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Burger's Priest vs. Holy Chuck vs. Stockyards

TorontoJo Apr 27, 2012 01:37 PM

I've now finally managed to try all three of these places. All use beef that is ground fresh daily. All cook 'em up in the smashed/griddled style. All use appropriately soft and squishy hamburger buns. So it seemed fair to do a comparison.

As I mentioned in another thread, I was incredibly let down by the BP burger. I absolutely disliked the texture of the burger. The grind was way too fine and the resulting texture of the meat was mushy. It wasn't "tender", it was mushy (my dining companion agreed, as have others I've spoken to, so it wasn't just me!). The flavour was fine, but the texture totally turned me off and I won't return.

Just had Holy Chuck this week and loved it. The flavour of the burger was great (beefy, with good use of salt and pepper and nothing else that I could detect), and the texture was very good: tender, but with good bite to the patty. The burgers are grease bombs, but they are delicious. I started off with The Holy Chuck -- a basic double with bacon and caramelized onions. I snarfed that down and wanted more, so I got The Big Chuck -- essentially a big mac -- and split it with a friend. My only lament is the lack of crust on the burgers. One side of the patty is browned, but with no crust, and the other side is basically grey. But that's a minor quibble and didn't prevent me from inhaling them and wanting to return for more.

But after all that, my first love is still the burger at The Stockyards. Everything there is perfect for my personal taste -- the taste, the texture and the lovely crispy edges they get because they use a cast iron press to smash the burger and cook it from both sides.

So Holy Chuck wins my business for being delicious and being right on the Yonge subway line and super easy for me to get to. And Stockyards has my loyalty for turning out a consistently awesome burger that I crave regularly (they also turn out one of my favourite brunches in the city, but that's a separate topic!).

None of the above are particularly cheap, and yes, I can turn out excellent burgers at home as well. But sometimes I just want someone else to do it for me. It's nice to have options.

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  1. justxpete RE: TorontoJo Apr 27, 2012 01:47 PM

    Just goes to show - to each his own. I love the texture of the burgers at BP. I tried 5 guys this week and found the meat to be bland, and the texture lacking - I still much prefer BP. These other places are on my list to try!

    3 Replies
    1. re: justxpete
      TorontoJo RE: justxpete Apr 27, 2012 02:02 PM

      Ugh, I really don't like 5 Guys at all, and I've tried them in multiple cities in the States. Consistently bland burgers. Without the toppings, a 5 Guys burger would be nothing. And their buns basically disintegrate on contact.

      1. re: TorontoJo
        petek RE: TorontoJo Apr 27, 2012 02:30 PM

        Nice review ToJo.
        I've tried BP(liked) Holy Chuck(loved) and 5 Guys(good, for me)
        Stockyards is next,if I can resist the fried chicken...

        1. re: TorontoJo
          justxpete RE: TorontoJo Apr 27, 2012 11:44 PM

          I was just anticipating they'd be good, given all the hype - but I was greatly disappointed. And I've yet to try the burger at Stockyards despite having had stockyards probably 20 times in the last year. I can't resist the fried chicken - but maybe I'll have to try a little harder!

      2. justsayn RE: TorontoJo Apr 27, 2012 02:36 PM

        Burger Press coming soon to Queen and Bathurst so you will have an excuse to keep the taste test alive! : )

        2 Replies
        1. re: justsayn
          pinstripeprincess RE: justsayn Apr 28, 2012 07:13 AM

          my concern about burger press is that their sign promotes their use of lean beef.... it does not give me hope.

          1. re: justsayn
            jlunar RE: justsayn Apr 29, 2012 06:57 AM

            Well, at least I can easily find out if they'd be good... I work at that corner! Are they not open yet?

          2. m
            Michael N RE: TorontoJo Apr 27, 2012 03:21 PM

            My ranking would be the exact opposite. I love the texture/flavour at BP. Holy Chuck is a very close second, and Stockyards would be third. I've had Stockyards a couple of times, and both times it's been very good but not quite on BP's level. I find that it doesn't have the same depth of flavour, and is a little bit drier than I'd like.

            33 Replies
            1. re: Michael N
              szw RE: Michael N Apr 27, 2012 11:59 PM

              Does anyone know anything about who is behind Holy Chuck?

              1. re: szw
                estufarian RE: szw Apr 28, 2012 11:22 AM

                Johnny Prassoulis and Bill Koutroubis.

                1. re: estufarian
                  prima RE: estufarian Apr 29, 2012 10:44 AM

                  Didn't realize Bill Koutroubis was involved. Thanks for the heads up! ;-)

              2. re: Michael N
                magic RE: Michael N Apr 28, 2012 05:56 AM

                Agreed about Stockyards' burger. I don't understand the love for it. It was good, not great.

                Love BP's burger. Great.

                Will be trying Holy Chuck shortly.

                1. re: magic
                  millygirl RE: magic Apr 28, 2012 08:27 AM

                  Agree with TorontoJo - Holy Chuck is better than BP. In terms of taste, atmosphere and just all 'round experience.

                2. re: Michael N
                  TorontoJo RE: Michael N Apr 28, 2012 08:33 AM

                  Stockyards is definitely drier than HC, but for me the tradeoff for that lovely crusty edge is worth it.

                  I forgot to mention that all of the HC burgers that my friends and I had were pink in the middle -- a very pleasant surprise.

                  1. re: TorontoJo
                    magic RE: TorontoJo Apr 28, 2012 09:05 AM

                    I actually don't care for pink in burgers.

                    It's not a raw thing, as I love raw meats, but I find pink middles in burgers means less flavour. I prefer cooked through but loaded with juice.

                    Pink.... meh. Don't like. But that's just my personal preference.

                    1. re: magic
                      pinstripeprincess RE: magic Apr 29, 2012 07:38 AM

                      the amount of pink was actually not that much, not the way say... an allen's burger or what not will do the med rare. it was just a spot of it with definitely very medium cooked meat around it. it was quite beefy.

                      i also realized after we talked, TOJo, that i was the one that commented on the salt before. i had the plainest burger the first time and found that the patty itself was a bit low on salt but that the cheese, bacon, etc etc more than compensated for it via other ppls burgers. whatever it was then, it's certainly not now.

                      btw... i really like the service at HCB the guys there really try to make sure that you're getting great food and a great experience.

                      1. re: pinstripeprincess
                        magic RE: pinstripeprincess Apr 29, 2012 08:59 AM

                        Well that's good to know, ok, thx :)

                        1. re: magic
                          pinstripeprincess RE: magic Apr 29, 2012 09:19 AM

                          btw, i'm not sure how you get your stockyard's burger, but the only way i do now is animal style. while i like the other variations... this is the one that gets the cravings going. HCB doesn't do "animal style" theirs misses on the pickles which i think is fairly crucial for this and their big chuck doesn't hit all the same notes (this wasn't greasy to me at all, btw, so i think it has more to do with their bacon/other toppings).

                          the one thing i don't quite get is that their fries are essentially the same, but i prefer stockyards'.

                          i haven't had enough BP recently to make a comparison with them. i was not happy enough with the first one to make a trek out whereas i'll make the trek to HCB and SY (which can be 30-45 min one way).

                          1. re: pinstripeprincess
                            magic RE: pinstripeprincess Apr 29, 2012 09:30 AM

                            I had Stockyards burgers only once. I got 2 and compared.

                            First one had good flavour but was a bit too well done for my liking. I had it with ketchup only.

                            I ordered a second burger not as well done, but it was far too underdone for my personal liking. Also ketchup only.

                            With all the nice burgers in this city there's no reason for me to give SY burgers another shot, really. For my experience at least, it just wasn't worth the fat. BP's definitely are! At BP I enjoy triple patties (doubles are too small for me there), cheese, bit of ketchup. No creative concoctions yet. Heaven (so far).

                            Looking forward to trying Holy Chuck next week! Not a fan of the zoo-like atmosphere at BP so Holy Chuck seems like a good place to try.

                            1. re: magic
                              magic RE: magic May 7, 2012 06:42 PM

                              So after FINALLY trying Holy Chuck, I am rating my preferences as such:

                              1. Holy Chuck
                              2. Burger's Priest
                              3. Stockyards

                              At HC I got a triple cheeseburger with caramelized onions. The burger tastes almost identical to BP, maybe even the exactly same. Juicy, greasy, messy heaven. Great beef flavour. Perfect bun. What I really like about HC though it that the burger is bigger than BP's, which I find are slightly on the smaller side. I think those that prefer burgers that don't crumble will also like HC. All the taste of BP, but the burger stays intact. Personally, I like both styles, for those that don't like BP's crumbly burger, go to HC.

