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Licks

TorontoTuna May 22, 2011 02:54 PM

My wife and I were in the Beaches on this cold and rainy afternoon and were in need of some comfort food. Now, with all the great burger bars in the East end and with my own Cumbrae burgers on the Green Egg, I haven’t been in Lick’s in over ten years. Yet, here we were in front of the joint and my recollection was that they were not bad and at least their patties and dogs were tasty and fresh. NOT! The worst food I’ve had in the G.T.A. in many a year. I ordered the Chili Dog, Five bucks and change. The dog was the thinnest I’d ever seen in a commercial joint, not pure beef, undercooked, smothered in a bland chili that tasted like it came out of a can. The bun disintegrated under the weight of too much chili and I had to attempt to eat it with their fine plastic cutlery. Garbage…left it. My wife also had an issue with the disintegrating bun and said the patty was defiantly pre-frozen and tasted like Harvey’s mystery meat. Balloons everywhere and lots of Sunday kids. Chucky Cheese light. Don’t go…unless with a litigious minded lawyer.

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Cumbrae's
481 Church St, Toronto, ON M4Y, CA

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  1. foodyDudey RE: TorontoTuna May 22, 2011 05:27 PM

    It's not the Lick's that it was back in it's heyday. It's a shell of it it's former self as I remember it in let's say, 1985. Nobody who enjoyed the great burgers that Lick's served 25 years ago is going to set foot in one now. They should change the name to "Suck's".

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodyDudey
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      dyc999 RE: foodyDudey May 25, 2011 05:38 PM

      Damn, that's harsh!

    2. GoodGravy RE: TorontoTuna May 22, 2011 08:24 PM

      I know at least one person that prefers Licks over, let's say, 5 Guys. I remember my first trip to Licks. My wife raved about it. I couldn't understand what she was raving about. Weird texture and flavor that was far distant from ground beef w/ a little s&p.

      4 Replies
      1. re: GoodGravy
        foodyDudey RE: GoodGravy May 22, 2011 10:34 PM

        How long ago was your first trip to Lick's? It sound like it was in the last 10 years.

        1. re: foodyDudey
          GoodGravy RE: foodyDudey May 23, 2011 07:28 AM

          That's about right, 10-12 years ago. I was unprepared for the singing and the option of sweet chili relish and other things available as toppings. For me, the usual toppings are lettuce, tomato and onion, and they're all served on the side, but that's mostly cuz I order from burger joints and diners, not fast food places.

        2. re: GoodGravy
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          jmarcroyal RE: GoodGravy May 22, 2011 11:46 PM

          oh and the god awful singing they do, its horrible, im embarassed to be standing in that place. I think its time they change their name by the way, they should rename it "Bricks" because that more closely resembles what they pass off as burgers these days...

          1. re: jmarcroyal
            Herb RE: jmarcroyal May 23, 2011 04:28 AM

            Didn't they stop singing about 1994?

        3. Kagemusha RE: TorontoTuna May 23, 2011 07:51 AM

          Think it became a chump franchise operation years ago. Gave up on the food as respite from McD's kids' nosh. Even the ice cream sucks now. Avoid at all costs.

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            ManAbout RE: TorontoTuna May 23, 2011 09:13 AM

            I went to the Licks on Yonge in Thornhill a couple of weeks ago. The dry, overdone, tasteless burgers make the Beaches location of Licks seem like a gourmet burger place.

            5 Replies
            1. re: ManAbout
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              abigllama RE: ManAbout May 23, 2011 01:20 PM

              Whatever machine they have that processes the meat for the patties does strange things to it.

              1. re: abigllama
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                terrycar RE: abigllama May 23, 2011 01:26 PM

                How about their frozen burgers. Are these any better?

                1. re: terrycar
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                  callitasicit RE: terrycar May 23, 2011 01:50 PM

                  In the late eighties and early nineties, my friend and I would look forward to the weekend so we could eat at LIcks. The burgers were so good back then!

                  1. re: callitasicit
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                    terrycar RE: callitasicit May 23, 2011 02:10 PM

                    They sure were. And I loved the Guck and the fact you could get sprouts on your burger.
                    Well I bought a pack of the frozen ones(on sale this week at No Frills) and I'll get a pack of sprouts & see how it goes.

                  2. re: terrycar
                    CocoaChanel RE: terrycar May 23, 2011 07:58 PM

                    The frozen Lick's branded Nature Burgers at the grocery store are ok. We get them every once in a while, when Mr Vuitton has not had the time to make his own beef patties. We prefer them to frozen, supermarket beef burgers.

