Well in honour of Burger Week I set out with Mrs. Sippi and 3 buddies to sample 4 of Toronto's top "Smashed" burgers. Burger's Priest, Holy Chuck, Stockyards and Stacked BBQ.
We pretty much divided up into two person teams and had half burgers at each place.
Burgers would be ordered as similar as possible for better control. Less mitigating factors.
No "Secret Menu" style burgers either.
The winner was given a 10 with all others falling in behind. On my score card.
So, I will post my findings and then the over all group findings.
Coming in fourth for me was Stack. A very respectable 4 I think, I gave them an 8 out of 10. My thoughts, which I shared with the owner Bill are as follows. The brioche bun was too much. It was a bit too big, had too much taste and was a bit dry. Not stale but just seemed dry. Bill agreed and said he doesn't like it and wants to come up with a different bun. As well, the grind on the meat I thought was way too fine. It didn't have a good chew/mouth feel. The taste was quite good though. It was certainly juicy enough, coming in at medium well but in retrospect I think a bit more fatty meat would work better. It lacked that certain thing that the fat gives.
In third place for me, surprisingly, was The Stockyards. They put out a great burger but it wasn't the best I've had there. 9 out of 10 was my mark. It just didn't quite have the great crust I found on my previous visits. Gus asked me if he got a "Sub par" burger and I didn't think it was. I pointed out that the other two times I was there I had the only burger on the griddle. They could devote all their attention to it. So more like what I'd had before was "Extra good" perhaps. They were absolutely swamped and were constantly turning over the flat top.
In second with a 9.5 was Holy Chuck. Once again they produced a fabulous burger with good taste, texture and a great amount of greasy, beefy, goodness oozing out. Perhaps just slightly too much. The juiciness put it ahead of Stockyards however their meat wasn't quite as tasty.
As a side note, the Wasabi, Green Onion and Fresh Ginger was quite enjoyable.Very creamy and had a decent wasabi kick. My only complain was that you almost couldn't taste the other two ingredients. A little more ginger hit would be great.
The winner, and back as my favourite GTA burger is The Burgers Priest. Awarded the full 10 points. The Priest were totally on top of their game. The perfect balance of juiciness like with HC and the better beef flavour like Stockyards. We were only judging on taste but I wasn't impressed that they wouldn't cut the burger in half. All the other place did it without question. They'd have lost points on that.
As for the group as a whole The Priest was a unanimous winner. As I said above, they were right on top of their game. There was a split among the other 4 about second place. 2 had HC while 2 others had Stockyards. The big difference would be that the two who picked Stockyards second though HC was well below while the two who picked HC second still loved Stockyards. All agreed that Stack was in last but still made a terrific burger. All agreed that the grind was way too fine.
The plan was to finish at Stack as Hungry Abbey had encouraged me to go for just the S'mores Donuts. Great call. We were able save enough room for them and they were fantastic. It's worth a visit for those. The milk shakes as well I suspect. Gus ordered one that was excellent. They have a liquor license so he added Grand Marnier to his and it as just great. I don't remember the flavour but I think it was Apple Crumble.
So there you go. Burger's Priest has won my heart back. At least in the burger category.