                              I also love that it's MUCH easier to eat at HC. No line, lots of tables, food comes quick, zero stress. Nice staff, as opposed to BP's staff that aren't overly friendly. Not unfriendly, but not supernice either (in my limited experiences there).

                              Fries were really good, but slightly on the salty side for me. Still really good though.

                              Nutella Salted Caramel milkshake was dreeeeeeeeeamy. So good!

                              Ordered their "special sauce" (their version of Big Mac sauce) on the side. Fantastic!

                              It was a pricey, more expensive than BP even, which itself is not cheap. But totally worth every penny. A more enjoyable eating experience overall.

                              Enjoy the pics!

                              1. re: magic
                                TorontoJo RE: magic May 7, 2012 06:54 PM

                                Glad you liked it! I totally agree about the "non food" elements of HC. No crowds, big tables, smiling staff. And that shake! So for me, even if I liked the BP burger, HC would win my business for all the other factors.

                                1. re: TorontoJo
                                  magic RE: TorontoJo May 7, 2012 07:11 PM

                                  Well said. Agreed!

                                2. re: magic
                                  justxpete RE: magic May 7, 2012 10:27 PM

                                  places to sit? Oh my. Must get there soon!

                                  1. re: magic
                                    Davwud RE: magic May 8, 2012 04:27 AM

                                    You hit on a key point for a lot of people. There's a certain edginess to BP. They have the music loud (er) and the staff, at least a lot of them, have a certain curtness that doesn't play well for a lot of people.

                                    When I reviewed HC for my blog I said that it seemed as though they were trying to be everything that BP wasn't. A lot more friendly, larger, no secret menu, etc. Sort of a burgers anti christ if you will.
                                    As far as non food stuff goes.

                                    At the end of the day, we're all winners. At least, those of us who like this type of burger.


                                    1. re: Davwud
                                      magic RE: Davwud May 8, 2012 06:11 AM

                                      Yes, that's a good point about the secret menu. I do not like secret menus.

                                      I'm already paying enough for the meal - do I have to do legwork and research as well?? I get that it’s supposed to be fun, but for me I guess it’s just added work.

                                      I loved that HC’s menu was well laid out and explained, easy for all to see.

                                      Honestly, my burger was amazing. I'm not sure if that is because the owner was there overseeing, but it was simply great.

                                      The staff also seemed really at ease, which must come from the owner. Then again they weren’t totally slammed like BP. They should be though, if my first meal there is any indication of what their food is usually like.

                                      I just got a sense of fun there that I don’t necessarily get at BP. Crazy cow cartoons, cute picture-covered walls of shame and fame, eating challenges, fun mission statements. Loved it.

                                      As long as they are consistent with their food, with or without the owner's presence, and with all these other factors to boot, why go to BP? More enjoyable to go to HC for a griddled style flat top burger all things being equal.

                                      1. re: magic
                                        justxpete RE: magic May 8, 2012 06:38 AM

                                        I think the "secret menu" at BP is beyond tacky. It couldn't be more embarrassing ordering something from it, so I don't.

                                        1. re: magic
                                          Davwud RE: magic May 8, 2012 06:47 AM

                                          A buddy of mine read my blog post and immediately stated that they sounded like a "Wannabe" place.
                                          I explained that AFAIWC what they "Wannabe" is the place people go to who hate BP's schtick but love the burgers.

                                          Anyway, I'd so totally indifferent about secret menus that I don't care. What I didn't like was when I asked about it BP told me it was "A secret" and couldn't talk about it. Gee, thanks!!

                                          Anyway, the Classic American Cheeseburger is my favourite type of burger and I'm just glad I have 3 excellent offerings. I also agree with Jay that Collegiate Lunch's version is very good as well. At half the cost too. Very under appreciated.


                                          1. re: Davwud
                                            justxpete RE: Davwud May 8, 2012 06:52 AM

                                            That's exactly it. So. Incredibly. Tacky. I go in spite of their silly, "secret menu". Not even is it original!

                                            1. re: justxpete
                                              Davwud RE: justxpete May 8, 2012 07:00 AM

                                              They don't claim to be original. They say up front they're modeled on In n Out which has a secret menu.
                                              If you don't like it, don't order from it. I can't for a minute understand why it would be embarrassing.


                                              1. re: Davwud
                                                justxpete RE: Davwud May 8, 2012 07:15 AM

                                                As stated previously, I don't. Nor did I claim that they claim it's original. We're just discussing it. Is that allowed? Not sure why you have your back up, all of a sudden. I thought we were agreeing.

                                                How is it embarrassing? You allowed yourself to be rebuked by one of their employees, in a place where you are patronizing *their* establishment, most likely in front of other people - I find that embarrassing, and feel bad for people that they treat in this manner. It's incredibly awkward to watch, and I would never subject myself to it. Simply unfathomable, to me. Call it what you will.

                                                1. re: justxpete
                                                  Davwud RE: justxpete May 8, 2012 11:22 AM

                                                  Okay, I didn't find it embarrassing. Pretty simple I guess.

                                                  We are agreeing. However on your previous post you said "Not even is it original" and backed it up with an exclamation point.
                                                  Anyway, we are on the same page. No worries.


                                                2. re: Davwud
                                                  justsayn RE: Davwud May 8, 2012 12:39 PM

                                                  Because they might not say it just right. And it is silly.

                                                  1. re: justsayn
                                                    petek RE: justsayn May 8, 2012 12:55 PM

                                                    <Because they might not say it just right. And it is silly>

                                                    So if you don't say it just right,they won't serve it to you??

                                                    1. re: petek
                                                      justsayn RE: petek May 8, 2012 12:59 PM

                                                      No. But many people are like that...not me, but I know them well. And if that guy/owner is not in the best mood, as has been reported, he may actually bark something back...yes.

                                                      1. re: petek
                                                        justxpete RE: petek May 8, 2012 01:03 PM

                                                        No, they rebuke you and say they can't tell you about it, or you can't ask what's on it, and if you don't say it right, they won't give it to you - what I've witnessed, anyway.

                                                        So childish.

                                                        1. re: justxpete
                                                          petek RE: justxpete May 8, 2012 01:47 PM

                                                          <and if you don't say it right, they won't give it to you >

                                                          well I better start practicing now if I ever want to order the"Holy Smoke Jarge " :D

                                                          1. re: petek
                                                            justxpete RE: petek May 8, 2012 01:53 PM

                                                            lol, I have no intention of doing so.

                                                            1. re: justxpete
                                                              petek RE: justxpete May 8, 2012 02:02 PM

                                                              Interesting marketing ploy.Seems to be working out fine for In&Out Burgers(200+ locations)

                                                              1. re: petek
                                                                justxpete RE: petek May 8, 2012 02:40 PM


                                              2. re: magic
                                                magic RE: magic May 8, 2012 07:14 AM

                                                I forgot to add....

                                                Even though I found both HC and BP to be nearly identical in flavour (in other words, both amazing) for some reason I'd personally describe BP's burger as an amped up Wendy's burger and HC as an amped up McDonald's burger. I know this might seem odd given that I thought they were both so similar, but there you go!

                                                I love both Wendy's and McDonald's so I am happy with both BP/HC :) !

                                                1. re: magic
                                                  justsayn RE: magic May 8, 2012 12:41 PM

                                                  I completely agree with the Wendys/BP connection and much prefer Wendys (on the old bun) - I ask them to make a fresh patty when I order.

                            2. Bobby Wham RE: TorontoJo Apr 29, 2012 10:23 AM

                              I actually find 5 guys to be better than all these places. They are all good burgers though.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Bobby Wham
                                prima RE: Bobby Wham Apr 29, 2012 10:40 AM

                                I've only tried the HC junior cheeseburger which tasted perfectly fine, but I'd be just as likely to order a junior cheeseburger from Wendy's. I'm not putting HC down- I like Wendy's and Harvey's. As I ate my burger, topped with pickles, hot peppers, all the other free condiments apart from mayo, I thought it was a little like having a burger from Wendy's or In n Out topped with toppings from Harvey's, while supporting the local economy. The novelty burgers look interesting- but I don't really have 1200 calories to spend on a burger, so I'd probably only order one if I was famished or sharing.

                                I did find the service very friendly. I wish the HC guys good luck, and I will be back to try their fancier burgers and maybe a shake. Hope they consider adding a mini-shake (maybe around 8 oz, or even 4 oz) to the menu!

                                Still have to get around to trying Stockyard's.

                              2. Davwud RE: TorontoJo Apr 30, 2012 05:49 AM

                                Now I really have to get to Stockyards for a burger. Oddly enough, I almost did it last week and had I known you were gonna do this post, I would have.