                    (in re-rereading this, it sounds very much like a back handed complement)

              2. y
                ylsf RE: TorontoTuna May 23, 2011 08:23 PM

                After havinng a good burger at places like Craft/Burger Priest and even South Street I went back to Licks a few months ago and it tasted so off. I also find the meat texture to be odd and off putting. I don't think I will be back but if I am forced to eat there in the future I will probably try out their chicken burgers (from what I recall they use a chicken breast).

                1 Reply
                1. re: ylsf
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                  terrycar RE: ylsf May 23, 2011 08:52 PM

                  Licks seems to be one of those operations that becomes a victim of its own success once it starts franchising-Amato is another that springs to mind. Inevitably the quality control starts slipping, they start using inferior ingredients, prices start creeping up and before you know it , all you're left with is your memories of something that was once great but now is just a third rate shadow of itself.

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                  Pincus RE: TorontoTuna May 25, 2011 08:24 AM

                  I enjoy their nature burgers. That's the only burger I've ever ordered there, though.

                  1. a
                    AverageJo RE: TorontoTuna May 25, 2011 08:42 AM

                    I have a seven-year-old and I admit that I DO take her to Lick's (Beaches location) from time to time. She likes the burger and the ice cream, despite their reduced quality, and the Nature burger is a decent veggie patty. As a vegetarian, I appreciate that the veggie burger is grilled on a separate grill and handled with separate tongs. I also appreciate that you can get a side of fruit salad with the burger instead of fries--a semi-healthy option that many places don't offer.

                    But yeah, if it wasn't for the daughter, I wouldn't go there. The singing is jarring and the decor is desperately in need of an update. And in winter, the whole place is drafty as hell.

                    1. duckdown RE: TorontoTuna May 25, 2011 10:46 AM

                      Something *REALLY* bad has happened to their hamburgers in the last like, month. As I was mentioning in another thread, I wandered into a Lick's for the first time in about a year last week and literally had to throw it out after 2 bites. It had a VERY weird, tough, rubbery consistancy. The patty was noticably thinner but way more compacted or something. And the predominate "spicing" those burgers used to have also seemed to almost be gone.

                      Has anyone eaten here within the last like 2 weeks? Something has gotten really foul at the one here in Brampton at least

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: duckdown
                        Kagemusha RE: duckdown May 25, 2011 10:59 AM

                        Gave up on the Mississauga shop(Eglinton+Hurontario) 4-5 years ago, thanks to greasy, tasteless, turdburgers. Tried their newer smaller shop on Britannia near Mavis for ice cream last summer. Shop was vacant at lunch. Ice cream totally iced-up and old. Staff was stunned and avoidant. Never again.

                        1. re: Kagemusha
                          ParsleySage RE: Kagemusha May 25, 2011 12:10 PM

                          The Eg&Hwy 10 used to be my go-to location for Licks back in the late 90's til I early 2000's. I used to like the turkey burgers. The owner/manager (big burly guy) ran a pretty tight ship--the place was always busy and very clean, prompt and courteous service. Last time I was at that location in late 2010 its a totally different kind of place..new management/owners not the same level of service or quality of food.

                          1. re: ParsleySage
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                            millygirl RE: ParsleySage May 26, 2011 03:24 AM

                            The Danforth location is the WORST!! I honestly don't know how they have managed to take up prime real estate and survive all these years. Totally disgusting.

                            1. re: millygirl
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                              JesseJensen RE: millygirl May 26, 2011 12:58 PM

                              Totally agree about Licks.. I thought at first it was me. I was craving a burger
                              last month..got it home..it was grey and the texture was very odd.. I too took a couple of bites and threw it in the garbage.. it was dreadful.. it has definitely changed
                              in last couple of months.

                              1. re: millygirl
                                foodyDudey RE: millygirl May 26, 2011 01:17 PM

                                That Danforth and Pape location has only been open around 5 years, but I've only been once and was totally grossed out. I was at the little shwarma place just 20 seconds north of it 2 weeks ago, and that place is good.

                        2. hal2010 RE: TorontoTuna May 26, 2011 02:31 PM

                          I went to the Kingston Road location a few months ago. Nothing special, but certainly not disgusting. I remember one of their first stores in Bronte back in the early 80's and it was great.

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                            opifan64 RE: TorontoTuna May 28, 2011 04:43 AM

                            So sad, but so true. I was at the very first Lick's when it opened in the Beaches all those years ago - line-ups out the door, fantastic, fresh-tasting burgers, kaisers that had a nice, chewy texture to them. Smash-cut to today and that fine burger is a very distant relative to the inbred creation they're serving now. It's like a picture that's been photocopied onto cheaper paper a billion times until it's barely recognizable. Avoid.

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