I am not a trendy guy. I don't wear fashionable clothes. If something is popular I often go the other way. When food trends come up, I often stay away (even if I'm super keen on said food). I'm skeptical when people go crazy for things. This was prevalent when burgers became the big thing in Toronto. It took me a long time to finally check out what many touted as the best burger in Toronto at Burger Priest. I wasn't that impressed. So it also took me a long time to try what many started to claim was even better than the Priest: Holy Chuck.
I hate to do a comparison review - I really wanted to take this place on its own merits - but the concept was so similar to the Burger Priest I just couldn't. I mean they are even "Holy" Chuck for goodness sake.
The first thing that was similar was that they were both busy. Line ups for burgers. But, this place had seating and the line up was not crazy. The next thing I noticed was a very different attitude. Holy Chuck staffers were quite friendly. One staff member when not busy taking orders was busy cleaning up the joint, but stopped to have a friendly chat with me.
Their big banner is all about freshness. Burgers are all ground in-house. It's not frozen. The staff I chatted with tells me that their chef is a chef (professionally trained) who is really making an effort with elevating the comfort food for a fast food restaurant.
I look over the menu, and everything sounds good. Pricey, but good. There are many burgers, but I go with the signature Holy Chuck. Instead of going with regular fries, I was drawn to the Deep Fried Pickles. Burger and pickles. Sounded right to me.
The Deep Fried Pickles ($4.99) are sour pickles in a bacon panko crust that's deep fried. Panko crust is one I haven't encountered with DFPs, but adding bacon is a great idea. But I wasn't a fan of these. The crust was too crunchy, and the bacon had no flavour. The pickle itself was super sour. The dip was a chipotle mayo I think. It was not bad. But I would pass on the pickles.
Above is the Holy Chuck: double cheesebuger. Bacon. Carmelized onion. You can get your regular condiments on it, but they plead: "PLEASE DON'T PUT ANY TOPPINGS." I figured they knew what they were doing, so I went with no toppings. The burger came out, and it looked good. Lots of bacon, melty cheese . . .
The first thing that struck me, after how pretty the burger looked, was how small this double patty burger was. You know, for $9.99 with no sides or drink. The bun was very fresh, very soft. The bacon was crisp. I liked it's texture. The burger meat tasted fresh, but very plain. The cheese was good old American processed cheese. The caramelized onions added a little something in the background. But nothing really stood out other than freshness. Well, one thing did.
The grease. The burger was oozing grease. There was quite the puddle, and when I picked up the burger, a lot of grease flowed down my hands. Now I'm not normally squeamish around grease, but this was too much. I didn't enjoy the last 1/2 to 1/4 of my burger because the grease was just too much.
$9.99 is way too much for this tiny greasy burger. Yes it is fresh, but nothing wow'ed me about it at all. I did appreciate the seating, the atmosphere and the staff. But I don't understand what people are raving about regarding this burger. Would I go back? Maybe; to give the benefit of the doubt regarding the grease. Maybe try another type of burger. No pickles though. But I'm still hung up on the price. I don't hate Holy Chuck, but I don't love it either.
I don't know - I guess religious themed burger places just aren't my thing.
150 Yonge St. Toronto ON