                                I love both the Priest and Chuck. I think BP just slightly better but find the atmosphere (or really, lack there of) at HC to be better. The louder music/vibe from BP I don't much care for.

                                The shakes at BP I have not tried yet so can't comment but THE best shake I've had in the city was at Chuck. The Nutella one. Awesome.


                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Davwud
                                  TorontoJo RE: Davwud Apr 30, 2012 06:25 AM

                                  That shake is a gut buster! I could only handle a small amount because it was so rich, but it was durn tasty.

                                  Curious to see what you think of Stockyards. I don't find it as greasy/juicy as HC, but I like it better in general. Definitely best eaten on site, rather than taken to go (which is pretty much true for all of these).

                                  1. re: TorontoJo
                                    pinstripeprincess RE: TorontoJo Apr 30, 2012 07:30 AM

                                    i'd have to say that my to-go HCB was quite good, but it arrived still warm so it was speedy! it was a basic cheeseburger and wasn't dripping grease, just moist.

                                    1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                      TorontoJo RE: pinstripeprincess Apr 30, 2012 07:37 AM

                                      That's good. It must be the combo of caramelized onions and bacon that made my burger seem so greasy. :)

                                2. l
                                  LearningHow RE: TorontoJo Apr 30, 2012 08:33 AM

                                  Can't comment on Stockyards, but a group of 5 went to both Burger's Priest and Holy Chuck (a couple of weeks apart) , and ordered the equivalent items from both restaurants.

                                  Among the 5 of us we had:
                                  BP Priest / HC Mad Cow
                                  BP High Priest / HC The Big Chuck
                                  BP Double Cheeseburger "Jarge-style" / HC The Big Bad Wolf
                                  and the remaining two people ordered Double Cheeseburgers (one plain and the other person got all the toppings).

                                  Hands down we all preferred the flavour and texture of Burger's Priest.
                                  In particular, the person who ordered the BP High Priest (and LOVED it) did not like the HC Big Bad Wolf at ALL.

                                  That being said, we enjoyed the shake options at HC and the fact that there was an abundance of seating.

                                  We all agreed that we probably wouldn't go back to HC but would go back to BP in a heartbeat.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: LearningHow
                                    Yongeman RE: LearningHow Apr 30, 2012 08:44 AM

                                    That's a very instructive post, LH. Thanks. I've only been to BP and think it's great. Realistically, I can only eat so many burgers out., so I probably won't get around to the other 2. They're not too difficult to (almost) duplicate at home and infinitely fresher when they're right out of the pan and onto your waiting bun. I would have great difficulty ordering a burger at SY, thereby passing on the chicken or smoked offerings, as some other posters have mentioned.

                                    1. re: Yongeman
                                      LearningHow RE: Yongeman Apr 30, 2012 08:50 AM

                                      I can definitely see why some people may not like the texture of Burger's Priest burger (the soft and crumbly-ness of it) , but that's one of the reasons I enjoy it.

                                      Like with any food in general, a lot of it is just personal preference :)

                                  2. o
                                    OTFOODIE RE: TorontoJo Apr 30, 2012 03:45 PM

                                    I've searched through this thread and a couple of others, but what type cheese do these places use on their burgers? Even the pictures I've seen are not clear to me.

                                    33 Replies
                                    1. re: OTFOODIE
                                      Davwud RE: OTFOODIE Apr 30, 2012 04:41 PM

                                      Sliced. aka Processed aka American.


                                      1. re: Davwud
                                        Yongeman RE: Davwud Apr 30, 2012 04:58 PM

                                        That's the equivalent of adding no flavour. I prefer old or extra old cheddar on a burger.

                                        1. re: Yongeman
                                          Davwud RE: Yongeman Apr 30, 2012 05:38 PM

                                          No, for flat top burgers sliced cheese is the way to go. Real cheese just doesn't work.


                                          1. re: Davwud
                                            magic RE: Davwud Apr 30, 2012 05:46 PM

                                            Very agreed.

                                            1. re: Davwud
                                              justxpete RE: Davwud Apr 30, 2012 06:00 PM

                                              Goes without saying. To say otherwise is heresy!

                                              1. re: Davwud
                                                pinstripeprincess RE: Davwud Apr 30, 2012 07:24 PM

                                                real cheese has a more plastic feel than fake cheese for burgers for me.... but i also prefer whiz on my cheesesteaks.

                                                1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                                  OTFOODIE RE: pinstripeprincess Apr 30, 2012 11:00 PM

                                                  I don't even consider "American Cheese" to be cheese. YUCK!

                                                  Thank you, you saved me three trips.

                                                  1. re: OTFOODIE
                                                    justxpete RE: OTFOODIE Apr 30, 2012 11:23 PM

                                                    It's probably not - but it's delicious, and typical of a classic american cheeseburger, which is what BP Is intending to serve - however I can't speak for the other joints.

                                                    1. re: justxpete
                                                      OTFOODIE RE: justxpete May 1, 2012 09:42 AM

                                                      Just because that's the way it is typically done shouldn't be justification for suggesting that an inferior method or ingredient epitomizes how something should be done. You can get macaroni and cheese from a box, but that doesn't compare to real M&C. well over 50% of the chicken burgers sold are made with some chopped up mass of "edibles" but I would take a grilled, or occasionally nicely fried, solid piece of chicken breast any day.

                                                      I am amazed that when it comes to burgers Toronto foodies become very low-brow. I want a burger made with freshly ground meat, real medium to old cheddar, crisp bacon and a bun that is merely there to hold it all and not overwhelm the burger, I'm indifferent with respect to the cooking method: Frying and charcoal grilling can both produce excellent results when done right.

                                                      Where do I find such a burger in Toronto? Please don't suggest Johnny's, Golden Star, Apache...

                                                      1. re: OTFOODIE
                                                        magic RE: OTFOODIE May 1, 2012 09:44 AM

                                                        Great Burger Kitchen - Gerrard location.

                                                        Also, what's wrong with Golden Star?!?!

                                                        1. re: OTFOODIE
                                                          JennaBean RE: OTFOODIE May 1, 2012 09:53 AM

                                                          I think you're missing the point of an American style burger. They may very well be what you call low-brow but that's what it is. It is cheap and cheerful fast food that that is prepared in a very specific way. Griddle smashed, American cheese, wonderbread sytle bun, and no relish - ever!

                                                          1. re: OTFOODIE
                                                            justxpete RE: OTFOODIE May 1, 2012 11:06 AM

                                                            I disagree entirely. I've had plenty of gourmet burgers - but that's not what these are. These are classic, American style Cheeseburgers from the 50's and 60's era, not the gourmet burgers you find at Nota Bene, Bymark and others. I have those too, and love them for what they are, but these aren't what that is. It's an entirely different ball game. If they used real cheddar, it would be too sharp, it'd take on that pastic texture, and would ruin the burger. They wouldn't be nearly as popular, either.

                                                            If you want burgers that meat (ahem) your "high" standards, go and find a place that does it, or make it yourself. Leave us to BP... There's more for us. :)

                                                            I also find it extremely fascinating that you enjoy the Keg, but myself, wouldn't set a foot in there unless forced. Do you want to talk about "low-brow" food?

                                                            1. re: justxpete
                                                              OTFOODIE RE: justxpete May 1, 2012 01:15 PM

                                                              I don't recall ever saying I enjoy the Keg, other than the Jarvis Street location that seemed better than the rest of the chain and was enjoyed by my kids when they were young. That comment was in the context of (1) going with the family and (2) the OP had suggested the Keg as a choice in the first place.

                                                            2. re: OTFOODIE
                                                              jamesm RE: OTFOODIE May 1, 2012 01:03 PM

                                                              "Where do I find such a burger in Toronto? Please don't suggest Johnny's, Golden Star, Apache..."

                                                              Habord Room, Nota Bene, Bestellen, Beast, Bymark, County General, Marben, Stockyards, The Westerly, Weezies, etc....

                                                              1. re: OTFOODIE
                                                                pinstripeprincess RE: OTFOODIE May 1, 2012 01:07 PM

                                                                the concept of "inferior" depends on your personal qualitative measurements.

                                                                just because sous vide can cook something well doesn't mean it cooks all things well. does even mean that people use the method correctly, it can have horrid as well as outstanding results.

                                                                i understand that you like your burgers a particular way, in some situations i'd agree with you. but these places do not even suggest to serve what you're looking for specifically. i find what they have significantly more satisfying than everyone else trying to do what you're asking for and i'd rather have the satisfying experience than a clearly mediocre one that on paper plys the middle ground option.

                                                            3. re: OTFOODIE
                                                              TorontoJo RE: OTFOODIE May 1, 2012 03:44 AM

                                                              FWIW, I detest american cheese, and order the burgers without cheese. Stockyards has non-American cheese options, including a delicious aged white cheddar..

