Holy Burgers! The Burger’s Priest and Holy Chuck

Having grown up in Alberta, I fall into the western Canadian stereotype of liking beef, maybe a little too much. During the Mad Cow Crisis of 2001, my family ate beef almost everyday since the highest grade cuts were all heavily discounted. In recent years, I’ve actually been asked to judge DIY burger competitions based on my “expertise” (I use the term very loosely) and continue my pursuit of the world’s best burger.

There are two chains that have emerged a number of years ago and spread like wildfire with locations around the city, The Burger’s Priest and Holy Chuck.

I tried the Burger’s Priest at their original location on Queen St. East a few months after it opened. When we arrived, there was a line down the block. Upon entering the restaurant, you could see trays of french fries (fried once and ready for a second bath upon ordering), pink patties sizzling on the flat top, and a crew working madly putting the burgers together. We ordered the Priest combo, a cheeseburger with the “option”, a portobello mushroom stuff with cheese and deep fried.  The combo includes doubled fried fries and a drink.

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The picture above isn’t the greatest because it fogged up my car in the cold Toronto winter. The fries are awesome! Super crispy and warm on the inside. Lightly salted. Very solid. You can’t appreciate the burger visually until you take a few bites and see the Option’s cheesy goodness. See below.

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The burger is beefy with a nice crisp char on the outside. The inside of the patty is juicy and moist. The veg is cool and fresh, the bun is perfectly squishy but holds up even after absorbing a little grease. What puts this over the top is the deep fried mushroom with cheese! It adds crunch with gooey cheese the coats the rest of the burger after a few bites. On another occasion I tried the double cheeseburger with bacon.  I wanted to try their bacon burger and the more “purist” burger. It has classic burger goodness (far surpassing the average diner burger) but I like the Priest better.

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These is also a secret menu that involves things like swapping out the bun for grilled cheese sandwiches… yes, two grilled cheese sandwiches.  My cardiologist is going to kill me….well unless the cholesterol does first.  I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I’d rather live a short life full of happiness and pleasure than a long life filled with regret and eating cardboard.

A few summers ago I made it to Yonge and St. Claire and finally tried Holy Chuck. The shop was larger and has the feel of an old school diner, something out of the original Back to the Future movie. The milkshakes are thick and delicious, there is a modern day soda machine, and a flat top grill whipping up some awesome burgers.

We go with the Holy Chuck, a double cheeseburger with bacon and caramelized onions.

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Similar to the Priest, the patties have a nice char but are still juicy and moist on the inside. It’s beefy with a nice salty seasoning. Maybe I caught them on a bad day but it was a little on the salty side for my taste but still really good. Maybe it was the fatty bacon that added to the extra saltiness but I love bacon so I would put up with the extra saltiness for the savory addition of bacon. The caramelized onions add a buttery sweetness and the cheese adds a gooey richness. The bun is squishy and also holds up in the presence of grease. The fries are awesome! Crisp on the outside, warm and soft on the inside. Very McDonald’s like which, to me, is the gold standard. These fries are elevated by the seasoning.

When people ask me who has the best burger in the city it’s a tough question to answer. I generally divide burgers into three classes, (1) the cheap $5 burger (usually fast food or a really cheap diner), (2) a mid level burger ranging from $10-$20 (usually a specialty burger place or fancier diner or place with fancier toppings), and (3) the high end gourmet burger, above $25 in price (I’ve tried some above $50) and served in nicer restaurants. Then the differentiating factor is a classic burger with traditional toppings or a fancy modern burger. It’s hard to compare any of them directly so I usually have my favorites in each subgroup. I would say these fall into the mid level group and both are as good as you can get! The beef is perfectly cooked, nicely spiced and super juicy (I really hate dry burgers). The additional toppings are excellent (I love the deep fried portobello mushroom filled with cheese) and bun is perfect. The “stuff” to bread ratio is perfect! I continue to see more places popping up and am excited to see who can give these two places a run for their money!

http://theburgerspriest.com/

http://holychuckburgers.com/

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~ by jlowjlow on June 2, 2017.

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