I carried a mixture of high hopes and skepticism on the short walk down the west side of Yonge Street from St. Clair. On a tip from @momwhoruns I was going last night to check a new burger place that allegedly could rival the best in the city.
Holy Chuck Burgers has been slotted into the space that Retro Burger occupied for a short period. The irreverent logo and the delicious aroma of griddled, high-quality beef is a sure sign that the new owners are doing things entirely differently.
Update: I took a bunch of friends back for a second shot at Holy Chuck Burgers. I’ve added some more photos and the one of the menu is now clickable for a larger version.
I tried the cheeseburger ($7.99, $14 and change as a combo with fries and a water, all in) that is two American-cheese covered patties (cooked to order), between a barely-toasted, note-perfect, squishy Wonder Bread style bun. For a first taste I did my usual charitable thing and ordered it with pickles and a bit of mayo.
In future I’ll try it straight-up without the toppings. Also on my list are the Holy Chuck fries (beer-chocolate chili, bacon, and cheese) and some of the specialty shakes–you’d think the Bacon, Fudge, Sea Salt would grab my attention but I’m more into the idea of Reece’s Pieces and Banana.
There really is only so long that I can avoid the obvious comparison: This burger is designed to compete with the ones from Burger’s Priest and (to a lesser extent) The Stockyards. They’re all fresh-ground from quality, fat-laden beef and griddled thin. Stockyards has fewer options and permutations supported by the occasional special; Burger’s Priest has their ever-expanding secret menu; Holy Chuck puts all sixteen “burger” options (two vegetarian, four featuring pork or lamb) on the full menu.
Basic, hand-cut fries are very similar at all three. Comparisons on taste will have to wait for a future pseudo-scientific burger taste test. I’ll leave judging the lamb and pork options to those who are into that sort of thing on their burger.
The ambiance is less warm and stylised at Holy Chuck but with twenty-eight indoor seats (thirty if you count the retro, table video game) I’ll be returning as the weather cools to see how this place does.
Update: See how Holy Chuck did in a blind taste test of double cheeseburgers against Burger’s Priest. (You might be surprised.)