                                                              1. re: TorontoJo
                                                                magic RE: TorontoJo May 1, 2012 05:48 AM

                                                                Even as a youngling I DETESTED processed cheese. The thought of it made me wretch. It still does.


                                                                On a griddled burger I would never dream of putting any other kind of cheese on it.

                                                                For me at least, it must be processed.

                                                              2. re: OTFOODIE
                                                                pinstripeprincess RE: OTFOODIE May 1, 2012 04:52 AM

                                                                i find different things can have their time and place. i like how it becomes "saucy" and aged cheese can be a bit too overpowering for me when the beef flavour isn't up to snuff.

                                                                1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                                                  prima RE: pinstripeprincess May 1, 2012 05:33 AM


                                                                2. re: OTFOODIE
                                                                  prima RE: OTFOODIE May 1, 2012 05:34 AM

                                                                  Just order the burgers without the American cheese if you have a problem with American cheese. Bring your own Cheddar if you're unable to eat a burger without authentic Cheddar.

                                                              3. re: Davwud
                                                                Yongeman RE: Davwud May 1, 2012 05:33 AM

                                                                I rarely order 'cheeseburgers' when I'm out because of the use of processed cheese slices. I love real cheddar on burgers, however. I have no problem with it and totally prefer the taste (since processed cheese pretty much has none).

                                                                1. re: Yongeman
                                                                  Davwud RE: Yongeman May 1, 2012 05:38 AM

                                                                  As has been said, real cheese doesn't really work for the Classic American Cheeseburger. The processed stuff melts and blends in whereas a real cheese will compete. Really, to each his/her own. Much like people love blue cheese on steak or burgers I find it way over powers the beef taste. I'm not at all interested in something that bold with my beef.


                                                                  1. re: Yongeman
                                                                    justsayn RE: Yongeman May 1, 2012 06:17 AM

                                                                    its the taste of salt i dislike....on an already salty burger. blech.

                                                                    1. re: justsayn
                                                                      justxpete RE: justsayn May 1, 2012 08:11 AM

                                                                      And I wouldn't have it any other way...!

                                                                      1. re: justxpete
                                                                        justsayn RE: justxpete May 1, 2012 08:21 AM

                                                                        ; )

                                                                        1. re: justsayn
                                                                          childofthestorm RE: justsayn May 1, 2012 04:54 PM

                                                                          I knew the cheese war would start again. But to the haters, you'd be amazed how many of the world's top chefs say American cheese is the only way to go on a burger.

                                                                          1. re: childofthestorm
                                                                            justsayn RE: childofthestorm May 1, 2012 08:37 PM

                                                                            BP uses too much salt in their burger to also use the slices they use IMO. I love a grilled cheese with sliced cheese, I am not against the stuff. I just can't take all the salt at BP - more than you get at mcdonalds.

                                                                            1. re: justsayn
                                                                              hungryabbey RE: justsayn May 2, 2012 09:15 AM

                                                                              Really? we found it underseasoned, even with all that cheese. Both myself and my SO thought the beef part of our monster-burger (with grilled cheese buns and the option) was kind of bland.

                                                                              1. re: hungryabbey
                                                                                justsayn RE: hungryabbey May 2, 2012 12:31 PM

                                                                                Well to be honest....I stopped going so my experiences are now dated...

                                                                              2. re: justsayn
                                                                                haggisdragon RE: justsayn May 2, 2012 11:18 AM

                                                                                I have found the patties under seasoned the last few times I've been to BP.

                                                                                1. re: haggisdragon
                                                                                  Davwud RE: haggisdragon May 2, 2012 03:37 PM

                                                                                  Actually, I now remember that I always thought they could use a little more salt. Which to me is no problem, they have it right there for you. Better than it being too salty. Of course, a little bacon will cure that too.


                                                                                  1. re: Davwud
                                                                                    hungryabbey RE: Davwud May 2, 2012 06:22 PM

                                                                                    It's true. Bacon cures a lot of life's problems.

                                                                                    1. re: hungryabbey
                                                                                      OTFOODIE RE: hungryabbey May 2, 2012 10:59 PM

                                                                                      One of the four basic food groups, as I recall.

                                                            4. TorontoTips RE: TorontoJo May 1, 2012 10:10 AM

                                                              Yep, count me as a processed cheese lover on griddled burgers. Real cheddar brings too much salt and distracts from the beef, especially when they shred and don't fully melt it.

                                                              I also would rank BP as #1 for beefy flavour and the superb fresh beef that hasn't been over-handled and packed, which increases dryness. (and based on all the comments I've seen, I seem also to be one of the few that loves BP fries).

                                                              I'd rank HC second along with Big Moe's (as long as you get the regular double, not the over-handled juicy-lucy), and I'd put Stockyards a distant 3rd but I love their chicken. 5 Guys isn't even in the neighbourhood, their grill temperature is too low, making for greyish burgers with no sear, and dry, over-cooked and over-seasoned fries, plus the weird waxy version of processed cheese they use is completely off-putting for me.

                                                              And, for old-school char-grilled take-out burgers, I love Golden Star and Real McCoy's, both make great homeburgers and fresh-cut fries (if you like gravy McCoy is good, as is their steak-on-a-kaiser and great pizza, but skip the gravy at GS, it's truly awful).

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: TorontoTips
                                                                Michael N RE: TorontoTips May 1, 2012 11:14 AM

                                                                Not sure which Five Guys location you're frequenting, or if they were just having an off day or what, but every time I go to the Mississauga location there's always a pretty decent amount of crust on the burgers.

                                                                1. re: Michael N
                                                                  justxpete RE: Michael N May 1, 2012 11:17 AM

                                                                  I recently tried 5 guys for the first time (in Whitby). No crust. A soft, flavourless burger is what my experience was (disappointingly).

                                                                  1. re: Michael N
                                                                    TorontoTips RE: Michael N May 1, 2012 12:00 PM

                                                                    I've never been to the Mississauga location, the Scarborough location is the only one I've tried in Canada, and I've given them multiple tries since my first couple of visits were right after opening, but they're just not for me.
                                                                    Now admittedly, I don't load up a burger with lots of toppings, salad, bacon, etc. :-) and lots of free toppings seems to be a real feature of 5 Guys, but it's the very mild flavour of the beef, no crust, and that weird waxy cheese that keeps me away.

                                                                    1. re: TorontoTips
                                                                      Vinnie Vidimangi RE: TorontoTips May 15, 2012 03:29 AM

                                                                      And the peanuts are getting worse and worse to the point that I can abstain, and that's saying a lot.

                                                                      1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                                                                        justsayn RE: Vinnie Vidimangi May 15, 2012 07:00 AM

                                                                        Had them in Montreal and the peanuts were very good! I remember disliking them when in Phoenix.

                                                                2. Davwud RE: TorontoJo May 1, 2012 11:40 AM

                                                                  Okay Jo, here ya go. I had a burger for lunch at The Stockyards today.

                                                                  I have to say, we have a winner.

                                                                  First off let me say that all three of these make far superior burgers to anything else I've tried in this city. So there is no real loser IMHO.

                                                                  Secondly, when I make burgers at home (inside) I make 3/lb, done in my cast iron skillet with sliced cheese on a "Wonderbread" bun. Sound familiar?? Not a double burger. Not on a kaiser. Not with 6 YO Balderson's.

                                                                  So they win on two counts. Obviously this is the burger that is closest to matching what I make at home. Executed perfectly I might add. Just a hint of pink in it.

                                                                  Secondly, the crust on the patty was outstanding. They really push the envelope here. Toying with charcoal. Approaching that elusive line between a gorgeous crust and a hockey puck.

                                                                  Their home made bacon is outstanding too. I grabbed some greens to go and picked out a piece. Fantastic.


                                                                  24 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Davwud
                                                                    TorontoJo RE: Davwud May 1, 2012 11:45 AM

                                                                    Glad you liked it! Like I said, it's all about that crust for me, and the balance of everything else is just right in my book. And yes, their house-smoked bacon is awesome. Fries are really good, too.

                                                                    This thread has been fascinating for me to read. Burgers are such a personal preference. That's like everything else, I suppose, but burgers and pizza sure do bring out emotions in people!

                                                                    1. re: TorontoJo
                                                                      justxpete RE: TorontoJo May 1, 2012 11:55 AM

                                                                      I like all kinds of burgers. But every burger should have ingredients that match it's genre. You can't cross-breed when it comes to burgers! ;P

                                                                      The burgers at Nota Bene, Bymark, and County General (the ones that I know, anyway) would be absolutely horrible if you put processed cheese on them! It would not make sense. However, for a classic american cheeseburger, it certainly does.

