to lamb and chicken burgers; completely organic.

                                          I had the Lamb burger with blue cheese, lettuce, roasted peppers. Great burger, however there was alot of cheese in it, totally overpowered the taste of the roasted peppers. The fries reminded me of the amazing trailer fries you get downtown city hall. The portion is pretty big as well, a burger the size of your fist with 2 fist full of fries as well and a drink. Cost me 11.25 tax included (this was the burger of the day combo).

                                          I give this restaurant a 4/5, great atomosphere, great service, unique flavors however I didn't like the fact that there were only bar stools and wall tables. I still highly recommend the place, I'm planning to go back next week and get the poutine as well. They have a wide selection of poutine.

                                          Great Burger Kitchen
                                          1056 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1Z8, CA

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: ShinjiCook

                                            It opened today? I wonder where I was yesterday then. How long did it take to get served after you placed your order?

                                            1. re: ShinjiCook

                                              Lamb and bleu cheese is an odd combo. The cheese would overpower most any meat, and the meat is pretty much why you're buying the burger in the first place. I'm intrigued however, and will need to try this place for myself.

                                              1. re: ShinjiCook

                                                Passed by today and saw that it was open so I went inside and grabbed a takeout menu and left because of appointments. Liked the decor and atmosphere of the place and will definitely return for a meal there and see what the place is all about.

                                                Anyway, the takeout menu included the website and if anyone is interested in looking at the menu online it is available here:


                                              2. Went there for lunch on Friday and very much liked it.

                                                The burger was quite good and reminded me somewhat of Lick's when Lick's was good.
                                                The poutine was great too.

                                                It's nice to see a place that grinds it's own meat and cuts it's own fries.


                                                10 Replies
                                                1. re: Davwud

                                                  It's pretty good, but I seem to recall that the Lick's burger's were not so finely ground and were more juicy back then. I didn't get evan a drop of juice coming out of the patty. But that was almost 1/2 a lifetime ago so my memory may be fading!

                                                  1. re: foodyDudey

                                                    Mine was juicy but not run down your arm juicy.

                                                    It's tough to remember exactly how good Lick's were but I do remember good burger burps after and GBK delivered on that.


                                                    1. re: Davwud

                                                      I'll have to go try another, I didn't have even a drop drip out. My wife wanted me to pick up some burgers from there last night, but I have too much other meat in the refrigerator. Just thought I'd mention that as she's usually quite picky, and she wants more of these.

                                                      1. re: foodyDudey

                                                        I can tell you that my burger was done by the owner. That may have something to do with it.


                                                        1. re: foodyDudey

                                                          got a burger late in the evening, so definitely no owners manning the flat top. really good griddling flavour though the burger was grey with the barest of pink, but that also means my experience was more similar to fD with a lack of juices. it was moist enough but i only had a couple drips of grease at the end. i am not fond of this fine grind, personally.

                                                          but the poutine, wow that stuff is great. definitely a case of the sum being better than the individual components. the gravy has a great chicken backbone to it but is too salty, the fries weren't greasy for me at all and could have been crisper and needed salt, the curds do not squeak and are definitey creamy over sharp. put it all together and it compensates for each other to create a great bite. i'm happy with a prominent potato flavour and like stringy melty cheese, my favourite poutine in the city for sure.

                                                          1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                                            Just went this week. Thought the burgers okay for a local place and agree that the poutine is really good. And generous.

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

                                                            1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                                              fries are getting crisper, friend thought the cheese portion was a bit meager, seemed to be a bit more generous a visit after that, sauce intensifying a bit too much in spice and salt for me but still very tasty, and at last visit the big curds had squeak (if that matters, which it doesn't to me since i'm a fan of melty strings). i'm also starting to think the take out portion might be larger than the eat in... last time i got about 3/4 way through with eating a burger and this time without a burger i only got about halfway. do wish the cheese was sharper though.

                                                      2. re: Davwud

                                                        I agree with Davwud that the burger reminded me of a Lick's burger in its heyday, both in size and seasoning. However, the fries, though they may have been cut from quality potatoes, were very soggy and greasy. We had to throw them out.

                                                        1. re: Sparky777

                                                          I agree about the fries. They were limp, soggy and greasy. They formed a huge starchy ball and were pretty gross.

                                                          And both times my sister went they forgot to put any toppings on her burger.

                                                          1. re: TOveggie

                                                            I took mine to go so I assumed the fries got soggy in the bag.


                                                      3. A burger with fries, cheese, bacon and trimmings or condiments is $12.50 at this place.

                                                        The same thing is $5.75 at Collegiate, just west down the road. Always dripping for me.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: jayt90

                                                          So for $5.75 youy get fries also at Collegiate Burger? I'll have to try it out. The poutine I got for around $5.25 was enough for 3, but it was sort of soft even though the fries were cooked well. And they didn't use fresh curds on the poutine, but a soft, mild cheese.

                                                          1. re: foodyDudey

                                                            Just ask for juicy, not well done. There is a language barrier here. The fries are frozen but OK.
                                                            What impresses is the crisp, long bacon strip, fresh grated cheddar, and freshly ground beef.

                                                            1. re: jayt90

                                                              What is the language barrier here that is causing the problem?

