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Great Burger Kitchen - Is it worth stopping in on the way home from work?

  • Googs Jul 1, 2010 09:34 AM
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I see mixed reviews. I gotta tell ya, though, Ted Koutsogiannopoulos used to rock my world when he was keeping it simple at Mr Tasty. Yup, Mr Tasty. Finding a good greasy spoon is like finding money on the street.

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Mr Tasty Restaurant
348 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M5A1T1, CA

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

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  1. I didn't think the burger was bad, but I'm not sure I'd say it's worth stopping for unless it's convenient and you felt like a burger. I thought their poutine was more of a draw-back feature than the (still decent) burger. But that was my one and only experience. I should go back sometime to taste-check (it's super close to work).

    7 Replies
    1. re: jlunar

      I would say the opposite as far as what products work. The burger was unremarkable, while the poutine is one of the better renditions in toronto (had the plain version only, curds and cheese). I would stop to try the poutine, but not the burger.

      FYI...poutine is a big portion too.

      1. re: grandgourmand

        Agreed, skip the burger but definitely go for he poutine.

        1. re: grandgourmand

          Sorry, I meant draw-back as in "pull me back" not as a negative :) Definitely agree that the poutine is better than their burgers.

          1. re: grandgourmand

            Oh that's too bad. Poutine isn't the hook for me. Good sides are a beautiful thang, but the burger's the main event.

            grandgourmand, what's wrong with their burger?

            drjolt, you made me realize that I now go by abut 6 burger places on the way home including Gourmet Burger Co, Jetsun's, Lick's, etc. Boy do I miss a normally priced, simple Mr Tasty Homeburger.

            1. re: Googs

              from my singular experience the burger was ok but i think that why it mostly didn't work for me might be preference. the grind of the meat is quite fine and i don't think they incoporate much fat, so i find the texture too... spongy because of that. they also cooked my burger past medium and i think with that grind it is less forgiving.

              i did like the bun though and the flavour of the meat was fine, but the texture really took away from it all. i can`t imagine that they would make it significantly different from the old mr. tasty days besides using higher quality ingredients.

              1. re: pinstripeprincess

                Their poutine was okay, I guess, not amazing or anything. The burgers just aren't good at all and you can get the same thing anywhere. They'll give you the 160 degrees schtick and it comes out well, and, well, it definitely isn't helping the dry, flavourless patty.

                If you really need a burger, it may suffice, but if you have other options or would rather eat something else: do so.

              2. re: Googs

                Was pretty dry (though I didn't tell them to cook to pink, or anything) and not much flavour. Nothing special. Not a "Great Burger", as the name would suggest.

                Also, between the burger, can of pop, and the poutine (admittedly large enough for two people) I ordered, I was out $15. Did not seem worth it.

          2. I think the burgers definitely meet the "on the way home from work drive-by" standard, unless you drive by some pretty impressive places on a typical day. The poutine, of course, is pretty great. The burgers have decent options for toppings and offer bigger patties than the Burger Shoppe. Nice place to have in the neighborhood.

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            Burger Shoppe
            688 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1G9, CA

            1. If you want to try this spot it is featured on Groupon today. Church Street location and another location on Gerrard. $7 for $14 worth of food.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ylsf

                Thanks for the tip! A great deal for an upcoming trek to get me a portobello burger!

              2. Googs - finding really great corned beef hash, crispy and not greasy, with lots of carmalized onions, tiny fried white potatoes and limp green pepper chuncks -THAT is MAJOR money on the street!

                I challenge you to find that anywhere today in Toronto! (I'll PAY)

                1. Hey Googs

                  I quite liked GBK burgers. If you're really looking for a good, inexpensive burger, stop at Collegiate Lunch, just west of there. Ground in house and dang tasty. Well less than $10 for a bacon cheese burger with fries (frozen but still good).

                  DT

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

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Davwud

                    The burger presented well. The grill marks looked good.
                    The taste was sub-par.