                                                                      1. re: justxpete
                                                                        prima RE: justxpete May 1, 2012 01:23 PM

                                                                        I'd like to try a fancypants burger w processed cheese, and I'd be open to a lowbrow burger w fancypants cheese, even though I'm perfectly happy with processed cheese. I don't think the Nota Bene or County General burger would be horrible w processed cheese, and while I understand an old cheddar or stilton might compete w a BP or HC patty, I'm sure I'd like brie, cambozola or a dolcelatte gorgonzola on any decent lowbrow burger. I like stilton enough that I wouldn't care if it overwhelmed a lowbrow patty.


                                                                        1. re: prima
                                                                          justxpete RE: prima May 1, 2012 01:30 PM

                                                                          Yes, you're right. "Horrible" is definitely an over-statement.

                                                                          1. re: justxpete
                                                                            prima RE: justxpete May 1, 2012 01:45 PM

                                                                            ;-) I just don't like rules for toppings on burgers, pineapple on pizza or parmesan on seafood. We live in Canada, and should be allowed to top our food with whatever we want.

                                                                            1. re: prima
                                                                              TexSquared RE: prima May 1, 2012 02:21 PM

                                                                              "We live in Canada, and should be allowed to top our food with whatever we want."

                                                                              You obviously aren't a Terroni fan then :-)

                                                                              1. re: TexSquared
                                                                                prima RE: TexSquared May 1, 2012 03:03 PM

                                                                                I don't mind their food, but it's lame that Terroni attempts to enforce their quasi-Old Country rules in the New World.

                                                                                1. re: TexSquared
                                                                                  justsayn RE: TexSquared May 1, 2012 04:26 PM

                                                                                  Not true! Huge Terroni fan here and have never had an issue because I love at least a dozen things on their menu at any given time. So for me it depends on the restaurant. I don't care one bit about Terronis' rules as they have no negative impact on me or my morals. On the other hand, if BP refused to sell me burgers without cheese I wouldnt go back because there would be nothing left for me to order and that cheese cannot be picked off.

                                                                                2. re: prima
                                                                                  OTFOODIE RE: prima May 1, 2012 03:15 PM


                                                                                  1. re: prima
                                                                                    Davwud RE: prima May 1, 2012 04:06 PM

                                                                                    You are allowed to top your food with what ever you want. The thing is, if you want a Classic American Cheeseburger they you HAVE TO have sliced cheese. Just like if you decide that peameal is much better substitute for ham on a Hawaiian pizza you no longer have a Hawaiian pizza.


                                                                                    1. re: Davwud
                                                                                      OTFOODIE RE: Davwud May 1, 2012 06:48 PM

                                                                                      Davwud: I understand. I also understand that despite growing up in the 50s and 60s, I was completely ignorant with respect to the parameters of this dish, the Classic American Cheeseburger.

                                                                                      Someday, if I am in the area, I might try Burger's Priest and hope they don't find it sinful that I will ask them to omit the cheese.

                                                                                      1. re: OTFOODIE
                                                                                        justxpete RE: OTFOODIE May 1, 2012 07:36 PM

                                                                                        Group hug!

                                                                                        1. re: justxpete
                                                                                          OTFOODIE RE: justxpete May 1, 2012 08:40 PM

                                                                                          That feels better!

                                                                                          1. re: OTFOODIE
                                                                                            szw RE: OTFOODIE May 1, 2012 10:54 PM

                                                                                            I had a great burger at the food truck "Food Cabbie" around queen/.dalhousie today and think it deserves mention. Its a different style than the ones in this thread, but its still down on a flattop with fresh ground beef. I was only asked how I wanted it cooked, not about condiments and it came with onions, pickles,tomatoes a mayo-like sauce that was more like big-mac sauce. It was delicious. I think there might have been a bit of gravy in it? I had it without cheese. Came to $5 tax in...half the price of the places listed here and more filling. I still like the other style, but I think people should give it a try.


                                                                                            1. re: szw
                                                                                              Michael N RE: szw May 2, 2012 08:57 AM

                                                                                              @szw - Did you ask for that burger blue, or what? I generally like burgers that are on the rare side, but that literally looks raw in the middle.

                                                                                              1. re: Michael N
                                                                                                szw RE: Michael N May 2, 2012 10:31 AM

                                                                                                I ordered it rare. I used to order it rare at BP and it would be kind of medium-rare. There was one guy who would ask me "like, real rare?" and I'd say yes, and it would be the same as in the above pic. Thats how I usually get it at BP and love it, however the burger patty is much smaller so it will overcook if you don't eat it immediately

                                                                                                1. re: szw
                                                                                                  petek RE: szw May 2, 2012 07:10 PM


                                                                                                2. re: Michael N
                                                                                                  The Chowhound Team RE: Michael N May 2, 2012 11:37 AM

                                                                                                  An interesting discussion of ground meat safety has been split and moved to the General Chowhounding Topics board. You can find it at the link below:


                                                                                                3. re: szw
                                                                                                  GoodGravy RE: szw May 2, 2012 09:56 AM

                                                                                                  I tried one of the Food Cabbie's burger specials a few weeks ago and found it was overwhelmed by the bun, and nothing particularly special. Plus I don't usually like a lot of condiments on my burger. If I had to rate it, I'd say it was the best burger from a food truck I've ever had in Toronto. It's also the only burger from a food truck in Toronto I've ever had. If I rated it against all other burgers from trucks I've had anywhere, it'd be dead last.

                                                                                                  1. re: GoodGravy
                                                                                                    szw RE: GoodGravy May 2, 2012 10:34 AM

                                                                                                    Yeah if you aren't a fan of condiments I can see that. I generally get burgers with no condiments except onions, however I did like this one. I guess I have a soft spot for the big mac. The bun didn't look good to me but it was better than most of that style when I ate it.

                                                                                                    I'd rate it as one of the best burgers I've had in Toronto. Heads and shoulders above similar diner-style burgers like Zet's or Goldenstar or the like. I would much rather eat this burger than Goody's Diner (which i also do like, but not love). I love BP and honestly if I had to choose, it would be a coinflip as they are different animals. I'm gonna head back today.

                                                                                                    I had their patty melt once also, a burger on grilled rye with carmelized onions and some kind of cheese. I liked it except I did not like the ketchup that it came with. You can also order that rare to well done.

                                                                                                4. re: OTFOODIE
                                                                                                  JennaBean RE: OTFOODIE May 2, 2012 06:23 AM

                                                                                                  And the food nerds of the world unite. All is well again. :-)

                                                                                                  1. re: JennaBean
                                                                                                    OTFOODIE RE: JennaBean May 2, 2012 12:53 PM

                                                                                                    Did I read somewhere (the philly steak thread, I think) that Food Cabbie is Spiro from Chicago Pizza?

                                                                                                    1. re: OTFOODIE
                                                                                                      TorontoJo RE: OTFOODIE May 2, 2012 01:22 PM

                                                                                                      Yep. :)

                                                                                                      1. re: OTFOODIE
                                                                                                        GoodGravy RE: OTFOODIE May 2, 2012 07:24 PM

                                                                                                        I did try Food Cabbie's Italian beef sandwich. I was hesitant since I'd read he's from San Diego and not Chicago, but I figured WTH, how bad could it be. So I ordered it dipped. It wasn't as messy as the ones I'd had in Chicago, but was still tasty and required many napkins. I'm wondering if his specialty is Chicago style foods.

                                                                                                        The patty melt sounds good. I might have to try that next time.

                                                                                3. p
                                                                                  peppermint pate RE: TorontoJo May 9, 2012 10:56 AM

                                                                                  Not a lot to add to the many voices here but for yet another opinion...have been to BP once (loved it) and HC twice (closer to home, really liked it). Both spots would happily satisfy my infrequent burger cravings. If it was just my husband and I, I would taker the louder music vibe and amazing playlist at BP. But did I read that you can't eat in anymore - if so, then for that alone, BP would become less appealing to me. The staff at HC are incredibly earnest and friendly - I think it's one of the owners that is especially sweet with my kids, offering us free little treats on each visit and plenty of smiles. And seating is plentiful. I can't believe so many of you loved the nutella salted caramal shake, though - I loved the idea of it but it was way too cloyingly salty sweet for me.

                                                                                  Beyond the holy chuck and the double cheeseburger, has anyone tried any of the other burgers at HC? The owner was singing the praises of the Raging Bull - double cheeseburger with bacon and sauteed hot peppers, all fried in a homemade chipotle sauce. I tend to be more of a purist with my burgers but that combo sounded tempting.

                                                                                  Still need to try Stockyards. But overall, quite happy to have a variety of great burger options scattered around the city now.