                                                              1. re: Leslieville

                                                                The original review of Collegiate by Sarah Elton on CBC-1 mentioned that the owners learned how to grind and spice their burgers when they bought the place ca. 1970. I went there and liked the burger, juicy though not medium rare as I requested.
                                                                Another respondent, GG, attended and wasn't sure the beef was ground on site and felt there was a communication problem. I returned several times but could not find out much about their beef or process; still it was good.
                                                                Two other CH respondents, DW and CQ, thought the burger was very good, and well priced.
                                                                The co-owner, Minnie, really does understand juicy, and not well-done, but does not want to know about medium rare, probably for legal reasons.
                                                                Do they grind there own in the kitchen? I don't know; I just have Sarah Elton's report.

                                                              2. re: jayt90

                                                                "juicy" offended her... her burgers are always juicy. "not well-done" was what she offered as the key words.

                                                                definitely some moist meat... could not taste any griddling effects. could smell the beef but couldn't taste it. not sure if all the toppings were masking it for me but just not beefy enough.

                                                          2. Thanks for the comments. Looking forward to trying both Collegiate and GBK.

                                                            1. I'm not terribly impressed. Thought both the burgers and poutine gravy were overseasoned. Not juicy at all. The burgers did remind me of Lick's, 90s era Lick's.
                                                              Although it has been mentioned once already, I missed it and must repeat: not much seating here and nothing comfortable, only counters and tall seats. So not terribly family friendly. Even when I'm eating alone, I don't really like facing a wall (there are some window seats). And there is only one serviceable picnic table at Matty Eckler park.

                                                              1. Love the place. Staff is friendly and polite. The Burger was good, the Poutine was good.
                                                                Went back had the Pulled Pork , another good choice and I had the Onion Rings, very nice indeed. Crispy , light and not soaking in grease. It's like a Tempura batter they use.
                                                                It's a great addition to the neigbourhood. I'd rather support the little guys rather than the other places in the area.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Riverdaleguy

                                                                  Checked out the Voodoo Burger. I really liked it.
                                                                  I liked how the beef was seasoned.
                                                                  I can't see how you can compare this place to a Lick's? Beef taste's totally different.

                                                                  Had the Montreal poutine. No complaints. Like how they seasoned the fries.

                                                                  Will repeat next time I'm in the area.

                                                                2. The good: Poutine is possibly one of the more authentic renditions in Toronto. "Fat" fries, not overly crispy, which is good. Gravy was decent. and not over salted, in my opinion. A bit parsimonious with the curds. Not going to fuss about the lack of squeak. For $5.25, the portion was huge.

                                                                  The bad: the burger was dry (default to well done if not specified, I guess) and had no distinct beef flavour. Not crazy about the bun, either.

                                                                  Bottom line: I'd go back for the poutine, ask for extra curds, get them to layer curds properly. Burger not worth much of a fuss. Oh, and burger + poutine + can of pop = $15.50 = pretty steep for what you get (although poutine portion is very generous).

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: grandgourmand

                                                                    Your assessment is exactly the same as mine. I like my fries crispier, and my burger juicier. There is definitely nothing special about the burger.
                                                                    I ate burgers at restaurants twice in the last two weeks, the one at the Beaconsfield was very good but it appeared to have garam masala in it, which I don't expect to taste in a burger. The one on the patio at Globe Bistro is a great deal, with fries I like, but the patty has much more pepper than I'd want. I'll have to make some at home soon to remind me how it should be done

                                                                    1154 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J1J5, CA

                                                                    1. re: foodyDudey

                                                                      I liked the fries actually. They're pretty close to chip stand quality for poutine. You don't want them too crispy, more "meaty".

                                                                      But yeah, the burger was disapointing. It was overcooked. I didn't specify, but even a well done burger should have a good beef taste, which wasn't noticeable in this one. I get vastly better results grinding a humble blade steak from No Frills at home with S&P and a touch of worchestershire, cooked med-rare-ish. So yeah, like you say, need to make some at home.

                                                                      The best restaurant burgers I've had have been the Weezie's version (although it has been overcooked a couple times) and Bymark (not traditional, but very tasty). I haven't really tested the various burger joints.

                                                                      354 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1K9, CA

                                                                      66 Wellington St. W, Toronto, ON M5K 1J3, CA

                                                                    2. re: grandgourmand

                                                                      Yes, I agree - the burger itself isn't anything special (okay if you're in the neighbourhood), but the poutine is what would draw me back as well. They're generous and tasty, so that works for me!

                                                                      1. re: jlunar

                                                                        Just to update my own post - I've eaten here a few times since. Gotta say, I quite like the Voodoo burger (and their burgers in general)! I have had Burger's Priest and still like GBK's more.

                                                                        Poutine is still great. Onion rings are less good than the first time I had it.

                                                                        The Church street location has a lot of seating, but crampy booths.

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

                                                                    3. This is a great new burger place for regular beef eaters or vegetarians.

                                                                      One location is in the Church/Wellesley area and the other at Gerrard and Jones intersection.

                                                                      Their food is the best I've ever had in Toronto. Onions rings have home-made batter that put all others to shame. I highly recommend it. Been there about 10 times in the last 6 months.


                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: BarryH

                                                                        Church & Wellington. Big diff.