                    Poutine was terrible, and disappointing - given the positive comments above.
                    Old cheese, mediocre fries and glutinous gravy.

                    It's a shame as the vibe was good. Will not return.

                  2. I would have to agree with everyone else. I visited the Church Street location and was disappointed. I am an onion lover and found them to be battery and tasteless.

                    1. I've resolved my ongoing search for the ultimate burger. Goody's Diner is fantastic at any price. At $8.00 for a basic (which is 8oz in their books) char-grilled burger with fresh, hand-cut and perfectly cooked french fries, the price is incredibly competitive. A full review is in the works.

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                      Goody's Diner
                      133 Manville Rd, Unit 17, Toronto, ON , CA

                      1. I FINALLY checked out Great Burger Kitchen. The Gerrard location.

                        Thought it was delish. Just a beautifully done grilled (charcoal?) burger, with cheddar and bacon. Smoky, meaty, seasoned well, not overcooked. Juicy and beautiful. Wonderful Brick Street Bakery organic bun that perfectly complemented the burger. Damn good burger experience. The fresh cut fries were first rate too. Portions were really big – I couldn't even finish my fries. I don't think that has ever happened to me before. And the service was very nice.

                        Will definitely be back.

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: magic

                          I was so disappointed in my one lunch at GBK near the St Lawrence Market that I never bothered to try the Gerrard location. Grossly overcooked burger and too much work to order from the staff. Is it possible that they vary so widely?

                          1. re: Googs

                            I've never been to the Church St. location, but I thought my luck would be better at the original location.

                            For me at least, on this initial experience, everything was done very well. Not overcooked at all, nice staff, great tasting food. Maybe give the Gerrard one a chance at some point?

                            1. re: magic

                              At this point, I'd have to go past Goody's Diner AND Burger's Priest to get at the Gerrard location. I'm thinking that isn't going to happen. Church was the only chance.

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                              Goody's Diner
                              133 Manville Rd, Unit 17, Toronto, ON , CA

                              1. re: Googs

                                Fair enough.

                                1. re: Googs

                                  Yea I do that too! One meal not good....forget about it! Especially if it is based on a specific service person who may not even be there next month, and an overcooked item which for certain couldn't be an abberation!! I say, if you cant be perfect, you dont deserve my business - teaches them a good lesson and I get to stay home and eat!

                                  1. re: justsayn

                                    I'm not sure I follow your logic. I will typically give a restaurant 3 chances before it goes on rotation or gets dropped. I'm far more likely to do that if they're nearby because I consider the time and money an investment in my neighbourhood. In all cases, however, there has to be a sign of hope that a successful relationship can be carved out. GBK Church St failed on all counts. Service, food, value, and atmosphere. If they had any two of those right, I'd give it another chance. After all, there's something to be said for having, at least, the right spirit about you. Add having to go out of my way and past two consistently performing restaurants that have outstanding burgers, the aforementioned Goody's Diner and Burger's Priest, to give GBK a shot would, quite frankly, just be crazy.

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                                    Goody's Diner
                                    133 Manville Rd, Unit 17, Toronto, ON , CA

                                    1. re: Googs

                                      Can't argue with that.

                                      1. re: Googs

                                        Never been to the GBK on Church, but their Gerrard/Jones location is excellent and although near to BP, at least you're not stuck in a 20 minute lineup to get fed.

                                        1. re: biggreenmatt

                                          ...or fed up.

                                    2. re: Googs

                                      I also chose the Gerrard location due to ease of free parking. The Church/Front location is pretty much impossible for free parking. And I like my free parking : )

                                      But mainly I chose it as I had a hunch the original location was the way to go. Certainly no regrets.

                                2. re: magic

                                  I live 10 minutes from GBK- my wife and I are big fans of their burgers and rings. Simple, good quality WYSIWYG.

                                  Plus they have shorter lines than BP. I refuse to wait in line 20 minutes to get a burger.

                                  1. re: biggreenmatt

                                    Yeah I love BP's food, but what a pleasure to not be cramped in a line and have a seat!