                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: peppermint pate
                                                                                    magic RE: peppermint pate May 9, 2012 11:17 AM

                                                                                    At first i did find the shake a tad sweet. But I dunno, I kept on going back for more so I guess it was a bit addicting! And I'm no caramel fan, precisely because I find it too sweet.

                                                                                    But i see what you're saying. I'll for sure be getting that again though. PB+J shake too.

                                                                                    Raging Bull sounds amazing - but hard to stray from the purist's habits, as you say.

                                                                                    1. re: magic
                                                                                      petek RE: magic May 9, 2012 12:03 PM

                                                                                      mmmmmmm..Raging Bull Burger and Nutella shake.Must resist...

                                                                                    2. re: peppermint pate
                                                                                      neighborguy RE: peppermint pate May 9, 2012 12:00 PM

                                                                                      PP, that is a really nice review of HC and it makes me want to try it.

                                                                                      As for BP I live close by but anytime I'm by there all I see is the lineup....which must mean they are really good and deserve the buzz. And good for them....but...I'm still disappointed there is such limited seating in there. I recall most reviewers who get take-out and by the time they get home everything's soggy.

                                                                                      1. re: neighborguy
                                                                                        GoodGravy RE: neighborguy May 9, 2012 12:42 PM

                                                                                        I've eaten BP burgers in the car, on the hood of the car, while walking to the theater across the street, while standing in front of the theater across the street and even inside when they still had some stools by the wall. These are juicy, drippy burgers and they won't last a long trip home. Better to start eating them as soon as you get them.

                                                                                        1. re: GoodGravy
                                                                                          peppermint pate RE: GoodGravy May 9, 2012 12:57 PM

                                                                                          I'll eat that burger on a seat
                                                                                          I'll eat that burger on the street
                                                                                          I'll eat that burger on a hood
                                                                                          I'll eat it anywhere - it's that dang good!

                                                                                          (sorry, couldn't resist)

                                                                                          1. re: peppermint pate
                                                                                            GoodGravy RE: peppermint pate May 9, 2012 04:44 PM

                                                                                            I'll lick the juices from my arm
                                                                                            and ignore the wail of the car alarm
                                                                                            The burger's cheesy, the fries have salt
                                                                                            now all I need's a chocolate malt

                                                                                            1. re: GoodGravy
                                                                                              peppermint pate RE: GoodGravy May 15, 2012 01:38 PM

                                                                                              Ha - I missed this before. Touché.

                                                                                          2. re: GoodGravy
                                                                                            justsayn RE: GoodGravy May 9, 2012 01:45 PM

                                                                                            That was you!!! : )

                                                                                        2. re: peppermint pate
                                                                                          TorontoJo RE: peppermint pate May 9, 2012 12:13 PM

                                                                                          PP, I split that shake 3 ways and still didn't finish my portion. It's rich and delicious, but I could only handle a small amount. :)

                                                                                        3. o
                                                                                          OTFOODIE RE: TorontoJo May 14, 2012 03:31 PM

                                                                                          Anyone who has been following this thread will know about my prejudice against “American Slices” despite their authenticity on the Great American Cheeseburger. (A side note, I was discussing this with my parents – who are, thankfully, still in great health – and they commented that they thought it was strange that when I was a kid in the late 50s and 60s, I would order hamburger and not cheeseburger because I hated processed American cheese even that young. My mother also remembered not being able to get me to eat Velveeta, which she loves to this day.) That being said, these days I can tolerate processed American slices on a burger, but given the choice to have real cheddar, to me it is no contest.

                                                                                          I have tried the holy trinity of Classic American Cheeseburgers over the past week. (Next stop either Dr. Poon or Bernstein!)

                                                                                          Burger's Priest: My experience was about as described: The double cheeseburger is juicy and flavourful – definitely not something you'd want to try to handle in a car and if you take it home, by the time you'd get anywhere, the bun would be a mushy mess. I ate standing at the counter and used copious amounts of serviettes. I ordered a second without the cheese and loved it, but did need to salt the meat a bit. Good beefy flavour, but no crust and very little browning on the meat.

                                                                                          Holy Chuck: Very similar to Burger's Priest, but (1) the meat was nicely browned with some crust (+), (2) there is ample seating (++) and (3) they will allow you to substitute smoked mozzarella for the American slices, as I found out later, but I didn't ask if there is an upcharge. Overall, I'd but Holy Chuck ahead of Burger's Priest.

                                                                                          Stockyards BBQ: Somehow I felt like I was doing the wrong thing here. I SHOULD be ordering brisket or ribs or pulled pork, but I was here in the interests of science to check out the burger. It was glorious with real cheddar with tasty beefy meat. The place was somewhat disorganized, but this was the best burger of the three in my books.

                                                                                          I will add one more from Waterloo, where I go about twice a month. Frat Burger (King & University) is doing the Great American Cheese Burger. I was told the guy behind it is Jim Brickman formerly of Brick Brewing. I tried it about a week ago when this discussion was fresh in my mind. The double cheeseburger with double cheese and double bacon was the daily special for about $7. It seemed bigger than either HC or BP's doubles and also made from freshly ground beef and they use American slices. It was just as juicy but the meat was disappointingly flavourless - I suppose I should have salted it. The waiter said that they only salt and pepper the meat, but this burger seemed to have been hiding when the salt came raining down. (My bill was adjusted, BTW) Definitely a poor fourth. Pluses: Lots of seating and great music (blues, Motown, funk and classics) which was not blaringly loud and a decent selection of beers, although I don't drink at all if I plan to be driving. I also appreciated the offer of ice water when I didn't order a drink. (Pet peeve: I like water better than any other drink, including bottled water. I find about 2/3's of places treat you poorly if you ask for just water. I like when water is cheerfully offered.) Yes, the service was great.

                                                                                          20 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: OTFOODIE
                                                                                            justxpete RE: OTFOODIE May 14, 2012 06:40 PM

                                                                                            Good on you for trying it out anyway, OTFOODIE! A testament to your "foodiness"! I find sometimes that my BP does require a bit of salt - but I'm off too anxious to eat the burger. ha.

                                                                                            I've not got around to HC or Stockyards as yet.

                                                                                            1. re: justxpete
                                                                                              OTFOODIE RE: justxpete May 14, 2012 08:47 PM

                                                                                              I just want to be clear on this: If you enjoy the American slices on your burger, you'd be hard-pressed to find tastier burgers.

                                                                                              I wonder what would happen if I asked at either place if they'd put on some medium cheddar if I supplied it?

                                                                                              1. re: OTFOODIE
                                                                                                justxpete RE: OTFOODIE May 14, 2012 10:24 PM

                                                                                                I don't believe BP has medium cheddar at either location - so I'm not certain you'd have much luck.

                                                                                                1. re: OTFOODIE
                                                                                                  petek RE: OTFOODIE May 15, 2012 05:25 AM

                                                                                                  <I wonder what would happen if I asked at either place if they'd put on some medium cheddar if I supplied it?>

                                                                                                  They'd both probably tell you to hit the bricks,I know I would..
                                                                                                  If you don't like the cheese they use,go somewhere that makes yer burgers the way you like em,or order a plain burger and put the cheese on it yourself(hopefully out of sight).

                                                                                                  1. re: petek
                                                                                                    Davwud RE: petek May 15, 2012 06:06 AM

                                                                                                    I would imgaine if BP didn't give you the boot you'd at least get a dumbfounded stare. It's not what they're making. They don't plan on changing that.

                                                                                                    You may have better success at HC.

                                                                                                    For what you're looking for, you need to go to The Stockyards.


                                                                                                    1. re: Davwud
                                                                                                      justsayn RE: Davwud May 15, 2012 07:03 AM

                                                                                                      I agree its highly unlikely they would substitute, but I think they are more than aware of the desire to have a better cheese product on hand and they would not be surprised at all. If business wasn't so brisk, they would offer 4 cheese types - thats my opinion.

                                                                                                      1. re: justsayn
                                                                                                        Davwud RE: justsayn May 15, 2012 09:39 AM

                                                                                                        I can only speak in regard to BP because I personally spoke with Shant (the owner) and I can pretty much assure you they would not have other cheese options. They aren't doing that. They are making the Classic American Cheeseburger. That's it. That's all.


                                                                                                        1. re: Davwud
                                                                                                          jamesm RE: Davwud May 15, 2012 10:42 AM

                                                                                                          They've been pretty straightforward about their intentions so I doubt they would add more cheeses if time permitted. As for substituing the cheese would you walk into Bymark with a wrapped slice of American cheese tucked into your pocket and ask them to put it on the burger instead of Brie de Meux?

