North York blessed with its own Burger Priest

Posted on January 13, 2012


As I mentioned in a December post, I have found myself a part-time teaching job that I grovelled a bit to prep for. After a year of having my own schedule, it takes a while to get into the swing of something so regular once again. As things are starting to get into a pattern, it hit me that I haven’t blogged for sometime now. Checking for inspiration, one restaurant caught my eye, The Burger Priest. I saw them make it in Urbanspoon Toronto’s talk of the town list. Also, late last November, I met Chef Danny MacCallum of Jacobs and Co. Steakhouse on an assignment for CityBites. As I was shooting, I kept up a friendly banter with the chef and I divulged that I am from North York. The immediate question he asked me after was that if I have already visited The Burger Priest. Following so many foodies on Twitter, I see it mentioned countless times. I didn’t know then that they have opened another place close to me. I started reading reviews about this popular burger joint and I find a consistent almost-cathartic eloquence in describing a Burger Priest experience. After three good indicators, how can I resist finding out for myself and verify all the accolades?

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I called my friend Jojo and we agreed to have burgers for dinner tonight. Locating it was easy enough. If travelling by subway, it’s about a good walk going north of the Lawrence subway station. It’s funny though that within a few meters from this restaurant are two other burger places, The Burger Cellar and McDonald’s. That doesn’t seem to deter people from squeezing themselves into The Burger Priest. There was quite a big crowd waiting patiently as we walked in and one patron was nice enough to tell us the system of the two lines. One line to give out your orders and another to wait for them to hand you a brown bag of absolute goodness. Easy and straightforward enough, I tried explaining to my friend what makes each menu item different as there are no descriptions on the wall. Finally reaching the front of the line, I get some more info and I decide to take on what they call “The Priest”. All that review reading has left me salivating. I just have to experience how a burger topped with deep-fried breaded Portobello and cheese tasted like. It is worth mentioning too that they only accept cash. So if you plan to try this burger, make sure you have cash with you.

By some miracle, Jojo secured us some bar stools by the wall and we conveniently sat and waited for our brown bags. The wait was not that long and I excitedly opened my bag and took photos as fast as I could. Composing my images macro-close almost always is a big torture. One thing that was not highlighted in the write-ups I found was that the breaded Portobello/cheese on my burger would have such an aromatic garlicky smell. Like YAY! If one have to seduce me, make me a meal reeking in garlic. I have no care about having garlic breath (I almost always armed with fresh mints anyways).

After taking pictures of my Priest Burger and Jojo’s Double Double with Fries, we made big bites and I was in absolute burger heaven. The beef was moist, tender and everything about that burger made so much sense to me. Just like everyone, I gobbled up my burger to the last bite. It was quite amusing that I swiftly felt sad when I was left with one last bite. It was just as what they promised, a real burger experience, no fuss, no frills. I was glad I only ordered the burger. I don’t think I can take a full order of any side fries. There is just no way! My meal gave a definite thump to the tummy.

As Urbanspoon still does not have the new location on its list, should you decide that the Queen St East location is too far for you, you can find The Burger Priest at North York by Yonge by Teddington Park (3397 Yonge St).

The Burger's Priest on Urbanspoon

Posted in: Midtown, Toronto Eats