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The Burger Cellar - Yonge & Lawrence

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Tried out the Burger Cellar last night. Their first night was Wed. Oct 14, so we were hoping for good things on their 2nd night. We live about 2 blocks away and were hoping it would be a new favourite spot. There were 4 of us (myself, my husband, our toddler and our nanny). We made a reservation in case it was busy. When my husband arrived, he discovered that they had given our table away (our reservation was at 6 and he arrived at 6). Someone had walked in before him and stated that they had a reservation so they gave them our table without asking the name on the reservation. Then my husband told them that we would need a highchair. The hostess looked puzzled and then pointed to the chairs at the bar and said "those are the highest chairs that we have." My husband had to explain that we needed a "baby highchair" for our son. She eventually understood and got a highchair. We ended up with a seat by the window, which was fine.

The food was fine. I wouldn't say that it was the best burger that I had ever had, but it was decent. We ordered poutine and onion rings as our sides. The wine list was not as extensive as I would have thought for a "Grill and Wine Bar". Overall an okay experience (except for the inexperienced staff). I'll try it again in a few weeks when the staff know what they are doing.

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  1. Not impressed. Their miserable brunette hostess has completely turned me off The Burger Cellar. We called that afternoon to reserve a table for 5, and were told no reso needed, just 'walk in'. So, we went at 6:00pm and the hostess said they were full and did we NOT have a reservation? I explained that we had called earlier and were told to just walk in.

    What I found remarkable was the hostess made no apology and no attempt to offer any kind of help. VERY bad first impression, especially for a new burger joint, in an already competitive market.

    15 Replies
    1. re: Bronfman_Heiress

      Wine & reservations? Sounds more like a scene, not a burger joint.

      1. re: GoodGravy

        True, not really a joint, but there has just been a wave of trendy burger places lately. BTW, Avenue @ The Four Seasons has a yum burger.

      2. re: Bronfman_Heiress

        I had a similar experience yesterday. Called in the afternoon to request a 6:30 reservation for 2. We were told they were not taking any further reservations for that night but that there would be tables available for walk-ins. I found that slightly frustrating - why would tables be saved for walk-ins but not for people that actually bother to call in advance? Anyway, we went over and sure enough the place was packed. We were told it was a 45-minute wait for a table for 2 and so we promptly left and went a few blocks over to Piazzetta Trattoria, which was excellent.

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        Piazzetta Trattoria
        3441 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4N 2N1, CA

        1. re: aberenstein

          Might as well make the trek to Burger's Priest and get a real burger without the attitude. Either bring it home (though it's best fresh off the flat top) or find a spot around the Beach and enjoy. For burgers you don't need the "scene" factor just a burger worth eating. Wine and reservations? LOL!

          1. re: scarberian

            That's too bad about the bad service and average burgers. I live around the corner too and love a good burger. I grew up in Scarborough and to this day Johny's is still my favorite burger ever (worldwide). And how can a flat top compete with coals???

            1. re: Ashley1988

              Try the Burger's Priest and you'll see. Johnny's is frozen whereas BP is fresh ground each day. It is hard to compare flat top vs. charcoal since both end up with a different burger altogether. Coals give you that smokey flavour, whereas a flat top can produce a very juicy burger and you get that caramelized crust. Now I don't think Johnny's uses coals, I think theirs is gas. Mind you I like Johnny's and it satisfies the craving especially late at night, but BP is a hell of a damn good burger. I just can't say that about Johnny's.

              1. re: Ashley1988

                Johnny's is horrible. I can honestly say I've gotten better product at Lick's.

                1. re: TexSquared

                  30+ years of 30+ people in line every Friday and Saturday night till 4 in the morning. Am I talking about Licks or Johny's?

                  1. re: Ashley1988

                    McDonald`s gets lineups too, doesn`t mean they`re great.

                    1. re: TexSquared

                      yea man, the drive thru at McDonalds can get pretty busy at 4am, lol...

                      Im not gonna say Johnnys is great, it really isnt anything special. The big deal of Johnnys is the nostalgia factor, it tricks the mind into thinking something is better then it really is.

                      1. re: jmarcroyal

                        Maybe I should have said Tim Hortons instead...

                        As for Johnny`s, when enough people say it`s great you start to believe it. So I went and tried it after hearing and ignoring all the hype. Yuck. Wasted trip.

                        I`m just waiting for Five Guys to finally move into town....

                    2. re: Ashley1988

                      If Licks stayed open after the clubs closed, they could get lineups too.

                      1. re: Pincus

                        I LOVE Johnny's....their fries & gravy, and their 'cheap' frozen retro burger- hey, it is what it is. And in the strip mall next door: Esquire- best Greek Salad and Souvlaki I have ever had.

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