                                                                                                          1. re: Davwud
                                                                                                            justsayn RE: Davwud May 15, 2012 10:45 AM

                                                                                                            Calling it "the Classic American Cheeseburger" has a tremendous flaw associated.

                                                                                                            I enjoy a Johnny Rockets cheeseburger when I am in L.A. or Chicago. (too inconsistent on Dundas), I like a Big Mac with its cheese once a year. I love In N Out cheeseburgers. They all use a different version of American Cheese.

                                                                                                            Problem is that I can't enjoy BP's version. It is way too salty, greasy and not good cheesy tasting. It does not go well with their patty, or their patty doesn't go well with their cheese. I dunno but for me it is a match made in hell. Just my opinion.

                                                                                                    2. re: OTFOODIE
                                                                                                      OTFOODIE RE: OTFOODIE May 15, 2012 01:18 PM

                                                                                                      I DID IT, and I may be banished to purgatory or potentially condemned to Hades for doing so!

                                                                                                      I took a slice of real cheddar, folded it in half to make it burger-sized and double-thick and wrapped it in scale paper and a sandwich bag and placed it in my jacket pocket. I went to Burger's Priest and ordered a double hamburger, no cheese. When it arrived, I was able to open my burger, putting the real cheddar between the patties and I let it sit about 30 seconds to melt. This burger also was better browned with a crust, unlike my last at BP. No one seemed to notice my little sinful act of subterfuge.

                                                                                                      Members of the congregation, that was the finest cheeseburger I think I have ever had!

                                                                                                      Apostasy? Maybe. But this heretic customer got what he wanted.

                                                                                                      What's next? Holy Chuck, he might just do it again!

                                                                                                      1. re: OTFOODIE
                                                                                                        peppermint pate RE: OTFOODIE May 15, 2012 01:37 PM

                                                                                                        Love it!! I am enjoying your burger journey, you little hooligan you!

                                                                                                        Re: your earlier comment about drinking water, I almost always drink plain water. Both times I was at HC, I ordered a couple of cups of plain water and both times, I was sweetly comped bottle water. Consistent with the overall friendly service there.

                                                                                                        1. re: OTFOODIE
                                                                                                          justsayn RE: OTFOODIE May 15, 2012 02:04 PM

                                                                                                          Sounds AWESOME!

                                                                                                          1. re: OTFOODIE
                                                                                                            petek RE: OTFOODIE May 15, 2012 02:14 PM

                                                                                                            Good for you...
                                                                                                            Discretion is the better part of valor.

                                                                                                            1. re: OTFOODIE
                                                                                                              justxpete RE: OTFOODIE May 15, 2012 06:27 PM

                                                                                                              lol, awesome!!!

                                                                                                              1. re: justxpete
                                                                                                                Yongeman RE: justxpete May 15, 2012 07:33 PM

                                                                                                                'Burger obsession'?

                                                                                                              2. re: OTFOODIE
                                                                                                                JennaBean RE: OTFOODIE May 16, 2012 09:21 AM

                                                                                                                Amazing! Best food story I've read in a long time. Well played OTFOODIE. Well played.

                                                                                                                1. re: OTFOODIE
                                                                                                                  TexSquared RE: OTFOODIE May 16, 2012 09:56 AM

                                                                                                                  Bravo! I disagree with the idea of asking them to use your ingredient, but once you've been served the food, what you do with it is your business. You didn't even have to hide it, just don't expect them to put it on the burger for you.

                                                                                                                  Next logical step: go to Terroni with some extra cheese (and Microplane grater) for your seafood pasta and a can of Coke Zero!

                                                                                                                  1. re: TexSquared
                                                                                                                    lister RE: TexSquared May 27, 2012 09:35 AM

                                                                                                                    That's my plan if I ever get dragged back to Terroni. Order the seafood pasta, ask for cheese, be rebuffed, whip out my cheese and say "Suck it!"

                                                                                                                    Once I receive my food I'll do whatever I please with it whether traditional, authentic or not.

                                                                                                                    We haven't been to Holy Chuck yet but we're really no longer interested in waiting at Burger Priest and prefer the better non-burger food at Stock Yards as we have perfected what we like about the American cheeseburger at home.

                                                                                                                    1. re: lister
                                                                                                                      justsayn RE: lister May 27, 2012 10:33 AM

                                                                                                                      They sell cheese graters with delicious parmesian on the wall (Queen W) or ya, you could bring your own. Either way, it sounds like a good idea to get what you want. You could add the cheese to your pastas or desserts or anything. Truth is I doubt they will care. Waiter will probably just laugh along with you. The other thing you could do is learn how to make the seafood pasta at home and then you could strike that off the list for things to eat in restaurants too! Buy super fresh seafood and you are 50% there, so many great recipes online!

                                                                                                                      I was with my little cousin last week who LOVES lots and lots of cheese on her pasta...only way she will eat it : ) SO I asked for them to bring her extra cheese and said we would pay for it and the waiter replied - "Oh don't worry about it, need to keep our kids happy" She brought out a little bowl of grated cheese and there was nothing added to the bill and my little cousin was in her glory. I guess it depends on who ya get...I dunno.

                                                                                                                  2. re: OTFOODIE
                                                                                                                    OTFOODIE RE: OTFOODIE May 17, 2012 09:52 PM

                                                                                                                    Well, I figured, "What the Chuck?" I had gotten away with it at Burger's Priest, so armed with real medium cheddar I walked into Holy Chuck and ordered a double burger, with bacon, no cheese (Holy Chuck, with extra bacon instead of the onions) and in a moment of weakness, added The Smokey Cow. When they arrived, I sat at the bar seating along the window and discretely inserted my cheddar between the hot juicy, well-crusted patties. The Smokey Cow was really good, but not worth the extra money compared to the Holy Chuck.

                                                                                                                    How did my real cheese Holy Chuck stack up to my anathematic blasphemy of unprocessed cheddar on Burger's Priests double? Holy Chuck had a better crust and was just a juicy (they need to stock better serviettes at HC) but I think Burger's Priest had a bit more flavour. It's really close, but I'm giving the edge to Burger's Priest. I was tempted to call it a tie and suggest I do penance of another round.

                                                                                                            2. Davwud RE: TorontoJo May 14, 2012 03:34 PM

                                                                                                              I've been working of a plan with some buddies to hit these three plus Stack for a head to head to head to head comparison.

                                                                                                              Will report back with findings.


                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Davwud
                                                                                                                TorontoJo RE: Davwud May 14, 2012 06:35 PM

                                                                                                                Can't wait to hear about it, especially Stack. I tried a burger there a couple of weeks ago, and it was on a night when they were slammed and the "grill guy" was out sick. The burgers were served as doubles -- two too small patties on a large bready bun. The patties were as dry as hockey pucks. It was shameful and basically inedible. The owner was very gracious and apologetic and paid for the dinner, so I'll give them another chance at some point.

                                                                                                                1. re: TorontoJo
                                                                                                                  samuek RE: TorontoJo May 15, 2012 06:15 PM

                                                                                                                  Yeah there is really only Marben burger and Nota Bene Wagyu Beef Brisket burger. The others are just condiments and gimmicks.

                                                                                                              2. c
                                                                                                                childofthestorm RE: TorontoJo May 16, 2012 09:58 AM

                                                                                                                Pretty serious "Top 25 Burgers" list in Toronto Life...some serious food porn photos. I want a burger now.


                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: childofthestorm
                                                                                                                  T Long RE: childofthestorm May 16, 2012 10:05 AM

                                                                                                                  Thanks...very interesting link. I appreciate the inclusion of prices for the burgers.

                                                                                                                2. a
                                                                                                                  afong56 RE: TorontoJo May 16, 2012 10:10 AM

                                                                                                                  two down, one to go. . .tried hc the other day. i agree that it is better than bp.

                                                                                                                  they both do a take on danny meyer's shake shack style, but i think hc does it better, and actually better than the shack as well. had the holy chuck and was struck by the quality and the presence of the bacon they used. it had just the right balance of ingredients, and provided definitely more meaty goodness than i expected. lots of beefy flavour and the seasoned shoestring fries were nicely done--a nice balance between tender and crispy.

                                                                                                                  1. m
                                                                                                                    Michael N RE: TorontoJo May 16, 2012 07:36 PM

                                                                                                                    I just had the burger at The Stockyards again, and I stand by my earlier ranking (BP, Holy Chuck, then The Stockyards). The dryness problem persisted, and this time I sat right by the grill and saw first-hand why this is an issue. I saw the grill lady make my burger, as well as several others -- the ground beef she was using was red, with just a few white flecks. It looked to be leaner even than the standard ground beef you'd get from the supermarket, which itself is far too lean to make ideal hamburger meat. It was maybe 10%... perhaps even 5%. So of course it wound up dry! It's absurd to make hamburgers out of meat that lean and NOT expect a dry final product.

                                                                                                                    The sad part is that the beef is obviously of high quality, because it has a good flavour, and their cooking technique is absolutely impeccable, resulting in a glorious brown crust. But a burger this dry can never be considered one of the greats, no matter how good it is otherwise.

                                                                                                                    1. j
                                                                                                                      jmeggs RE: TorontoJo May 26, 2012 11:23 PM

                                                                                                                      I was really skeptical about Holy Chuck, just cause I hate their logo so much.... I know, that makes no sense. But after trying them tonight -- and keep in mind, I was one of Burgers Priest's biggest champions -- there is no doubt in my mind Holy Chuck has the best burger. It's the same style -- loosely packed meat, high quality, juicy (greasy) meat, but the major difference is that the burger stays together!!! Just a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL specimen of a burger. Can't wait to go back!

                                                                                                                      13 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: jmeggs
                                                                                                                        justxpete RE: jmeggs May 27, 2012 08:32 AM

                                                                                                                        Really??? I tried Holy Chuck yesterday for the first time as well. I thought it was disgusting. I would put it at a very small step above McDonalds. Truth be told, if I had a Big Mac and an HC burger in front of me, I would eat the Big Mac. I am not a fan. Seems to me it's a wanna-be BP, that takes a lot of shortcuts. Cheap packaging materials, plastic/cheap/low-quality shakes, and an owner who smokes outside the store, blowing smoke in his customers' faces. Ridiculous. Will not be going back. Ever.

                                                                                                                        1. re: justxpete
                                                                                                                          jmeggs RE: justxpete May 27, 2012 10:39 PM

                                                                                                                          Read this thread and this one http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/834373 as well, and you'll see you're very much in the minority. Yes, BP still edges HC out, but considering how much easier HC is to deal with (I've not heard of your problems with the owner before), I think a lot of people are willing to forgo BP for HC.

                                                                                                                          To me, the difference in quality was negligible, with HC's burger being easier to acquire/consume.

                                                                                                                          1. re: jmeggs
                                                                                                                            justxpete RE: jmeggs May 28, 2012 08:04 AM

                                                                                                                            That's ok - I don't mind being in the minority. My SO couldn't even finish her Jr. Cheeseburger, she thought it was un-apetizing. It had no flavour and smelled like a McDonald's exhaust fan. I'm really shaking my head on this one because I can't imagine where the disconnect is. They couldn't have made that poor a burger, this one time. And the shake - make no mistake about it, was virtually un-drinkable. BP, on a quality-of-product as compared to HC wins by a landslide. It's not even close.

                                                                                                                            And for the record, I've never had any issues with BP whatsoever - and I thought the cashier at HC was rude, as well, and there was no one else in there at the time.

                                                                                                                            Just to be sure - we're talking about the Holy Chuck place that's on Yonge and St. Clair, right?

                                                                                                                            1. re: justxpete
                                                                                                                              ylsf RE: justxpete May 28, 2012 08:18 AM

                                                                                                                              I liked my burger there, WAY better than anything I have ever had at any fast food joint. I am surprised what you said about the shake too because I had the peanut butter/chocolate one and it was my favourite shake I have ever had anywhere. I like that they have thicker straws too.

                                                                                                                              Surprised to hear that you would prefer a McDs burger to theirs. The thing is, I won't be going back often because of the cost, not because of the quality.

                                                                                                                              1. re: justxpete
                                                                                                                                OTFOODIE RE: justxpete May 28, 2012 08:42 AM

                                                                                                                                Interesting. I chatted with one of the owners one of the two times I went, and he seemed quite interested to get my feedback.

                                                                                                                                The interesting thing about my recent quest for a great cheeseburger with real cheddar (I've brought my own to both BP and HC, plus enjoyed the burgers at the Stockyards and Frat Burger in Waterloo) is that I have absolutely no desire to spend money at McDonalds or any other big chain any more.

                                                                                                                                1. re: OTFOODIE
                                                                                                                                  jmeggs RE: OTFOODIE May 28, 2012 08:45 AM

                                                                                                                                  OTFOODIE, are you aware of a place called No Bull Burger on Parliament at Queen? It uses real, unprocessed cheddar on its burgers.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: jmeggs
                                                                                                                                    OTFOODIE RE: jmeggs May 28, 2012 08:50 AM

                                                                                                                                    Thanks for the tip.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: OTFOODIE
                                                                                                                                    justxpete RE: OTFOODIE May 28, 2012 08:48 AM

                                                                                                                                    I don't spend money on "fast food" - but was just drawing a comparison to show how much I detested the HC burger.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: justxpete
                                                                                                                                      TorontoJo RE: justxpete May 28, 2012 10:57 AM

                                                                                                                                      It's a bummer you had such a bad experience. I was just there for lunch today and loved my burger, probably even more than my first time as there was a nice crust on it this time. And I find the owners are really nice and care about people's experience.

                                                                                                                                      Not trying to negate your experience at all, it's just so interesting how personal taste is. As I stated above, I really despised my BP burger and won't ever go back for one, despite all the love for it on this board. :)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: TorontoJo
                                                                                                                                        justxpete RE: TorontoJo May 28, 2012 01:40 PM

                                                                                                                                        Well, I had an obnoxious amount of mustard on mine (for some odd reason) which didn't help how it tasted to me. All I could taste was mustard and what appeared to be somewhat bland meat. Maybe they were just having a bad day.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: TorontoJo
                                                                                                                                          afong56 RE: TorontoJo May 28, 2012 06:31 PM

                                                                                                                                          agreed. . .had a solid experience there, and the expediter and grill guy both checked to see how i enjoyed my order, and if my burger had been cooked to exactly the way i liked it. . .it was smack dab in the middle of their lunch rush too. . .

                                                                                                                                    2. re: justxpete
                                                                                                                                      PJO2007 RE: justxpete Jul 26, 2012 07:03 AM

                                                                                                                                      I have been to Holy Chuck probably a dozen times. I can honestly say that for a fast food restaurant I have never seen as high a level of service. The two owners are constantly checking on diners ensuring that their experience was good. The cashiers always pleasant. Here is a quick story that I think displays significant attention to detail. Probably my second time there I requested my burger cooked to a particular doneness and to go. The owner who was on the gill asked me how long it would take me to get to where I was eating. He said that the patties, being thin continue to cook and to achieve that level of doneness for takeout is different than for dining in. The restaurant was busy, but the attention to detail was noted, and most definitely appreciated. I should also say, that I am a huge fan of Stockyards and think their burger is actually a bit better than Holy Chuck. But I am splitting hairs. They are the 2 best in the City, particularly since the Four Seasons coffee shop closed down.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: PJO2007
                                                                                                                                        Davwud RE: PJO2007 Jul 26, 2012 09:54 AM

                                                                                                                                        We won't quibble over who makes the best burgers (I like BP best) but the two you mention are very close second and third for me and I far prefer the atmosphere (vibe) from those two. I generally will go there over BP for that very reason.


                                                                                                                              2. j
                                                                                                                                JennaBean RE: TorontoJo Nov 23, 2012 10:49 AM

                                                                                                                                I have finally tried all three burger and my votes in order are: BP, Stockyards a close second, followed by Holy Chuck.

                                                                                                                                I had the Holy Chuck burger and it was IMO far more greasy than the BP burger and slightly more greasy than the Stockyards burger. I prefer the grind on the BP burger and for some reason I found the Holy Chuck very salty. It might have just been a random occurrence but it was there was too much salt for my liking.

                                                                                                                                If I'm in the hood I will give them another go but stick to a single plain burger. For me there is never any need for two burger patties.

                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: JennaBean
                                                                                                                                  prima RE: JennaBean Nov 23, 2012 02:02 PM

                                                                                                                                  I think the greasyness must vary from day to day, burger to burger. My last BP burger was greasier than my last HC burger. Still haven't gotten around to trying the Stockyard's burger.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: JennaBean
                                                                                                                                    Davwud RE: JennaBean Nov 23, 2012 02:11 PM

                                                                                                                                    Too salty seems to be a somewhat common complaint from HC. Complaint may be too strong a word.
                                                                                                                                    Anyway, I've never found that and am not at all a salt person. On the other hand, I've often found BP to be under salted. Of course, that's very easily rectified.

                                                                                                                                    You now need to go to Stack. It's just south of BP and give their burger a whirl.


                                                                                                                                    1. re: Davwud
                                                                                                                                      hungryabbey RE: Davwud Nov 23, 2012 02:35 PM

                                                                                                                                      I second the undersalted comment re: BP. I was really suprised that despite all that cheese, the burger still did not have much flavour.

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